Wild about flowers

Bella Grace

It’s such an honor for me to be featured in Stampington’s amazing new publication, Bella Grace.  As the cover says, “Life’s a Beautiful Adventure.”  I believe that with all of my heart.  At the same time, I must admit that life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows at my house.  There are toys strewn about and plenty of tantrums.  My husband and I are often worn thin by the stresses and messes of having two small children.  I’ve been pregnant or nursing for the better part of four years.  My thoughts tend to get muddled with hormones and lack of sleep.  So when tempers flare and tears flow, I know I need a bit of quiet time outside amongst the flowers. 

Flowers have always been comforting to me.  Magical, even.  As a child I loved gathering bouquets of daffodils for my mother, weaving my way through the wet woods in tiny rubber boots.  As much as I love picked flowers (my husband is the best at gathering wildflower bouquets!), I especially love flowers when they are out in the wild, roots deep in the ground and petals blowing in the breeze. They connect me to a place of wonder and happiness, centering me and reminding me of all that is amazing on this earth. 

Zinnia confetti

I love beds of zinnias, with pops of sweet color everywhere.  They’re like floral confetti to me, and such lovely symbols of friendship.

Buttercup jump

Buttercups do something special to my spirit.  They bring hope and cheer after a long, cold winter.  I’ll always remember the day I frolicked in this little field of buttercups while my daughter giggled in the stroller just a few feet away.  It was a return to joy for me on multiple levels.

Poppy path

Poppies remind me of Greece, where they pop up from rocky soil.  I smiled every time I saw them, often going for walks by myself and watching them flicker in the wind.  A photograph of poppies I took there and sold online led my husband to me, so they’ll always hold a special place in my heart.

Sunflower seats

Sitting amongst the flowers is dreamy, I think.  It’s something I hope everyone takes the time to do someday.  I came upon this sight just a few days ago, at a local flower farm.  It was a serendipitous find, just when I needed some flower therapy.  There were bees buzzing, crickets chirping, and a sense of softness in the afternoon air. 

Petunias on the porch

These petunias hang in our gazebo out back.  I just love the velvety feel of the blossoms, and the fact that they attract hummindbirds.  Nurturing nature is something that my husband and I believe in strongly, especially when it comes to teaching our little ones.

Listen

Flowers remind me to listen, too.  I often need to get out of my own head, where there are just too many thoughts whizzing around.  I pulled over to take this photo of sunflowers outside a restaurant in a neighboring town.  The flash of yellow as I was driving by called to me.  I’m so glad I happened to have my camera in the car! 

Allowing the light in

Queen Anne’s lace will always be my wildflower link to my mom.  It reminds me to allow the light in.  When I miss her, I look to the meadow.  I remember how she taught me to find the little purple flower in the center of Queen Anne’s lace.  Often it seems like a tiny heart to me.  Deep down, I know that love is a big part of this adventure we’re all on.  A few quiet moments with the flowers work wonders to help me listen to my heart.  That’s where I know truth from fiction.

How about you?  Tell me about your favorite flower.  Lavender?  Violets?  Cosmos?  Daisies?  I love them all!  Do you have a childhood memory that comes rushing back when you see a certain flower?  Or is it the sweet smell of a bouquet that melts your heart?  Leave a comment here and tell me all about it.  By doing so, you’ll be entered in a random drawing to win a copy of the inaugural issue of Bella Grace!  I’ll be adding a few flowery goodies in the package, too!  Comments will remain open until Sunday, August 10, 2014 at noon Eastern time.  I’ll announce the winner in a new post here that day!  Feel free to subscribe to posts (scroll down to the footer) so you don’t miss out.  And guess what?!  The goodness is going to last all month long!  Be sure to check back at Stampington each day to unlock the link to the next entry on the Bella Grace Blog Hop.  There will be giveaways and entries from lots of lovely souls, including my fellow She is Three contributors!  Xoxo, Jennifer

 

148 thoughts on “Wild about flowers

    1. I love lavender (have at least 3 varieties in my backyard; also, natural mosquito deterrent); wild sweet peas (seen in Sierra Nevada mountains) and also my birth flower; California poppies. Flowers that need little care but grow and grow are ones I so enjoy!!

