Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Branches in a Vase: Talent Not Required

Constance Spry trained dozens of floral designers.  She said it  mattered not their skills/talents, floral arranging is easily taught.  Perhaps, if she's the one directly teaching.  No Constance in my life, nor floral arranging skills, yet plenty of talent for making choices and following up with action steps.
I dared tread into the realm of branches in a vase.  No talent, no budget.  Pure desire.
Paying attention to types of vases, numbers of branches, scale to the room, and macro-silhouette.  Vases sourced from local thrift stores, branches from side of the road, and bushes needing a bit of pruning in my yard.   

blue-and-white-needlepoint-rug-living room-in-long-island-new-york-house-designed-by-frank-de-biasi-veranda-may-2017.png
Pic, above, here.
Last year my life took a turn most lives take at some point.  My schedule was not my own.  Moms trump everything, and my mom was sick.  With the chaos of leaving my life, and helping mom in Texas, the imperative to cut branches and put into vases throughout my house became paramount.
Pure Miss Katherine Scott, "I can live without the necessities, but I must have the luxuries."

 Pic, above, here.
Blessedly my heart did not follow my head, and I did place branches in vases in several rooms at home.  Time for this, seriously?  Nonsense.  But the soul/muse spoke, and I was too emotional to be balanced.

Pic, above, here.
Hunting and gathering the cuttings became a form of prayer.  Mom's illness was the first thing in my adult life pushing me into care giving another soul, and taking me away from my work.
With great appreciation I learned helping mom is a joy of recompense, she never wanted children and lived a life she didn't want.  Unable to have my own children, her illness made me realize, mom was my ticket onto this incredible Earth.       

 Serena Crawford
Pic, above, here.
Choosing branches in vases, more than a few, why not go full-monty-wacko in how I spend what little time I have at home?  The joy in doing, too great to pass by.

 Forsythia Spring by Carole Rabe
Pic, above, here.
Coming home from weeks away in Texas helping mom, several times last year, those branches in vases, awaiting me, I knew, were, oddly,  loving sentinels.  Those branches in vases became stewards of my heart, its loving and hurting were tended.
What drama about a few branches in vases.  I was born twined with a garden, wasn't until my 20's realizing most people are not.
Another thing I know.  You need zero skill to create a beautiful vase of stems.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara


Shady Gardens said...

I shall go right out and clip some branches. Tomorrow, when it’s warmer!

Tamara Agarwal said...

Beautiful, wise post. I think it is by following our heart and allowing ourselves these “luxuries” that we are able to survive through difficult times.

Penelope Bianchi said...

Love this post! Totally true! I have minus zero talent flower arranging.....and really don't want to learn! Because my favorites are flowers picked and stuck in a vase. All the same flowers. And branches stuck in a base also! Sending my new branches to you in a picture!

Kai said...


That is a beautiful post.

Dewena said...

It's wonderful that these vases of branches became stewards of your heart, Tara. I remember reading one of Richardson Wright's books in early February--I have and love almost all of his--his advice to make an arrangement of different branches in February, with different barks. He commented on a wall arrangement of different barks that he admired.

I had never heard of Constance Spry until reading Beverley Nichols--I have almost all of his too! There was one chapter about an annoying country neighbor who created flower arrangements that he hated and he mentioned his admiration of Constance Spry. I always meant to learn about her but never did.

If our rain here in Nashville ever stops, I'm going to take the clippers and see what we have in hedge rows for a vase for the dining table!

Hoping Georgia is sunny for you, Tara,

La Contessa said...

I was thinking about your MOTHER in your last IG post or maybe your comment to ME!AS you Now have her wedding gift...............is she still HERE?
MY gardener clipped a few of my branches SATURDAY...............I best go see if I can retrieve and put in VASE!!!

Brooks Wood said...

Wonderful, inspiring post. Now I know why I missed you last year. Sending sincere good wishes to you & your Mom.