MY FASCINATION WITH FLOWERING PERENNIAL PLANTS
Wondering why I post so many pictures of plants and flowers on my Instagram and Pinterest accounts? Let me explain their allure.
My earliest memory about a plant is from kindergarten. That first spring I saw magical green fronds dripping with pink hearts right outside my classroom. Each heart had a tiny white drop hanging from it. I was mesmerized!
Later, when I was eight or nine years old, terrariums were in vogue, and I wanted to make one–a tiny world enclosed in glass. It was the middle of winter and my mom took me to a local plant nursery. The greenhouse smelled so alive--all the fragrances of the plants and the humidity overwhelmed my senses coming from the cold and grey outside. I got a terrarium, but the plants in it didn’t survive long. However, that experience did lead me to become really interested in plants, and how to keep them alive.
I wished for my own garden and eventually, when I settled down with my husband and kids in Westchester County, NY I got my chance. I heard about the Garden Conservancy, which had “Open Days,” when someone with an amazing private garden would open it up to the public for us to admire. I would explore these gardens, pushing my little ones in their double stroller and taking pictures so I could figure out later the names of the plants and hopefully someday find it and plant it in my own garden.
I dug the earth and planted, I cleared weeds and pruned, and bought books and browsed catalogs to learn what might succeed in my garden. There were many, many failures, but that was to be expected. I became knowledgeable about perennials in particular, knowing that if they were happy they would reemerge each year after the long winter.
When I look at flowers, one thing that affects me most is the juxtaposition of colors–violets and blues and gold and greens; crimsons, fuchsias –looking at such intense colors makes me feel really calm. Another is the delicate details I see when looking closely at each bloom. I’m seeing a microcosm in the center of just one flower.
Within my Ronnie Taubenfeld Jewelry designs, I periodically catch myself using my passion for botanicals as inspiration for a piece of jewelry. These are my “perennial” moments. Sometimes, there's a literal flower reference, as in the Aurora Collection--the Colorful Zinnia or Tiny Flower. Sometimes it's more abstract, like with Pyramid Power, the back of the pyramid has cut work in an abstract flower form. With the Unearthed Treasures collection, where I use actual gems, there’s always a little delicate pop of color that catches your eye, just like my poppies.
The garden is a source of inspiration for me, in my design work, and also a source of pleasure for me in my daily life. Being a curator, as well as a creator of beautiful things, I hope to continue bringing artisanal beauty to my customers through my jewelry, so that they can look as exquisite as they feel when wearing my pieces.
**All plant images are photos taken in my own garden.