Monday, 10 June 2013

Flowers in the garden . . .

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The roses in the garden have begun to unfold their tender velvet hearted blooms, a sweet gift to us, the fairest and the best . . . crimson and apricot, ivory and gold.   They lift their pretty heads in Todd's rose bed, and of course they climb the metal arbor which surrounds the gate which separates out patio from the grassed area in the back.  By next year it will be totally covered . . . but for this year there remains a space still free, the very arch at the top of it.   Oh how wonderful it will be when they cover the whole thing and we can walk through a golden tunnel, so pretty and fragrant . . .

"Round the arbours of remembrance
Youths unfading roses climb,
And the hidden seeds of friendship
Grow between the stones of Time."

Thinking of roses reminds me of this little verse by Patience Strong . . . I do so love poetry as you know . . .

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My favourite of all the garden flowers are the delicate and dainty sweet peas, beautiful and vivid as sunset skies . . . a mass of sweetness . . . like clouds of pink and crimson and purple butterflies.

Are they flowers, these moth-like things with brightly tinted wings of flame and cream??

 "Sweet Peas, on tiptoe for a flight,
With wings of gentle flush, o'er delicate white."

 ~ Keats

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We've introduced something new this year and we have only the one . . . a pink oriental poppy . . .

Large and blousy . . . with ruffled petals and chocolate drop centres, they are supposed to be quite easy to grow and we are hoping that they multiply.  I wanted red ones . . . but we settled for pink, and they are quite charming really.  They look like little upturned ball-gowns or ballerina tutus . . . waiting to go on stage and dance a beautiful dance . . . and in the breeze as they bob their heads, they are dancing . . . so says my soul.

"Through the dancing poppies stole A breeze most softly lulling to my soul."

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We picked up and planted some of these as well . . . Dicentra Spectabilis, or Bleeding Hearts.   I love their dainty blooms.  I do not like to think of hearts that bleed . . . but I do think these blooms are very pretty.  They arch across the garden like a bridge weeping with delicate heart shaped blossoms that drip down along it's arch . . .

To me, they look like the back of a little girl's pig-tailed head . . . but then my mind is often filled with visions of little girls . . .

No other plant bears perfect heart-shaped flowers like those of the Bleeding Heart. If you press the flowers between the pages of a heavy book, you'll have papery-thin little hearts to adorn letters or valentines. If you turn a flower upside down and pull the two halves apart, you'll see a lady in a pink bathtub, or perhaps you'll see a white lyre with strings of silk.

There is a story within it's blooms . . .

The flowers  hold clues to a tragic tale of unrequited love. . Long ago there lived a noble prince who tried in vain to win the heart of a very beautiful princess. The prince had brought the princess wonderful gifts from his travels far and wide. Yet she had taken no notice of him.

One day the prince returned from a long journey with very special gifts to surely win the love of the princess. First he presented her with two magical pink bunnies. (Peel off the two outer petals and set them on their sides to display two little pink bunnies.) The princess only sighed and barely looked at the little bunnies.

The hopeful prince had one more gift saved for last - he presented a pair of beautiful enchanted earrings. (Remove the two long white petals and hold them next to your ears.)  Again, the princess hardly noticed the prince's gift.

Now the poor prince was utterly heartbroken. He could try no more to win the heart of the princess. He rose up, pulled a dagger from his sheath and stabbed himself in the heart. (Remaining in the flower is a heart shape with the stamen, appearing as a dark green line down the center. Hold the heart up, carefully remove the dagger-like line, and plunge the dagger through the heart.) 

The princess was overcome by the dedication of the dying prince and his unending love for her. She realized too late that she loved him also. "Alas," she cried out. "I have done wrong, my own heart is broken also. I shall bleed for my prince forever more!" And her heart bleeds to this very day.

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A tragic tale for sure . . .

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This was another little piece I did when I was in Canada.  It's a Birthday Card.   It's supposed to be a chef owl holding a birthday cake.   I like his little boots and colourful striped socks!

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Then there were these two little chicks discussing the important of the meaning of life.  Just a bit of fun there.
We are hoping to go to the seaside today.  We'll see.  It feels a bit cold to me and it's always a lot cooler by the sea so perhaps we will give it a miss.   I'll see what Todd thinks when he gets up.

A thought to carry with you through the day . . .

"To be given a new day is to be given a new lease of life.  Don't snatch at God's gifts without a thank you as if your mere existence entitled you to expect a fresh supply of blessings every morning.   Accept the gift of the new day with reverence, grace and gratitude."
~The morning watch

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today, something deliciously different . . . Chicken with Parmesan, Basil and Melting Berries.

Enjoy your Monday!


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