Intended for solace

A flower merchant decorates a sidewalk in Barcelona, May 2008.

A flower merchant decorates a sidewalk in Barcelona, May 2008.

“Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity.”  — John Ruskin

You’ve probably noticed that I have been intentionally choosing themes that are linked in some way to the posts I did on the same day one year ago.  The first couple of times when this happened accidentally and readers commented on it, I realized it was a helpful way to narrow down potential topics.  It enables me to get the posts done more quickly.  So I plan to continue this unless readers start complaining that the links are repetitive.  I’ll try to keep them different enough to be worth glancing at again.

It does seem that the first day of February is an excellent time to start anticipating springtime, which for many of us means anticipating flowers.  Ruskin is right; natural beauty, so colorfully epitomized by flowers, is universally available for appreciation (even though some of the more fabulous views may have limited accessibility due to location, ownership or entrance fees).

Flowers, though, bloom everywhere, and are cultivated and harvested by talented gardeners and merchants who want to spread the joy.  If you can’t visit a botanical garden, there are still displays to be found wherever there are people.  I just love it that grocery stores often feature floral departments with fresh flowers in abundance.  I can hardly run into a grocery, even for one or two items, without taking a minute or two to enjoy their colors and fragrance.

I hope you will make some time today (or soon) to seek out the solace of flowers.  They are visual music, a balm for the spirit and food for the soul!

One year ago today

I still hear the sound

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia! Funny – two days ago I was at Trader Joe’s and considered buying a set of daffodil bulbs in a planter, but thought – it’s to early to buy these – and I opted to buy cut flowers, instead.
    But yes, I think now is a good time to plan my summer garden and start ordering seeds that I can start indoors in March or April. It used to be that we never planned anything outdoors until Memorial Day, but now the chances of frost seem fewer in late May. Or I’m getting either more daring or careless in my old age …!

    • At the Potomac Shores home we have a community greenhouse and they have free seed trays, potting soil, markers etc. to allow people to start seeds. I’ve never had any luck with starting seeds and having them grow into anything, but with all that free and a greenhouse with misters, it might be time to give it a try? What seeds do you seem to have the best luck with, in terms of having them get large enough to transplant without killing them?

      • Hi Julia, I think tomatoes do pretty well, and give the best reward. The trick is in the transplanting: pinching off the lowest branches and then planting very deep, to maximize potential root area. Zucchinis and cucumbers do very well and are even simpler to grow and transplant, plus they don’t need cages or supports to grow on.
        With one packet of zinnias, we ended up with zinnias seeds to spare, so let me know if you’d like me to send you some. I tried sorting by color, so you could possibly even request a shade from yellow to red to bright pink or white, including salmon and orange.

        • I have a neighbor at the NoVa home who is an ace at growing various heirloom tomatoes, and he is an organic gardener. He had more than he could eat this past year, so I am well supplied with those. But zinnias sound delightful and I was successful with those (and pretty much everything I tried) in California. Might be worth a try here. I’d love the bright pink and red ones!

Thanks for encouraging others by sharing your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: