Friday, September 17, 2010

A Bouquet of Thoughts

I love flowers. They give me so much joy. There are so many flowers we don't even really see or notice. In the spring the trees begin to flower and I sometimes lie in a tattered old hammock slung between two trees in the front garden and gaze up at the wonderful green blossoms of the sycamore tree, they are almost incandescent....especially in the moonlight. When we were young we used to pick off the flowers of the common Fuchsia, just at the flower base and suck the nectar out. I suppose that was my first experience of ''eating flowers''. Eating flowers, ah there's a wonder. In spring I love to bake cakes and scatter primroses and violets over the top; then in summer rose-petals, nasturtiums, lavender, calendula even daisies turn a meal into a dream-feast. Imagine a hot bee-laden summer day. A garden with spreading trees. In your mind, place a table (rough and rustic as you like) beneath the shade of the leaves. Find an old white sheet to spread on top then scatter the whole thing with petals.....every colour of the rain-bow. Then find a large, rusty metal container or a simple jam-jar and cram full with the bounty of the hedgerows, honey-suckle, goldenrod, cow-parsley, poppies, dog-daisies and pretty grasses. Hang jam-jars with tea-lights from the trees and place some on the table......wait until dusk and enjoy your own Midsummer Night's Dream. I once made rose-petal ice-cream, it was heavenly and often I use lavender instead of (or with) rosemary when roasting meat. Scatter the bright orange or lemon-yellow petals of calendula over new potatoes or stuff nasturtium flowers with cream-cheese. I would encourage everyone to host or just to enjoy with a friend or loved one, a ''Flower Feast'' by moonlight. You will never forget it and it will gladden your heart for years to come. ''A loaf of bread, a glass of wine and thou, beneath me, singing in the wilderness, and wilderness were paradise e'now'' (Omar Khayyam) All that and flowers too.

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