COTE DE TEXAS: Truce: When Flowers Say it All

Truce: When Flowers Say it All



It is no secret to faithful readers that this election season has been an exciting one in my household -  Fox News could have filmed one of Ben’s and my debates and aired it purely for comical enjoyment.   We were on opposite sides of the presidential election and most nights leading up to voting day were spent emotionally discussing the issues:  Obama’s tax plan, McCain’s choice of Palin, Obama’s inability to truly understand the Oil & Gas business, and McCain’s side on the “social issues” to name just a few juicy topics.   Some nights the noise level in my family room got quite loud.  Our debates became very personal to both of us, so I was truly ready for it all to be over so that my house could go back to its usual quietness.  Truthfully, I knew that the United States was going to be fine – no matter which candidate won.  To me, they were both honest, good and competent men.    But in my heart – I felt it was time - time for us to elect an Afro-American as President.    It just seemed to me that Obama was the “right” choice. 

The night America decided to agree with me, Ben went to bed early and didn’t watch the live television coverage from Chicago, which really disappointed me.  I believed that no matter how one felt about taxes, or abortion, or William Ayers – watching Obama give his victory speech was something that should have been mandatory in every home – it was history that we Americans made that night.   Instead, I watched it alone.

And so, even as I said I couldn’t wait for Tuesday to be over so that things could get back to normal in my house, nothing really changed.  Until, that is, when a few days later the doorbell rang and a huge arrangement of flowers was delivered.  The card read:  “Congratulations on the Election.  I love you, Ben.”

Aw, is he not the sweetest man in the world?  Nothing like a bouquet of flowers to wipe away a few months of “discussions.”  And wipe them away, the flowers surely did.  That night Ben came home all smiles, and I was all smiles and we both declared Truce - for the next four years.



The arrangement of flowers Ben sent me congratulating me on the election.  Actually, they were the equivalent of a peace pipe, a true symbol of a truce.


After the excitement of the flower delivery wore down, I kept circling around and looking at them.   Years and years ago, 20 to be exact, in the first apartment we lived together as newlyweds, our downstairs neighbors owned a popular and very chi-chi florist company.  Though we only lived there for a year, it was a very floral year.  One of the owners really took a liking to Ben (like everyone does) and used to bring him flowers almost weekly.  It was wonderful.  For twenty years, they have been our go-to florist whenever we’ve needed to send something special for a birthday or some other occasion.   For all those years, we’ve always been pleased with their work.  But last Friday, I kept thinking, gee – this arrangement is really not up to par.  It was just a mishmash of pink, purple, lavender and white flowers  thrown together – without any of the florists’ usual uniqueness.   I wondered what Ben had actually ordered over the phone.  Ben is a very humble man, not flashy by any stretch of the imagination.  He also is not a complainer - he’s not one to send his meal back to the kitchen for any reason, nor would he ever question a floral arrangement.   And, of course, neither would I ever complain to Ben about such a thoughtful gesture.   He’s sensitive about those things and thinks I am judgmental enough.   I knew to keep my mouth shut.   


So, imagine my surprise when later the evening I heard Ben say, “these flowers really aren’t that pretty.  They look like something you would get in the hospital.”  Exactly, my dear!    The floral varieties by themselves were pretty enough, but together, they were just a mess, certainly not something that Eddie Ross would ever create.  After some discussion, Ben admitted he never really knows what to order when the florist asks him what he wants to send out.   So, after 20 years, he got a lesson in flower ordering.   In all honesty, I had never really thought about it much either.  But, given the opportunity to really be honest with my husband, I told him  – it’s always better to just order one type of flower – a dozen or two roses is always great.  Especially nice is to order the roses without a vase.  Who needs another cheap florist vase any way?   Or instead of roses, order a dozen tulips.   Or instead of fresh flowers – order a potted orchid, or a hydrangea plant.  For something I hadn’t really thought about before – I certainly had a lot of ideas!   But really – what is best to order from a florist, or to pick out at the corner flower stand?  What makes up a fool-proof delivery of flowers?



A dozen peach roses is always welcome in my house – especially when they are wrapped in paper and tied with raffia.   Enough of cheap floral vases!   Isn’t this a much prettier presentation?



There is nothing more romantic than roses arriving in a beautiful long, white box, tied with a ribbon.



