Floral Prints

This day began with visions…of loveliness. The first vision came from the words of  William Wordsworth in his sonnet “Composed upon Westminster Bridge”.  Whilst London is far, far from me, the lines

“This city now doth, like a garment, wear the

The beauty of the morning;  “

were a perfect description of the loveliness of my garden, bathed in morning light. Not my entire garden, really, but the focus of my second vision, the Michelia tree.http://www.wairere.co.nz/Trees_Evergreen/Michelia  Yesterday, I didn’t believe the tree could look and smell any more beautiful than it did, but I was wrong. For, today, it is  beyond sublime and I can scarcely take my gaze from it.

Michelia, wearing the Morning Light

Michelia, wearing the Morning Light

My photos don’t do the vision justice but, perhaps, they will give you the smallest glimpse of what is before my eyes…. (the captions are taken from Composed Upon Westminster Bridge)

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Now, as I looked at the Michelia, all arrayed in white blossom, I began to think of a conversation I had with Annie at http://forestsogreen.wordpress.com/.   She commented about the floral print dress, worn by Grandmother, in my previous post here:  ” My grandmother also wore those dresses made of fabric with flowers :) ” said Annie. To which I replied, “Yes, Annie! Looking at the photo, I remembered so clearly those flower print dresses. My grandmother also had her flower print dress for morning when she did most of her household work and cooking and, then, in the afternoon, she wore a nicer, better flower print dress. She didn’t flop around in her pyjamas like her lazy grandaughter!!!!”  And, then, from my thoughts came laughter and love because, suddenly, my beautiful Michelia became a living, visionary version of my Nana’s  floral print morning dress. And, of the days, when we took our garden bouquets and imprinted them on the fabric of our daily lives; our house dresses and our aprons and our dresses for “best” .

Enough of the fanciful. Let me return to the  practical. My good  blogger friend at http://ordinarygood.wordpress.com/  told me that the soft fuzzy bud cover on magnolia and Michelia blooms is known as a perule. Such a pretty and perfect word for them. These last two photos are for her.

© silkannthreades

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64 thoughts on “Floral Prints

  1. Pingback: The Snow Nymph | silkannthreades

  2. Brenda

    I love the Wordsworth, and your homage to your flowering tree, and you delightful connection to your grandmother, too. What a beautiful jewel of a post!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Brenda. As you showed in your lilac post, there are moments in gardens that bring back the most wonderful memories of our grandmothers.

      Reply
      1. Brenda

        Yes, and my grandmother wore floral prints, too. Made me grin to remember. She had her day china, and her special china. She had standards. 🙂

        Reply
        1. Brenda

          Yes, we never have formal meals anymore. I remember her talking about “elbow grease” and I thought it was a cleaning product at first. 🙂

  3. lagottocattleya

    A lovely post filled with the fragrance of both fowers and words! I love the dress/apron? and my grandmother used to wear them too. I kept a couple of them in my old chest. Perules I have never heard of…but new words are always welcome here!

    I do wish to have my head in a bush too…and a photo of you in yours…
    We are going for autumn now, but it is still warm – about 20 C. We have had the longest and warmest summer I can remember…and the autumn is warm and sunny too. It’s lovely still…but no such beauties as your flowers!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you!, and I wish I could give you a photo of me with my head in the bush!!!! So glad you still have some of your grandmother’s aprons tucked away in your old chest. The one garment that I have of my grandmother’s is a hand sewn and crocheted petticoat. It would be at least 70 years old if not older.

      Reply
  4. Forest So Green

    Wow, what a lovely post, you are so kind to mention me and my blog, I know that someplace I must have a photo of my grandmother wearing a floral dress, I think I will be browsing the photo albums this afternoon. Your tree is so very beautiful 🙂 Annie

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you for admiring my tree 🙂 Do hope you find that photo of your grandmother. I have a photo of my maternal grandmother in a floral dress too. I didn’t find it in time to put in my post, so perhaps I will have to do a special post for her another time.

