Home / articles / Simply Flowers

Simply Flowers


We awakened to grey skies and drizzle, but no snow.  As the weather is rather unpredictable at the moment, and there is snow in other parts of the county and on Dartmoor (which is not a million miles away) we thought it best to get our shopping done early this morning.

So off to Waitrose, with the List and the money-off vouchers.  I used six of the eight vouchers.  The store always looks so fresh and clean and inviting, it is a pleasure to shop there.  At the entrance, a lovely display of winter-warming ingredients for comfort-food meals.  I had a look at all the jars and cartons of passata, and red wines and so forth, but decided that we didn’t really need any today (I make my own tomato sauce, anyway.)  But the display did look lovely.

The next display was the flower display, which always looks beautiful and I bought two-for-£5 bunches of tulips.

Oh, to be able to spend freely on flowers; I’d have bought the lot!!!

The tulips are now in our sitting room, brightening the room up on what has turned into a very wet, windy and cold afternoon, making us very grateful that we have a warm home in which to live.

Flame-edged-with-yellow tulips always look good in our sitting room.  And at the other far end of the room, on the bookcase, are purple tulips.

Another jug (above) inherited from my mother – it is a piece of lustreware so has a lovely sheen (and a design including some purple flowers on the front.)

The white cyclamen (I bought two pots of them before Christmas) are still doing well. They obviously enjoy life in the bay window, where it is both cool and light (when it’s not as dull as it is today!)

I bought the magazine above today, seduced as always by a lovely cover.  But, unfortunately, the contents aren’t really ‘me’.  There is one lovely historic house to admire and read about, but the rest of the houses are both rather grand and very modern, far too modern for my tastes.  But I do like the new-style cover, with the broad white border, very chic.

A couple of weeks’ ago I bought some more white hyacinths, already potted and in bud, and they have now opened and are in the kitchen.

I took this photo above in the kitchen last night, the scent of hyacinths was lovely.

And now to think about supper. My mind is never far from food, especially on such a cold evening.  Some of the veggie soup made yesterday, I think, and then a light salad, with coleslaw and new potatoes and ham (making life easy for myself!)

Until next time.


About Margaret

Margaret’s main interests are her husband and family, her friends, her home, her garden, writing, literature, architecture, décor, social history, photography, historic houses and gardens, and towns, villages and the countryside. She writes about the things she enjoys: flowers, scent, fine soap, monthly style magazines, and other such small indulgences, such as afternoon tea or simply enjoying her summerhouse with a book. She invites you to enjoy this virtual visit to South Devon, England.

Check Also

A Monday Meander

To have done fewer things today than I have done would be difficult, bar stopping …


  1. Another quirk of your blog is that for me I always get two or three days uploaded together. Nothing appears for a couple of days and then I log in and there are two or three new posts!!!. It’s been so cold and wet today even I’ve turned the heating up and have bolognaise cooking to go with pasta later. Fiona

    • Margaret

      I see that your comment, Fiona, has come in as Kathryn Hemstead. This is so annoying, that it’s happening again. I wish I could do something to stop it. But how strange that my posts all arrive together. Our elder son said that my texts to his phone came in very slowly now, too. All this technology and yet it doesn’t work correctly for very long!
      We had the last of the veggie soup this evening, it was lovely, and we might indulge in some rice pudding later. Sadly, not a homemade one in this instance, which is the best in the world, but a tin of Ambrosia, heated, with some raspberry jam in it. Real comfort food, but I do prefer a real rice pudding, with nutmeg on top.

  2. We don’t have Waitrose but there are two that I visit from time to time. The one in Worcester is like your local one – it always looks so neat and clean. However, I find the one in Alcester oppressive as it has a low ceiling and seems a bit dark. Where I shop is important. I like food shopping so don’t want the pleasure to be dulled by surroundings that I don’t like. This is why I almost never venture into Aldi or Lidl as I don’t like seeing everything sold from cardboard boxes. I’d rather pay the bit extra. I like my local branch of Tesco Xtra as its very light and bright and has wide aisles.
    Tulips are lovely. I like them with the stems cut short and put into a ‘goldfish’ bowl type vase, but you do need at least three bunches to make them look right. I sometimes treat myself. There can be little that smells as divine as hyacinths. At present I have lilys and daffodils (not together – that would just be plain silly)!
    I’m so glad that my snowdrops are starting to peep through now.
    Fortunately my name is showing correctly at the moment. What a strange thing to happen