Imagine opening the door to a few dozen of these old garden roses in varying shades of pink?   Many florists in California sells these varieties over the internet.  Rose Story Farm is one such company that sells fabulous, old fashioned roses like these.



– better yet, plan a trip Carpinteria to tour Rose Story Farm’s acres of blooms!



Or, you can always bribe a friend with rose bushes to let you cut a few of the blooms to surprise a spouse. 



Simple and elegant:   one color, one dozen roses:  order orange colored ones for fall. 



Another good color for fall is a mixture of orange and yellow roses. 



Pale lavender roses are gorgeous no matter what season – and a personal favorite of mine.



Or try a mixture of light and dark pinks and lilacs with white roses.  So beautiful!



A sure bet to order from is Martha Stewart.  There are a plethora of choices on her web site – some come in wonderful vases like this one made of mercury glass.   Stewart  has a “one arrangement a month” program – a gift that lasts for  year.  I’ve always wanted to give that to someone.  Maybe this Christmas………?!!



Instead of fresh flowers that will die within a week, order a rose plant – these are from Martha Stewart. 



Lately one of my favorite bouquets of roses is one of each color – something my best friend Lisa has given me on my birthday.



Californian designer Lynn Von Kersting puts arrangements of old garden variety roses throughout her house.  These romantic blooms match the feel of her decor. 



Roses are a staging staple for design magazines.  Here in a Gerrie Bremermann room, dozens of white roses fill a baptism font.



Again, Gerrie Bremermann uses yellow roses to blend with the colors in this room.


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Veranda used light pink roses in Pam Pierce’s all white living room. 



Suzanne Kasler uses a small arrangement of pink roses in her pink and khaki dining room.



Besides roses – a great flower to send is tulips.  Either French or Parrot tulips – both are beautiful.




Parrot tulips are ruffled like these.   Tulips are a great choice – a few or many.  This is a large bouquet – a smaller number of tulips can be just a pretty.



But then again, a large box of mixed French tulips would be most welcome!!!  If you are having a party, consider ordering a large box of flowers online such as this.    It’s a great savings. 



A dozen parrot tulips- tulips are most beautiful when they start to fall over like this.



Many interior designers use tulips in their presentation.  Here Dan Carithers, an interior designer from Atlanta uses peach tulips in a yellow and blue room.  I love this shade – it almost is the color of skin.



Interior Designer Diane Burn uses an antique tuliper to hold her dozen tulips which are perfectly bent over.



Jeffrey Bilhuber’s French tulips match the decor exactly.    This room without the bouquet of tulips would not seem quite as finished.



Gerrie Bremermann used peach colored tulips in this antique silver bowl.



Babs Watkins, from Houston, mixed white parrots with hydrangeas in this dining room in River Oaks.



As always, when sending out flowers, order them wrapped in paper – this is beautiful enough.



Sometimes, instead of sending fresh flowers, I like to order potted orchids.  They last up to two or three months and look wonderful in any decor – traditional or contemporary.  Here a white phalaenopsis orchid is potted in a red oriental wood bucket.



An orange cymbidium orchid is perfect for the fall season and is available in stores now.



White orchids look particularly pretty in a blue and white pot.



A great gift is fresh orchid stems – though they don’t last as long as the plant, they do last much longer than fresh cut flowers.



Californian designer Michael S. Smith used yellow orchids in his famous Portuguese styled home.  The  yellow plays perfectly off the blue and white tiles.




In the spring, the prettiest flower you can order is the peony.   Here is a bouquet in a vase that is decorated with peonies.  Is there anything more beautiful than this?



A smaller bouquet is every bit as pretty.



Or, bring home one stem on a special occasion  – beautiful!



A bouquet with deep pink peonies pops in a monochromatic room.  Notice how the stylist added the hot pink throw in the atrium.



In a California guest cottage, Michael Smith used a pale pink peony bouquet that blends with the decor.  Another bouquet of roses sits on the side table.  This room gets better with each viewing.  The lighting choices are impeccable – the oversized lantern, the black reading  fixture and the creamy porcelain table lamp.    Most amazingly, the fabric is actually bedspreads purchased from Urban Outfitters and upholstered to the walls and used for the curtains and upholstery.



Suzanne Kasler’s famous pink dining room features a deep pink peony bouquet that picks up the colors in the painting.




