Floral Friday...Enjoying Delights from the Garden.

Ah, Friday. How we long for Friday. The lovely, anxiously awaited weekend is just on the other side of Friday. A time to rejuvenate, a time to celebrate, a time to relax and enjoy...

Our Fridays, however, are filled with afternoon angst. Rather than hopping off the bus into a fun-filled afternoon of play or relaxation, our kids gripe and complain. You see, in a rare Tiger-Mom moment, I ruined their launch into the weekend.

I insisted on piano lessons.

Unfortunately, the only time slot available was...wait for it...Friday afternoon.

I know. What was I thinking?

It's not like I enjoy piano lessons on Fridays, either. Trust me. Still, the semester is paid for, the teacher is sweet, and we'll all survive.

Piano lesson Fridays are one of the reasons I'm introducing Floral Fridays.

Whether you need a mood booster, a hostess gift, or just a pretty arrangement for a weekend dinner party, Floral Fridays is designed to help you find the delight in bringing treasures from your garden inside. We spend so much time working to cultivate beautiful blooms in our landscapes that it's important to enjoy them, to take pleasure in the results of our efforts. What better way to celebrate our sweat and labor than by creating lovely, sweet, homegrown bouquets?

I've set a goal for myself, and I hope you'll join the Floral Fridays challenge, too. Each week, create a bouquet, centerpiece, wreath, posy, whatever you enjoy from materials found only in your garden. Now, I know you snow-covered northern friends are rolling your eyes at me. But evergreens, berries, pinecones, twigs--all are viable, interesting materials for arrangements. Let your creativity run wild!

I'm definitely not a florist, but I love trying to emulate some of my favorite floral designers--even if I don't quite achieve their style. Floral Fridays is about having fun with your garden--and delighting in the process of creating. I'll share what I create here each week and on Facebook, and I'd love if you'd post your photos on the Garden Delights Facebook page so we can all enjoy them! (The link is at the top of the page.)

Are you ready to play along? Just remember--have fun, take pleasure in your garden creations, and savor the scent of fresh flowers in your home!

For our first Floral Friday, I admit to being time-pressed, so I opted for an easy arrangement.

In South Carolina, it's hellebore season. Truly, these sweet perennials are among my favorite plants for several reasons. First, I started out with five plants about 10 years ago.

Now, our garden is covered in hellebores.

Look at all of the seedlings! Last spring, I transplanted at least 30 small hellebore seedlings along the forest path, and they are already blooming.

I adore them because they thrive in shade, and we live in the middle of a forest.

They're evergreen, they tolerate freezes well, and they're low maintenance. Yes, ideally I should snip the old leaves to clean them up. But I don't, and they don't suffer from my inattention. I might give them a snip if I can find some free time.

The biggest advantage to hellebores? They bloom in the thick of winter. Just when you swear you'll never survive the cold to see another flower again, out peeks the first nodding head.

And you realize that the daffodils can't be far behind.

I'm not going to get into all of the varieties today--I promise I will, though, but I've been rambling too long already. Instead, let's get on with it!

While I love the nodding heads of hellebores, you can't fully appreciate their beauty unless you lie on the ground and look up at them.

Instead, today I snipped blooms off several plants. Just the flowers (which are comprised of sepals).

I filled a shallow glass bowl with water, and floated the flowers on top of the water. Now, we can actually see and enjoy the subtle colors and freckles without crawling on our knees in the garden.

Of course, I snipped a few too many to fit in the bowl. So, I pulled out a wedding gift from my friend, Katie, that we've used often--candlesticks designed for floating candles. I filled them with water and floated three blooms on top of each.

And--that's it!

See how easy Floral Friday can be? I love looking at the muted colors of the hellebores, I had a chance to think about my sweet friend when I used her gift, and most importantly--we have blooms to enjoy during these cold, dreary days.

So, are you up for the challenge? Will you play along? Please do! I'd love to see what delights you create from your garden.