The Wrong Lilies

The Wrong Lilies

Saturday, November 19, 2016


So when our children were finally mostly self-sufficient and we were able to go away by ourselves for a weekend every once in a while, there were small towns not too far away where we would go and park the car, stay in a bed-and-breakfast overnight and explore the small shops in the small towns.  Many of those shops called themselves antique shops, but they were really old things shops.  We would look in the window and if the shop was either sparkly clean and fancy, or if it was pitifully unkempt, we walked on.  But if it was just a bit dusty and musty, in we would go, and we would find some sort of treasure.  For me it was old plates.  Sometimes I would find a plate, an actually having been used plate, with a lovely pattern in colors I was drawn to, and I would buy it, if it was inexpensive.  It was fun to take it back home and figure out where to display it, whether to hang it like a picture, or put it in a stand on a shelf.  A group of blue-and-white plates is in the dining room, and I enjoy looking at it every day.  Others are grouped in a wall in our bedroom.

The other thing I collected was old glass sugar bowls, mostly the ones which had lost their tops, and again only when the glass pattern interested me and these were usually less than a dollar.  Of course, someone in the family would always ask, “What are you going to do with those?”  To which I would reply, “Wait and see”.  But use them I did and still do, many times, when we have friends or family over for a meal and I want to serve jellies and jams or some other condiment.  Two-handled sugar bowls are easily passed from one to another.

Some of the plates that came from dishes we used every day but became cracked or broken, have been mended and now are used to act as plant saucers for favored house plants such as clivia and spathiphyllum and nephthytis, all of which I love.

Of course, I can no longer remember exactly where we found each plate or each sugar bowl, but I remember those which came to me from dear friends, all of them are used or displayed, and cherished as are the friends.  Each plate, to me, is a work of art; each sugar bowl has had a life, some adventures.  And I can still remember those lovely weekends when we were young.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


In taking a survey of what we call the garden, a smallish area with plants we love, I realize that I have, for too long, been gardening like the squirrels do – planting here and there, not marking anything, and ultimately not knowing at certain times where what is.

We really cannot complain about the garden, even now, this late in the year, because the temps have been mild (actually mild to hot), and we are finally getting rain, so that right now there is this one wonderful bearded iris blooming, a purple next to the gold of the Mexican mint marigold, some of the zinnias are still pleasing the butterflies, and there are a few marigolds and periwinkles and chrysanthemums.  And the spider lilies have finished blooming, as well as the rhodophiala, or fall amaryllis, and they are sending up their foliage, so I know where they are.  The Dutch iris are already sending up foliage too.

But my dilemma is that there are still tempting spaces and I want to plant something, such as a pansy or a dianthus, either of which will bloom all winter, but I fear digging into an area and damaging beloved bulbs. 

So I’ve started photographing certain areas so that perhaps at least in the spring I can know where to put what.  On the other hand, in the spring it always becomes a delightful surprise when something blooms that I had forgotten in the haste of life.