The hydrangea plant is a favorite with just about everyone.  Ordering a single plant in a pretty clay pot is a gift that keeps on giving.  The plant can be transplanted outdoors after the blooms are finished – thus this one flower delivery can actually last a lifetime.  My favorite colors are the blues and purples first – but I also love the “antique” hydrangea colors.



  An inexpensive straw basket is a great thing to include with an hydrangea order.



Make a grand statement with mass of plants in large, matching pot.



Once the blooms have faded, plant the hydrangeas outside to enjoy for years to come.   Luscious!



White hydrangeas in  gorgeous patinaed urn.



  Veranda magazine likes to feature hydrangeas on it’s covers.  Here – a home in California designed by Houstonian Renea Abbott.  A cover like this makes it hard to resist buying the magazine.



  And again, in a home in Galveston designed by Babs Watkins.



And, here mixed with snaps, in a Dallas home designed by Houstonian Jane Moore for her daughter and son in law.


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In the same living room as the above Veranda cover, Jane Moore used hydrangeas as the only color in the room beside seafoam green.



I love to dry the antique hued hydrangeas – here in a home designed by Shannon Bowers in Dallas – a large metal bucket holds a mass of dried hydrangeas.


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In my own home, when in season, I try to keep blue hydrangeas in two different places – first, on my wine tasting table in the entry area.


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And second, another plant in my breakfast room inside a white ironstone vase.  I love the blues against all the white. 


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In fact, I love hydrangeas so much that for my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah invitation, I decided to go against the glitzy trend and instead chose an invitation which featured hydrangea blooms with a ribbon in antique hydrangea colors.



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OK – so I’ll really play the proud parent now!  At Elisabeth’s Bat Mitzvah luncheon, my mom Betty Rae and I ordered this huge arrangement for the center table.  It was all pink (the colors are really off in this picture) – roses, peonies, stocks, and who knows what else.  That’s my large iron urn that we used for the vase.  Actually Lizzy is standing on a chair here – the flowers towered over her!  And of course as soon as Betty Rae arrived, she removed those pink bows the florist had used for decoration.   I’ve always wondered what the photographer said to Lizzy to make her pose like this – she looks like one of the girls on The Price is Right showcasing the grand prize!





My daughter was born in spring, in late March, and for her birth I received two beautiful flower arrangements that remain my all time favorites.  The first is what my parents sent me in the hospital -  an large arrangement of French tulips – that perfect peach hue which is almost flesh colored.  At my wedding reception the flowers were roses and tulips – so ever since then, those two flowers have had a special meaning for us!   

The other arrangement I received in the hospital was from Ben, the proud but exhausted new father (yes!  HE was exhausted!)  Ben, of course,  ordered the flowers from the same florists that botched his Election Day Truce bouquet.  For Elisabeth’s birth – his florist friend informed him that they had flowering branches of dogwood.  Now, being from Texas, we don’t have dogwood here.  In fact, before that day, I had never seen it before.   The dogwood branches that were delivered to the hospital were the most gorgeous flowers I have ever received before or since.  The pale pink flowering branches were huge and took up so much space in the small room  – everything else was dwarfed by their size, including my tiny 5 lb baby girl.   I was amazed and overwhelmed by their beauty and by the fact that Ben had sent something so extravagant – not in cost, but in sheer lavishness.  Generally, Ben is a very understated person, but I suppose the grandness of his gesture matched his emotions.    Being as Elisabeth is an only child, it seems fitting that the dogwoods were a one-time occurrence, never matched again.  If he ever did send me dogwoods again, it would somehow take away from the specialness of that occasion.


Suzanne Rheinstein used a small, flowering potted dogwood in this Virginian house.   I wonder if the owners later planted it on their property?



A southern bedroom with an arrangement of dogwood branches.




And finally – sometimes flowers aren’t the only way to say what you want to.  I wasn’t the only one who received a surprise last week.  Lizzy’s boyfriend sent her a balloon bouquet!   What a festive way to say – I’m sorry, I love you, Happy Birthday, or Congratulations on the Election – whichever applies.


What’s you favorite flower or arrangement to get from your significant other?  Did I list it here?  Do you have one memorable arrangement that you will never forget – like my dogwood branches? 


  1. As I was reading your post I said to myself, "she must be a Scorpio"!!! Your home sounds like mine. Lovely post of arrangements.

