The Little Hydrangea That Could

Dear Diary,

It was 9:30 PM on a windy, dark night in Gravesend, Brooklyn.  I met up with my boyfriend after a long day of work, for dinner at a Japanese restaurant in our neighborhood.  It was a romantic evening full of vibrant sushi rolls, hot sake, and Yakisoba noodles to die for.  Afterwards we walked hand in hand towards our house when he whispered in my ear “I have a little something special for you at home.”  My heart fluttered with curiosity.  No matter what it was, a gift from the man I love would be nothing but sweet.  No sooner than when we walked in the door, did he cover his mouth with his hand in horror.  “How did that happen?!”  He exclaimed in shock, with his eyes piercing like laser beams onto the kitchen table.  There, a wilted sprig of periwinkle hydrangea drooped sadly over a small glass vase.  Unrecognizable to the lively flower he had purchased earlier that day, it looked hopeless.  “It was alive just hours ago!”  He proclaimed in disbelief.  Then, as if the Great Wall of China itself had just collapsed, we scrambled in a state of panic to revive it.  “What do we do?”  He asked.  “Wait!  I know!”  I said rather gallantly.  Then, as if I were reviving a small drowning child from an Olympic size pool, I hastily grabbed the hydrangea, rescuing it from danger.  “Scissors!”  I ordered my man like a brain surgeon at work.  He fetched them promptly.  I then swiftly cut the stem at an angle under warm running water.  I had seen this done before.  It was what little I knew of flower revival, and luckily I had learned it in the L’Atelier Rouge studio.  “Do you think it was sick?” He speculated.  I must admit, it was very endearing to see a full grown man of his stature sweating the life and vibrancy of a such a small and helpless flower (he’s a keeper).  “I have no idea.  Maybe the water was poisonous? Or maybe it was already dying? I don’t know, but I know someone who does…” Like lightening, I quickly text the man whom I knew bore the answer (enter our hero of the night…) none other than Master Designer Nicolas Cogrel, whose thumb is as green as the Earth!  I told him of our great misfortune.  Anxiously awaiting his reply, I leaped like a Mexican jumping bean when my phone lit up.  He guided me through the process of what he maintained was the only way to revival.  I was instructed to place the sprig of hydrangea in a bucket of medium temperature water over night, and it was that simple.  He maintained that it would never come back any other way.  Repeating his instructions verbatim to my poor, sweet, and bewildered boyfriend, we followed instructions.  I’m both happy and relieved to report to you that just an hour later, the withered hydrangea already started to show it’s strength again.  By morning, the resurrection was complete.  If this happens to you folks, do not give up, there is hope still.  For the little hydrangea that could, so can another wilting flower.  Never fear, L’atelier Rouge is here.

El Fin

The drooping victim

Hydrangea restored!

by Bernadette Lords

Music to Our Ears

It moves us.  It sympathizes with us and relates to us.  It creates a soundtrack to our lives.  In many ways, music is a soul saver.  Perhaps you like to rock out in the privacy of your home, or maybe you prefer the calm serenades of a classical waltz as mere background music while you work.  Most people have a favorite band or artist, who may lie anywhere between Nirvana and Philip Glass.  Needless to say, music is often where we turn when in need of sympathy, compassion or inspiration.  In both difficult and joyful times alike, music conveys every emotion in the spectrum.  In the metal scene, there’s anger, intensity, and all things dark.  On the other hand, classical music taps into contemplation, meditation, focus, and reflection.  Maybe for you it’s Bjork.  Or maybe it’s Chopin.  Wherever you live on the scale of musical orientation; whatever your jam is, music brings us together and helps us connect with each other.  We bond over it and share it with each other like a meal.


If flowers are like music to the soul, then vice versa.  Very much like a  flower, a song is a gift, connecting with our emotions.  Music, like flowers, creates companionship.  You send a love song to your beloved, just like you give them a bouquet of red roses.  Is music terribly important?  Of course it is.  It relates and connects to what dwells within the soul.  Music lets us know we’re not alone.  Whatever underlying secret feelings we have, music will engage you.  A failed relationship, a joyful engagement, a monumental turning point in your career, the birth of a child, shocking news from a friend, the death of a family member, or a deep seeded emotion you are keeping secret.  Whatever it is that you may be going through, music provides the gateway to purge.  Offering sympathy, compassion, and raw understanding, music has a way of healing.  An art form that allows you to relate to it, music is primordially effective.  That being said, music is essentially an audio bouquet of flowers for your soul.


What’s in a song?  At the foundation of any well-written tune are good lyrics.  Lyrics with a meaning that pertain to a specific life experience, are usually what people are magnetically drawn to.  Here are some lyrics containing flowers!!


Blue Gardenia, Johnny Mathis

I lived for an hour

What more can I tell

Love bloomed like a flower

Then the petals fell

Blue gardenia..” 


The Very Thought of You, Billie Holiday

I see your face in every flower

Your eyes in stars above

It’s just the thought of you

The very thought of you, my love..


Lotus Flower, Radiohead

“The bird lights float into my room

Slowly we unfurl

As lotus flowers

‘Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick


San Francisco, Scott McKenzie

“If you’re going to San Francisco

Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair

If you’re going to San Francisco

You’re gonna meet some gentle people there

For those who come to San Francisco

Summertime will be a love-in there”


Lovely Linda, Paul McCartney

“La la la la la the lovely Linda

With the lovely flowers in her hair

La la la la la the lovely Linda

With the lovely flowers in her hair..”


Flowers Mean Forgiveness, Frank Sinatra

Flowers mean forgiveness, I heard a poet say,

When you need forgiveness, you give her a bouquet,

Flowers mean forgiveness, my darling, here I stand,

Asking your forgiveness, with flowers in my hand.

As sure as I was wrong when I made you cry,

I know that you’d be wrong if you say goodbye.

Take these lovely flowers, or they’ll be lonely too.

Flowers mean forgiveness, forgive me, say you do.”


Send Me Dead Flowers, Jerry lee Lewis

Take me down little Susie, take me down

I know you think you’re the queen of the underground

And you can send me dead flowers every morning

Send me dead flowers by the mail

Send me dead flowers to my wedding

And I won’t forget to put roses on your grave…”


Bloodflowers, The Cure

“This wave never breaks” you said

“this sun never sets again

These flowers will never fade”

“this world never stops” you said

“this wonder never leaves

The time will never come to say goodbye


The Birds and the Bees, Dean Martin

“Let me tell ya ’bout the birds and the bees

And the flowers and the trees

And the moon up above

And a thing called Love”


Flowers in December, Mazzy Star

“Send me your flowers of your December,

Send me your dreams of your candied wine.

I’ve got just one thing I can’t give you…

Just one more thing of mine…”


You Don’t Bring me Flowers, Barbara Streisand

“You don’t bring me flowers

You don’t sing me love songs

You hardly talk to me anymore

When you come through the door

At the end of the day..”


La Vie en Rose, Edith Piaf

“Quand il me prend dans ses bras   (when he takes me in his arms)
Il me parle tout bas   (he whispers to me)
Je vois la vie en rose..   (I see life as if it were rose tinted)”



by Bernadette Lords