Posts Tagged ‘flowers’


Chrysanthemums and French painters

They have no fragrance, but they are among the last flowers of the season. Imports from China, symbols of imperial Japan, blossoms of gold, flowers of the dead, they are one of my favorites. I am not alone, of course, and they have inspired painters, in particular in France. Let’s begin with James Tissot, who […]

Renoir Chrysanthemums

Renoir’s Chrysanthemums

As I noted in last year’s post on All Souls’ Day, chrysanthemums in France are the flowers of the dead. This is a time to remember our departed loved ones, not only to mourn and pray for them, but also to express our gratitude for the all too brief moments spent with them in this […]

A lilac update

Sadly lilacs are gone already, and every year I mourn their passing.  But wait! I hear that a new new cultivar, by the name of Bloomerang, is out, and hold on: after its spring flowering, it reblooms through summer, apparently until the first frosts. It is available from White Flower Farm (or rather was, because it is sold […]

Lilac in History

Lilacs are in full bloom these days. Ah, their colors, from snowy white to deep purple, their fragrance, their graceful shapes, from shrubs to full-grown trees… All the more reason to recommend this post at Weave a Garland of My Vows (don’t you love that title?) Lilacs were a favorite of Marie-Antoinette too, and she […]

Happy 1st of May!

Today is a holiday in France (Labor Day) and people present their loved ones with sprigs of muguet, lily of the valley. If you have plans to visit Versailles today, please note that the Palace will be closed, though the gardens will remain open. Let me add that the grounds of Versailles in themselves are […]

Maria Sibylla Merian and daughters

Maria Sibylla Merian and Daughters: Women of Art and Science

I would be tempted to add: and business. Do you remember my post on the beautiful exhibition at the Getty last summer? Maria Sibylla was not only a gifted artist and a pioneer of entomology, she also established a thriving business out of her passion for painting, flowers and insects. Well, Ellen at Eighteenth Century […]

Toussaint Emile Friant

Chrysanthemums and All Souls’ Day

As noted in another post, Halloween is barely noticeable in France. The same cannot be said of All Saints’ Day, La Toussaint (November 1st) and All Souls’ Day, the Day of the Dead, the Jour des Morts (November 2.) La Toussaint is a national holiday. This is a time for families to bring fresh flowers, […]