Peonies are one of my favourite flowers. They don’t come out for long but as soon as they do, I buy them on the market on Sundays. I like the pale pink ones best. We have a bush growing in the garden of our “little house” (next door to our Renaissance home) in Blois but one’s definitely not enough so I’ll be planting more, maybe even trying my hand at cuttings. In the background of the photo, you can see the lovely watercolour that Black Cat brought back unharmed all the way from Australia at the end of her study year, despite the weight restrictions!
Another flower I love is the orchid and I’ve learnt how to make the flowers come back again the next year. Leonardo used to buy me one each year for my birthday in April and I was delighted when two of them reflowered recently. Brainy Pianist took up the tradition in Leonardo’s absence and added a beautiful specimen to my collection. When the flowers die, you cut the stalk off after the third “eye” and keep watering regularly. In September, put it outside if you can, to simulate the tropical winter, and next spring, you should see a little shoot appear! My little April violets have been reflowering each spring for many years now.
Tiny pansies are just so cute, with their delicate faces, and they come in every imaginable colour combination. I’m thinking about where I’ll grow them in Blois. We came across these in a public garden bed when cycling near Château d’Ussé. Absolutely irresistable! It’s a favourite ride in the summer, as the road leading to the castle which is set up on a hill, is flanked with sunflowers in summer.
I’ve always dreamed of having a house with wisteria in front. Mr Previous Owner must have pruned ours at the wrong time this year because it looked very meagre compared with his photos of the house from last year and other specimens in the neighbourhood such as this one, in the very same street. Venice in the spring when the wisteria is in bloom is absolutely breathtaking as you can see if you click on the link to my Sunday’s Travel Photos.
Waterlilies and, in particular, the nympheas in Monet’s garden in Giverny, immortalised in the oval rooms in the Orangerie Museum in Paris, are something I love too. I have a special connection with waterlilies. When I was born, my father, a true romantic, went out to pick them for my mother. He was also the one who chose my name – Rosemary.
Relationnel is also a romantic. Before we lived in Paris, my ground-floor office, whose window looked out onto a little courtyard where I planted lots of flowering shrubs, was opposite a flower shop. Always when I was least expecting it, I’d see the florist coming towards me with a lovely bunch of fresh flowers courtesy of Relationnel who would phone her up from work. She always made sure they went in my special vase.
So, what are your favourite flowers?