I am a week late in getting this blog edition out to you. I was on O’ahu cooking for a silent retreat. I love to nourish people, it’s one of the ways I show love. I took some of my homemade garden rose syrup to share with the retreat participants. I drizzled it on coconut tapioca and mixed it with tahini and stuffed dates topped with a walnut for someone’s birthday treat. you can find the recipe for the dates here.
I don’t know what I’d do without flowers! They cheer me up when I’m feeling low. They keep me company when I’m happy. I am reminded of the divinity in all of nature. And for that, I am thankful. After my youth experiences, it was quite a number of years before I reunited with flowers. I was in my early twenties when I was next touched by their beauty. In 1981 I was living in North Beach, San Francisco. Some Friends lived nearby and across the street from their flat was an Italian mortuary. We used to “dumpster dive” and reclaim the funerary flowers for our living spaces. We were just working youth, living life as “goths” before it was called that, with not much extra money for flowers, so we thought it was great to be able to re-purpose the discarded flowers we found.
The next time flowers touched me was when I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma in my mid 30’s. I began to read a lot about how to give love and care to myself, and flowers was one of the ways to nurture my heart and soul. I began to shop at the Alemany farmers market for fresh food and I would buy arm loads of flowers there. I spread them around our Bernal Heights flat. I particularly liked them in the bathroom. And placed them in kitchen, bedroom, living room as well. I also re- enlivened our small back yard by planting flowers, bamboo and a lawn. I put in a hand made water fountain so I could have the peaceful sound of trickling water in the cityscape. It had the added benefit of attracting birds. I did some part time work with a florist who was a parent at my son’s school. I was completely hooked on the value of flowers in my life. I haven’t turned my back on them since. I hope you too see the value of bringing the beauty of flowers into your life.
Oh and if you use facebook, I have a page there called “Beauty of Maui” where I share my photographs of the beauty of where I live….
Here are some more hints and tips regarding flowers…..
More on trimming flower stems: if it’s a woody stem, smash the end with a hammer. If it has a milky sap, singe the end with a flame to keep the sap in the stem. Always trim the flower ends after bringing them home, before placing in your vase.
Cut flowers will last longer out of the direct sun.
To cause all (or most) of the buds to open on Gladiolus and Tuberose, pinch off the top couple of buds. The flowers will then direct the energy to opening the remaining buds instead of growing more buds, which will not open.
Tulip stems keep growing after being cut. Remember to place them in a tall vase, to keep them upright. Otherwise they will flop over.
For my birthday one year, I created this flower mandala on my kitchen table, using whatever was growing in my yard. It was a beautiful meditation.
Be sure to come back in two weeks for Part two of Keepin’ it Fresh, and thanks for reading!!