  2. Hi Joni, I really enjoyed this post. I LOVE receiving flowers!!!! Living in N.C. the dogwoods really made me smile. Our yard is full of them as is the whole neighborhood. I agree that using Martha is foolproof and I have done that many times. I think my favorite are roses,especially one called "lipstick". It's a soft apricot with a darker edge.
    So glad you and Ben are on speaking terms again. LOL

  3. This post really made me smile. Your husband is a gem! I love that you can agree to disagree.

    Your daughter is beautiful and I love her bat mitzvah arrangement.

    In terms of flowers, my husband usually gets flowers for me at our local farmers market (pike place market in Seattle). They always have beautiful seasonal arrangements. I am partial to sunflowers and dahlias. About an hour north of Seattle, tulips are grown and I love to see the miles and miles of them growing every spring - another favorite. For Valentine's day, I always love roses.

  4. Oh Joni, I just loved this post of yours. The Dogwood branches sent me to the moon. That is my favorite tree in all the world. When we lived in NC, the pine forest was dotted with graceful Dogwoods - walks through that magical place is one of my fondest memories.

    My husband tried to semi-recreate that for me by bringing Dogwoods here, but they didn't make it. :/ So they live only in my memory, and now I can come see the branches on your blog.

    I'm glad life has gone back to normal in your household, those were some good debates, albeit tiring, I'm sure. We had them here as well.

    Thanks for all the beautiful pictures and such a nice post.


  5. two words for your husband:"Bergner Johnson" in Houston..the best the best the best( florist )
    natural arrangements that are to die for

  6. two words for your husband:"Bergner Johnson" in Houston..the best the best the best( florist )
    natural arrangements that are to die for

  7. two words for your husband:"Bergner Johnson" in Houston..the best the best the best( florist )
    natural arrangements that are to die for

  8. Hi Joni, What a great post. I love flowers. My mom has beautiful old roses and my favorite arrangement is when she places all the different varieties in an old blackened silver footed sugar bowl. It looks like a picture in a magazine. I also love it when my honey of a husband just stops and gets a bouquet or roses, usally pink or yellow. No reason, a Just Because.

  9. Hydrangeas are my trademark, I tend to give those quite a bit. I also love to give, and receive, big fat bouquets of peonies. They are always perfect.

    And, it sounds to me as though Ben is a keeper, even if he was on the wrong side in the election!

    Also...aren't Lynn Von Kersting's rooms divine??

  10. Joni, My love is also blue hydrangeas and pink peonies. I have 3 dogwood trees in my front yard, they are very common here in PA. My favorite arrangement was over 20 years ago my husband sent me a dozen paster roses. I had never seen these colors before let alone in one bouquet. It was magical.
    You daughter looks so lovely in that photo. I am sure it was a wonderful night. As usual, Betty spotted something immediately that most people would have never even noticed, that ribbon. I guess good taste is just something you are born with. xo, MB

  11. Joni, This floral study really made my day, especially since we may have snow flurries this weekend in Kansas City! We share the favorites of tulips (almost any kind and color), hydrangeas, roses!

  12. Truce Joni!

    Love this post! My all time favorite flower is tulips, soft pink tulips! Although my yard is full of hydrangeas, english roses and peonies. They all do very well up here in Chicago.

    My favorite bouquet was a hugh vase of wild flowers, in a trite vase but tied in natural raffeta. So lovely! Thanks:o) for the good memories!!!

  13. Lady, you are incredible!!!! Not only do I learn lessons in I'm lucky enough to get a lesson in flowers. I LOVE IT!!!! :)

    Daisy's are a "go to" for me. They are happy and simple...they smile and are a welcome "hug."

  14. I loved seeing all of the arrangements. I even loved the first one. On my monitor, it looked like it was primarily made up of red, white, and blue flowers, and the middle ones were standing straight and proud, as we Americans should feel.

    Thanks for including hydrandeas. My blue one didn't bloom last summer, as sometimes happens, and I enjoyed seeing your pictures. The first year I had it, it bloomed at the same time that a friend had a baby boy. It was fun taking her baby blue bouquet with a baby blue bow, probably in an empty spaghetti sauce jar.

  15. How beautiful on this cold rainy New England day! You're right, it was an important moment when Obama gave his acceptance speech - he may not have been my choice - but it was history making.

    I'm swooooning over Suzanne Kasler's dining room. The pink and tan is gorge!

    I tend to love smaller floral arrangements, usually of one color, but made up of different types of flowers.

