Tag Archives: flowers

A garden and a library

“He who has a garden and a library wants for nothing.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero Several weeks ago one of our readers sent me this quote, and I immediately thought “That would make a great post for the blog.”  What makes the quote so appealing is that most people can have at least a small library and …

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So rare

And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days…  — James Russell Lowell June has been a blur for us this year, as perhaps it has been for you.  We’ve been overwhelmed with hospitalizations, seemingly endless appointments, backlogged tasks indoors and out, and the yearly traffic snarls from summer …

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To flowers

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” — Claude Monet It’s easy to believe that flowers inspired Monet to capture beauty on canvas, creating some of my favorite masterpieces.  Add one more amazing gift to the lengthy list of the ways flowers have enhanced our lives. The flowers seem even more beautiful than usual this year.  …

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God’s handwriting

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament.  Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.”  —Charles Kingsley Travel is one of my favorite ways of searching for …

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Flowers are the music

“Flowers are the music of the ground…” — Edwin Curran For many Americans my age or older, it’s almost impossible to visit the Bavarian Alps without remembering the opening scenes from the movie The Sound of Music.  So Curran’s quote seemed appropriate for this photo of a garden in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.  If you’ve ever been to …

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Expect nothing

“Expect nothing.  Live frugally On surprise.” — Alice Walker It may seem contradictory for a self-proclaimed optimist to quote Walker’s counsel to expect nothing, but there is very real difference between expectation and optimism. Admittedly, optimism involves some expectation, but it is mostly of a general sort. We expect that joy lies ahead if we …

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Nature’s way

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’”  — Robin Williams Surely by now, warm spring weather has started to arrive in even the chilliest parts of the northern hemisphere.  Better late than never! What can we do to celebrate springtime this week?   Take a walk, plan a picnic, visit a park.  Make some lemonade, bake some …

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Turrets and dormers

“I hereby proclaim that I love turrets and dormers, and massive wooden staircases and fireplace mantels, and curvy old antiques and Oriental carpets and crystal chandeliers and even velvet curtains. And yes, I love tchotchkes. I have a house full of them.”            — Zofia Smardz One of the things I most enjoy about the blogosphere, or …

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The fantastic show

“There are some shrubs that seem to scream, ‘Look at me!’ With their showy flowers…planting just one of these shrubs can light up the whole yard…azaleas are sure bets for a spectacular flower show…Their intensity makes one stop and take notice and perhaps feel compelled to give Mother Nature a round of applause for the fantastic …

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Flowers have an expression

“Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals.  Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright…”  — Henry Ward Beecher On a recent visit to the Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution, I was delighted to see the …

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Like life

“Do not watch the petals fall from the rose with sadness; know that, like life, things sometimes must fade before they can bloom again.” — Author unknown The cherry blossom trees of Washington DC are justly famous, but the ones I most enjoy are right outside the front door of our townhouse in Alexandria.  Until …

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A thousand small ways

“When we are willing to be open-minded, art and beauty come flooding into us in a thousand small ways.”— Julia Cameron I tend to think of open-mindedness as a trait useful primarily to our rational minds, vital to the examination of ideas, cultures and opposing viewpoints.  Yet there are many ways our minds can be open rather …

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Poems by heart

“It is spring again.  The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” — Rainer Maria Rilke I don’t consider myself a poet, but I do like to write poetry as well as read it.  When writing poems I have to curtail the number of words I use so that every single one has an …

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Something is afoot

“It is a bright and chill early spring day.  The air is crisp but the earth is insistent…The wind is stiff and needling.  It still feels like winter, but spring itself is positive and determined.  Something is afoot, and it is festive and uncontrollable and undeniable.” — Julia Cameron I’ve heard more than a little …

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The gladdest thing

“I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.” — Edna St. Vincent Millay Millay was one of the first poets whose work I loved, and I learned this verse as a girl.  I have said it silently to myself countless times over the years.  …

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How happily we listen

“What can Spring say that other Springs have not already told us? And yet each year, how happily we listen!” — Joan Walsh Anglund Familiar yet always new, springtime lures us outdoors with warming sunshine, budding trees and bright blooms.  Whether your March  weather has been more like a lion or a lamb thus far, I …

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Teach your moods

“Now Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes…This rebellion of your moods against your real self is going to come anyway. That …

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When March is scarcely here

“A light exists in spring Not present on the year At any other period — When March is scarcely here.” — Emily Dickinson Along with a recent post about walking, I included a photograph of some trees in my neighborhood.  The photo above pictures those same trees during the all-too-brief period of their flowering, usually …

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Try adding some bright

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors…” — Allen Klein I appreciate people who take the time to add color to everyday life.  Some people plant bright annuals that bloom in spring and …

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The unceasing effort

“Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers– and never succeeding.” — Gian Carlo Menotti Humans can create stunning works of art, but the best of these only imitate, echo, enhance or complement the beauty found in nature.  Art is usually made, at least in part, from materials found in the …

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Simply unbelievable

“…if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy…Look at the flowers – for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.” — Osho I disagree sharply with many of the teachings attributed to Osho, but I have to agree with him …

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An impression of beauty and delight

“There is no spot of ground, however arid, bare or ugly, that cannot be tamed into such a state as may give an impression of beauty and delight.” — Gertrude Jekyll Among the things I love best about San Francisco are the unique garden spots tucked away seemingly throughout the city.  Though they lack the appealing open landscapes of more …

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I still hear the sound

“The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers.” — Basho At the beginning of February, it’s good to look forward to the coming of spring.  It has been awhile since I’ve seen this many flowers at one time, but thoughts of them linger and build anticipation that will have …

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Mad with joy

“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– …

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Its own measure

“A journey implies a destination, so many miles to be consumed, while a walk is its own measure, complete at every point along the way. There are things we will never see, unless we walk to them.”  – Thomas A. Clark On the last Sunday of October, it was an amazing 80 degrees outside at …

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