The Surprising Life of Constance Spry

a girl to know!

I do admit that I did not know a great deal about Mrs. Spry, though had read her name over the years, referred to by Cecil Beaton, the British royal family, a Mitford or two, among others.

I stumbled upon this book one insomniac night as I was perusing the various Amazon sites.

Sadly, Amazon IS MY CRACK, though I do suppose there is worse a girl could do, yet one WOULD THINK the challenge of Amazon-Japon in Japanese at 3 a.m. a certain sleep inducer,
but no,
not for me.

But, I digress, and Constance is much more interesting!

She came from a family rooted in education, even for girls, a luxury in her time. She worked in social and educational reform, and in midlife, was "re-invented" as a fantastic floral designer.

Oh, and I do ADORE a LATE BLOOMER, being something of one myself!

Not that I have not been busy, nor was Constance, just never in the right place at the right time, often maddeningly ahead of the trend, which is worse than being on the backside.

But, in her 40's, when commentators had already began to refer to her as dowdy, and to that, I do take offense!, she became a sensation, and turned floral design, and then household running on it's ear!

She was the first to NOT DO structured, unnatural "arrangements", and to express the bounty that nature can provide. She used unusual materials, unusual containers, unorthodox methods! She did the Coronation flowers of Betsy II and discretely the flowers for her fallen uncle, Edward, and his bride, Wallis. And, she did a million things in-between and after!

She worked nearly until the hour of her death... one day, in her 70's, she went "tired", took to a rest, and was gone within the hour.

That's a glorious life, and the leaving of it, in my opinion.