On a perfect September afternoon, I cut buckets of blooms at the home of my neighborhood gardening friend, Cindy. I took them home with me, along with three of her vases, to create arrangements for a memorial celebration for her partner of 36 years who died unexpectedly last month. Bill was 74 years old which is not that old to most of the people I hang out with these days. Cindy and I had spent a lovely autumn afternoon putting arrangements together for a wine tasting she and Bill hosted couple of years ago. I was so pleased and honored when she asked me to do the flowers for this event for Bill.
Bill was our early morning coffee compatriot at the round table at EVP on Speedway Road. He was a photographer, lover of Wisconsin wildflowers, and an expert on all things Finn, from saunas to old log buildings. He was also Cindy's longtime partner in dancing as well as in love and life. It was a bittersweet pleasure to spend such a beautiful afternoon in Cindy's garden where Bill had cut the grass and done grunt work as requested.
The containers Cindy gave me were matte black ceramic — a tall narrow rectangle, a small basket with a handle and a long low rectangle. Bill had bought them for Cindy at an estate sale last year. Bill called to tell me about the sale and, as I couldn't go, I sent Mark to check it out. My guy came home with a great necklace, a fabulous vase, a book and a garden tool all for me. So I was well aware of the history of the vases.
The tall one was going near the urn holding Bill's remains, the little basket by the Guest Book and the third one wherever it worked best. Knowing that plan made it easy for me to wander around Cindy's garden cutting flowers and foliage. I opted for deep reds and rusty tones for the long low vase and mostly white flowers for the other two. I left the flowers almost submerged in water overnight in the cool front hallway to get acclimated.
I got up the next morning at 6 a.m to do the flowers before I got myself ready and went off to help Cindy and her family and other friends get everything set up. I was glad I left myself lots of time as I rarely put together an arrangement quickly. I went out into my own garden two or three times looking for just what I needed to complete my assignment. Unfortunately I forgot to take any pictures once the flowers were all done and ready to be loaded back into the car. So I snapped these three photos with my very old phone at the end of the afternoon when I left the vases on Cindy's front stoop so she and all her visiting family could enjoy them a little longer.
Enjoy the September creations of other gardeners at Rambling in the Garden where Cathy hosts this weekly Monday meme.