Copyright © 2011-2012 Ilona Goin.  All rights reserved.  Garden of Light Photography is a service of Opus 9 Media LLC.

Every gardener dreams of a gazebo, a shelter from the wind or harsh noon-time sun.  It is a comfortable place with cooling shade in which to rest ones feet and enjoy the view.  A garden is a microcosm of life.  It is a blend of intended beauty carefully nurtured; nature’s inadvertent successes; experiments sometimes gone awry; and no end of weeds to keep us busy.

Gardeners spend so much time close to the earth, kneeling in worship of flowering beauty, that they need a perch from which to assess their designs and enjoy their accomplishments.  Gazebos never go out of style because they serve a purpose too precious for them to ever become expendable.  Where else does the admirer of rose perfection and the student of the peony’s organized chaos write poetry?  What other structure offers unequaled access to the wonders of a garden, and still provides refuge from toil?

The humble garden may not provide a roof above our heads, but it can always offer a seat on which to linger in the sweet breezes.  Think of it as the gardener’s version of a convertible—light, airy, and with only green tree crowns and blue skies for a canopy.  Of course, there is one all-important difference: where the convertible turns the landscape into a blur, the bench instead brings the clarity found only in stillness.  The garden bench or gazebo is a no-time machine that transports the silent adventurer deeper into the moment.

A gazebo invites us to read a good book, contemplate life, and perhaps linger over a cup of afternoon tea.  We invite you to pause long enough on this page to enjoy our gazebo, and wish you a delightful day.
By William Wordsworth, 1804

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee;
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company;
I gazed and gazed but little thought
What wealth to me the show had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
By Ilona Goin
Light Source, August 2011

In the study of history, as in a garden, we have to work our way through a certain amount of compost.  It is a good thing, then, when we come upon a subject as favorably fragrant as the use of flowers in the art of perfume making.  

While countless cultures have come and gone, their gods, languages, and individual lives largely forgotten, the scent of their perfumes still emanates from the pages of history.  

From ancient Mesopotamia to modern Morocco, and from the Mediterranean to the mountains of China, flowers have been collected for their precious oils.


The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers.

A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.  
    Walt Whitman

Earth laughs in flowers.  
    Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Hamatreya"

'Tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes!
    William Wordsworth,
     "Lines Written in Early Spring,"
     Lyrical Ballads, 1798

When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.  
    Chinese Proverb

Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals.  Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock.  
    Henry Ward Beecher,
     Star Papers: A Discourse of Flowers
Flowers...are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.  

    Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844
Perfumes are the feelings of flowers.      
Heinrich Heine, The Hartz Journey
...They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude:
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.  

    William Wordsworth, 18o4 (see poem at left)

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