Picture It Within a Simple Background
In a world full of visual clutter and distractions, helping your eyes and those of others to focus in on selected glimpses of beauty seems a particularly worthwhile venture, and believe it or not, learning to do it effectively can be surprisingly simple. Take for example the handful of Grape Hyacinths pictured above. I wandered out into my rainy garden this very morning while the coffee was brewing with nothing more than a whim, a pair of scissors and a willingness to thin a few of those rambunctious stands of Muscari along one of my garden bed’s perimeters. Within two or three minutes I had selected, snipped and returned to the warmth of my kitchen, ready to pour a cuppa hot Joe and start playing. Now obviously this is no complicated work of art fit for an elaborate party or an elegant dinner table centerpiece. It is a mere handful of just one type of springtime flower cut fresh in a few spare moments and placed within a simple little vase. And though it would probably get lost, visually in some larger, grander setting, you can see that it would make an ideal little grace note on a bedside nightstand or upon a narrow bathroom windowsill, very effectively bringing a bit of the current season indoors. (This is one of the great pleasures of having flowers growing just beyond one’s door, by the way; the fact that you can simply step outside to see what is blooming and within moments have a bit of it beautifying your indoor home.)
A bouquet is meant to be a thing of joy and ephemeral beauty, not an object of duty or gender rules, or concern over what others might say and think. So I encourage you, ladies and gentlemen to go out into your gardens or along the roadways, paths and meadows that you walk, or drive, giving yourself permission to bring a bit of the season home to enjoy. Don’t worry that others may arrange more artfully than you, or that your materials when compared to what the florist has to offer will seem too humble. Save those fancier arrangements for weightier occasions, and by all means, do hire a pro to help you achieve your floral vision when that is appropriate. But for a quick Sunday morning stroll while the coffee brews, remember that weeds and grasses, budding branches, all sorts of flowers and plant forms can look stunning, whether in an ornate vase or an empty jam jar. These temporary and often fragrant visitors can beautify your home and help keep you aligned with the seasons that might otherwise rush past with scarcely a friendly notice.
And when you decide you want to take a picture to send to your friends, to share a glimpse of your harvested and/or found bounty with them, find something simple or unusual to help you frame up your bouquet. Think about it: if I can stand an old cake pan on end in front of a cutting board on my kitchen table, or an old bread pan, using it as a framing device, then imagine how many other simple, everyday things might work just as well to help those you love see what beauties you are giving space to in your life, today. It could be as simple as a tea towel hung over the back of a chair, a section of bare, textured wall, the weathered boards of a back yard fence or the crumpled and then resmoothed funnies from the Sunday paper. Your imagination, truly, is your only limitation here, so play a bit and see what delightful visions come bubbling up when you give them a chance. You might be surprised how much you look forward to each new wave of blooms outdoors when you give yourself permission to cut some of them to bring home, and when you so playfully then, find backgrounds within which to share them.