  16. I agree with choosing one flower for maximum impact. I love using pussy willows, bittersweet and queen annes lace (among many others)a this way. It is fun to pair flowers with a container that compliments them- I love an antique look like queen annes lace in an old silver tureen- simply beautiful. Or a dozen old roses in a zinc bucket!

  17. Joni- Ben is quite a gent....but I already knew that ;) I am going to have Ken read this b/c he has sent me flowers...lemme count.....ummm...ONE TIME!!!!!! Once!!! And it was b/c he screwed up so royally that I was about to send him packing!!! Hahaaa!!! (This was before we were married)

    Great post.....oh, and LOVE the obelisk collection. Love it. And the sconces, and the marble, and the bust, and the clock that is on the landing of the stairs. That's it. I'm coming over next time....none of this low-rent, "Starbucks at the Galleria" meet-up, balarky any longer! You're in for it!! A surprise visit! Be ready!!!!



  18. Joni,
    Did some posts get deleted? I love seeing these new angles of your home, and what a sweetie that Ben is! And you're JEWISH! YAY!
    Scott once brought home 12 white star gazer gladiolas. They're white, but they have the most bright fuschia centers. (My favorite). They were simply wrapped, in a green tissue paper, tied with a white organza bow, with a note on linen paper: Be Mine.
    And that my dear, is how I ended up in WNY, "married" to my Jewish Scott.

  19. Great post Joni but most of all, beautiful home! I love our taste. Hydrangeas are a favorite of mine as well. You are fabulous!

  20. Very sweet, thoughtful and "big" of your husband. We love having flowers in the house, but they seem to have been absent for a few days, until my partner returned with a huge bouquet yesterday afternoon, of two different shades of purple-coloured orchids. Happily there are plenty around in this country, and the cut flowers last about a week to ten days.

  21. What a sweetie your husband is! Love your quartz crystal (?) collection, by the way.

  22. flowers just make you feel good! I love the peonies best and so easy to grow.

  23. Great post!
    Your daughter looked amazing at her Bat Mitzvah!
    Love your entry way tablescape and collection of oblesks( sp?).
    What a sweetie Ben is!

  24. All the florals are beautiful. I like receiving a bouquet of one kind of flower wrapped in tissue. I then place the bouquet in one of my white ironstone pitchers. Beautiful in it's simplicity.

    I got all weepy, when I began reading this post, Joni. Your Ben is a sweetheart!

  25. Hi Joni,
    I really enjoy your blog. I've been a reader for some time. My friend Debbie from Seabrook sent me a link and I've been hooked ever since.
    Loved the flowers! My favorite arrangements are mixed flowers from my garden in vintage Victorian silver
    "sugars". Since I'm from Tyler, I have the luxury of being able to go down to the corner and pick up rose blooms for $2 a dozen to add to the beauty. I'm really surprised that y'all don't have dogwoods down there in Houston. They grow prolifically up here in northeast Texas!! As a matter of fact, the town of Palestine has a Dogwood Festival every Spring.
    Thanks again for the great pics!

  26. What pretty flowers and your little girl is adorable !!

    I love to receive a potpourri of flowers, I don't care for all one kind. I love the arrangment to look like it was just plucked out of the garden (I am crazy for Bells of Ireland, Lily of the Valley, Tulips and on and on) and I love for them to be arranged in a pretty vase.

    Nice post,
    Kathy :)

  27. Wow, Joni, what a lot of eye candy today! Gorgeous flowers. Glad you got the truce worked out, I'm so happy this election is over too, even though I'm with Ben. :)

    Flowers are fun to get, I've mostly gotten roses from my hubby, but I love all tulips too. those are always welcome!

  28. Hi Joni,

    What a lovely display of flowers.

    I am so glad you and hubby reached a truce lol

    I recently saw on another blog a web site regarding flowers etc, I thought I'd forward the info.

    Have a great day.

  29. You are so right. It's way better to get one kind of flower wrapped up in paper than a cheesy arrangement in a cheapy vase. I love daisies. :-)

    What happened to your last two Austin home posts? :-(

  30. I love that he sent you flowers! What a guy. And great advice on ordering flowers, which can be so tricky. Even when I order something very specific, I'm sometimes horrified to see what the florist threw together instead, perhaps assuming I'd never see them or know the difference. It's good to have one that you know and trust, that's for sure.

