And just like that, another summer falls into autumn. Today feels like a switch has been flipped and I’m ready to change gears into anther season. With cooler mornings, I’m ready for cinnamon and warmth so baked a batch of my favorite granola. With that, I have a few odds and ends (photos) from summer that I collected below.
Full of harvest - enjoying the bounty of every delightful color under the sun. Tomatoes! Mix and match a simple caprese salad.
As a child, we had a large garden (read 80 varieties of tomatoes). I hated shucking corn, but one of my favorite things about that garden was taking the salt shaker out there with my sister. We would lie down in the rows, pick tomatoes, dust them off and shake a bit of salt on them. The simplest way to enjoy and fully encapsulates the feeling of summer.
All photos and styling by Silvanie Farmar Bowers
I absolutely delight in the idea that there is magic outside, unknown spaces of play and imagination. When I was a child, I dreamed of seeing flower fairies, after my mother's suggestion that they were fluttering around the wild orchids on the drive up our wooded road. If only I could be quick enough to see them for just one second!
Just a few minutes and just a few flowers, and of course a few photos!
All photos and flowers by Silvanie Farmar Bowers
Didn't even get a chance to make anything with these before they were gobbled up.
Enjoying the start to summer and strawberry season. When going to the strawberry stand on the edge of town I can't help buying three baskets at a time. Field grown and so soft and ripe, they have to be eaten that day. Danes love to ask everyone who isn't Danish to say "rød grød med fløde" because its the hardest thing to say. It also happens to be a delicious dessert and a nice way to eat fruit at peak season.
The recipe below is my interpretation of the way my own Danish mother makes it. So delicious and a welcome to summer.
rødgrød med fløde (red fruit pudding with cream)
2 baskets berries (I used strawberries & raspberries) traditionally its red currants, raspberries, strawberries, cherries or plums (any combination)
3 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
2 tablespoons potato starch flour (or arrowroot powder or cornstarch)
1/4 cup cold water
splash of vanilla extract
lightly whipped cream (its nice barely whipped for this or soft peaks)
Rinse fruit and slice (you can also blend in blender). Place sliced or puréed fruit into stainless steel pan and stir in sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Dissolve potato starch flour (or other) in 1/4 cup cold water and mix in, stirring constantly. Once off burner, stir in a splash of vanilla extract. Pour into large bowl or parfait glasses. Chill thoroughly (3-4 hours). Serve with cream.
Some old and new photos of clematis. Just a few stems can make such and impact. You can really never go wrong with green and white.
Some clematis growing along the banks of the Russian river entwined with wild grape. Such a beautiful summer display.
First hydrangea I've cut all year, I've been saving it for fall because I love it aged. Tinges of green and pink and speckles - it's hardened off so will probably just let it dry.
Little basket I made earlier this summer. Looks so sweet turned upside down and used as a frog.
Went the the sweetest festival at Fort Ross over the weekend. We made candles and baskets.
They had games and circle dancing. I loved all of the different colors and patterns of the women's Russian dresses.
They had a basket making booth. It was mesmerizing and calming to make one, I'd love to make some more.
This woman in the chapel reminded me so much of Tasha Tudor. The chapel is so beautiful and worth a trip to Fort Ross.
A sailor making knots and telling stories of maritime history.
Spotted this plein air painter on the bluff as we were leaving. Nice way to spend the day.
Made a quick bouquet out of some of my dried bits. With the right ribbon this could even be a cute bridal bouquet. With a lace shift dress, in a wheat field?
The true essence of summer, flush with juicy colors like watermelon, peach, apricot, cantaloupe, coral, tomato, goldenrod, raspberry and tangerine.
Zinnia are such a happy and cheerful summer flower that come in so many amazing colors. They look great simply arranged in a tomato can.
Summer is all about freshly picked fruit, I've been making these popsicles from Molly Orangette at least once a week. I like to use vanilla yogurt and use less sugar. Make them in the morning and eat them in the afternoon. They taste like heaven.
Flowers can be whatever you want them to be. I leave collected bits and old stems to dry in the apple box I keep by my back door. Sometimes I put them together with new things blooming in the garden. What started as quick wreaths in the winter, I've realized has now become a five minute meditation for me. I don't what they will become, I let my mind wonder and my hands put them together. For me, doing flowers is a time to let go, relax and see where it takes me. Over the years, you get better and it becomes a muscle memory.
I think we tend to want to put parameters on things and visualize the end result. The part I enjoy the most, are the moments in between, thinking you're doing one thing, getting lost and finding something else. It's more the process than the end result. I also feel like this when I take pictures, which is why I tend to take a lot of photos of flowers.
Brooke and I are back with our Flower Friends for summer. She and I both are inspired by nature and like to keep things as natural as possible and not too fussy. We cut most of the flowers ourselves and used leftovers from Valley Flora that were headed for compost. It was a beautiful evening in Napa and we came upon the best wild camomile that we added to this bouquet. Here in California, summers are golden and dry with the amazing evening light.
We thought this arrangement of flowering cilantro, Queen Anne's lace and feverfew looked pretty amazing just as it was, blowing over in the wind.
Check out some of our spring Flower Friends here.
All florals and styling by Brooke Harrington and Silvanie Farmar Bowers. Photos by Silvanie Farmar Bowers.