I was raised growing flowers in cool-weathered Tasmania. Our bulbs came from Holland in big shipping containers and then were planted in rich farming soil. We grew predominately irises, lilies, and tulips. Every Summer and Saturdays in Winter were taken with planting, weeding, picking, bunching and then digging up the bulbs again. You would think I wouldn't want to see another flower! But I do, I fill my home with these flowers. Because we worked together as a family, tulips remind me of bunching delicate stems while singing to the radio with my Dad. That first peek of blue on the iris head reminds me of how carefully I would watch for that, scissors in hand, to pick the stems, and then run down to the river with my sisters for a swim on a hot afternoon after our work was done. The heady scent of oriental lilies remind me of the way we would slip the bunches into sleeves and then drive to the airport in Launceston to take our boxes to the 10pm flight to Sydney so they would be at Flemington the next morning.
Then I married into a florist family. Which isn't so uncanny when you think about the fact that my father-in-law talked my father into growing flowers in the first place! So for me, bringing flowers home to fill the kitchen and the living area is way of coming full circle because flowers have always been a part of home and family and learning what work is and that wonderful lesson, what you plant is what you pick.
So today I'm bringing the outside in.
With Tulips and proteas and other cold weather bounties,
and a pot of spicy vegetable soup slowly simmering
on the stove.