Wednesday, 27 March 2013

my summer present: bringing nature home by ngoc minh ngo

Some would say that this post is appearing one year too late on my blog but there is a reason for it.

Each year Icelanders celebrate the first day of summer on a Thursday between the 18th and 26th of April (this year it's on the 25th), which is funny as it is still spring and also if you compare the average temperature on that day in Iceland to an average summer day, for example, on the European Continent. The last time I checked the highest temperature on this day in Iceland was 13.5°C (56.3°F), back in 1998. [Pause for laughter.] However, this is an old custom from the settlement of the country that Icelanders have held on to and it's an official holiday. Usually, the weather is dry on this day and the sun is shining so when I look back it was always a beautiful day.

On the Icelandic first day of summer it is a tradition to give presents to children. Usually I got a new ball or a hula hoop or something to play with outdoors, but I still remember the year when I got light blue cropped trousers with a slit, beautifully sewn by my mother, and a striped T-shirt. I was probably seven.

Good old times!

Why all this talk about the Icelandic first day of summer?

I have decided that this year, and every year from now on, I'm going to celebrate this day by giving myself a present; a new coffee table book that preferably has something to do with nature. There is a reason why I left my home country; I lost faith in it after the economic crash in 2008 and that faith hasn't been restored - sometimes I wonder if it ever will be. Well, I lost faith in it long time before the crash and I should have left sooner. Anyway, to remind me of my roots I'm going to hold on to a tradition that has a positive connection to my home country: a present for myself on the Icelandic first day of summer.

This year I chose the book Bringing Nature Home by lifestyle photographer Ngoc Minh Ngo. It was Nicolette Owen of Brooklyn's Little Flower School who arranged the flowers. It has been on my wish list since last spring and I cannot wait to hold it in my hands.

Bringing Nature Home was published by Rizzoli exactly one year ago. This is how they introduce the book:

Unlike most flower-arrangement books, which rely on expensive and often nonseasonal flowers from florists, this book presents an alternative that is in line with the “back to nature” movement. This is the first volume to showcase how to be inspired by nature’s seasonal bounty and bring that nature into the home through floral arrangements.

Lately I have been reminded of this book and how much I want it.

When going through old bookmarks I found the link to a post on the Style Court blog that features the large images in this post. Then last week my blog friend Ada of Classiq shared a link to a flower shop in Madrid that was featured in Vogue España. I shared some of the beautiful photos on my Icelandic blog and it was this photo in particular that made me decide that this book would be my summer present - it looks so pretty on that table in the shop.

photo credit:
Ngoc Minh Ngo from the book Bringing Nature Home published by Rizzoli / 1-2 + 5-6: via Style Court / 3: via Rizzoli / 4: via An Indian Summer


  1. Such a touching post!
    And every single photo is absolutely fabulous! I think I need that book, too. :-)
    Enjoy the Easter break!

  2. Beautiful flower arrangements. I am currently craving some blossoming twigs but on the other hand I find it cruel to chop of twigs in bloom...such a dilemma:-)

  3. That's a wonderful tradition in your home country, Lisa. I love it that you hold on to it. And this would make the perfect summer present! I like the "back to nature" concept of the book and I think I would want it for my coffee table. It's beautiful just to look at it, but I have a feeling that's very inspiring too.
    PS: Thank you for the mention. Always appreciate it. :)

  4. Sounds like a very good tradition for you, and the pics are gorgeous!


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