I just LOVE flowers and have since I was a little girl. Our next door neighbor also loved flowers and she had the most beautiful English Garden. I can remember just standing there admiring all the beautiful flowers and thinking of creating a beautiful bouquet with them.
So, I decided that at the age of 8 or so that I should have my OWN garden - just like my neighbors. I hounded my parents for months on end one year to let me build a garden of my own. I wanted to plant dahlia's as they were my most favorite flower. My Dad always encouraged us to try new things so he agreed, but the catch was that if I wanted my own garden I would have to create it by myself and would have to be responsible for maintaining it. He'd be there to help me, but the work would all be on me. I, being a cocky little thing, said "okay" I can do that.
So, the spent the better part of the weekend one spring digging up the soil, putting rocks around it for a garden edging, and planting my dahlia bulbs. Well, the 1st year that my garden was in full bloom I had the MOST BEAUTIFUL display of color you'd ever want to see. I had red, yellow, pink, white, and maroon dahlia's - all different sizes from colossal to the little patio dahlia's. I was sooooo pleased with myself. That wasn't too hard.
Well, as the summer went along like any 8 year old I soon lost interest in the weeding and maintenance of my little garden. My Dad knew that I would which is why my garden was in the side yard and not on display in the front yard - like my Mom's garden. Like a good gardener she weeded her garden every night.
So, my garden fell to the weeds. That didn't bother me as I was at the end of the season and next spring I could start anew. My Dad mentioned to me that dahlia's were tender bulbs and would not survive the harsh New England winters. I would need to dig the bulbs up and store them in peat moss for the long cold winter and then plant them again. I, of course, thought that was too much work so I opted to leave them in the ground and put lots of pine needles over them for a blanket. My Dad just smiled - knowing full well that this wasn't going to work, but he let me have my way.
Well, of course when the spring came my dahlia bulbs were nothing but mush. More like dahlia soup. And, of course, they did not sprout. So, that spring I had no garden and no dahlia's. I did however, learn my lesson and the following year after my dahlia's had bloomed I dug them up in the fall and stored them in peat moss to replant them the following spring.
To make a long story short - I never outgrew my love of beautiful natural flowers. The bigger and brighter they were the better. So, to get to the gist of my story my darling husband knows that I love flower bouquets - especially the English Garden type. Two years ago her surprised me with the fullest bouquet of English Garden flowers I'd ever seen. It's the bouquet at the top of this post and shown below. The pictures don't really do it justice as it was really, really, big and beautifully full.
My husband was so pleased with the bouquet from the previous year that he once again surprised with with a gorgeous bouquet for my birthday last year and it is shown in the picture below. However, truth be told, while we both thought the bouquet was stunning it wasn't quite as lovely as the previous year. We both thought it had too much of an orange, red, and yellow combination. But, it was pretty.
This year my husband wanted to try and replicate the stunning bouquet from two years ago so he had the bouquet shown below delivered on my birthday. I think he achieved his goal. It was an absolutely beautiful bouquet of flowers and I loved it.
My only regret is that I wish I could find a way to keep flowers fresh forever as I would love to have floral bouquets all year long. In fact, if I could find a way to bring my garden inside all year - I would. Just think, if I could do that, I'd be able to plant dahlia's and never have to worry about digging them up in the fall.
Alas, even though the natural beauty of cut flowers can only be enjoyed for a few short days I still think they are well worth it. At least once a year anyways. Hmmm..... I wonder what next year's bouquet will look like.