Under the lilacs

Sunday, May 18, 2014

In honor of our lilac bush bursting forth into bloom this weekend, I am having a lilac tea.


This teacup is Crown Victorian, Staffordshire, England. I made Victorian Earl Grey black tea, a loose tea I purchased from our local tea shop. There are rose petals and lavender in this blend of tea.


My youngest, home from college, loves oatmeal scotchies. His sister made him some. He shared.


(what's missing from this picture?)

This book was perfect to thumb through during tea, don't you think? This copy was published in 1928. I have a set of eight of these "Orchard House" editions, including Little Women.


The illustrations are sweetly old-fashioned. Holding the page down for me is essie's nice is nice, a lilac-colored nail polish.


Holding down the left side is The Language of Flowers. I stayed up until one a.m. the past three nights reading this for book club, which is meeting here tonight. I really liked it. It is about a girl who has gone through the foster care system and has severe attachment disorder. She loves flowers, and has learned how to communicate her feelings using their "language."  Not an easy read, but definitely rewarding.

One of the most interesting parts of the story is the actual language of flowers, taken from Victorian times, when flowers symbolized the sender's feelings. A red rose represents love, of course, but did you know that so does myrtle? Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, carried a bouquet at her wedding that used royal family tradition and the language of flowers. Her bouquet had myrtle, lily of the valley (return to happiness), ivy (fidelity), and, of course, sweet William (gallantry).


The book includes an index of flowers and their meanings. Hmmm . . . too bad about the peony.  I like the idea of choosing flowers with a message, or putting together a bouquet for someone with special meaning. I had thought about doing this for our tea table at book club tonight, but where to find the right flowers? Perhaps I can find an oak-leaf geranium (true friendship) at the nursery. But not a scarlet geranium -- that means stupidity. Although it is true that we have read a few heavy tomes that have challenged us, and made us feel a little . . . dense.


In other flower news, check out these lovely red roses, a gift from my husband for our anniversary. Thirty-three years! He knows the language of flowers.



I will be joining these parties this week . . . 

32 comments :

  1. You set such elegant vignettes for tea, Deborah, and this post is no exception. Love the language of flowers.
    Thanks so much for the visit,
    Mary Alice

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  2. A lovely tea day when your teacup has lilacs, there's a vase of the scent, a book with the name and nail polish with the colour. A well coordinated table, I'd say.

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  3. So pretty and interesting! Happy anniversary!!! xoxo

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  4. Deborah- I'm heartbroken! Peonies are my favorite flower! Of course, I love gardenias, too. Do you know their symbolic meaning? I almost purchase scarlet geraniums this evening. Oh my goodness.... Lovely post, sweet friend. That book has been on my wish list for awhile now.... Lori

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  5. Happy anniversary, as well! You have a wonderful husband, indeed. :) Lori

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  6. Hi Deborah,
    I can't imagine any flower symbolizing anything but something positive! Lol I counted 24 peony plants in my garden yesterday that are just starting to sprout and potted up 4 more. All my peonies are grown first in pots from bulbs before going into the garden. I'm crazy about peonies, especially the soft pinks. What does that say about me?! Haha
    Happy Anniversary, the roses are gorgeous.
    Thanks for visiting me and for leaving your beautiful footprint; I appreciate your kind words.
    Hugs,
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas!

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  7. Dearest Deborah,
    Lovely post with one of my favorite flowers the lilac! Miss them so much as they cannot grow here in the South because of the heat...
    Isn't it lovely to read the true meaning of flowers? I too have such a book and love to peruse it.
    Happy week to you and hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. The book I have is by SHEILA PICKLES who used to be the managing director of Penhaligon's, the exclusive London perfume house. A lovely 182 pages hard cover book! You can find more about it here: Edible Flowers in one of my previous posts, at the very bottom.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

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  8. What a lovely post. I never knew there was a "language of flowers", but find the idea fascinating. I am going to get this book. I think it opens up a whole new level of thoughtfulness when giving flowers to someone or decorating for a special occasion. Thank you for sharing. Rosie

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  9. Good morning Deborah. Thanks for stopping by and I want to try and incorporate those foods into my diet too. It's very hard for me to stay away from sugar, boo! I loved this post and it's so nice that you have a book club. I bet you read a lot of books. The book you all had to read sounds interesting. I will have to buy the nail polish of course. I love the light spring shades of nail polishes. Have a lovely day.
    Julie

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  10. Hello lovely lady :) Your lilac tea is simply beautiful and I wish I could join you. I can almost smell the heady scent of your lilacs. My lilac bushes will not bloom for another couple of weeks, but I am eagerly awaiting their arrival.