    • Margaret

      Yes, where I shop is also important, Eloise. I have to like the store regardless of spending money in it. The Waitrose in Teignmouth, our next closest Waitrose store, isn’t half as nice I don’t think and I don’t know why! It’s larger and has loos and a cafe but I still don’t like it as much as the smaller one that we visit which doesn’t have a loo or a cafe. We only go to Lidl for certain products and while the store has been much improved over the years, from stacks of cardboard boxes, to its De Luxe own brand for some items (and they’re very good) it’s still not my supermarket of choice – I think because it gets very crowded. Having said that (sorry, cliche) it’s not noisy in Lidl, whereas both local branches of Morrisons … well, you need ear protectors!
      I have a goldfish bowl vase in 1960s smoked glass, but it’s packed away at the moment. I might get it out for tulips! Oh, lilies and daffodils together, yuk! That’s the floral equivalent of Heston’s snail porridge (not that I tried it, of course!)

      • Porridge I like, snails not! Yuk…what a thought. Oh, how strange – I have just noticed that the name Kathryn Hemstead is showing in the boxes below. I am going to overtype with my name and see if it changes.

        • Margaret

          Oh, that dratted name change again, this is so weird. But I can see you as Eloise, so I hope that is what others see, too! Yes, Heston was known for his signature dish of snail porridge, or something like that. Whether it actually had snails in it, I really don’t know, but the thought is quite disgusting.

  3. I am a little bit envious. Flowers and our summer climate do not agree. Even the bunches in the supermarket look sad and fade quickly if taken home. Native flowers fare better but I love roses and tulips and daffodils.

    • Margaret

      That is sad, Julie, that your climate isn’t kind to cut flowers, or at least the ones you prefer. I just love it when the first tulips come into the shops, and today I also bought a bunch of daffodils – they’re in the kitchen and will be open by tomorrow.

  4. Snow is falling here Margaret, I bought another bunch of alstroemerias today they seem to last better than the tulips,we were at Waitrose today there seemed to be a lack of products on the shelves today,I expect they will blame it on the weather all of one inch here! The whole country seems to come to a standstill with so little snow,bad weather is what they are experiencing in Chicago minus 37!

    • Margaret

      Yes, we noticed a lack of products on the shelves, too, in ‘our’ Waitrose. Whether caused by bad weather or supplies running low because people have been stockpiling ahead of Brexit, I don’t know. Yes, we must the laughing stock of the world, we measure the snow in a few centimetres and the country grinds to a halt! People used to say it’s because we don’t have extreme weather like they do in other countries, but it’s happening every winter, so we should be better prepared by now.

  5. I haven’t got any flowers at the moment, I haven’t been near any shops and I won’t be for a few days yet until the snow is gone, I’m always very scared of falling down.

    • Margaret

      Yes, you are wise to remain at home while there is snow on the ground, Alison. Just as long as you have food and warmth, that is all that really matters.

      • It’s still snowing. I’ll have the clear the garden path when it stops so I can get to the bins but there’s no point trying yet!

        • Margaret

          Don’t go out to the bins unless you have do … don’t want you slipping on an icy path!

          • I’ve cleared the path now and swept and salted it so it’s a safe route to the bins. I also cleared a path to the bird bath and emptied it of snow and put in fresh water. We don’t get many birds in there but a blackbird was in there yesterday so I like to give them the chance.

          • Margaret

            We don’t have a bird bath, but I do put a bowl of water out on the steps up to the back garden lawn, and birds use that, either to drink or bathe in. I’ve cleaned that out and if it freezes tonight, I will turn out the ice and put fresh water in it. Well done on clearing the paths!

  6. My mind is never far from food, either. In fact I spend a good part of my day thinking about what I’ll eat next. Ha ha. That statement makes me sound as if I eat all,day and am the size of a house but I’m not. I eat my breakfast, lunch and dinner and depending on what or how much I’ve eaten at each meal, I’ll often have morning and afternoon tea but that could be something as simple as a piece of fruit, a cup of black tea or a handful of nuts. Nonetheless, I do enjoy thinking about food !

    • Margaret

      I think we women do tend to think about food, if that isn’t too sexist a comment, as it is mainly we women who buy the food and make the meals. Little wonder, then, that it’s on our minds a lot of the time. I like cooking when I don’t have lots of other jobs to do. Today I think I might make minestrone soup, which is a meal in itself. We shall see.

  7. You have such beautiful jugs and vases for displaying flowers. They really add so much and make the flowers look even better 😊

    • Margaret

      I do think, Kavitha, that half the secret of making flowers look good is the right vessel to put them in, whether this is a simple glass vase or a jug. All the vases or jugs I use are inherited ones from my late mother, they are coming in very useful! She’d have been delighted to know I’d not sent them all to a charity shop and was, instead, using them all the time.

