"Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."
~ Henry Van Dyke

Friday, May 28, 2010

Doors to another time...

Have you ever walked in a village and really looked at the doors. It is a favorite pastime of mine along with windows. They are the face of a home while the windows are like eyes watching out or in. A beautiful door can smile and say 'Welcome, knock and come inside'.

We have been on vacation this month in the charming mediaeval city of Quedlinburg in Germany's Harz region. Come take a walk with me and we can explore the doors and see what they say to us...

This door is quite elegant. There must be a graceful lady living behind it?

This door needs some major tender loving care. This home is for sale so will you be the one to love it back to life?

A door inside a castle dating back to the 900s made of iron. If only this door could talk! Yes, I did say 900s which means this door has seen many people and much history...

'A small key opens big doors'

~ Turkish proverb

A door of great importance!

Or a door for a family home...

' The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.'

~ Flora Whittemore

Never were wiser words spoken. So perhaps we should think more before we open or shut a door each day.

A door to a tower...and we are choosing a new front door among the shopping list for things for our new home. I will be sharing my wish list and some items we bought soon. I think it is going to be fun to decorate around my new front door and make it say 'Welcome!'.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Wonders of wisteria!

Each year, I am thrilled all over again at the sight of our wisteria blossoms. This year is poignant for us as it is the last time to enjoy them here in our secret garden. Today, the couple who bought our home (yes, we sold the house) stopped over to sign the contracts. They have until June 7th to arrange a mortgage and the sale is final. We opened to door to them this morning smiling and declaring how beautiful the garden looks. I am thrilled, needles to say, that they love it and will not be changing it. My heart is in our garden. You can read about it on my old blog here.

In the Language of Flowers, wisteria means welcome. What a fitting this to see then from our street coming up to the garden gate.

This view is what inspired my love for this beautiful purple blossom. This is the view from Dorothy Wordsworth's window at Rydal Mount in the Lake District. I just loved visiting modest Dove Cottage which was the first house she lived in with her brother, the poet William Wordsworth and later in the regal Rydal Mount. I decided at that moment that I wanted a garden with this amazing vine! I could just picture Dorothy looking out through the flowers.

I purchased her Lakeland Journals at a little bookshop in Grasmere and was not disappointed. It is fun to read about every day movements of people in another time. She was an amazing woman and support to her brother.

So I too sit at my window as I write this entry to you enjoying my wisteria even against a very cloudy sky. Each year, Mother Nature gives us this gift anew.

I ponder how I will make changes to our new garden when we have it and how I will be fitting in a couple of these vines into the scheme. Seeing these makes me sad to leave them but I also feel happy at the prospect of designing a new garden as we set up our new home.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Giddy over gillyflowers.....

I love old fashioned flowers! In the last few years, the carnation or gillyflower has become a very favorite among them. This was always my mother's favorite flower but as a child I never gave it much thought. But have you ever really looked at one of these blooms?

It is beauty itself! I prefer the British simple small bloom which they refer to as pinks. I remember watching the Chelsea Flower show one year and a grower talked about how Americans have turned them into big blousey flowers. It makes you smile to hear how he described what some carnations have become but I do love the delicateness of a small, old fashioned pink.

As I walk past my table, I get the fresh clover scent of these little gems. The color is vibrant and yet there is also something very modest about these little flowers. Perhaps it is because it is a flower that has fallen out of favor over time as the modern world wants more dramatic flowers such a the rose or lily. But no...give me this unsung little blossom in a simple bouquet that cannot help but cheer you as you enter a room.

Did you know that carnations we used by the Greeks in ceremonial wreaths and garlands? The name is derived from 'corno' which means floral garland.

Or that the latin name Dianthus caryophyllus is because the Athenians honored carnations by calling them Di-anthos meaning 'flowers of jove'?

Or that Mary shed tears at the plight of Jesus and carnations sprang up from where her tears fell?

Or they are referred to as gillyflowers due to their clover like scent along with wallflowers, sweet William, sweet rocket, valerian among others?

Or they were an essential part of the ornamental Tudor garden?

"the fairest flowers o' the season
Are our carnations, and streak'd gilly-flowers"

~ William Shakespeare