Monday, January 5, 2009

The Last Bouquet of Autumn

The ground is frozen a good six inches deep by now, the first week in January. There are no flowers to be had in my gardens, not even a hardy Johnny-jump-up braving the frosty ground under the crabapples. There's no breath of spring evident, and therefore no bounty from Mother Earth's cloak to brighten my kitchen table.

But there is the last bouquet of autumn, picked in October when the garden was vibrant with late season color. The last bouquet, gathered every year as the autumn chores wind down, warms my heart as I await March, and the warmth of spring.

Hydrangea 'Glowing Embers' associates nicely with spiky astilbe 'Visions' fronds. Seed heads of sea oat grass dangle over the vase. A button of Japanese anemone rises from the center of the arrangement. Sedum 'Autumn Joy', of course. A frond of miscanthus. Air-dried 'Knockout' rose blossoms. All these, and more, adorn my winter vases each year. Their presence reminds me of the satisfaction derived from the gardening year gone by. The dried flowers provide a spark of interest in the days that are too short; the nights that are too cold. In their papery texture I sense the soil that grew them . The last bouquet of autumn sustains me, gives me the hope of a new year.

Spring will come again. The last bouquet of autumn proves it.


  1. And folks, these hydrangea blossoms stay in vibrant colors "FOREVER"!!! I mean really gorgeous, oil-painting like dark burgundy, purple, amber, ..etc..
    How do I know? well I visit Colleen's house quite often and every time I use their downstairs bathroom, I get to look at these flowers every time I sit at the toilet....