Now as you probably all know, I live in Christchurch and recently I’ve been really quiet on the blog (and everywhere in Internetville) as we’ve been ‘between homes’ for a while and working out some issues in our shattered city. And I appreciate how fortunate my family and I have really been compared to so many others – my heart just aches for those in Turkey currently dealing with that horrendous quake there and the utter devastation.
For me, recent weeks have really been a time for stopping and appreciating the small things in our lives and city. In the face of much destruction and loss, we’ve needed to look for little bits of lovely.
|Daffodil picture by Graeme Weatherston
And let me tell you, nothing lifted my heart more than a few weeks ago when early Spring hit and all the daffodils flowered – they’d been through earthquakes, liquefaction, snow and floods – and still they grew – en mass, tall and beautiful.
And this weekend we finally moved back into our own home. We’ve been incredibly fortunate in that our house is pretty okay. And it’s wonderful to come back to these old wooden walls – I brought four babies home from the hospital to this house. It has such amazing memories associated with it, and we’re so lucky and thrilled to be back.
We have a teeny tiny creek that crosses the front of our section. On the ‘far side’, across the stepping stones, is a mini-bushland that at the moment is completely overgrown and in the high winds the other night half a tree fell right through the middle of it! So it REALLY needs a tidy. Out the back we grow veggies – I’ve generally had a preference for ‘useful’ plants – but inspired by those little bits of lovely, I’ve been ‘pretty garden plotting’ for the front. And this is where my fancy for black and white comes in.
White gardens are nothing new – I think it was the inimitable Vita Sackville West who created one of the most famous white gardens – check out the link here – don’t you just adore the Elizabethan tower? What a wonderful writing room!
But I really am intrigued by the impossible in nature – the black flower! The idea of black flowers may be a touch Gothic – but I also think they’re wonderfully romantic and dramatic! And of course, there’s really no such thing – they’re actually very deep, deep purple. It’s the pursuit of impossible perfection! Kind of like writing itself– given we strive to make words perfect and of course that can pretty much be impossible... fortunately so much of the pleasure is in the pursuit itself…
I also like this little viola – Zorro – and I’ve some grasses and near black sweet peas. Next bulb planting time I’ll put in some tulips. I think some of my family think I’m a little crazy to want only black and white flowers in that particular part of the garden, but to me it makes perfect sense!
My second ever story for Mills & Boon (His Mistress by Arrangement) featured an artist who loved flowers and in the story she was illustrating a book about ‘floriography’ – the language of flowers – the meanings of some flowers were pretty relevant in some scenes! But I’m not sure how the Victorians would have defined black petunias!
Anyway – are you a flowers person or a growing herbs/veggies person? Do you like to keep fresh blooms in a vase or are you the type who forgets to put the old ones in the compost and ends up with a shrivelled sort of science experiment?!
What little bits of lovely are you inspired by?!
p.s. I did think there was the most gorgeous display of black on white on Sunday night when the magnificent All Blacks beat the white clad French to win the Rugby World Cup – fabulous! ;)