    I enjoyed seeing this collection of beautiful flowers on such a cold, gray November day.

  31. Very nice post, Joni -- and what a nice husband you have! More often than not, the flowers I get from my husband are the type of mixed bouquets you can pick up at the grocery or Trader Joe's but on those days, it's not the flowers that matter. What matters is that he was thinking of me (as his lovely bride, not the bossy ball and chain!) and bought something he normally considers a total waste of money just to brighten my day.
    Have a fantastic, flower-filled weekend!

  32. What a beautiful post--for both the photos and the story. Will you be sending Ben a consolation bouquet?

    Watching the Dogwoods bloom in Georgia in the almost makes my Spring allergies bearable.

  33. so much delicious eye candy! totally agree with you about the florist vases. honestly just a bunch of roses/tulips/hydrangeas from the grocery store will do me just fine. arranging them myself if half the fun! maybe you could break up the arrangement from Ben into a couple of smaller ones and stash them around the house?

  34. Lovely post. In 5th grade, my best friend, Jennifer, & I made a pact. I'm not sure what possessed us, but we decided to live by 3 rules the rest of our lives:1) always be smart & interesting 2) be well read 3) always keep fresh flowers in out homes.

    I'm not sure I can say that I have lived up to #1 & #2, however hard I try, but to this day, I indulge in fresh flowers and think of our 10 year-olds' lofty ideals every time I set out blossoms. I haven't talked to Jennifer in years, but I hope she is doing the same.

  35. Let me understand this.
    Your husband presents you with flowers as a conciliatory gesture and you critique them????
    Okay, that glass vase might be a trifle boring but the mixed bouquet is hardly a disaster, as would be a towering arrangement of gladiolas...

  36. I applaud your husband Joni - a man that sends flowers, any flowers is a hero and so much more lovable than a man who doesn't.

  37. Joni...what a sweet husband Ben is. How thoughtful,brave, and loving of him. And it is just like you to turn one vase of flowers into an amzaing and inspirational post.

  38. I just love flowers in general and always have a fresh bouquet somewhere in the house. But I have two utter favorites: the purple iris and lavender roses.

  39. Your photos are as always a delight! Your blog is quickly becoming my favorite way to spend the morning. Those roses are so beautiful and fresh looking I could almost smell them!

    I too love to receive flowers in a box. The first birthday we celebrated as a couple, Cole ordered me one dozen tulips and had them delivered in a box. At the time I was working in manhattan, and didn't get home until almost 9:30PM, by the time I arrived home he had already placed them in a vase (after calling his sister the horticulturist to find out how best to do this). I was surprised by the sweet gesture, but disappointed that I didn't get to open the flowers from the box. It is my favorite way to receive them!

  40. i am a peonie & tulip girl !!!

    that was sucha sweet gesture from your husband the day after the election.

    i just love flowers and i am going to paint the tulips stacked at the market pic.

    thanks again,
    renee xx

  41. Another wonderful post from you. I love french design and flowers (my favorites are white tulips). I have been a fan of french design since I was a child, really. My father was a building contractor, so I was always around houses and interior designers. I probably should have studied interior design in college! Thanks for regularly providing beautiful design images and insightful comments and advice. You make my day.

  42. Oh these flowers are just sweet of your hubby to send some as a peace Whatever the occasion, I believe we all "deserve" flowers.. I believe I'll treat myself to some after I close the shop..hugs ~lynne~

  43. What a beautiful post! I'm so glad there was a truce called in the Cote de Texas household! :-)

    I wish it was easier to grow Peonies, Hydrangea and Tulips down here in Texas. Growing up in Michigan, my mother had a huge planting of Peonies and the house was filled with them in late spring. I miss that. It's just too darn hot down here for them!

    I think I would fall over if that box of 120 tulips showed up at my door. Gorgeous!

  44. Wonderful post!
    I can almost smell them :)
    You have a good hubby:)
    Thanks for sharing!

  45. I'm so happy to hear that you've survived the election - and been rewarded!

    What a doll your hubby is. My favorite flower is white tulips but my all-time fave is silver (lavender) roses. A big bouquet with no filler stuffed into a silver coffeepot used to be my old standard. I feel I'm getting more modern in my old age somehow, so I think a white vase is better.

