...a way of seeing beyond inner and outer.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Blossoms, dearie

A while back, my very favorite photo blogger, Tara Bradford, a woman whose camera I want my camera to be when it grows up, paid me a compliment about the photo of hydrangeas that appear in the header of cookedheads.  Before you read any further: go. Behold. Dig. Envy. Enjoy. Understand. See? The woman is substantive.
My daughter and I were in Houston for a visit with my family and the two of us wanted to do something nice for my mother. A flower hunt began.  We went into a prominent flower shop in Houston and were completely ignored while the clerk talked to someone who may or may not have been buying flowers, but after I watch two people lean on a counter to engage in a ten minute conversation without so much as a phalaenopsis or a forget-me-not crossing either of their lips, I began to wonder. My observation skills are well honed. It didn't bother me, I just figured they didn't need us so we went to find someone who did.
The someone who did was a sublime florist at Plants and Petals by the name of Sean who found me shuffling through the floral cooler slightly catatonic from all the color and form. Forget about the wine cellar, I want a flower cooler.   I asked for X dollars worth of flowers and within a very different ten minutes than the ten I'd spent up the street, he walked out of the cooler with close to 2X dollars worth of hydrangeas.  It was easily two arms full of the truest blues, the most marvelous mauves and just enough chartreuse to know the flowers would last long after our visit ended.
If you're in Houston three things you really should visit:
1) my family, though bias is probable
2)The Menil Collection.
3) Plants and Petals on Westheimer.
You have to love a place that does gorgeous with gourds.


  1. Gorgeous photos all around! Those hydrangeas are unbelievable.

  2. Oh thank you Tracy! I'm blushing from the lovely compliments. Love this story about those gorgeous hydrangeas. In Paris, for six years I grew hydrangeas (the French call them hortensia) in my balcony's giant concrete plant bed. They reminded me of my late grandmother - whose home was surrounded with pink and blue hydrangea bushes - and were my version of a "comfort flower." One day workmen came to sandblast the building's exterior, spraying the balcony with toxic chemicals and destroying the hydrangea and all other plants on the balcony. Am hoping to have more luck with hydrangeas in Holland!

  3. hydrangeas are my absolute favorite!! i've bought at least 4 plants the last few years. however, they always wind up with more sun that they can tolerate. hoping that once my little tree gets big, i'll have enough shade to plant another one. great pics!

    ~Elaine, ICLW

  4. j.,
    thank you for the praise and the visit. as to the hydrangeas, strictly speaking all I did was show up and click. it's hard to take a bad photo of something so perfect.

  5. Tara,
    The first thing I said to my husband this morning was, "I learned a new Trench word." He corrected my French of course, but il ne savait pas le mot pour hortensia! aller-moi...actually, I'm not so sure "go me go" translates well *grin.
    and I too had a grandmother I think of often and miss very much.

  6. Elaine,
    They're my favorite too. As if you didn't have enough lessons in patience in your life already, waiting for trees to grow is a biggie. Reminds me of the story Kennedy told"The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree.
    The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach
    maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, 'In that case, there is no time
    to lose; plant it this afternoon!'"

  7. LOL - ICLW brought me to your blog, and my very first thought when I opened your site was, "What a gorgeous photo. The colors are so striking."

    I absolutely agree with your reaction to store workers who seem to value a personal conversation over helping a customer. It's really frustrating. I work in a theatre, and it is easy to get into a "personal" conversation with a volunteer or regular patron. Most of them will understand if I interrupt for a moment to greet a customer or if I have to answer a question for someone else, though.

    ICLW #104

  8. RSAD, Thank you for stopping by and I have to admit, I love the color layout of this blog! ;)

    As to the clerks, it was one of those very good days where nothing bothers you and you justs move to the next whatever with a weird grin on your face.

    On another day, I might gotten out Lady Wisenheimer and kicked up some dust. The whole experience confirmed that peace gives you a much better outcome.
    Nothing worse than flowers from an angry florist :P


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