One of the dresses I’m working on for a client at the moment is in tulle finely embroidered with a lacy border of flowers and leaves that trickle down.
The effect is similar to the hem of this Garden Fairy’s dress I made of native violets – they grow in tangled patches like Mother Nature’s embroidery embellishing the brick paths and sandstone steps in my garden.
I love this time of year as everyday there is a new discovery of something flowering in the garden. Both plum trees are in blossom, I’ve started to see patches of blue grape hyacinth, sunny yellow daffodils and I have been picking posies of violets from underneath the cherry tree.
In the Victorian era there was a resurgence in using the meanings of flowers to convey messages and emotions. Hyacinths symbolised sincerity, daffodils chivalry and violets meant faithfulness or ‘I’ll always be true’ – although if the violets were white they sent an all together different message – ‘lets take a chance’.
I recently read the novel ‘The Language of Flowers’ by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Set in the present the protagonist uses flowers to engage with the world around her and nurture her own wounded soul. Believing in the power of the language of flowers she discovers she has a gift she can share and that will also bring her redemption. I enjoyed the story and loved the wonderful descriptions of flowers – growing them, choosing them, arranging them and giving them. Having meaning attached to each flower was an enchanting way of threading the storyline together.
I started this week excitedly impatient – a friend I hadn’t seen for 6 years was coming to visit and we both squealed with delight at seeing each other again.
It was serendipitous that we first met many moons ago and my life is richer for it – perhaps my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe would not exist if we hadn’t, for my friend was a florist and for the short time we actually lived in the same city our lives, passions and youthful enthusiasm intertwined.
She would send me amazing flowers for birthdays, when she knew I was feeling blue or for no particular reason at all. When we shared a house for 6 months she would bring home bunches of fabulous flowers and my knowledge and passion of flowers grew.
Our birthdays are about 6 months apart and we have just entered another decade. I bought her a special teacup – and a matching one for me. This week we ‘christened’ them with champagne and shared ‘green-jasmine tea bubbles’ (the recipe is from ‘the vintage tea party book’ by Angel Adoree) and earl grey and english breakfast tea.
We spent the week chatting, eating, drinking, star gazing, lounging about, gallery visiting, and making Garden Fairy designs together out of passionfruit flowers – my friend created the first Garden Fairy’s palazzo pantsuit – that sums up her fabulous style perfectly!
Today is International Women’s Day – a day with special memories for my friend and me as we once shared and celebrated it together at the International Women’s Day event in a park in Brisbane, Queensland – we were young, educated and single with freedoms, choices and possibilities ahead of us – things that alas are still not recognised as a right for some women of the world.
We shared a cup of tea this morning and then carefully wrapped up one teacup for her journey back to the other end of the country, gave each other a big hug and promised phone conversations over a cup of tea until next time we meet up.