Flower Fridays: Columbine

Columbine in pinkColumbine are beautiful and intricate flowers found in many gardens in so many different colors including blues, whites, purples, reds and even yellows. I have found that they are fairly easy to grow in my New York garden though they haven’t come back after many years so I think I will plant some new ones this spring.

One of the coolest things about Columbine is their naming. The plant’s botanical name is Aquilegia—derived from the Latin word Aquila which means eagle—because the shape of the flower petals resemble an eagle’s claw. The common name Columbine has a derivation that is equally fun. Columbine comes from Latin for dove, because the inverted flower resembles five doves clustered together. Both evoke such lovely imagery.

As for their symbolism, again Columbine are fascinating. In the 17th century Columbine was first dedicated to Freya, the Norse patron goddess of love and fertility. Later it became associated with The Virgin Mary as Christianity became more prevalent. So you decide whether you want the sensual flower to symbolize temperance or seduction ☺.

Eagle claws of columbineColumbines
By Teresa Hooley

Airily poised in the garden bed,
Delicate saffron, white and rose,
With gossamer petals lightly spread
The columbines flutter upon their toes.

Wait, till the moonlight sets them free!
They’ll stir, they’ll shake off the dew, they’ll go
Dancing, dancing (but you’ll not see–
You’ll be too busy asleep to know).

Someone surprised them once in May,
Glimmering ivory, gold, and pink,
Dancing under the moon. That way
Columbines found their name, I think.

Deep purple columbineXOXO Rachel

Unity rituals that make you and your guests smile!

Wedding ceremonies are all about you, so why not have some fun and make your unity ritual as unique and special as you are. Maybe you are whimsical and a foodie, so how about sharing a sandwich? Or maybe you are more traditional and want a candle lighting ceremony—why not use some unusual candles. Click on my Pinterest board for lots of ideas and make your guests smile during your unity ceremony.

XOXO Rachel

Magical Moment Mondays: Sun Warming Your Face

Sun through glistening treesThis time of year there is nothing more magical then the sun warming your face. With the polar vortex creating colder temperatures than we have had in years and for longer stretches of time than we have ever experienced, we need as much sun as possible! Fortunately with the polar vortex came snow—lots of snow. And the drifts of white flakes help to amplify the solar effect.

One of my favorite activities on a cold and sun-filled day is to crawl up with a good book in a sunny spot. My long dining room faces south and we have a couch perfectly situated on one end of the room to capture the low, warming sun-rays. Oh how yummy the sun is as it melts me. I usually have the added benefit of having Anubis, my cat, snuggled next to me and if really lucky, my husband Andy also by my side. Find yourself some sun and enjoy the magical warmth of the beams of light.

Sun and SnowWinter Sun
By Molly Fisk

How valuable it is in these short days,
threading through empty maple branches,
the lacy-needled sugar pines.

Its glint off sheets of ice tells the story
of Death’s brightness, her bitter cold.

We can make do with so little, just the hint
of warmth, the slanted light.

The way we stand there, soaking in it,
mittened fingers reaching.

And how carefully we gather what we can
to offer later, in darkness, one body to another.

XOXO Rachel

Flower Fridays: Carnation—Letter From My Mom

Peach & pink carnationThis past weekend I received this lovely letter from my mom. It was so perfect that I decided I would share it with you for this week’s Flower Friday. Carnation, along with Pinks and Sweet William (which you see more often in the garden) are members of the Dianthus family. Carnation symbolizes pride and beauty.

Dianthus - carnation in the gardenLetter from Mom…
I just found a color-full printout of the flowers of the month for 2013. I think I got it from you. I checked your blog and I didn’t see one for Carnations, the flower of the month for January. Not my favorite because it frequently appears in sorry-looking last minute grabbed at the RR station bouquets. And sometimes they’re dyed in silly colors…green for St. Patrick’s Day. But I love the spicy fragrance sometimes if you’re lucky to find a fresh one. Also where are the naturally shaped irregularly flowing plants for fall planting? Now they’re over-bred to be full of blooms but artificially shaped. Still there are the fluffy giant ones we wear and love at football games. What’s your take on Carnations?

And my response…
Pink-edged carnationAs for my perspective on carnations, I feel much the same as you. I think the carnation I like the best is white with ever so slightly edged dark pink. I think they are naturally occurring that way but not certain because it does seem that a carnation’s lot in life is to be dipped in dyes. Up close a carnation is really quite beautiful. An individual petal is so frilly and showy and yet still delicate.
I love you,

Sonnet XVII
By Pablo Neruda

I dPink carnationo not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

XOXO Rachel

Maybe you’re gushy, maybe not—Quotes for all types of weddings

Readings a plentyI happen to be quite gushy and romantic so I know a ton of quotes that are perfectly perfect and delightful for weddings. But I also love quotes that aren’t the obvious gushy ones that are also perfectly perfect for weddings. Here are a few of my fav quotes for all types of weddings!

“Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.”
— Albert Einstein

Ebb and flow“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.”
— Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

“All my friends departed like dreams, left alone I called upon one friend to become my entire dream”
— Rumi, All my friends

“Separated lovers cheat absence by a thousand fancies which have their own reality. They are prevented from seeing one another; nevertheless they find countless mysterious ways of corresponding, by sending each other the song of birds, the scent of flowers, the laughter of children, the light of the sun, the sighing of the wind and the gleam of the stars – all the beauties of creation.”
— Victor Hugo

Volcano“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathless, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. . . . That is just ‘being in love’ which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. May your roots grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms fall from your branches, you find out that you are one tree, and not two.”
— Louis de Bernieres, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Love is frienship caught fire!“Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past. It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.”
— Laura Hendricks

“For one human being to love another: this is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is only preparation… At first, loving does not mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another… it is a high inducement to the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world for himself for another’s sake, it is a great, demanding claim upon him, something that chooses him and calls him to vast things.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet

“What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life—to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories…”
— George Eliot

Like the energy from the sun“Like the energy from within the sun,
a great marriage is a sum more than its parts:
it shines like rays of goodness
from the fusion of souls in harmony.
And like the sun, its brilliance knows the relationship to time,
a brilliance that will light your path, and warm your hearts,
and guide you safely forward into the journey of your life.
Let this marriage be that fusion of inspiration for those to follow.”
— Buddha

XOXO Rachel