Thursday, 28 November 2013

The Colour Collaborative: November - Fading

Back in early September, in the very last weeks of summer, I picked a small posy of flowers from the garden and brought them into the house; sweet peas, geraniums, some pinks and lobelia, and one lone sunflower. They sat in their little green vase on the coffee table for about a week, the colours lifting my spirits every time I looked at them.


The sweet peas were the first to wilt, then the sunflower. But I couldn't bring myself to throw them out, not just yet. I moved them so that they sat on top of the chest of drawers in the corner of the room and there they stayed.


I knew that this was the last posy of flowers I would pick from the garden this year, and I didn't want to part with them just yet. Also, I was really curious to see how long those geraniums would last! Ages, it would appear.


Four weeks, it took, for the geranium leaves to drop. They clung on to their colour until the very end. Even at their most droopy and withered I think there is something beautiful and confetti-like about their small, papery petals.




Around the same time I clipped and brought inside a rhododendron bloom of the most delicious deep shade of pink. How I love these flowers! We planted a small bush the summer before last but it is proving slow to establish and has only produced a handful of blooms. 


It took a few weeks to dry out and fade.


It reminds me of sepia photographs, suggesting a memory or feeling of colour, rather than showing us the real thing.


I picked another bloom at the same time, which had already started to lost it's colour while still attached to the plant. It is quite silvery-grey now, while the other has retained some pink.


Together with the dried alium head, these two rhododendron blooms have formed my mantle piece display through this autumn, giving me a memory of summer, of the long-ago colours and heat we experienced. 



I'm still not tired of them and think they are spectacular in their white vases against the grey wall.


But on Sunday advent begins and I will be removing these flowers and welcoming in December with colour, lots of colour. I am looking forward to it, but I will be a little sad to say goodbye to these calm, restful autumn colours. Faded, yes, but still beautiful. 

Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, including three from November's guest bloggers, just click on the links below ...

          Sandra at Cherry Heart          Annie at Knitsofacto          Nina at Tabiboo 

Alex at Lola Nova          Lori at Lori Times Five          Madelief at Madelief
What is The Colour Collaborative? All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.

32 comments:

Jennifer said...

So interesting. I think it was really smart to save those flowers and watch them change over time. I love the way the spent blooms look on your mantle too, the colors are soft and they indeed look like they were photographed in a bygone era.

Lola Nova said...

Gorgeous post! I love Hydrangea flowers, they are so beautiful even when faded!

Madelief said...

Hi Gillian,

Such a pretty post! It made me laugh too, because you are very original with your photographs! I like it!!!

Have a lovely evening!

Madelief x

RedSetter said...

Flowers are interesting in all of their stages aren't they from the tiniest bud to gone crispy! I love how you studied and photographed them, mine are usually the result of forgetfulness.

forgetmenots blue said...

Great photos was lovely to see the flowers changing over time. lovely photography xx

Leanne said...

I love how Hydrangeas fade over time. They make very good dried arrangements I think. I always snip a few from a huge plant from local authority planting just down the road from me.

I do love these collaborative posts.

Leanne xx

Julie said...

It was interesting seeing how the flowers faded away over time. The hydrangeas are particularly lovely. I haven't done this with cut flowers but I generally leave outdoor plants uncut over the winter as the seedheads can be as lovely as petals. x

Marion Ogden said...

Flowers can still be lovely even when they've dried and their colours have faded. You've shown that so
perfectly in these beautiful photographs.
Marion x

Amy at love made my home said...

So beautifully photographed and told! It is amazing how long the geraniums lasted isn't it, I would have expected them to be one of the first to finish. xx

The Creative Academic said...

Beautiful photgraphs and a fantatsic way to capture change over time, a summing up of summer into Autumn. Looking forwrad to seeing how you decorate for Christmas.
N

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Oh my, those hydrangeas ... the colours in that last image are exquisite. And those photographs of the fading flowers are fascinating ... they haven't behaved at all as I'd have guessed they would. This is such an original interpretation of our theme :D

CJ said...

Such a stunning red, very unusual. And still lovely when faded.

Kate-Em said...

Lovely photos. I liked the one with the fallen petals as it reminded me of the confetti my mum made for my wedding from the petals of glowers in her garden. It was so pretty, I love the muted colours. I have some dried hydrangea heads in a jug on my dresser, so nice to look at.

ellen said...

We just got home from our Thanksgiving gathering, and what do I find...a lovely comment from you, Gillian. Just one more thing to add to my very big lists of things to be thankful for. Thank you so much.
I, too, love this post and your photographs. I do like the faded blooms and the bare bones of the trees in winter.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend, and again, thank you! Ellen.

Jacqui Galloway said...

Rhododendrons are one of my favourite flowers. They look even better when dried and faded. Autumn is on the wane, making way for Christmas. Jacqui xx

Amanda Graham said...

What a lovely post. The flowers are beautiful every step of the way. Natural beauty with a bit of a twist:)

Jo said...

What a lovely calm post. I am all blissed out now. Jo x

Lynne said...

I confess to being a bit late ditching faded flowers simply because I can't bear to let them go! We (our little Stitch and Bitch group) were out for lunch the other week and the cafe had the most gorgeous huge vase full of dried rhododendrons - they looked fantastic and I mean to pick some when I can (if I remember!!) and let them dry. The faded colours are wonderful.

Hannapat said...

A really interesting take on the colour and I love the styling too. I love your dried rhododendrons too, the faded colours are lovely. Enjoy your weekend xoxo

Chrissie said...

I so enjoy the colour collaborative posts, I love your different perspectives and thoughts! Chrissie x

Ladybird Diaries said...

This is such a lovely post. I love how you kept the flowers to watch them over time. I really love the last photograph especially.
Marianne

Helene said...

I love this post! The colours are amazing. I especially love those faded rhododendrons, how beautiful!!
Thanks for your lovely comments on my blog, I have recovered from the disappointment of the fair and am now thinking about the next step (etsy, adapt products etc..). Thank you for the support, it means a lot!!

mags said...

I prefer the faded rhododendrons, great colours for an autumn knit! My lace cap plant which is huge gives me for months of pleasure and has gone through pink,lilac to a beige now which is beautiful. Looking forward to the Christmas colour though. Xx

Jacqueline said...

You are right to hang on to your flowers. A few weeks ago when that storm was forecast I brought in some chrysanthemums before they could be battered by the wind. Before, I went away for a few days I popped them in my garden bin as I thought they would be passed their best when I returned. I was amazed when I next did some gardening and opened the lid of the bin those poor little flowers were laying at the bottom still as bright as they were when I put them in there. My mistake!
Your flowers are beautiful!

Sandra (Cherry Heart) said...

Wow, you were so prepared for this one, clever girl. I do adore the colours of the faded rhododendron though, absolutely beautiful!

S x

Carys said...

Those flowers really are beautiful, they look so pretty now they're all dried up!

Kaylovesvintage said...

nice idea .Love your colors.
You got a nice home

Gracie Saylor said...

Your post is proof positive that fading colors can be lovely...especially when simply displayed they speak of timeless elegance and priceless worth...visual poetry to me. Thanks, Gillian :)
Gracie xx

Julia said...

The flowers are still gorgeous, even all faded and dried up! I love your mantle, and the white vases against the grey wall.

Lori ann said...

so sorry it's taken me so long to come by! hello! love your faded flowers, they look almost more lovely, preserved and dried. so pretty!

S said...

I love hydrangeas - they look better with age, all sepia-toned.

And I love your mantel display too :)

...Nina Nixon... said...

I have to say faded hydrangeas are my absolute favourites...I have a few dotted around and left over from the Autumn.

Nina x