Why Summer Flowers Are Necessary for Your Kitchen
Summer flowers, whether grown in the yard, picked roadside on the way home from a trip, or purchased from a farm stand or farmers market, are a far cry from those sturdy, cheap-and-cheerful blooms bought at the grocery store. With the exception of zinnias and sunflowers, summer flowers are usually more delicate, a jumbly collection of weeds and gauzy blossoms and stems. Their temperament is casual and spontaneous.
But let’s not get too romantic here. Wild-caught flowers can harbor all sorts of stowaways: the resilient inchworm, the shy ladybug, the furry spider. (Understand that this as a good thing.) They will shed pollen and quickly wilt, and they won’t always smell very good. Their water will turn green and slimy and it too won’t smell very good. No matter. You must, at least once this summer, gather up a bouquet and bring it home.
Summer flowers first belong in your fist (or even better, in a child’s fist), then shoved into a Mason jar or your favorite chipped vase, and finally plunked down in the middle of your kitchen table or counter. I know kitchens can often be tight on space and we’ve been told to be extra careful not to clutter them up with unnecessaries. The cure to this dilemma is to simply see flowers as necessary, which they are. If you must trick yourself, add a few stems of dill and basil and call it an herb bouquet.
The point is to bring something wild and beautiful into your kitchen to please your eye and, along with the tomatoes and ears of corn, to stand as a reminder to enjoy, in every moment, the pleasures of summer-only things.