“Can you do the flower arrangements?” she asked me. “There are no flowers in the garden at this time of year”.
Ho hum, why ask me then?
I take a stroll through the gardens. The sea is before me gently washing at the shore at the end of the garden, a gentle undulating blueness that folds over itself and breaks into a froth that dissolves on the sand into vanishing bubbles. The lizards dance away from my footsteps, darting first with graceful movements then freezing like statues before they scamper into the grasses. Bamboo is gently bent over and brushing sideways in the breeze like puppets with tangled strings.
This double petal hibiscus stops me in my tracks. With her skirts ruffled for a flamenco dance she has an air of dignity, yet her petals blush with a gentle coyness. She knows of her beauty. She hears it whispered by the fluffly bees and the tiny hummingbirds who visit her and woo her.
For my centrepiece she will stand proud and needs little else. Perhaps just a few friends to share the pleasure. I take 3. It is the main rule for all decorations and design – always uneven numbers.
The second lesson in flower arranging is to make it look like a garden.
And now it is time to be deliciously entertained. These beauties will set the scene.
No flowers? Sssssh, don’t let them hear! They are so fragile – don’t be fooled by their dazzling display and treat them with delicacy. Remember, there is always a way!