    2. Thank you for your beautiful photos! There are so many flowers I love : peonies and zinnias from my grandfather’s garden as a child, Queen Anne’s Lace growing delicately along the side of the road, bright bursts of red from poppies and sunflowers growing taller towards the sky.

  1. I really love white tulips! And my mom always reminds me how special Daphne blooms are to her- her mother brought it to her bedside when I was born. Congrats on a beautiful feature in Bella Grace!

  2. Oh boy… I have a lot of flowers I love.. but two of my faves are peonies and just simple wildflowers. I live at the beach, so not many flowers can grow here due to the wind and the salt, but every now and then I stumble upon a beach flower on the sand.. and it makes me smile!! xo

    1. Poppies! Yes, they’re always happy looking, aren’t they! I’m so glad you like the photo. It amazes me how poppies can grow just about anywhere, but as soon as they are picked, they wilt instantly. Better to enjoy them in the wild!

      Xoxo,
      J.

  3. This is truly an inspiring piece! I love flowers and love to photograph them as well. I believe flowers are a special gift from God that give us hope for life when our would can be so can appear so hopeless. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I love wild flowers. A good friend of mine … her whole back yard is just wild flowers. She picks them and brings them to us at work. She saves glass jars all year and puts a ribbon around the jar . . . . . .

  5. I enjoyed your post very much. I love flowers too, and being in nature. My favorite would have to be lilacs. We had a bush when I was young, so that triggers the most memories. I also love my peony bushes, they signal that summer is here!

  6. We must be kindred spirits! I feel the same way about flowers – especially wild flowers. My husband leaves a patch of our lawn un-mowed for me, and every summer nature surprises me with beautiful wild flowers there. This Spring my patch was filled with little purple and white violets. And in July there was a crowd of shining, happy daisies there. Now the stately Queen Anne’s lace is rising out of the grass. Such gifts – money could not buy.

  7. Any kind of flower really. I love them all. But a field of wildflowers does something to my heart.
    Flowers are indeed a gift from God

  8. For me…Sunflowers. They forever take my breath away. I’ve photographed them in every setting…from my own small garden to vast fields in the South of France.

    But the best photos were sent to me by my Mom from her garden while I was living overseas. And even though she is struggling with health issues at the moment, sunflower fields are still our special place of serenity…and one that makes us both smile and look forward to happier times.

    Jennifer…lovely post.

  9. With the bluebonnets comes a beautiful spring in Central Texas. They spread across the green fields like waves of blue sea. And family photographs look fabulous with this backdrop!

  10. Thank you so much for this wonderful Blog and posting it for us all to inspire, and share. Extraordinary and Exceptional!!! I will highly anticipate all future postings.

  11. I have absolutely loved the magazine. Kudos.

    My favorite is daffodils. They just make me happy. Color, shape, scent…all of it.

  12. My favorite wildflower is the bluebonnet. It’s the state flower of Texas. We are forever grateful for Lady Bird Johnson who led the way to beautify our state’s highways with wildflowers. Drive the long roads of the Lone Star state in spring and you’ll be amazed at the show. Just be careful about plopping your kids in the fields of lake blue for a photo…we have rattlesnakes.

  13. this was the best post for me to read at the end of this day, at the end of this week. all things flowers {you know how they’re singing to me this summer}…all of this feels so light and lovely, jennifer. your images are gorgeous, each of them holding a tiny story. ah!!!

    i can’t pick a favorite flower, from childhood or now. you know i love my zinnias. and the cosmos. and daisies. and tulips. and…

  14. Bouquets of orange Tiger Lilies (Day Lilies) mixed with Queen Anne’s Lace and leafy greens. This makes me incredibly happy!

  15. Lilacs………remind me of home. I live in a climate, now, too warm and humid to grow lilacs. One just can’t buy the perfect aroma that the real thing can create. Never happen… because there are always so many other other senses available to experience when in nature. Love your story, I think Bella Grace will be very well welcomed!

