Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Books in Bloom: surprise bouquets

       If you wanted to create a floral bouquet to call attention to a book you enjoyed, which book comes to mind?  Dianthe cleverly chose two wedding bouquets from the book Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith to share at Books in Bloom, a festive evening and weekend at the local library. This collaboration of the  Garden Club and the Friends of the Library presented floral arrangements alongside books to support library programs: free museum passes and Author and Music series. Below are the two bouquets that ended up at my house a week later (still in good shape) that I wanted to show you. The gardenias have passed (not the scent) and there is more movement in their construction than my photograph captured.

Sarah and Camilla's wedding bouquets reproduced by Dianthe Eisendrath 

        Almost everyone loves a wedding and on holding these, I felt like marching down the aisle again. On the left you see Sarah (Fergie) 's wedding bouquet and on the right, Camilla's. Central is the book's subject. Dianthe displayed the following text from the book to call people's attention to two festive occasions mentioned in the book and the Queen's attitude:

       Dianthe wrote, "Americans have little fondness or respect for Sarah Ferguson or Camilla Parker Bowles. When you read 'Elizabeth the Queen', her celebratory sense on each occasion will become more clear." 

       Near Sarah's bouquet Dianthe shared from the book:  "Elizabeth II was charmed by Sarah, who loved to stalk, shoot and fish at Balmoral (castle in Scotland) - all of which gave her an automatic edge over Diana." Fergie regularly rode with the Queen, and "felt favored and blessed...I was robust and jolly and not too highly strung." ..."She's very sharp and clever", said Princess Michael of Kent,"and she has made very great friends with the Queen."

       Under Camilla's wedding bouquet, Dianthe pulled from the book, "Everyone was in high spirits at the reception hosted by the Prince's (Charles) mother in the state apartments at the castle (Windsor)." The Queen gave a rousing toast "to a huge roar of approval", and kissed Camilla off on her honeymoon. "The Queen recognized her good qualities: humor, resilience, warmth, common sense, and above all devotion to Charles. Camilla enjoyed the field sports so important to the royal family and she embraced all their traditions. Through years of vilification, Camilla maintained a discreet silence, which also impressed the Queen."

        Families are always complicated and amusing. I am fortunate to live in a town of book, flower and music lovers among people who support library offerings. Now to smell those roses, gardenias, that Dianthe must have had fun putting together!
I took a photo of the table that came out in the newspaper yesterday so you could see more!
The original Citizen-Herald Wicked photo is by Joanna Kaselis Tzouvelis. I photographed my newspaper page to show you how Dianthe set up and the gorgeous gardenias filling out the bouquet.


  1. Love it! All kinds of permission, for sure :) DE

  2. Thanks so much for sharing Diantha's thoughtful floral creation. It really was very touching! WK

  3. This was very different from your usual "offerings" - but a lot of fun to read and see - just like always. ss

  4. What a fascinating approach to sharing books. Your friend did amazingly creative and beautiful bouquets to accompany the two books.

  5. What a great idea for book sharing! I can practically smell the flowers!

  6. Thanks for sharing this really fun and delightful presentation by Diantha....I loved it! KE

  7. Love the white bouquet. Stay warm and safe! NM

  8. Hi Linda-
    Bouquets to you for the interesting information about the wedding flowers and background history. Thanks for sending. I knew none of that. SJ

  9. Enjoyed it greatly. Thank you, dear Linda!
    Love U

  10. These are truly lovely. What an artist your friend is with flowers! And what an inspired collaboration this occasion was. I know that it was fun and a feast for the eyes!

  11. Thank yous to both Linda and Dianthe for the post and the flower arrangements. Even my husband, after visiting Books in Bloom said, "That was good! Very interesting." He's a New Hampshire man, and I didn't think he would be so enthusiastic! Camilla and Sarah are both a bit out of the expected also for the British royal family. EB

  12. I so enjoyed this post. The flowers are gorgeous. I love gardenias. It was interesting that both the much maligned daughters-in-law were featured.