Making Things Last

I’ve often been teased in the past for leaving flowers on display long after, to other people’s eyes, they have lost their beauty.  I’ve left roses in a vase until all that is left is a dark, brittle shell of their former fresh brightness, and I’ve cut small still flowering shoots off  freesia when the main stem has shrivelled to brown, put them in fresh water and kept them going for a few more days.

Fresh cut flowers are such a luxury that it seems only right to make them last as long as possible, and to enjoy them at every stage of their life.

Tulips are a harbinger of spring.  Although now it does feel sometimes that they are available all year round, they still provide a feeling of eager anticipation of a change in the season.  I love the way, once released from their paper wrapping, they twist and reach towards the light.  Usually they end by shedding all of their petals, but this bunch, which I’ve had for over two weeks, has faded without shedding.  They are sitting in front of me on the table where I’ve been working, and each morning I expect to see them denuded and gone, but somehow they are hanging on.

The petals look tissue paper thin now.  That one standing tall in the middle reminds me of something in a Flemish still life; it should be against a black backdrop with a pewter plate and a wizened apple in the foreground.

The temptation to reach out to touch them is strong, but so far I’ve resisted, as I think they will collapse at the slightest contact.  So long as I don’t shake the table, they’ll be good for another day at least……..

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