    1. Lilacs…mmm, the aroma is so very sweet. They remind me of my maternal grandmother’s backyard! Sorry you can’t grow them where you live now. I’ll try to post some lilac photos here on the blog soon so you can enjoy them a bit (if only I could post the scent, too!)
      I’m so glad you enjoyed my story. It does my heart such good to know that!

      Xoxo,
      J.

  16. Gardenias will always remind me of my mom. She often wore a gardenia pinned to her dress or sweater, and she loved the perfume “Jungle Gardenia”. She has been gone since 1985, but whenever I smell gardenia, I can see her face.

  17. I have always loved daisies, especially because you find them popping up in places you aren’t expecting on my nature walks. I figure the birds must drop the seeds. But this past spring, I fell in love with the sweet little “forget me not” flowers when a friend of mine met me for coffee and had them sitting on the table in a teeny tiny little cute vase and gave them to me. Their scent is so sweet and lovely!

    1. Oh I love daisies, too, LeeAnn! I wish I could have posted a hundred photos for this! And forget-me-nots are some of the most adorably sweet little flowers. Somehow I always forget about them! We bought seeds this year, so they will be part of our gardens from now on!

      Xoxo,
      J.

  18. Maine lupine do it for me… The color purple, they wildly bloom right when the weather starts to turn warm in Maine, and they remind me of my yearly camping trip with my Dad. I even love the book, “The Lupine Lady” written by Maine author, Barbara Cooney..

    1. Lupines are one of the earlier signs of spring here in New York, too. Such a gorgeous purple. How fantastic that you associate them with your yearly camping trip with your dad.
      And thanks for the book mention…I’ll have to check it out!

      Xoxo,
      J.

  19. My favorite would be daisies, so simple clean and wild along the country roads where I walk daily :) lovely photos and thank you for a chance to win!

  20. I love this…flowers are my thing and I’ve always dreamed of having a yard full of flowers. If I had to pick a favorite flower….(so hard to do), I’d say good old fashioned geraniums….every type and every color. Flowers show us how important it is to bloom!

  21. Jennifer, I live just outside the boarder of Grand Teton National Park. You would love the spring wild flowers here! This spring the hubby and I photographed 17 different kinds of plants blooming less than 100 yards from the car. My favorite wild flower blooms a bit later and longer than many of the others. I love indian paintbrush. The bright red color just pops against the sage brush background. And by the way, you have a gift for words!

  22. I love wild flowers, esp. Blue bonnets, Indian paintbrushes and Indian blankets. I also love tulips,roses, carnations and sunflowers. Purple iris’ bring back the memories, though. My grandmother grew them so I always think of her when I see them and the many happy summer days we spent at her house making muddies and picking blackberries.

  23. Flowers are the magic in my world. They remind us of beauty in our day, whisper peace and happiness. Growing up with my grandmothers flower fields helped to give me my appreciation of them today I’m sure. As the Daisy cheers and dances by itself, I am always amazed of what it brings with its simplicity!

  24. Lilacs top my very long list of loved flowers. Our 120-year old home/yard is blessed with many very old lilac bushes, and I planted a few myself, over 20 years ago when we moved in. Lilacs were my wedding flowers, fresh from the farm we lived on at the time.

  25. My mom would pull a couple of petals off a pansy, then the little tub hiding underneath to show us the king washing his feet. She also would take a double holy hock and put a sweet pea on top to make ballerinas for us to play with. Then she would make the big red poppies into dolls for us also to play with. I have her bible with the pansies and 4-leaf clovers she pressed on the way to Sunday School. She passed away when I was 12 and I miss her every day; in her memory I have done the same things with my daughter.

    1. Dear Lila, I’m so touched by the flower memories you’ve shared. They are so sweet and precious. I’m sorry you lost your mom so young. What a lovely tribute to her that you do the same enchanting activities with your daughter…

      Xoxo,
      J.