    Love hydrangeas (nikko blue) and peonies as well (I haven't seen one peony in Delaware). Also, I saw a comment by you on another blog asking where Delaware is - I'm working on a post for you. :-)

  46. My most memorable floral gift from my husband (or from anyone, actually) was a dozen rose-BUSHES. He planted and tended them for me and then, when we moved, he dug them up and replanted them at our new home. He is the world's ultimate sweetheart and I love him.

  47. Orchids can win me over in a heartbeat! My husband loves giving me flowers but he knows if it's a fight--- Orchids will help him.

  48. My favorite's are the Hydrangeas especially the White ones, I love a man with flowers, any kind will do! :-)

  49. Steve has learned that a beautiful bouquet melts my heart. Whether they are hydrangeas or cabbage roses, I just can't stay mad when he comes in the door with some fabulous vase of posies.
    Loved the images. The flowers for Lizzy's Bat Mitzvah are magnificent. I can hardly wait for Leila's. Charlie and Nick really weren't very receptive to floral arrangements at their events.


  50. Awww... too many beautiful flowers. I adore flowers and they never fail to make any space looks lovely.

    I always love receiving flowers no matter what kind, but tulips are my favorite.

  51. hilarious! I have had the same history with my husband... greaat intentions, often ugly flowers. as chance would have it, i've been sick for 2 days and just last night he appeared home with a honestly pretty bouquet of tulips... maybe he has been reading your blog?;-)

  52. Romantic post, and tons of eyecandy. I buy tulips whenever they look like they'll live. But I'd kill for a box of those country roses from California. It's less elegant, but I also fell in love with balloon sized multicolored posies of minicarnations I saw in Provence markets and I try and recreate that when the sources are available. Carnations aren't as romantic, but I love their spicy smell and they last three weeks usually.

  53. Joni, thank you so much for this post. I have already checked out the link to Rose Story Farm, and I look forward to ordering from them. There's one rose in particular I have my eye on, and when they reopen in the spring, I'm on it! Gorgeous!

    And I so love Martha Stewart and everything she does (including having that adorable Eddie Ross as her chief guy).

    And yes, yes, yes to Peonies. I usually have to order them, but this summer, I found some at Publix and had so much fun with them. I love the pink ones in blue and white porcelain containers, but the white ones are great with that and look so perfect in white containers. ;-)

    And your daughter's Bat Mitzvah! How lovely! From the beauitiful invitation to that amazing floral arrangement to your precious young lady in her smart little suit, I know you are thrilled and proud.

    I know what you mean about flowers. One of the most stunning arrangements I ever got was from one particular florist, and when I ordered a similar arrangement, there was a night and day difference. There's a lot to be said for ordering a couple of dozen blooms of the same kind, and with my mother in law, I usually send a large box of mixed blooms (I make them tell me everything they have and select them)because she loves to do her own arrangements.

    Oh, how I love flowers! Thanks again for this beautiful post. They truly do speak the universal language of love. To that end, I'm glad your household has returned to being the Peaceable Kingdom. :-)


  54. It is incredibly cold outside here with a few snow flurries, so your beautiful flowers help add a bright spot inside our home..that along with a few light switches being turned on..Thanks so much for swinging by the blog and leaving such a kind means the world.. I thought of you often during the hurricane and said many prayers for you and your family..that w/k was the w/k we had a water pipe burst and had quite a bit of damage, still dealing with that..I hope you and yours have a super w/k..hugs ~lynne~

  55. Gorgeous post! My fav from these is the white parrot tulips with the white hydrangeas..My fav arrangement I have received was from a dear friend. It was the most beautiful arrangement of wild flowers... and it was huge! I can't name everything that was it in, but it sure was memorable. My husband once brought me roses as an "I'm sorry" ... they were peach..very lovely! :)

  56. How sweet Ben is! It's always difficult to be a gracious loser. Thanks for the beautiful bouquet pictures. I certainly had my favorites, but each different kinds of flowers. The peonies in the red vase was incredible. Thanks too for the link to Rose Story Farm, I may have to head that way!

  57. Joni I loved this post. When I'm just wandering around aimlessly I come here and enjoy the gorgeous posts of stunningly beautiful interiors.

    I love flowers too. Needless to say truck stops aren't exactly meccas for luxury lovers and I don't think I've ever seen flowers in any of them. Of course tractors don't come with built-in vases, like VW bugs or Model T's.

