Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer Flowers in Bakersfield

I know, I know...I haven't posted in a while, but I've been crazy-busy with events and am booked up until Christmas!  My darling daughter decided to do me a giant "favor" and straightened my desk a couple of days ago... Thank you so much, my dear child!  Now Mom can't only not find her glasses, but she is now re-rearranging her desk back into the "unorganized" piles of "junk" so she'll know exactly where everything is again!  Ah well, it's the thought that counts, and I love her all the more for wanting to do something kind for me.

Got word today that we'll get the family cabin in August--this year we will vacation with only three teens in tow!  I'm  totally ready for the high Sierras and the cool summer nights where it's so clear and crisp you can reach out and touch the Milky Way.  The kids will be down at Ladybug Ledge, the old swimming hole of my own childhood, and I will at long last get started on Diana Gabaldon's An Echo in the Bone, and will gather the bright pink perennial sweet peas that grow wild for our dining table. 

Despite the 107-degree heat wave we've had, this photo is proof that life exists and exquisite, delicate flowers do grow in the hottest part of summer here in Bakersfield.  These are not the garden blooms I'd planned for the event I did today;  the flowers in my own garden were incinerated by this intense summer heat.  I really had my heart set on a vintage theme with flowers that really can't be bought commercially, at least not around here. So yesterday my friend, Joyce, invited me into her shady, woodsy little garden in the old Westchester section of Bakersfield and we found so many delightful little treasures!--plumbago, nasturtiums, gardenias, garden-grown day lilies, monk's pepper, miniature roses, marigolds,chamomile, ivy, trumpet vine greenery, mint, leaves from an old blood orange tree; and okay, I fudged it a little and bought some lovely spray carnations, needing the soft apricot shade to round out the color scheme.  Normally I'm not terribly fond of carnations, but these had the old-fashioned spicy-sweet fragrance that I find nonexistent in most commercially-grown varieties, especially the larger singles--and very hard to resist.

To carry out the vintage theme for the South Deanery Diocesan Altar Guild Gathering at Grace Episcopal Church, I used mason jars and "found" vases from second hand shops, then embellished them with lace and ribbon from F & M Fabrics in the Hillcrest section of Bakersfield.  Sets of three vases in varying heights and shapes went onto each table set under large, shady trees in a rose garden. With pristine white tablecloths and soft French blue tableware, I don't think the guests noticed how warm it really was!  And as delicate as some of these flowers are, they made it through the day.  We all made it through this summer heat, and it was, indeed, a Red Letter Day!

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