Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Flowers in November

The flower of November is the chrysanthemum, an ancient flower, first cultivated in China, symbolizes happiness and joy. It’s hearty nature and in your face courage to flourish when autumn winds grew chill and temperatures began a downward shift made it favorite for eastern growers. Finding chrysanthemums in November is not too hard. The colorful blooms grace entryways, edges of flowerbeds, and migrate indoors as part of the table décor at the Thanksgiving feast. But what of other flowers? Where else can flowers be found in November? Sometimes in unexpected places.

In a gift…
One day last week a package arrived at my door. It was not unexpected; my sister had called to warn me that she had sent a package and that I should be on the lookout for it. Anxious, I waited to see what surprise she’d sent for my birthday. After answering the door, I scurried to the table and placed the box gently on it. I sat pondering whether to open or save it, but my curiosity got the best of me. I opened the box and inside, nestled amongst packing material a sparkling package with a gold ribbon glimmered at me. I removed the ribbon, unwrapped the glittering fabric and found flowers. My sister, Bev, had made a beautiful cross-stitched masterpiece with the words The Cottage Garden at the top. Flowers, garden creatures, and a dovecote similar to one I had once upon another life danced across the cloth.
Gift 2
When I called to tell Bev thank you and how much I loved the gift, she told me that she’d found the pattern a while back and was making it for herself, but she thought it was so much like my blog, The Cottage on the Corner, that it belonged to me. I cannot begin to describe how touched I am by this very personal gift from one sister to another. All I can say is, I love you, Bev, and can’t wait to see you again, and chatter over a cup of coffee.
Gift 3

In a stained glass window…
I have two sisters, Bev lives in Montana and Nancy lives about 10 or so miles from me. On Sunday I decided to spend the day photographing something...I stopped at Nancy’s and invited her to join me. We headed for Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo. The old cemetery is also an arboretum with magnificent trees that insist on being noticed. Expecting to find trees bare of fall color, I was surprised to find autumn hues all about the hilly cemetery park.
Nancy and I came across a mausoleum with a stained glass window in the back. Taking photos from the back is impossible because it’s been covered with bars and a translucent covering. The only way to shoot the stained glass was through the panes or small bars of the doorway. As the sun shone through the side window, I captured a top border of red roses crafted from glass. Peering through a lower pane, I was able to shoot the lower part of the window. So, on a warm, sunny day in November I found red roses at Woodlawn Cemetery.
From a stone hand…
What is a cemetery except a world of stories? Behind every marker, every obelisk, every angel with wings expanded lies a story. The stories may be forgotten, but the imagination runs to fill in the gaps of life and death. As a little girl I was fascinated by Lillie Bell Jones. She stands tall and elegant in a country cemetery outside of Farmer, Ohio. The poignant element comes from her hand. She holds a bloom looking for all the world as though she’s about to drop it.
Lillie's Hand

In a garland…
A child-like angel in Woodlawn Cemetery holds a garland as if she’s about to decorate an urn.
Angel and Flower Garland
Living in the north where seasons change means missing the flowers in the garden. Fortune smiles upon every flower lover each time an unexpected showing comes her way. Flowers on fabric, home décor, gift-wrap, child drawings, paintings, sculpture, art in all its forms, from the florist, from indoor home window gardens, in the heavens, and from gifts keep us content until the first bloom pushes up from the cold ground in spring.

"What a desolate place would be a world without a flower!
It would be a face without a smile, a feast without a welcome.
Are not flowers the stars of the earth, and are not our stars
The flowers of the heaven."
—A J Balfour


  1. It's interesting to discuss the end of the flowers in a cemetery and continue to find hope and beauty within. Well done, Mom!

  2. An astute comment, daughter of mine. Thanks!

  3. What a wonderful gift. Gifts made from the heart are always so special.
    The stained glass windows are so beautiful.
    We have been having the little angels that are on infant graves stolen around here. I think it is the most horrible thing for someone to do. Talk about stealing from the dead. How low. It is a wonder that they haven't stolen those stained glass windows.

  4. How could you ever face God if you have stolen from the Dead? That just gives me the shivers!

    Beautiful gift. And beautiful stained glass. I am a stained glass addict, and I enjoy looking at the pattern, figuring out what kinds of glass they put with what other kinds of glass. It is a very enjoyable process.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. The stained glass window was a lovely surprise. The back of it is protected with some kind of translucent covering and bars, but I'm sure if someone really wanted to get to that glass, they'd figure it out. I cannot imagine removing anything from a grave, tipping stones over, or vandalizing. It's so very sad.

    I have become amazed at the beautiful art that is found in cemeteries, along with serene natural environments.

  6. Beautiful pictures. I really love the closeup of the statue's hand with the flower. I love walking through old cemetaries. I live within walking distance of one, but I don't remember such charming statuary.

  7. Thank you, Jill-O. I have a thing for old statuary in cemeteries. Most of the country cemeteries close-by have none, but I'm discovering that cities do. I keep my eyes open for possibilities.

  8. What a wonderful post..and such beautiful gifts you receieved..touching. Your photos are truly enchanting and atmospheric..lovely post!!I also love all the symbolism..a great read!

  9. Thanks for stopping by, Kiki. Symbolism intrigues me, which is probably why I find the history of herbs fascinating and the language of flowers enchanting. Do you ever ponder the symbolism in movies, books, and art?

  10. What a thoughtful sister you have! I'd love such a gift.

  11. I love flowers because it gives life to everything if you're in some place and it doesn't have flowers it looks really sad but if you're in a place that has flowers you can feel the difference.Generic Viagra Buy Viagra


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