Posts tagged ‘flowers’

This is not what it looked like today…

butterfly vase

It poured down snow today. Big white flakes floated down all afternoon while I worked in my studio. I’ve been in Vancouver four years now and this is the snowiest winter yet. I can now count four times I’ve worn the winter boots I brought from Calgary and thought I’d never wear again.

Here are a few photos from earlier this week when there was sunshine – the last of my Christmas paperwhites (they last forever if you keep them outside) and my birthday tulips. I’ll be thinking of them fondly when I navigate tomorrow’s icy streets.

sunshine paperwhites

birthday tulips

birthday tulips4

birthday tulips3

birthday tulips2


February 23, 2014 at 10:43 pm Leave a comment

Arranging spring

spring flower vase

This sweet brown vase was a gift earlier this month: it’s the latest addition to a collection of tiny vases that are perfect for my small garden.

Once again these vessels are filled with spring flowers. I’ve been enjoying the zen-like art of flower arranging once or twice a week lately and it’s a reminder that few things make me happier than walking outside to my own garden and cutting flowers for a bouquet.

I love photographing them, too, and the small arrangements are the perfect size for my teeny studio.

vase with periwinkles 2

tiny vases

daffodil and hyacinth

white narcissus

April 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm Leave a comment

Flowers from the garden

All winter long I’ve been buying cut flowers from the store. No longer. Now I just need scissors. My container garden is full of spring blooms: tulips are opening up, pale daffodils that came up late are just starting to fade away alongside the long, variegated leaves of the crocuses, which are quite beautiful all on their own even though the flowers are long gone. My hanging baskets are filled with a mix of primulas and the pink and orange ranunculus and purple periwinkles you see here. All are plentiful enough that I’ve filled a little vase with them.

For those of you who are counting, there are 25 flowers and leaves in this little vase, picked in honour of a sad but special day. Life is a strange place, and hard to deal with at times. Somehow everything feels a bit lighter with flowers brightening a space, especially when you’ve been outside carefully plucking them from your own garden. It’s easier to find a sense of meaning and calm when you’re surrounded by beauty. It’s a simple thing, maybe silly, but there’s a little voice in things like flowers from the garden that calls at you and pushes you to try to make the rest of your world just as right – whether it’s indoors, outdoors, or like these flowers on a windowsill, somewhere in between.

April 25, 2012 at 11:14 pm 3 comments

Spring bulbs already sprouting!

It’s hard to believe, but the first shoots of snowdrops and crocuses are peeking up in gardens around the neighbourhood, including mine. This photo was taken yesterday afternoon, which you can see was lovely and sunny compared to today’s drizzle and grey. (more…)

January 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm Leave a comment

A sunlit feeling returns

This is how it feels to be back at life after a lengthy stretch of way too much work. I’ve been trying for the past couple of years to keep my work-life balance under control, mostly unsuccessfully. Last year I spent about six months freelancing, which I loved for all its flexibility, but add moving, travel and family crisis into the mix and things were barely manageable. Next up was work commitments that added up to at least full-time-and-a-half, and that wasn’t great either. After that: major event plus surgery plus another (more) major event. Sigh.

But now things are suddenly looking much different. The family crisis that was still is and always will be. There is nothing easy about it. But the way everything else is suddenly lifting away is a revelation. My health is not perfect, but far better than it’s been for years. The giant work projects that were such a challenge are complete and emitting a lovely glow of success. What’s left now: summer, travel, patio, garden, cooking, reading, visiting, resting, writing, normal work and searching for what’s next. The life equivalent of this pretty rainbow of sunlit gerberas.

July 13, 2011 at 8:29 pm Leave a comment

Primulas in bloom

Vancouver experienced some very chilly temperatures a couple of weeks ago (even snow!), but luckily my primulas were hardy enough to survive the cold snap. I planted them in early February after seeing them displayed in these gorgeous, colourful rows at my favourite garden centre, Southlands Nursery,

It’s this time of year that makes me love living on the west coast. When we used to live in Victoria I always enjoyed the annual flower count and the bragging rights that come with being the first place in Canada to experience spring. And when I lived in Calgary this is the time of year I hated the most – waiting and waiting for the endless winter to cease.

There were primulas blooming in our tiny garden when we bought our new house here in Vancouver last year. It’s amazing to see them again and think of all the time that has passed and everything that can happen in the short space of a year.

March 10, 2011 at 9:26 pm 2 comments

First flower spotted: snowdrops

I spotted my first flowers of the year a few days ago: a couple of snowdrops blooming on my patio. I planted a handful of bulbs last fall hoping for spring blooms, and here they are already. I wish I’d planted a hundred more.

There are other plants in my garden right now – ivy, bamboo and violets all survive the winter here in Vancouver – but the snowdrops are the first sign of growth. Two seasons wrapped up into one tiny flower – a shoot of green and snowy white that pushes us to accept the thin hope of spring while chilly grey days with gloves and scarves continue for a little longer.

January 19, 2011 at 11:35 pm 2 comments

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