Archive for May, 2011
It has been two weeks since my birthday. I spent my special day with friends I adore talking about my favorite things and drinking favorite cocktails. I started my birthday visiting my friend Kim – we walked through her garden and talked about the possibilities for her new vegetable garden and we shared ideas for new garden pots in her smaller garden spaces. She is so excited to see her garden transformed – our visit was such a treat! Then I finished my birthday serving French 75’s to friends who came to the party at my house. In case you don’t know, French 75’s are a cocktail made of good champagne, Hendricks gin, then finished with a lemon twist. My birthday was everything I imagined.
Two days after my special day, a package arrived in the mail. It contained some special treats including a vintage book. This miniature book (pictured below) is called The Flower Guide by Chester Reed. It was published in 1916, and contains detailed information about flowers that grew west of the Rocky Mountains. This tiny book (4 inches wide and two inches tall) was a gift from my great uncle Gordy. He is our family historian. Every time I see him, he has a story or an old picture to share. In this case, the vintage book had been in his archives. He decided to share it with “the family flower lady.” When I discovered this book in the box mailed to me, I cried. This is the first time I’ve been called the “family flower lady.” I hope the name sticks! As far as I am concerned, I will be proud to be called the flower lady for the rest of my life. After all, flowers are one of the great loves in my life.
As I carefully looked through The Flower Guide, I found some irony. At the end of the book, there is a section called “Key to Flowers by Color.” You can see what types of flowers are white and peach and pink. Just after the pink section, there is a short list of “Red as the Conspicuous Flower Color.” Now, who would ever think of a red flower as conspicuous? Perhaps this meant that in 1916, one had to wear red flowers conspicuously. In today’s world, gardeners who love color in their yards will certainly pack a punch with the red flower. Even back then, you could choose from the Coral Honeysuckle or the Cardinal Flower, even the Painted Cup. Have you heard of the Painted Cup flower? There were also flowers called Oswego Tea, Pimpernel and Pitcher Plants. I am not familiar with any of them, but I love that they grew ninety five years ago in this region of our world.
Thank you Gordy for this wonderful gift! The little black book will be cherished in my library for years to come. For you readers, read and enjoy your favorite things today. May that moment be found in a book or in your garden or hanging out with good friends. Cheers!