cut flowers and vintage fun

I love the flowers in my garden. But what you might find surprising, is although I do plant for a “cutting garden” I don’t like cutting the flowers off of my plants!

I love looking at everything in the garden, so I don’t cut a lot of bouquets although I probably could and maybe should. Especially with some of my hydrangeas which do need a prune.

But today I decided to cut some hydrangea blossoms. We are supposed to get crazy rain later, and I thought I would cut some blooms.

Cutting flowers does give me an excuse to meld my love of garden with my love of vintage treasure hunting. Both bouquets are in vases I discovered in my travels that I did not pay a lot for.

As a matter of fact, the green ceramic vase in the photo at the bottom of this post is something I literally paid a couple of dollars for this weekend. It is signed and probably was thrown in Chester County somewhere!

I also love my vintage cut glass candlesticks which always look great around a vase of flowers. It always cracks me up when you see them in antique stores and they are way, way overpriced because they are so plentiful and you can literally find them at tag sales. Unless they are very, very old, they don’t have much value these days. Collect them! They can make a table or a mantle piece look instantly fabulous with just a few taper candles.

It’s also sort of like your grandmother’s china. If you have china, use it! Don’t let it gather dust in your cupboard. Sets of old china today unless it’s an extraordinarily unusual pattern, have more sentimental value than monetary value because no one wants them. Kind of like what they refer to as “brown wood”.

“Brown Wood” means natural wood furniture. Mahogany, pine, maple, oak, hickory. Today’s unfortunate trends mean people paint furniture that is “brown wood”. I’m sorry I think that is sacrilege. There are so many beautiful pieces of furniture and how can you wish to cover up all the natural patina and beauty of a piece with paint?

And we are not even speaking of faux painting which was a trend a couple of decades ago and you still find it here and there which can be extraordinarily artistic. Trompe l’oeil can be amazing. But not formerly mahogany dressers in chippy ivory paint. It used to be that people just painted furniture that was so beat up it needed refinishing one way or the other. Not now. People are taking real furniture, good furniture, and blotting out the character with high gloss enamel or chalk paint. Not for me.

The picture of the rocking chair with the bargello pattern fabric seat you see above is old, but not super old. I am not positive but I think the wood is hickory. It is not oak but it is definitely a hardwood. This rocking chair is a spindle back which was made in Maine.

I love rocking chairs and it was just so pretty and the dealer let me know when she had it in case I was interested. I paid peanuts for it as in well under $100 and it’s now in my guest room. And I will be happy to polish it occasionally. To me that is the smell of home: beeswax and lemon oil. And starched and freshly laundered linens.

I can’t forget my love for old and vintage linens, including quilts. You can find them everywhere. And nothing makes your table look better than the beautiful fabric of an old tablecloth.

And don’t forget to dress up your powder room or your guest bath with old linen hand and finger tip towels that someone embroidered long, long ago.

As for quilts? Especially old lap quilts that were used way back when for carriaging and even early motoring? I use them to keep pet hair off my sofas and they add a friendly, homey vibe. And it’s so much better looking than “fabric protectors” which I think are quasi hideous for the most part.

Back to my cut flowers.

I don’t make a big fuss out of flower arranging. I pretty much just cut my flowers outside bring them in and trim them to the vase and I’m done with that. I know flower arranging is literally a competitive sport at a lot of flower shows, but I just want them to look pretty. And it’s not that hard to do.

And I do not just cut flowers from the garden I also will make a little arrangement out of my herbs. Fresh mint, lavender, borage, and more smell delightful in a vase in the house. I also have a couple of small citrus trees that when I trim them I put their foliage in a vase and you get this great citrus smell that lasts.

And as for vase is a lot of the time I don’t even use a traditional vase. I will use an old milk bottle, a mason jar, even little chipped pitchers. I used to have a ceramic teapot that the lid had broken on that I used for years as a perfect vase for a kitchen table.

I don’t live in a beige beige world. I like color and texture and pattern. So I love my vintage finds because of that. Things that aren’t necessarily brand new add character.

I think my personal style can’t be pigeonholed into “cottage” or “country” or “traditional”. I just like to find things old and new for my home that fit in it. That includes my flowers on the outside, that sometimes come inside.

Thanks for stopping by!

4 thoughts on “cut flowers and vintage fun

    • I do not dry them. I think they turn into dust catchers that way. My mother used to bunch them, tie them upside down and spray with hairspray

      • I suppose you’re right about the dust. I’ll have to look at mine. I dried a small bunch from the co-op last year. Some of the petals got a little crinkly, but I don’t mind. I’m not sure I would try the hairspray but its a good tip! Thanks

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