A few days ago, my eldest daughter gave me a bouquet of flowers for no other reason than that she saw them, liked them and thought that I would like them too. She was right. As well as the lovely surprise of it, they look very cheery on my kitchen counter.
I could not do the same thing for my mother. She makes no secret of the fact that she does not like cut flowers because they die.
It is true, of course. The glorious, vibrant blooms will fade and wither...
... but isn't that a reason to rejoice more in their perfection for that brief moment of time - to take the greatest of pleasure in their transient beauty.
And when those delicate petals become brittle and dusty, or flower heads droop as if in shame or sorrow for all that is lost, I don't feel too sad.
There is a special place at the bottom of my garden with a welcome for those bouquets no longer fit for a vase - a welcome embrace of decomposition and transformation. They will be restored to perfection. A new perfection. A perfection that is rich, crumbly organic compost - full of the promise of new plant growth.
There is something very comforting in that.