    Have a wonderful Monday! Hugs to you!

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  11. Beautiful vignette, Deborah. I can almost smell the sweetness of the lilacs...sad that they last such a short time.

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  12. Oh, Deborah, your lilac teacup is so pretty and I love lilacs! Can't wait for them to bloom here! T'is a great pity they don't last longer though. I knew Judith would love your post as she's all about the colour lavender. A lovely post and thank you for sharing and coming to tea.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  13. Congratulations on 33 beautiful years!!! Your photos and settings are ALWAYS so enchanting - and yes, HORRIBLY sad for the Peony...still one of my favorites! Happy Monday, Deborah - I hope the week holds many beautiful things for you! XOXO

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  14. Such a pretty table! As I packed away so many things for storage (while we sell the house) I had a lovely time looking at all my childhood LMA books - I loved them all.
    The day of my wedding, the little girl next door, who was from a very French family, came to see me dressed for church, bringing a bouquet of pansies, for Loving Thoughts and Fond Remembrance - it's a memory that has stayed with me.

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  15. Everything...so sweet. I collect beaded and mesh purses and have several that were beaded with specific flowers throughout - clearly a sign of the Victorian times from which they hail. Happy Anniversary to you!

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  16. Lovely sweet post...my lilac bush is just coming in to full bloom now...I expect the heady scent to be wafting around soon...cannot wait :)
    You have certainly celebrated the lilacs beautifully ! :)

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  17. Happy Anniversary! I'm really impressed by your lovely lilac teacup and saucer--so pretty! Your tea this week is beautiful--thanks for sharing the info about the books, especially the beautiful illustration in the (appropriately named) under the lilacs!

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  18. Happy 33 years of marriage, Deborah to you and your hubby. Your teacup is so beautiful and perfect with your bouquet of lilacs. The oatmeal scotchies look so good and what a nice sister. Thanks for the book reviews, too.

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  19. Congratulations to you and your hubby. What a wonderful celebration. 33 years is a lifetime. I love it. Your lilac tea cup is adorable and beautiful. I love peonies too and how sad to learn that they mean anger. I have to disagree on that one. Peonies are elegant, beautiful and they make me very happy. Lovely vignette.

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  20. Your lilac tea-cup is so pretty, Deborah. I am anxiously waiting for the lilacs to bloom here in Ontario. I was very interested in your thoughts on the book. I am reading it right now and really enjoying it. I love that there is a language of flowers. Deb

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  21. Oh your lilac tea is wonderful! I love your tea cup. I do not often see lilac on a cup, and the pattern you have is so lovely! Everything looks beautiful. The book "Under the Lilacs" sounded so familiar to me....I think I may have that one too. Beautiful pictures!
    That really is too bad about the Peony! How could that be when it is such a gorgeous flower?
    Hugs,
    Terri

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  22. Lilacs.... they smell so lovely! We lost our only lilac tree last year when we had to put in some sheds on the property. But I want to get more!!! I must find that Louisa May Alcott book. I have most of her others. Not that one. Thanks for letting us know about it.

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  23. Hello and good morning-I'm joining You for Tea through Teri's party :) I enjoyed Your pretty, soothing, post very much is morning.I love the book and all the gorgeous lilac.Hugs and blessings Your way-Denise

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  24. Lovely post, as always, Deborah :) Lilacs are my sister's favorite; she stopped by yesterday to cut some from my bushes. One of my son's sweet friends brought me a bouquet from her yard and the scent filled the house--it was heavenly. Hope your week is filled with sweetness--
    Blessings,
    Diana

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  25. Hmmm...it seems a cookie disappeared :) Just lovely, I love the purple. Happy Anniversary to you and congrats! Thank you for joining the History & Home link party at We Call It Junkin! ~ Dawn

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  26. I love the nail polish - made me smile! A beautiful posting and so glad you linked to Tea In The Garden!

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  27. Everything taste better in a pretty cup.


    Madonna
    MakeMineLemon

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  28. The language of flowers is the best language I know! And what a pretty book mark. I love Lilacs! Mine are just starting to open. Can't wait! The teacup is gorgeous alongside those pretty blooms and what a sweet book! Happy Anniversary to you and your sweetheart. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  29. Your flowers are all lovely, but the roses that represent 33 years are the most beautiful of all!! Congratulations and enjoy! :)

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  30. What a lovely tea cup and a very enjoyable post.

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  31. I love how you slipped that nail color in there too - haha! :) The delicate lilac china is so pretty. What a lovely tea!

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