    I am with you, though. Ordering one or maybe two kinds of flowers makes it easier and is a great result. I say two kinds because I love white and green flowers together. And please, no cheap flower vases. I have a huge collection of 1920's - 1940's vases that I use all the time. Even flowers from the dreaded Costco look good in those.

    Have a beautiful weekend.

  58. Well of course, the flowers are beautiful, but the man.....!

    Yes, I will have a dozen of the man, please. Skip the cheap vase and skip the raffia. I'll take him just plain:)

    You very lucky girl........and don't you forget it!!!

  59. Joni- what a nice post on flowers! I love flowers! I always feel sorry for the person on the other end taking my order. I have a certain look I want.
    On some birthdays I send my mom her favorite flower, which happens carnation. As I get older I'm glad she loves carnantion and not roses or lillies!! For my past birthday she received 50 carnations. Now do you know why I don't mind the carnations?:))

  60. Beautiful photos and blog!

  61. Would have been so great if you'd ended the post with the picture of Ben's flowers.

  62. Love all the discussion & pics of flowers.....such beautiful eye candy! Your daughter is just adorable standing by that huge arrangement. :) I learned some good tips from your discussion.......bonnie

  63. When we lived in England, I had a standing order each Friday at a wonderful florist in Cobham, Surrey, called Moonflower. My favorites were the parrot tulips, fresh freesias in white, yellow and purple as well as peonies. And our house had heavily scented wisteria winding up the complete back of the house, pale violet clumps of sweetness and quite the draw for Pooh's buzzing bees! But they were lovely, absolutely lovely.

    When we lived in the Caribbean, I'd buy stems of white orchids in the grocery store, believe it or not, for about $3 for 7 stems. Every few weeks I'd get 3 or 4 bunches of them and put them in water with a thimbleful of bleach in it and they'd last and last.

    Now that I'm back in Texas, I find obtaining floral services of a high standard difficult and once found, extremely expensive. I miss my Friday deliveries. But on our last anniversary in August (32nd) my husband, who had to be out of the country on business, sent me two dozen gorgeous red roses. He said later that he wanted 32 roses, one for each year of our marriage, but ordering them online, from overseas, he couldn't figure out how to do that. I surely wasn't going to complain! He's not an overly demonstrative man so this was HUGE for him, very sentimental and I loved them.

    But my love of flowers truly "bloomed" when we lived in Norway in the 80's and, on one of our vacations to Holland, went to Keukenhoff, one of the PREMIER gardens of Europe in the heart of the tulip fields, and I swore then and there, no matter the cost, at our children's weddings we'd have flowers, bowers of blooms, and we did indeed! That was almost my number one priority on those weddings - finding the BEST florist with the highest quality flowers. They were all fabulous!

    Thanks for your "flowery prose". Fresh flowers bring a warmth and loveliness to a home that none other can. And one should never feel badly about contacting the florist if something doesn't seem right about a delivery you've received. I've called about roses with drooping heads within couple of days (shouldn't happen for 7 days if stems are properly cut under water so a water bubble doesn't form in the stem). Folks pay good money for what they believe to be a good arrangement and would NOT be offended to find you've brought this to the florist's attention. I know my mom has called and asked for a replacement on a couple arrangements I'd sent her when we lived overseas because she knows how exacting I am with flowers.

  64. Loved this post!
    My husband is in the Air Force so where ever we are in the world I can send beautiful arrangements!

  65. Hi Joni,

    The dogwood is British Columbia's official flower! The soild is quite acidic here, so hydrangeas, dogwoods and rhododenderons do very well.

    I rented a cottage in Victoria, and there was a georgous pink dogwood in the front yard.

    I had never seen a pink dogwood before, and was stunned with the shades of pink and the size of the flowers. LOVE it.

    But...Fresia always smells so nice in the house...especially the pink or white ones.

    What a nice life you have there in Texas! Your entry table is as beautiful as Katie's!

  66. Flowers for you on my blog today!

  67. What a lovely post. Your hubby was soo sweet! I too think the victory speech was wonderful and I even saw Oprah cry and it really touched me even though I'm a born republican I guess you could say. I't really didn't hit me how important that night was to so many until I saw the media coverage.

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  72. Sooo many beautiful selections you have here. I'm completely in love with the dark pink, light pink, and white flowers you have up there. I'd agree to a truce with anybody if they brought me those.

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  75. I just love flowers in general and always have a fresh bouquet somewhere in the house.