Hedge Bindweed or Wild Morning Glory

However one refers to this flower, it’s certainly a lovely feature of fence rows, fallow fields, vacant city lots. I’ve seen it in different sizes, apparently varied varieties, from tiny and bluish to large and shaded or lined with pinkish hues.

I encountered this one on a late summer walk. Had to share this simple and casual, yet beautiful and inspiring, blossom. Hedge bindweed as a title doesn’t really do this one justice. It seems quite glorious. Since I’m not a professional botanist, I suppose I may call it what seems appropriate.

A Lovely Little Late Season Bouquet

I didn’t grow many flowers this year, but here’s a cute though mismatched little bouqet I selected from my meager offerings. A few geraniums and lobelia are blooming in addition to this verbena, zinnia, and nasturtium arrangement.

Its not quantity, but quality that counts in many aspects of life. We just need eyes to appreciate beauty in whatever size or form it takes.

Queen Anne’s Lace Triggers Memories

O’Brignal banks are wild and fair,

And Greta woods are green,

And you may gather garlands there

Would grace a summer queen.

-Rokeby, Sir Walter Scott, 1771-1822

Ah, for the days when poets composed sonnets to weeds.

I’ve always loved Queen Anne’s Lace, though in America farmers and gardeners seem to discount its beauty and consider it a pest.

But it’s much less invasive and dangerous than some later arrivals, like knotweed, poison hemlock (and garlic mustard, though I must profess my love for it too, in spite of the fact that it may be taking over forest borders from more demure wildflowers like trillium, spring beauty, bloodroot).

My mother told me the name of Queen Anne’s Lace way back when I was a child. She said it was a weed, but I sensed a part of her appreciated it like I did. I still imagine bridal bouquets whenever I see fields sprinkled or frosted with clusters of the frilly blossoms.

The Complete Language of Flowers by Sheila Pickles tells us that the name references Queen Anne’s love of lacy head-dresses. The tiny purple floret at the center of each bloom is said to represent blood from Queen Anne’s finger when she pricked it while making lace.

Periwinkle, Myrtle, Vinca Minor – Names for a Sweet, Charming, Little Purple Flower

Periwinkle

Lines written in Early Spring

by William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

 

Through primrose tufts in that green bower,

The periwinkle trailed its wreaths’

And ‘tis my faith that every flower

Enjoys the air it breathes

 

What a charming little poem about periwinkle, myrtle, vinca, whatever one calls the trailing vine with the simple, pretty bluish purple blossoms.

My mom referred to it as myrtle, the catalogs seem to call it vinca, though it differs from another non-trailing vinca now popular in garden centers.

The Complete Language of Flowers by Sheila Pickles mentions many former medicinal uses, and says it is one of the oldest of flowers.

The poem mentions of its trailing between primrose plants, and I always planted it in flowerbeds, to accent taller plants and keep down weeds.

 

 

The Beautiful Tradition of Holiday Serving Dishes

I’ve always had a place in my heart for lovely floral serving bowls like this one on a shelf in my favorite shop.

My mother even served leftovers in the worn ones. The like new ones we saved for Sunday dinners, which were elaborate when my grandmother was alive.

I understand the youngest generation doesn’t have much appreciation for beautiful dinnerware, even as collector’s items. Pretty dishes are overlooked or placed outside as garden art.

Perhaps when they become more rare, they will return to favor.

Fun Vintage Find: Flower Frogs

I hadn’t realized these items were so useful and collectible until I did a bit of research on them after spotting these on display the other day.

I have a vivid memory of one which sat on a dish in the front window of the parlor in the big rambling farmhouse in which I spent my early childhood. I visited the window often, though I was the only one who did – I sometimes became entangled in cobwebs. For some reason spiders loved the spot.

No one told me what the item was called back then. What a fascinating name. Apparently they date back to 14th century Japan, and were named frogs because they sit in water???

For more fascinating details and photos of a wide range of styles visit the blog Hearth and Vine.

I love all the ideas for using them – as pen holders soap dishes, or simply displaying on shelves. Some people simply love to collect them, in all their fascinating forms.

 

A Few of My Favorite Cottage Flowers

Dianthus, euphorbia and verbena make an adorable display in this pot. I try to keep  outdoor flowers watered through September.

Our flowers this year have bloomed better in late summer than in June when they received excessive daily drenchings from Mother Nature.

Whimsical Nautical Themed Planter Accents

Here’s a couple of shots of my latest craft creations on their way to the co-op where I display my wares.

Had some odds and ends I purchases a while ago to create jewelry or whatever – I wasn’t sure – just bought bargains in themes I liked. Not sure if they’ll sell well, or if they will hold up to weather if placed outside, but it was such fun strining the marine-themed beads and shiny silver fish onto the wires.

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Penny Mason Plant Jewelry

County Fair Floral Favorite

Designed for the “new job” category, this entry in our local fair’s floral arrangement competition caught my fancy, and that of the judges’ as well.

Love the shiny new lunch box, bright red and yellow blooms, with matching tool handles. The arrangement shouts optimism for a fresh venture.

For those too young to remember – working men and school children opened heavy metal boxes  like this one to see what surprised their mothers or wives had carefully packed for their noontime meal.

Today’s equivalent – the fabric bags with features to hold food temperatures steady are probably an improvement, but I do miss seeing the heavy duty ones with secure snaps, like the big black one carried by my dad, or the ones with TV characters carried by my classmates.

Tiny Bouquets add Charm to Kitchen Tables

I can’t grow a bounty of blooming plants like I used to but still enjoy having fresh flowers by bringing in a few tiny blooms and arranging them in a miniature bud vase.

I’m actually finding I prefer these very small bouquets. They fit anywhere – my kitchen table is my favorite place, though placement upon a desk is a wonderful way to view them too.

A few flowers to feed the soul are a staple for me and others who share a taste for nature’s artistry and whimsical displays.