The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Fresh flowers

iris sibiriticaYears ago, my mother told me an old Chinese saying. ‘If you only have enough money to buy a loaf of bread, think again. Buy half a loaf and a chrysanthemum. They will both feed you.’

If we don’t have flowers in the house, I feel the difference. When I open the front door and if there are no flowers, there’s a gap.

I love flowers. If you have a moment and are near some, take the time to examine them closely. If you get really intimate you’ll see what I mean. It’s another world. Breathtakingly beautiful. Dive in. When you come up for air, you might forgo a takeaway and invest in flowers instead. Lots of them.

Danny has a strange blip. He thinks that if he brings me flowers I will assume that he’s having an affair. So I buy our flowers every week or so. We do grow flowers in the garden but I prefer to leave them there. The flower garden is small. They delight us when we stroll down and last much longer than a supermarket bunch.

When I cut flowers for the house it is for a special spot. The table where we eat, a breakfast tray, or a place that surprises. These Siberian Irises (iris sibiricia) grow against the front wall of the house. They thrive in a warm dry location. I picked them before tonight’s frost.

One day I’ll have the time to cultivate all the flowers and vegetables that we could possibly want. And we need barrow loads of both.


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