Monday, May 16, 2011

The scent of lilies

Lilies in the front room


Orchids in my bedroom
Justine carried over a maroon glass vase of lilies, I carried the orchids, freesia and roses. The house was suddenly tropical as if the temperature had been racked up and I was not in my own home at all, but a hotel. Justine and Fi got married the other day and were off for a week's holiday - how kind of them to bring me the flowers. So every room was renewed and the front room was locked in the perfume of lilies.

I love the climbing roses that people train around doors and on fences. My mother's always had Alberic Barbier - it divided our house in Farnham from the neighbour, it scented the evenings but it dropped petals at a touch. When Justine brought the lilies, I had vases of tight buds that Vera gave me when I went round to help her trim her yellow rose. Like Alberic Barbier, Vera's climber has blossoms that are perfect as they open, then full-headed last a day. So these flowers, from florists and far away, have kept the ox-eye daisies on the allotment for a while longer. The roses are finished, some of the lilies, most of the freesia, but the orchid is still magnificent.
Mandela, roses, freesia in the kitchen

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