Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tea, Tulips, and Home-i-ness



As we settle into our rental house in Bordeaux, I'd love to share these photos from Sunday's visit to Keukenhof tulip gardens. Visiting this site might have been a cliché, but it was a cliché to delight. Once we moved past the entry and its surrounding paths, densest with people (800,000 visitors during the 6-week blooming period -- Paul was quite sure they were all there on Sunday!), the blooms, sunshine, and fragrance guaranteed endorphins. . .
So many inspiring combinations -- and so intriguing to see the different moods evoked by changing one colour element in a mix. I loved these orange fritillaria with these purple, almost-black tulips . . .
Both colour and height working here to create fascinating rhythms. . .
Sculptures invited closer inspection in numerous corners -- played up here by the dappled shade that we found one of the most charming aspects overall -- as Paul said, the trees were well placed to provide intimacy and, above all, tranquility. The space between them guarded against too much heaviness so that any dark shadows quickly transitioned to dappled shade, then into sunlight.
Everywhere one looked, eyes were cleverly drawn, vistas neatly framed. . .

The gardens made compelling arguments about scale . . .
and while colour combinations were inspiring, there was also a strong case presented for montones . . .


I had to replace my camera battery during the visit, as you might imagine, and I have at least another post worth of tulip photos, including some from our bike tour through the surrounding tulip fields.
For now, though, I've just made a cup of tea in our sweet little house in Bordeaux -- so lovely to have that privilege again after 5 days in a hotel. We spent the morning trolling an antiquités fair nearby and then picked up a small bouquet of sweet peas (pois senteurs), another of peonies (pivoines), and they're on tables here helping us claim this spot as chez nous. Where are you feeling at home at the moment -- and what's helping with that? What little delights, clichés even, make your world alright?

20 comments:

  1. For me home is about the views. My kitchen window. The wall across from the sofa. If it looks right, I'm home.

    Those gardens are so beautiful. In another life I'd love to have been a gardener, wouldn't you?

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    1. My mother was a very good gardener (still would be but condo doesn't allow much opportunity) -- your comment reminded me that, in her late 60s, early 70s, she once told me she finally thought she knew what she could have been (she taught elementary school for a few years before staying home with us) -- I found it rather poignant that she didn't realize she already was, although I recognize that she meant professionally, and there is a difference. As in, I suppose, we both are gardeners, you and I, but yes, I would love to really be one, in another life. . .

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  2. How delightful to think of you settling into your home-away-from-Canada with a bouquet or two of flowers.

    For me, hominess is about comfort - the couch at just the right angle, a few pillows, a good paring knife that feels right in my hand, along with a bit of nature. Just now a vase full of lilacs is perfuming the house. Heavenly!

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    1. The paring knife -- yes, you've got it! And your mention of lilacs makes me hope that a few of mine are holding back their blooms for my return.

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  3. Stunning photos! Enjoy nesting, and that cup of tea. (Agree, that's one of the luxuries of a rental as opposed to a hotel.)

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    1. And it is truly a luxury, isn't it?!

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  4. OMG - this is awesomely gorgeous. I really want to be walking around some gardens like that. Instead, I'm having a hell of a day at work. And it's overcast.

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    1. It was cool throughout our time in Amsterdam, sometimes downright chilly with the wind. The photos are deceptive. The weather's been fairly poor most of our trip if it makes you feel any better, and I'll lie about the good days if it helps . . . sorry about the crap day at work.

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  5. Oh, how lovely to see the tulips. They bloomed early in Mayland and I missed seeing their splendor so thank you once again for sharing this beauty. Sunshine, that's what makes a house a home for me.

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    1. Sunshine -- that's hard to come by our way, but it does make a home feel blessed. glad you enjoyed the tulips.

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  6. Sigh, the white tulips are glorious. Alas, it is the piles of papers that help me know I'm home.

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    1. hope they're shrinking piles, at least.

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  7. "As we settle into our rental house in Bordeaux"... that's the way I'll start a post some day, although not necessarily using Bordeaux. Lacy curtains make a kitchen feel like home, although I don't have any where I'm living. And newspapers. And fruit on the table. And a broom somewhere. That's all. What a lovely tour you've shared here. Thank you!

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    1. I do rather like it as an opening line, thanks! Fruit, newspapers, a broom -- works for me. . .

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  8. I don't care how cliche it is, I'm so glad you visited the tulip gardens and shared the photos here! I hope you enjoyed the cup of tea.

    I'm feeling not-quite-at-home yet in Madrid. I'm still a touch jet lagged but the trick will be figuring out my hot water heater. Once I have a hot shower, I'm sure I'll feel much more like I'm at home.

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    1. Jetlag's a monster. Last night we finally got a continuous, very good sleep, and it makes the world of difference. Good luck with the water heater.

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  9. You have no idea what a sight for sore eyes these photographs are, after the relentless cloudy days with the rain battering anything that pokes its head above the soil. I am so glad you are having good weather, and those gardens look just wonderful.

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    1. as I told Kristin above, the photos are deceptive -- Sunday was a good day, but the weather has been pretty mixed. Hot today in Bordeaux, but wow, it really poured last night.

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  10. I should not be here. It is late and I need to be in bed, but what photos. If you have read me you will know I am a tulip addict. Fab.

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  11. Gorgeous tulips! I love the reds the best.

    A little house in Bordeaux sounds perfect.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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