This book was originally created by hand in a small journal while I was living in Oxfordshire, England in the 1980s. I am so pleased that I have been able to preserve it to share with a wider audience. It was done with gratefulness for the flowers that graced and healed me with their beauty, wisdom, and playfulness.
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5-Stars. A Beautiful Book
April 22, 2013 by D. Bennison, Bennison Books
In A Friendship with Flowers, the gifted American author and artist Diane Denton invites us to share a healing journey she took when the flowers that surrounded her in a very English part of England gave her solace, hope and inspiration.
This beautifully produced book will not be left on a bookshelf for long; and as if the exquisite paintings (you’ll never look at a dandelion in the same way again) are not more than enough in themselves, the author also includes her unique commentary on the natural world as she studies and interacts with it while coming to terms with an unspecified experience in her life.
This combination of artwork and poetic observation, that is both personal and universal, creates a unique alchemy that calms and comforts while still leaving open the essential mystery of the natural world and our place in it. Sometimes, the author seems to suggest, it’s OK for there to be no answers; there may be no pat solutions, but there are insights and realisations, looking back to move forward (This holy rose/is another reminder/of the summer past/and yet/to come…), and new ways of seeing things (I found the snow didn’t drop/from above/but sprung from below/to cover the ground…).
The illustrations and the accompanying poetry, which is controlled, understated and pared back, combine to create a companion book that will reveal a little more each time you dip into it; you will feel (to borrow the author’s words): here’s a friend/I just got to know — /suddenly,/by the roadside,/as I was going/nowhere.
This book also includes a detailed glossary listing all the flowers shown in the beautiful illustrations throughout the book. This glossary includes the everyday and Latin name of each flower plus brief information about its habitat and the time of year that you’ll be able to spot it (easily recognisable in real life from the painstaking accuracy of the artist’s depiction).
May 3, 2014 by Christine Moran, Journey into Poetry
By the back door/the night comes in as sweet/as honey is to eat, like nectar/to the moths and bees/who suckle all they please;/while I can never get enough/of the scent/that can climb trees.
This is a book to treat yourself to or give to a loved one as a very special gift. It uplifts and delights at the turn of every page and is, without doubt, one to treasure.
May 3, 2014 by Barbara Rogers, By the Sea
A playful collection of thoughts about the names of flowers found in England, paired beautifully with the author’s delightful illustrations. My favorite, floxglove:
I am inclined to believe fairies hang up their thimbles when a sunny day is as right for dreams as a day-lit night makes idle hands.