Last Friday was my mother’s funeral – one of the hardest days of my life. I am still not quite ready to return to my regular Monday vase making, so today I am sharing with you the flowers that were made for her funeral. I cannot take any credit for these – my dear friend Brigitte from Moss & Stone made all the arrangements for the day – she did cut most of the foliage in these arrangements from my garden though – the flowers, of course, had to be bought in.
Somehow it did not feel right to photograph the coffin spray – even though I have it outside on my front porch it was just too personal to share here. Above however you can see one of the arrangements that Brigitte made for the reception, which was held at my mothers house. I choose to time the funeral just as the afternoon light began to fade – imagine if you can a country church filled with candles – large church candles burning en mass not only in the side windows but also in the large stained glass window behind the alter. Imagine next a coffin covered in a much larger version of the arrangement you can see above with foliage cascading over the sides and a line of church candles that burned brightly throughout the service woven into the flowers. Add to that a selection of beautiful organ music, moving hymns, a stunning solo verse by my daughter that filled the rafters with perfect sound and poetry and bible readings and you will have an idea of the heartbreakingly sad but very tranquil, peaceful service that bid good bye to my beautiful mother.
Brigitte’s flowers were everything I could have asked for – into a base of seasonal greenery she arranged roses, ranunculus and Paperwhite narcissi in shades of white. There was trailing jasmine, a few anemones and a handful of iris’s – my mothers name was Iris.
Although roses are not seasonal they were my mother’s favourite flower and always look right at Christmas when we long for a few flowers in the house. Brigitte and I both love the more graceful form of a garden grown rose but these David Austin florist’s roses were undeniably spectacular.
Just a few Paperwhite narcissi were enough to fill the rooms of her home with scent. My own first batch of Paperwhites are very close to flowering in my greenhouse, but I don’t think they are quite going to make Christmas this year. They will be bringing me joy in January though, so I am looking forward to their arrival.
Ranunculus have to be the most perfect flowers of the winter season. Although I try to avoid buying flowers as much as possible I am always tempted by a bunch of these winter beauties. Fortunately they are not generally readily available anywhere close to me – if I were to live in London or Paris however I think I might have to restrain myself!
Brigitte makes such an artistic composition when she works with flowers – the airy touches that she adds – a bending ranunculus stem, delicate twigs and trailing foliage – bring a lightness and movement to an arrangement that might otherwise seem to be over heavy with flowers at this time of year.
The three arrangements that looked so beautiful in my mothers house after the funeral last week are now taking pride of place in my house & I have my fingers crossed that by keeping a cool house and refreshing the water regularly they might just make it through to Christmas day, although 10 days is a long time for an arrangement to remain fresh.
Christmas this year will be a simple quiet affair in my house – now that the funeral is behind me I am hastily writing cards, wrapping presents and planning food for the festive week. I am looking forward to having my children under one roof for a couple of weeks – they all have extensive travel plans next year, so we may not all be together again until the later part of 2017. I am intending to take things slowly over the holidays with plenty of films, hot chocolate and chatting and a new notebook to start my garden plans for next year.
Although this post is not about a vase that I have made from my garden I am going to link in with Cathy at Rambling In The Garden and say a very big thank you to her for the time she puts into this meme. Without Cathy I would have stopped blogging altogether during my mothers illness and that may have been the end of Peonies & Posies. By feeling the need to pop in however and join in with this meme that has been part of my life for so long, even if only occasionally, I have not lost the habit of blogging completely and am looking forward to making a fresh start next year.
I will be back on January 2nd with my first vase of 2017 – until then I wish you all a very peaceful and happy Christmas and New Year.