In The Garden House, Miranda’s friend and neighbor, Paula, is the owner of several gift shops. They are filled with vintage jewelry, antiques, and old china from flea markets, garage sales, and estate sales, as well as a few hand-crafted items.
Throughout the year, Miranda contributes wreaths and bouquets from her garden to add to Paula’s displays,
and at certain holidays, like Valentine’s Day, she creates mini-bouquets to be given as gifts.
Valentine’s Day is Miranda’s favorite time of year to shop at Paula’s gift stores. She always discovers some small treasure to add to her home,
or to give as a gift, especially to her daughter, Clara.
Paula’s shops offer a sense of discovery, and delight in adding small touches of beauty to the home.
The grouping of books with flowers is a poetic one — whether it’s a studied composition, an impromptu arrangement, or simply a flower used as a bookmark. Both books and flowers serve as portals to worlds of beauty, meaning, and pleasure. The pairing is made more poignant by the contrast of one being ephemeral, the other ever-lasting.
“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?” – Oscar Wilde
“With a few flowers in my garden, half a dozen pictures and some books, I live without envy.” – Lope de Vega
“Flowers lead to books, which leads to thinking and not thinking, which leads to more flowers and music, music. Then many more flowers and more books.” – Maira Kalman
“Here’s to fresh coffee, sunshine, morning walks, blooming flowers, good books and all the other simple but glorious pleasures of life.” – (I’m not sure who said this, but I couldn’t agree more.)