roadside flowers / france in late spring.

June 1, 2016

roadside flowers in brittany | reading my tea leaves

This is partially an ode to my favorite road trip pastime of sitting shotgun and pointing out places to pull off the road and gather wildflowers. And partially an ode to the ability to take photographs in a place that’s not four flights up and with dim, northern light. More specifically then, an ode to sunshine, very clean garages in small French villages, and godparents so generous to allow us the chance to bask in both (as well as their house more generally), and for a whole month. If my extreme sense of gratitude for this trip has not yet come across, let this be the post to do it. 

And since wildflowers are the love language I most prefer, here’s a wild and whimsical bouquet of roadside beauties gathered and arranged yesterday afternoon while Faye and James were busy taking part in the time honored tradition of a snack at four pm. (There are some customs that take no time at all to adopt as your own.)roadside flowers in brittany | reading my tea leaves

Since photographs of bouquets last longer than the flowers themselves, I’ve taken it upon myself to take too many photos of my disheveled chef-d’oeuvre. How else to capture the perfect crinkle of a wild French poppy? Or the bug-munched side of the daisy? Or the miniature perfection of a freshly plucked stem of Queen Anne’s Lace? Even the half-gone mustard is worth documenting—the missing petals making it more interesting to look at.roadside flowers in brittany | reading my tea leaves

If ecstasy over foraged flowers is not a shared sentiment, understood. But perhaps then a shared enthusiasm for the art of making your space a bit more beautiful, and simply. Of the three real bits of advice that I ever have to offer, it’s this one that I think is most important: endeavoring to make a subtle change in the mood of a place with a bit of creativity and attention to detail. If it’s an ephemeral bit of beauty you add, then all the better. And free is better than that.roadside flowers in brittany | reading my tea leaves

In the meantime, you’ll have to forgive me. Given access to this much open space and fleeting beauty, I’m bound to get a bit sentimental (not to mention flower happy). Without further ado: close-ups of French wildflowers, for your enjoyment. (And—forgive me—mostly for mine.)  roadside flowers in brittany | reading my tea leaves roadside flowers in brittany | reading my tea leaves

roadside flowers in brittany | reading my tea leaves roadside flowers in brittany | reading my tea leaves

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  • Reply Devan Boyle June 1, 2016 at 3:02 am

    love it! you remind me of frances nolan getting drunk on flowers!

    • Reply Erin Boyle June 1, 2016 at 3:25 am

      aww, francie!

  • Reply Alix June 1, 2016 at 7:16 am

    Gorgeous flowers, gorgeous photos! So envious of your Parisian adventure… glad you’re still posting to give us a taste!

  • Reply Rebecca June 1, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Those poppies make my heart sing! So excited for your new adventure and for the wonderful posts that will undoubtedly come from it!

  • Reply Jodi June 1, 2016 at 7:52 am

    I hope that when you return to NY you print that last photo and stick it to your wall. Because those blooms deserve to be keepsakes. Enjoy! It’s all so glorious!

  • Reply Hannah June 1, 2016 at 9:25 am

    The foxgloves are blooming in Oregon, and I feel exactly the same way. Enjoy your trip!

  • Reply Linda June 1, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Wonderful post, and your photos are beautiful! Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. 🙂

  • Reply Ellen Anderman June 1, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Lovely ode to rural France and the generosity of others. (Don’t you love the unexpected offers from godparents? )

    Question – Have you tried sealing the picked poppies by holding a match to the end? Does anyone here know if this works to keep them going a bit longer. I’d love to know?

  • Reply Mary Katherine June 1, 2016 at 10:28 am

    I am loving your France posts. I lived in France for a year and a half and it wasn’t enough. Perhaps once I’m retired I’ll be able to take more than a week-long trip back. Then again, perhaps sooner!

  • Reply Katie June 1, 2016 at 11:13 am

    No apologies needed for flower photos!

    I’m currently researching the legality of plucking flowers from the side of the road in my state. It’s not promising, but the stories are entertaining.

    • Reply Erin Boyle June 1, 2016 at 11:23 am

      Some things better left unresearched…;)

  • Reply CJ June 1, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Lovely posts lately! I eagerly check daily for visual updates of your trip. Enjoy every minute and thank you for sharing with your readers. The writing has been enjoyable and very good as well!

  • Reply Anna June 1, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Oh YES, YES! This post is a total delight 🙂

  • Reply Jana June 1, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    “sitting shotgun” :)))

  • Reply Chelsey Duckworth June 1, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Love love love love love!

    • Reply Elaine June 1, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      Yes! And love your writing.

  • Reply Jennie June 2, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Fabulous flowers and fabulous photos. Keep them forever!

  • Reply Nicole June 2, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Gorgeous! I share the same penchant for roadside wildflowers, I almost pulled off the interstate today for a patch of purple thistle blooms tugging at my heart strings (but alas, headed to the airport). And your advice of “endeavoring to make a subtle change in the mood of a place with a bit of creativity and attention to detail” was so, so well said. Thanks for sharing Erin!

  • Reply Nitya June 4, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Beautiful Beautiful post… Enjoy your time in France with family.

  • Reply Lydia @ lupinelydia June 5, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    I’m losing my mind over those poppies, ughhhh. Gorgeous post!

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