Mad with joy

A garden in Colonial Williamsburg, May 2009

A garden in Colonial Williamsburg, May 2009

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.” Iris Murdoch

Go a little mad with joy today.  Visit a florist  or plant nursery, or just the floral department of a grocery store, and take a few minutes to see– really see– the flowers.  Or, if you cannot get out, enjoy the flowers here and here and here.  Or just google “flowers” and click on “images.”  Bloggers, please feel free to post links to your favorite flower photos in the comments!  As we used to say in the 60’s:  FLOWER POWER!


  1. Carla Hutto got a brief introduction to this place in 1999.
    Added comment: It is one of the favorite places on earth to Jackie Richardson.

    • Eric, I have always wanted to go to Butchart Gardens; we didn’t have time to go when we were in the area briefly many years ago. Thanks so much for posting this link! Whenever we are in Canada I always tell Jeff, “The Canadians really KNOW how to do gardens!”

  2. Sherrie Cannon

    We never saw Williamsburg in the Spring, always winter. But their Christmas decorations were beautiful, too. This is really breathtaking.

    • Thanks, Sherrie! Williamsburg is wonderful all year round. Being close enough to go often is one of my favorite things about living in Virginia. It would be hard to say which season is best there – all are beautiful. It really is nice at Christmas. We have spent at least 5 Christmas Eves there.

  3. Mike Bertoglio

    Butchart is pretty awesome; and not too far from us here in Northwest. We have a winter garden at the Washington Arboretum, at University of Washington.
    You have Foxglove, delphiium, asters, flox and carnations? Nice color palette with a purple ==lilac base.
    Williamsburg is in PA?

    • Hi Mike, Colonial Williamsburg is in Virginia, about halfway between Newport News and Richmond. It’s a lovely place. Read more about it at

    • Mike – I will presume to answer for Julia. Colonial Williamsburg is the complete restoration (made possible by the Rockefeller fortune) of the original buildings of the first capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Remember the House of Burgess? The “Give me liberty or give me death.”, by Patrick Henry was delivered in this august assembly. Well that has been restored, from the foundation up, to its original splendor.

      • Thanks Eric. I know you love that place as much as I do. I’m a big fan of Colonial Williamsburg and we have had season passes there many years. Mike, you would probably love going there, and not just for the gardens. The re-enactments are great and they have some very talented actors portraying famous Americans. I think it’s definitely worth crossing the continent to go there if you can manage it, but you could plan to visit Washington DC in the same trip since they’re less than 3 hours apart, an easy Interstate drive all the way. There are more historic sites in this area (from the pre-colonial days right up through the present, including every war since the Revolution) than you could ever visit in a year.

  4. Love that garden Julia and your quotes at the links as well. I might be partial, but the 60’s were so iconic…the music, the message of peace, the spirit of young people. I was just a kid but they informed who I grew up to be.

    • Yes, I was young during the 60’s too; I entered high school just as they were ending. I remember a lot of good and bad from that era and I do believe that those of us who grew up during that time were strongly influenced by what we saw and heard, even if most of what we learned about the times came from TV. One of the good things I remember from the 60’s, something that I have kept with me all my life, is the early music of Simon & Garfunkel. And I probably learned to love flowers in the 60’s. I used to have those big splashy-colored flower stickers on notebooks, posters, etc. and still love flower motifs to this day.

      • I adore Simon & Garfunkel, their harmonies still sound fresh. I was still in primary school, so I was able to enjoy all the innocence of the era.

        • I still love listening to both of them; they have truly aged well and continue to sing as beautifully as ever. Paul Simon is amazingly talented at writing. His lyrics are like poetry and his music is always perfect for the words.

  5. Kathy

    I am fortunate enough to be able to enjoy beautiful yellow roses from my garden even in January in Texas. Your photo is surreal; it looks like a painting for a puzzle!

    • Kathy, I was born in Texas (near the border, actually) and my Daddy has always called me the Yellow Rose of Texas (from the song), so every time I see a yellow rose I think of Texas. One thing I liked about San Antonio is that we normally didn’t have to worry about our plants freezing in the winter!


  1. Solace in the seedlings | Defeat Despair
  2. Places in our hearts | Defeat Despair
  3. Count on flowers | Defeat Despair
  4. Mad with joy | Defeat Despair

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