When it comes to our flat, family lore states that I own two departments: the garden, and the sitting room fireplace. I didn’t pay for much out of my own pocket for the renovations, but I did (and continue to) pour most of my earnings into buying trees, flowers, tools, gravel, edging, and compost for the garden. The other major things I paid for were a lining, hearth and surround for the chimney in our sitting room. There’s no place like home, my argument goes, especially not if home has a cosy blaze in the fireplace.
A chimney lining is not a glamorous thing, exactly. It’s a long, galvanised metal tube that stops the chimney catching fire or the smoke escaping into upstairs flats. But when it has to extend the height of four storeys from ground floor to roof, as ours does, the price extends by the same degree. My chimney lining is just about the most valuable thing I own. But who cares about the price? In autumn, a glass of red wine in front of a glowing hearth is just the ticket after a long day of pulling weeds and planting bulbs.
In a minute I’ll talk about the dahlias, but firstly we need to discuss that mirror. One of our few house rules state that both parties ought to agree before buying fittings for the flat… but… when I saw this lovely mirror on my recent trip south, I just had to buy it, and The Brazilian wasn’t around to ask. I thought it would look so chic in our sitting room. When I got it home and proudly propped it up over the fireplace, The Brazilian seemed somewhat blind to its charms, yet was quick to point out the wibbliness of the glass, with which he appeared to be deeply unimpressed. He asked me archly how much I had paid for it. Not much, obviously. I’ve just spent all my money on bulbs. Obviously. But who cares about the price? Because an elegant looking-glass above a fireplace is a necessity. Just don’t start to wonder why the ceiling seems to be drooping downwards and the painting on the opposite wall has melted like a Salvador Dali.
Oh yes, and about those Café au Lait dahlias? Are you bored of them yet? Me neither. They are rather like wibbly flames themselves…
In a Vase on Monday is hosted by the flortastic Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, and I do recommend visiting her page to see her vase as well as links to all the other vases created by garden bloggers today.