We came home to a message of flowers delivered and left with a neighbour—this beautiful bouquet for Mother’s Day. An easy gift, some might say, but the perfect gift for me because flowers throughout the house every day of the year makes me happy and our home beautiful. And a beautiful home is a treasure, radiating warmth and welcome, colour and comfort. It promises refuge from the world of work and endeavour, a place to rest and recharge, the perfect stage for entertaining family and friends. What’s a home for if not for that?
The flower of the moment is hydrangeas—pale pink, baby blue, bold red—in the living room, the dining room, the kitchen and the bathroom, and even on the table on the deck to set an example that shouts to the newly planted annuals, “This is how it’s done: grow big and bold and beautiful!” We were in Brittany for a wedding a few years back and the countryside was full of hydrangeas, spilling out of pots and window boxes, ditches and hedges. We fell in love with their glorious abundance, inspiring us to try our luck in our Calgary garden. Amazingly for this flower that loves cool and moisture—lots and lots of moisture—a few varieties have been developed for our very dry and very short summer season. Jack’s managed to nurture one in the front flowerbed, and its abundance of white flowers beside the many red and pink blooms on the rose bushes paint a pleasing palette all of the two or three months that are Calgary’s summer.
Roses, inside and out, are another favourite of mine—heaps and heaps of them on tables, on the mantelpiece, on the bookshelves. Pride of place is in front of our living-room window on an elegant little table inherited from my husband’s mother; you can see the flowers inside and out, giving residents and passersby the gift of colour even on the drabbest days. Again for me, a dozen red roses make the perfect gift for birthdays and anniversaries, continuing the thread of memory from courtship in university through our many years of marriage. We flower lovers are just so easy to please, n’est-ce pas?
Family by the dozen plus
Before the profusion of flowers came a profusion of family. We drove up to Edmonton for a family dinner with some 14 of us renewing familial ties: the oldest in their eighties and the youngest, a preschooler; the teenager there to compete in a national volleyball championship; the 20-something just finished her first year in vet school at U of S; the adults in the midst of parenting and working for a living; and we seniors enjoying full retirement or full political activism. What joy in all the tumult and shouting! And throughout, Grandpa Jack and petite Abby played house with her tiny toys. Family dinners really are special and worth all the work of hosting or traveling to the event—this time in May, a guest; next time in July, the host.
Accessories for every occasion
Now, back to the original subject for my blog, fashion, and the big role the smaller parts play. Accessories are fun to buy and wear. Choose different accessories and a whole new look is created: Add a belt, throw a scarf around your neck, put a rose in your hair, and your choice defines your mood for the day. It’s thrilling to spot a pin or necklace or bracelet that will add pizazz to one, two, three and more outfits, particularly when the cost is small.
Jewellery, of course, is a big department in the accessory store, and I keep adding to my personal store. I like big, bold pieces—statement pieces—to add dash to even the simplest outfit. Because my favourite (and corporate) colour is red, I’m showcasing four necklaces I’ve worn over and over again.