  26. Oh, your wildflowers are so gorgeous! Love those Peonies. I have a few Bluebonnets in early Spring but not fields of wildflowers and I am pretty sure it gets way too hot for Peonies to thrive. In my small yard, my sweet hubby has so graciously planted several varieties of flowers. I love to take cuttings from the ones that are blooming and add them to a vintage vase. Summer Phlox is a favorite. It loves the Texas heat, blooms pretty pink clusters all Summer long, and smells wonderful. I feel very blessed.

  27. I love most flowers my grandmothers and my mom always had some type of flowers in their gardens. As a child I loved sweet peas, snap dragons and morning glories ; they were always so colorful and just made me smile. I like seeing the beauty of God’s hand in nature. The beauty offers peace and a calmness. I think flowers are a reminder of how awesome God is and how beautiful and precious each life and each stage of life is. Every flower has it’s own beauty and intricate detail; and each makes it’s own contribution to the “Whole” of nature. Flowers exist along side of other plants yet , they grow their “own” way and add to the landscape. Like people we are all individuals; with similarities and differences but we all “grow” together. We each have unique characters and personalities that are beautiful. Each of us has a life cycle as do flowers!

  28. I love the large blooms of Southern Magnolias. As a teen, I would walk the stately uptown street in New Orleans around my all girl’s private high school on Walmsley Avenue after school was over with my best friend. We would stop at every Magnolia tree inching up to the fragrant creamy white flowers to draw a deep inhale. It was a delight that I will always cherish. Thirty-five years later I still find the same innocent attraction to these long-lasting perfumed blossoms. While I don’t have a tree in my own yard, every year I will find at least one hanging low enough to snap for my pleasure and a travel down memory lane thinking about my high school days and time with my sweet girlfriend that is still an encouragement in my life today.

    1. What a gorgeous stroll down memory lane! Southern Magnolias sure are stately. I lived in the South for many years and I know the magic you speak of! I’m so glad you still manage to enjoy the big blooms all these years later…

      Xoxo,
      J.

  29. Wild flowers are dear to my heart…daisy, Indian blanket, sweet pea… But there is something about forget-me-nots that melts my heart. Very hard to pick a favorite…

  30. Day Lillie’s remind me of my Mom, Aunt, and Grandmother – my Aunt taught us how to grow them. I love going to her house to see what new variety she is growing each year! One of my favorites is the Dahlia – and I’m following in my Aunts foot steps by growing a new variety each year!

  31. Very insightful and inspirational post, Jennifer! At the moment, peonies and simple wildflowers are resonating with me. They have such a majestic, ethereal essence about them. I’d love to capture their beauty by sketching or painting them!

  32. I too have always found flowers magical. When I was little my Grandparents always had snapdragons and fuchsia that I could gently “pop” open to look at the mysteries inside. My sister and I hunted elephants and butterflies, frogs and faeries in the giant fronds of the pampas grass in the hazy, dreamy coastal sunshine, and dodged giant skunk cabbage blossoms while looking for huckleberries and salmon berries in bright spots in the woods. My mother loved the foxglove that grows wild in the forest here in Oregon. Those and the Trillium that also grows in the shady spots, and only bloom once every seven years probably have safe spot on my favorites list.

  33. It’s difficult for me to narrow this down! As a young girl I had a small patch behind the garage, a small garden dug where my dads vw beetle left a barren spot. I grew velvety coleus and day glo petunias. Many years later I have vegetable and flower gardens I share with my husband and two children. In spring the lilacs fill the air with their sweet perfume . I swoon. In summer the lavender bursts forth a sea of purple and I am lost in nature’s gift as I fill my basket with the long stems, anxious to use them in butter cake and to fill pillow sachets to tuck under pillows for sweet dreams . In late summer I revel in the firework display of the zinnias . I watch the skippers and hummingbirds enjoying the varied rainbow of color as much as I do! In autumn, my late dahlias grace me with blossoms begging to be photographed . Petal upon petal of amazing color, shape and light. Even in winter I find something to love in my garden. An echo of summer lives in the snow topped seed heads. crinkly brown petals shine with a drop of frozen dew. Thanks for the giveaway. Glad to have found your blog!!