  8. Lots of snow here Margaret, I wonder if you have some too. We’ve postponed a trip out till tomorrow.
    Out of interest regarding the web set up I remove someone’s name and e mail address every time I post and also untick the “save my name” box. Today I can see Margaret L.

    • Margaret

      No, we’ve not even had any sleet, let alone snow, Heather. Annoying as I feel we’ve lost out! I’d love to have just a little, to make the garden look pretty, but not enough to stop people getting to and from work! I hope other readers will see how you deal with the incorrect name. Such a nuisance for you, or for anyone else, to have to do this, though.

  9. Tulips are some of my favorite flowers, but sadly I can’t have them in my flat, as they and many other flowers are poisonous for cats.
    I try to remember to remove such flowers out of reach for the cats, when I go to work or am not at home for other reasons. But perhaps one day I forget to do this, and I would never forgive myself if something happened to my cats. So usually I simply don’t have tulips, daffodils etc etc in the house, which is the down thing of having animals in the house.

    But I truly enjoy the many pictures of your lovely flower arrangements in the various beautiful vases. Indeed I love to see the pictures of your home, which is just how I would like our home to be. Flowers in all the rooms, books and magazines everywhere and it is easy to see that you make an effort in keeping your house in “good shape” and that you enjoy your home.
    The pictures have actually inspired me to do something in my own home to make it look its best – hence all the new things for the kitchen.
    And when we get to Spring and Summer, we are going to transform our very large balcony into our own little garden with small trees, shrubs and lots of flowers all over. I can’t wait and it doesn’t make waiting any easier, when I look at the pictures of your beautiful garden. I love a small garden and yours is just my kind of garden.

    • Margaret

      When we had cats, it never occurred to me that some flowers would be poisonous to them. I know now that some are, especially lilies. But our cats never were very adventurous in the home and didn’t disturb any flower arrangements and we often had daffodils and tulips in the house. But if I’d known, then like you I’d not have had those flowers in the house.
      I’m so glad you like the photographs of our house. Really, we don’t decorate often and hardly ever buy anything new for it. The only ‘new; thing was our bed and headboard three years ago, and also the bed and headboard for the guest room, everything else we’ve had for decades. And it’s lovely that you like our home as we’re elderly compared with the vast majority of the readers of my blog, and so it makes me think that it is traditional and, hopefully, not simply old fashioned! And to think I’ve inspired you to make your home look its best is uplifting for me, it really is.
      What a good idea, to have small trees and shrubs on a balcony. Even in a small space you can grow such things, and they will give you lots of pleasure, I’m sure. Our garden is over-shadowed by a large walnut tree, but it was here long before we were, and will be here long after we aren’t here; it also gives us walnuts in the autumn (provided we harvest them before the squirrels have them all!)

      • Karen Elise reflections on your post sum up my thoughts on your home and your posts entirely.

        I didn’t know that tulips are poisonous to cats. Like your late pets, my cat would never jump up onto anything (except my bed or couch ha ha) so has never come face to face with a vase of flowers in her life. My ginger and white Madam is built for comfort, not speed 💕

        I certainly don’t think of you home – or you and Mr P – as old fashioned. Rather, I think of your home as a warm and inviting place. Much like my beloved late grandmothers’ homes – they were always there, surviving the comings and goings (and growings) over the decades of us all, same things in the same place (which I always found comforting in a world that wasn’t always so), full of yummy food, smelt nice and so on. Gosh, I was taken back about 40 years in that moment. My beautiful grandmothers were my Rock(s) of Gibraltar – always there, always loving, never judgemental. Both had had very difficult lives (surviving WWII, unfulfilling marriages, too many children, little money) but fought through and were always counting their blessings. One used to say ‘we’re rich and one day we’ll have money’. They both taught me well – both intentionally and by osmosis. 😃

        • Margaret

          Yes, our ginger tom was built for comfort, too. He was a very cuddly cat, while the grey and white one was rather stand-offish and hated to be cuddled. I think if he’d been a human he’d be a special needs cat! He couldn’t cope with the cat flap – he jsut looked at it and would not try and go through it. In the end we had to keep it open summer and winter, allowing not only other cats in, but howling gales in the winter.
          How lovely your grandmothers were, Lara, and I love that saying, that we’re rich and one day we’ll have money! That is totally brilliant, and what a wonderful attitude to life! I would have loved to have met them, Lara, you have described them so well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *