Unlike our host this week, Ann-Christine of Leya (sounds like a princess’ name, and indeed she is Lens-Artist royalty!), I do not grow flowers or keep a garden. However, I have loved and cherished them and have stories of how they have made happiness bloom in my life.
My first favorite flower is the Lilac. There was a row of lilac bushes that belonged to our next-door neighbor that sat on the dividing line of our properties. When they bloomed for two short weeks in early summer in Illinois, their fragrance intoxicated me. I wanted to cut the bunches and bring them to my room so that I could smell them as I went to sleep. I was soon instructed by my mother that first, they weren’t mine, and second, they would quickly drop their blossoms and become a mess to clean up inside. I vowed that when I grew up, I would have my own lilac bushes and surround myself with their lovely perfume. I missed lilacs while living in California, but my husband planted dwarf lilacs for Mother’s Day at our house when we moved back to Illinois. Then he took me to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan, where they have a Lilac Festival each year, and he bought me a small bottle of lilac essence, which I dabbed on my skin with sheer delight until it was all gone.
Fringed Gentian was a legend on the restored prairies of land protected by the Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation of Wisconsin, where I worked for five years. I had never heard of this early Fall flower before or seen it until I was in my 50s. One September day, my friend Jerry (on the Board of the Foundation and their main trail steward) called me up and told me to grab my camera – the Gentians were up! I was absolutely enthralled by their tightly twisted blooms that opened to four fringed petals of blue perfection.
The Rose speaks of love silently In a language known only to the heart
My late husband, Jim, loved roses. He gave me lots of them. He gave me the crystal plaque with the above inscription when I was in High School. It sits in the curio cabinet I inherited from his mother. Next to it is an acrylic-coated and gold-tipped rose, a souvenir from the weekend we spent together at a couples’ resort, a mini-vacation from our four kids. I love roses with the deep scent of raspberries; the soft, furry sweetness of their aroma is a heaven of blissful indulgence. They speak of romance and exclusive preference, to me. They will always remind me of Jim. I have moved into houses where rose bushes were left behind in the garden. The blooms were always a gift, not something I felt I had earned. I suppose that’s totally appropriate for a love flower, and why it is so very special.
Such a lovely post this week Priscilla – he must have been a really special man. I loved your story about the lilacs. All of your images are beautiful but your stories even more so. thanks for sharing them with us.
My pleasure, Tina – thank you for your kind words, and yes, he was extraordinarily special. 🙂
Beautiful post. The fringed gentians are wonderful, I’ve never seen them before. I love your story about them too, what a lovely thing for your friend to share with you. And roses, there’s always so much emotion with them…
Thanks, Sofia! Roses are a universal flower of emotion, it seems. 🙂
Lovely post Priscilla, both in images and narrative. Thank you for sharing your photos and how much the flowers meant to you. Beauty does fill our soul.
Thanks, Anne; my pleasure! 🙂
Oh, Priscilla, I loved every word and every image. Beautiful stories for beautiful photographs. And how much scent means and memories of childhood and love. You always bring tears to my eyes though…but tears for the mystery of life and the way you present it. Thank you for a wonderful post. Again.
Oh, Ann-Christine, thank you for such kind words and for cherishing life the way you do!
…and the fringed gentians are heavenly.
Beautiful photos, beautiful thoughts. Excellent.
Thanks, John! 🙂
What a lovely photo of the lilacs. And the gentians! Great set
Thank you! 🙂
Lilacs have always been my favorite as well. You may have been too young to remember but there were also lilacs on our property line in Massachusetts before we moved to Illinois. Love the photos!
I don’t remember much of MA, but now that you mention it, I can picture a photo of the backyard with those bushes. I got a bar of lilac soap for my birthday this year from the girls. ❤
What a truly beautiful post Priscilla. I find myself quite moved. sending hugs xx
Thanks, dear Helen! ❤