    1. Monica, your descriptions are gorgeous! I love the image of you and your lavender! And zinnias are like fireworks displays, you’re right! And I know what you mean about winter interest…here the snow collects on echinacea heads and it’s quite a sight!

      Xoxo,
      J.

  34. I love many flowers, including various poppy types, lavender , frag rent lilies, sweet peas, but deep in my heart, my most favorite is hollyhocks-so old fashioned and evocative of past generations.

    1. Oh Elizabeth, I love hollyhocks as well! We had some that bloomed here last year, but not this year. I miss them. You’re right, they are old-fashioned and evocative of past generations. I hope we’ll have some blooming here again next year!

      Xoxo,
      J.

  35. I’m fond of many flowers – for both their form and the memories they provoke. Lately, the blooms of oleander intrigue me for their shape, and carnations as a reminder of a special one.

  36. Purple Cone Flowers. Brings a smile to my face every time driving thru the Ozarks seeing them on the roadside waving in the wind, as if they are waving hello. So tall, so majestic, so graceful.

  37. Such beautiful words and photos! Thank you! It’s impossible to choose just one flower, but one of my favorites came to me rather recently. I was traveling in Normandy, France, visiting D-Day sites, but the countryside was covered in the most beautiful, vibrant fields of poppies. I did not expect to see such beauty amid such tragic history.

  38. Scarlet Begonias! There lies a resilient soul in their blooms and leaves. Unbending in the face of forgetful droughts or over zealous rains….taking in every season of their life whatever it holds. Love them!

  39. your post is so lovely and dreamy! as a child i loved the california golden poppies that grew wild and poked their heads out all over the big city (san francisco) where i grew up. my other favorite childhood flower was fuchsia which so many people had in the neighborhood as well. i have a hanging fuchsia right now which is thriving and it may be my absolute favorite flower. but sunflowers and pansies are close in line! i wish you happiness with all the babies and messes and flowers and art! xo

    1. You are so sweet! Thank you for the wonderful wishes, Michele! California poppies are so gorgeous! I just loved seeing them in San Francisco! And fuschia! I had forgotten about fuschia! Such magical flowers! My fourth grade teacher had a fuschia hanging basket in the classroom, I just remembered!

      Xoxo,
      J.

  40. I’m from Holland so Tulips are important to me. My mother had a large wall rug depicting windmills and tulips. Buttercups and Lily of the Valley are reminders of my birthday when I would find them wound around my chair. But Cala Lilies remind me of Georgia O’Keefe, and all wildflowers remind me of Tasha Tudor, especially Forget-me-nots!! So Flowers are attached to memories of beloved people. And that’s a great thing!!

  41. This post und your photos are so heartwarming. It is too difficult only to pick one favorite flower – I love them all. From daisies to lavender and sunflowers to dahlias.
    Best wishes, Manuela

  42. I love the beautiful pink colors in hydrangeas! I loved the wild flower bouquets the kids would pick in the yard. Seeing the sweet expression on their faces of giving lovingly! I’ve read She is Three blog posts and find it so inspirational. Congratulations on being feature in Bella Grace! The photos and articles are amazing!

    1. It’s so nice to hear from you, Terri! I’m thrilled that you enjoy reading our She is Three posts! Thanks for the congrats, too!
      And what an adorable memory of the sweet expressions on the childrens’ faces when giving their wildflower bouquets!

      Xoxo,
      J.

  43. I remember running up on lawns on the way home from school to bring my mother home daffodils. When I was in high school, I would walk up the street to the florist and buy her a dozen daffodils….beautiful memories of a happier day.

  44. what a lovely post and made me think about so many wonderful memories. i love wildflowers of all kinds. it is so hard to pick just one favorite as so many of them are connected to different family and friends. each one is beautiful in its own right. i would have to say my very favorites are sunflowers, poppies, and lilacs. such a time travel. and one i look forward to every time of the year. xoxo

  45. Cactus flowers! My choices would be all of the above and a lot of others with names I have not learned. But I truly began to appreciate flowers more when I moved to S TX and then N NM. In the desert or high desert mountains, a single cactus flower or a cluster of succulents really pops against earth, stone, and sand. Instead of standing back and looking at the landscape or the garden, I was totally drawn in to contemplate the vivid colors & details of a single bloom or a sudden burst of uncultivated flowering exuberance.

