The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Flowers from the garden June 2012

Flowers from the garden in early June

Flowers from the garden in early June

Unless you have been reading this blog for a very long time you wouldn’t know that I used to spend £10 a week on flowers. Flowers have a transient beauty and this somehow makes them even more precious. A home without flowers always seemed rather a bleak place to me.

This Chinese proverb explains the need for beauty in our lives.
“When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.”
Food for the body and food for the soul.

Back in January 1997 I decided to give up buying flowers from the supermarket. This step initially was to save money – if I wanted flowers I could grow them myself. What I hadn’t really taken on board was the difference between home grown and commercially produced flowers. Home grown flowers have a special softness and radiance. And of course they are not sprayed with chemicals to increase their shelf life.

Since that cold January day I haven’t bought flowers from a shop or supermarket ever again. Although, I must admit that I’m tempted every now and then. Instead I’ve invested time and energy in growing more flowers in our cottage garden.

For a few years I ran a monthly feature on this blog – flowers from the garden. When I picked this bunch yesterday Danny suggested that reinstate the old practice and share the beauty of the flowers with my readers.

So here you are. I’m already wondering what July will bring.


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18 Comments

  1. brightspark

    Beautiful, Fiona!

  2. Veronica

    They’re beautiful, Fiona! Nice to see the return of this feature.

  3. Absolutely beautiful! I, too, don’t buy cut flowers – and haven’t for years. Even the hubby knows not to buy me cut flowers. If he feels the overwhelming urge (ha!), then he knows potted flowers are the thing, ‘cos they can be planted in the garden afterwards.

    For me, water is too precious, so I only grow indigenous flowers which get watered by the rain. All our water is reserved for growing vegetables LOL

  4. Janet Anderson

    Absolutely stunning!

  5. thinking of the days

    Oh yes Fiona…would love to see the monthly flowers again….and this month’s bouquet is lovely….

  6. Pure joy, Fiona. Lovely colours.

  7. Danny

    I happened to be making a cup of coffee in the kitchen when Fiona walked through from the back garden holding that bunch of flowers.

    Immediately I thought “wow” because they happened to be arranged perfectly as she held them, much like the photo.

    She is pleased that people liked her previous series of Flowers From the Garden. So did I. Good to know that she will resurrect it.

  8. Anne Wilson

    Lovely bouquet, the other advantage is you get perfume as well, why do shops sell flowers that have no scent?

  9. Susan D

    Beautiful and I bet they have a lovely scent that bought flowers don’t.

  10. Margaret Thorson

    My mother used to quote similar poem but it hyacinths for the soul. I found these two quotations. I don’t know which one she was referring to but it has been one of my credos all my life.

    “If, of thy mortal goods, thou art bereft,
    And from thy slender store two loaves
    alone to thee are left,
    Sell one & from the dole,
    Buy Hyacinths to feed the soul”
    – Muslihuddin Sadi,
    13th Century Persian Poet

    “If I had but two loaves of bread
    I would sell one of them
    & buy White Hyacinths to feed my soul.”
    – Elbert Hubbard
    (1856-1915)

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