      Reply
  5. lizzierosejewellery

    My Grandma used to wear a tabard rather than an apron or ‘jobs’ dress. I can never remember her not wearing it! Love the flowers but look at all the petals on the ground (did you disturb them when you put your head in?). How long do the flowers normally last? I’ve never actually heard of a Michelia before – does it have a more common name? Or perhaps they are not very common in the UK…. or Singapore for that matter. Cath

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ah, yes a tabard would be useful. They are very good, too, for putting on little ones when they are doing art work. The petals on the ground are natural fall ( I hope!) from some windy days. The flowers seem to last for days on the tree but deteriorate quickly if picked and brought indoors. A type of Michelia is found in Singapore http://www.nparks.gov.sg/cms/docs/diy_guide/FCP_trees.pdf It is plant number 18 on page 5 of the document. It is called White Chempaka. http://www.kew.org/plants/temperate/michelia.html and possibly found in the UK. Perhaps some essential oils from the Chempaka have found their way in to the handmade soaps in Singapore 🙂

      Reply
      1. lizzierosejewellery

        I am put to shame at your thorough research! The Fort walking trail is about 15 minutes away from my home, it’s in the centre of town, so I think that will have to be one of our weekend walks, I am going to find the Michelia (or Chempaka!)
        Not sure if the Michelia is widespread in the UK if it’s in Kew under Asian temperate plants. I have never heard of the essential oil but I bet I will hear it all the time now – that happens doesn’t it? Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes, I am not sure about the Michelia in the UK but, since it grows here, it may also do so in the UK. The white chempaka in Singapore looks like a bolder, bigger and more tropical version of my Michelia. However, I think if you can find it, and it is in bloom, you will have an idea of the fragrance I enjoy from my tree. And I am sure that ,from now on, you will see the essential oil every where and you will wish you had never heard of it!!!!!

        2. Gallivanta Post author

          Of course, I don’t really know how large my Michelia is going to get. I was told it was a dwarf, and compact, variety but one never knows!

        3. lizzierosejewellery

          I was just thinking, I could be walking right under the trees whilst I am out and about without realising it – they won’t be just limited to the park surely? I nearly fell over on my walk tonight looking upwards!

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, exactly! If it wasn’t so damp on the ground, I would do that myself. Don’t laugh but I put my head right inside the tree branches just to smell the beautiful perfume all around my head 😀 Imagine that photo if someone had come along; a person with a tree for a head!!!!

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Lillian. It is a special photo because I don’t have many where my Nana is actually carrying me. Not surprising really because I look as though I am a hefty baby to carry around 🙂

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh that would be lovely if you could do that for her. It really is one of the most delightful trees I have ever known. Mine is probably about 6 years old. The first few years it didn’t do much at all but this year it is outdoing itself.

      Reply
  6. Heather in Arles

    Au contraire! I think that your photos most certainly do the Michelia justice and they certainly give your readers a gift today. We are lucky to take so much joy in such small things, aren’t we?

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Heather. I wish I could send you some of the Michelia’s fragrance. It’s very delicate. Hints of lemon, freesia, frangipani, maybe orange blossom? I would probably wear it if it came as a perfume. Ah,yes, small things are wondrous. 🙂

      Reply
  7. utesmile

    I remember the days when my grandmother had her floral apron on. I hardly ever remember her without. We had to wear aprons and not make our best dresses dirty on a Sunday outing. How life has changed. I was always worried to fall and get grass staines on my white tights. The worries of a child, I think I only ruined a sunday dress once by falling. Otherwise I was a very good girl… 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Aprons are so sensible. I do have one but only occasionally do I remember to wear it. Mine is stripey! I am sure you were very well behaved in your best Sunday dress. I had the most beautiful Sunday dresses. They weren’t always comfortable but they were frilly and pretty. Even had a small hat at one time. Not so much a hat, but more like what are called Fascinators these days. No white tights though because our climate was too hot for tights.

      Reply
  8. ordinarygood

    I forgot to add that I would like my very own Perule to enfold me and I could emerge when I felt ready to bloom…..thanks again for the mention. I discovered Perules on another website:-)

    Reply
  9. ordinarygood

    Oh thank you for mentioning me in such kind terms in your blog post. Your Michelia photos are just gorgeous and the connection to your Grandma’s floral print dress adds so much. I am thinking here of that saying/quote/maxim about us being a part of everything and everything a part of us. Forgive me for not relating that in a more “gainly” fashion.
    I have a couple of aprons here that my Gran made. She always wore an apron to keep her dresses clean and she had house dresses and going out dresses and best dresses. Her granddaughter does not own a dress!
    BTW did you read English Lit at Oxford I wonder?

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      How lovely that you still have your Gran’s aprons. And, I think I might be hard pressed to find a dress in my cupboard. Even skirts; last time I wore a skirt it was one borrowed from my daughter! Love your quote. I do feel that life is entangled exactly like that. No English Lit for me! I was only at Oxford for a year on a post graduate course in diplomacy. It was great fun.

      Reply

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