Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bluebells in the Woods: March 31, 2015

The wind seemed to rise as she walked under the trees.  It sang in their tops, but it was silent beneath.  The dead leaves crackled underfoot; among them sprang up the pale spring flowers, the loveliest of the year – blue flowers and white flowers, trembling on cushions of green moss.  Spring was sad always, she through; it brought back memories.  All passes, all changes, she thought, as she climbed the little path between the trees.”  The Years (263)

Monday, March 30, 2015

London in Spring: March 30, 2015

LONDON, in the first days of spring, has buds that open and flowers that suddenly shake their petals—white, purple, or crimson—in competition with the display in the garden beds, although these city flowers are merely so many doors flung wide in Bond Street and the neighbourhood, inviting you to look at a picture, or hear a symphony, or merely crowd and crush yourself among all sorts of vocal, excitable, brightly coloured human beings. But, all the same, it is no mean rival to the quieter process of vegetable florescence.  Night and Day (364)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Note on Cornish Violets: March 29, 2015

"For more than a hundred years, every spring, the "flower train" from Penzance, Cornwall, sped through the night to Paddington train station, delivering violets, anemones and bluebells to London. The delivery of these flowers was the first sign of spring as the little posies of Cornwall violets appeared in the flower sellers' stands on every street corner. Fifteen years ago the trains were privatised and come no more. And the globalisation of the flower trade has meant that there is no longer any season for flowers. As for the Cornish flower trade, their businesses were under-cut by the cheap flowers from the tropics as well as the fact that their flowers are so very seasonal. Hence the wonderful display kicking off an effort to market the farmers and their flowers. Present at the train station were two farmers from Cornwall whose family farms have been in the flower business for 150 years. They grow more local varieties than anyone else. Global warming has changed their growing season. Since there is not so much frost and cold any longer, they can grow more kinds of flowers outside and more easily. For example, their blue iris bulbs keep coming up every year now, whereas formerly they had to plant new ones annually. The kind of flowers that they grow has also changed; but more because florists want big, bold flowers, not sweet, delicate violets."
Bonnie Alter
Living / Lawn & Garden
March 21, 2007

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Violets in the River: March 28, 2015

Now I will relinquish; now I will let loose.  Now I will at last free the checked, the jerked back desire to be spent, to be consumed.  We will gallop together over desert hills where the swallow dips her wings in dark pools and the pillars stand entire.  Into the wave that dashes upon the shore, into the wave that flings its white foam to the uttermost corners of the earth I throw my violets, my offering to Percival.  -- The Waves (119)

Bridge at Southease Halt in full March spate; Woolf's walking stick was found near the fence on the bankside.

Woolf committed suicide on March 28, 2015 by walking into the Ouse River near her home in Rodmell 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Aquatic Flowers: March 26, 2015

Aquatic Flowers -- Monoprint 2014

"What I find so tiresome about the sea is that there are no flowers in it.  Imagine fields of hollyhocks and violets in mid-ocean! How divine!"
"But somewhat dangerous to navigation. . . . "  (VO 42)

The Voyage Out  was published on March 26, 1915

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bluebells: March 25, 2015

The gardens of Fernham lay before me in the spring twilight, wild and open, and in the long grass, sprinkled and carelessly flung, were daffodils and bluebells, not orderly perhaps at the best of times, and now wind-blown and waving as they tugged at their roots. The windows of the building, curved like ships' windows among generous waves of red brick, changed from lemon to silver under the flight of the quick spring clouds. (AROO 17)

Pictures of a Bluebell Wood
Gardens of Newnham College

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Flowering Pear Tree: March 24, 2015

Flourish, spring, burgeon, burst! The pear tree on the top of the mountain. Fountains jet; drops descend. But the waters of the Rhone flow swift and deep, race under the arches, and sweep the trailing water leaves, washing shadows over the silver fish, the spotted fish rushed down by the swift waters, now swept into an eddy where -- it's difficult this -- conglomeration of fish all in a pool; leaping, splashing, scraping sharp fins; and such a boil of current that the yellow pebbles are churned round and round, round and round --free now, rushing downwards, or even somehow ascending in exquisite spirals into the air; curled like thin shavings from under a plane, up and up. . . . How lovely goodness is in those who, stepping lightly, go smiling through the world! -- “The String Quartet” (CSF 139)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Flowering Almond Trees: March 23, 2015

The Flower Walk in Kensington Gardens

" At about one [Stella], Adeline and I went in to the gardens and looked at the flowers – the almond trees out, the crocuses going over, squills at their best, the other trees just beginning to seed—I shall turn into a country clergyman and make notes of phenomena in Kensington Gardens, which shall be sent as a challenge to other country clergymen” (PA 55-6)  March 17, 1897.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Daffodils: March 22, 2015

What is meant by "reality"? It would seem to be something very erratic, very undependable—now to be found in a dusty road, now in a scrap of newspaper in the street, now a daffodil in the sun. It lights up a group in a room and stamps some casual saying. It overwhelms one walking home beneath the stars and makes the silent world more real than the world of speech—and then there it is again in an omnibus in the uproar of Piccadilly. Sometimes, too, it seems to dwell in shapes too far away for us to discern what their nature is. But whatever it touches, it fixes and makes permanent. That is what remains over when the skin of the day has been cast into the hedge; that is what is left of past time and of our loves and hates.   -- A Room of One's Own (108)