There are always flowers for those who wish to see them. ~ Henri Matisse

mixed media flowers in journal
Gratitude Journal Prompt for this week: Sketch or illustrate your appreciation for spring flowers. (#g52prompt11, and #g52community on Instagram)

While I should have been painting daffodils, tulips, lilacs, and other various spring flowers, I could only think of the flowers that were meaningful to me.

The dahlia in the left-hand corner has a place of prominence because my Nonna loved dahlias.

Each summer we would marvel at the profusion of dahlias growing along her front porch. On warm summer evenings, friends and strangers would stop and comment on her flowers, and she would smile and chat in English or in Italian about the varieties she had planted. Invariably, this could lead to rather long discussions and even a tour of her vegetable garden and maybe company for an hour or two for my grandmother who lived alone a good part of her life.

Come fall, Nonna would dig up the bulbs and spread them out on newspapers on her basement floor where they would remain in relative darkness and warmth until the next spring. Nonna continued to do this well into her later years.

For some time, my mother also grew dahlias but tired of all the work involved in digging up the bulbs and protecting them over winter. She planted petunias and impatiens, and other annual or perennial flowers that were less labour intensive.

A few years ago, I attempted to grow dahlias without saving the bulbs. For some reason, I only had a few blooms here and there and decided this disappointing result was not worth the effort after all.

The next photos from long ago must have been taken in early summer because only a few of the dahlias are in bloom. Whenever I see dahlias, I think of Nonna.

nonna's flowers
nonna's dahlias

The other flowers I doodled for this entry include blue delphiniums which I love because of their tall spires rising above all the other common flowers. Their stalks had to be staked otherwise a good wind was likely to knock them down. I grew delphiniums for several years and made old-fashioned pressed flower cards with them.

The three orange flowers on the right are an Italian variety of ranunculus called Clementine. The pop of colour, and all the delicate layers in the varieties of Clementine make them a suitable addition to any bouquet. Again, these remind me of Nonna as she loved all the warm colours which surely must have reminded her of Italy.

At the very top I painted a type of anemone that I find intriguing because so few flowers are green and blue.

So while the ground is still partially covered in snow, I can dream of flowers that have added a splash of colour to my world in the past.

2 Responses

    • Sally…nothing surprises me anymore! We have so much in common. Looking forward to meeting you in person one day, sooner than later hopefully!

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