There is a lovely tradition among ladies in England that I’ve read about for years. I have noticed their handiwork, though I’d never actually seen the hands that produced it. Until Saturday that is, when we visited the village of Bibury in the early morning. We wandered down a sunny lane shouldered with mossy stone walls and found our way into a churchyard planted with roses and ancient cedars. We were greeted by a matronly villager with a pail of water, and exchanged remarks about the perfection of the day. The church loomed above us, in all its medieval glory.
Stepping inside, we were greeted with this–and I had a premonition.
We entered the inner doorway, I glanced around, and there she was. Just placing a perfect crisp chrysanthemum with the hands that cultivated it, the rays of light frosting her hair and highlighting her delicate arms. Isn’t she beautiful?
Around font and altar, in niches and window sills, I saw their work. Blooms and branches and vines, beautifully arranged. Virginia creeper, turning crimson because it is now October. Mums and hardy daisies, the last flowers of the summer. What a lovely idea, to bring the beauty from one’s garden and decorate the place where we worship its Maker.
They are the ladies that “do the flowers” in the church.