  46. Hooray! Flowers do such wonders for our spirits. wonderfully lovely post. My love of flowers began when I was born – walking through the woods with my mom finding spring wildflowers; helping my grandmother in the garden with her peonies and irises; at age 5 or 6 trying to sell bouquets of my grandmother’s hydrangeas; and going to college for horticulture and now working at a public garden teaching people about flowers. But, oh my love is the sweetness of lilacs, I love all others, yet she she stands a little taller and intoxicates me with her scent.

    1. Oh Mandy, I just love what you’ve shared! How beautiful that you have channeled your lifelong love of flowers into your work at the public garden. Congratulations and thank you to you for doing such wonderful work!

      Xoxo,
      J.

  47. So happy for you Jennifer! I love this post and all your photos celebrating flowers! Love the way you see things and your words are always perfect as well. You are very inspiring, thank you. Yes, flowers are truly amazing and I too couldn’t get along without them either. I really can’t pick a favorite they are all so special each in their own unquie way. Even if I list a few it would be overwhelming. So for today I will choose hydrangea but tomorrow it will be something else.

  48. Every day when I walk our three dogs, we go by a pond. As the summer has progressed I always look for the new blooms of wildflowers. I think I love them all. At first I thought it would be any that were bright yellow but I then remembered the reds and purples. Unfortunately, I don’t know all their names but I do love the vividness of their colors. Buttercups and poppies are some of my favs.

  49. I love flowers and have so many memories attached to them from the time I was a child. Right now during the summer months I am enjoying a long stemmed rose bush outside my front door. The roses are a deep velvety scarlet red and smell amazing. They remind me of my Grandmother. The very same kind were laid on her casket when she passed away. I know she would have loved them. They represented her and her love for me in a very powerful way, strong and passionate.

  50. I’m wild about all flowers. . .they tell a story. . . A beautiful story of creation, love, life and so on. . . Such beauty in life should not be forgotten.

  51. Hi Jennifer!
    i love what you are writing about :) i’m inspired!
    coat buttons(Tridax procumbens)and cupid’s shaving bush (Emilia sonchifolia)never ceases to amaze me <3<3<3 always brings me back to those days when all i worry about is house to get out of the house and play 😀

  52. “Earth laughs in flowers.” Those words of Ralph Waldo Emerson are painted on my garden wall. Thank you for your beautiful images and words. And congratulations on being published in the first issue of Bella Grace!

  53. Connection to my Mom, hers was not an easy life and when saw roses she would say ” red roses for a blue ” lady
    My favorite rose are however yellow rose with a red edge to cheer up me and my memories.

  54. Sweetpeas. . .my gramma always had them in her garden. When we were kids, visiting her each summer, we would wake up to the smell of bacon and coffee. Once we rambled down stairs, breakfast was waiting~ and always a little boquet of sweetpeas on the kitchen table.
    Good memories.

  55. At 7300 feet above sea level there are some flowers that cannot survive here. It makes me appreciate the ones that do even more. I enjoy losing myself in photos like yours, thank you.

  56. Hydrangeas always bring me sweet memories of my childhood. We always had them in our yard. I can remember picking my mother the most beautiful bouquet of flowers from “everyone’s” yard in our neighborhood. My mother knew about it by time I got home, but she could not get mad when I presented it her!

  57. Thank you for your photographs and sentiments. I can sense the places you celebrated your keen eye and wonder
    filled words.

  58. Lilies of the Valley, daisies, sunflowers, and daffodils of every color and shape! Love these above all others! thanks for sharing!

  59. I have a small collection of coreopsis. I not only love their yellow flowers (because those are the only ones I collect), I love how the name feels in my mouth. Thank you for the opportunity to win!

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