John Singer Sargent's painting "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose" is pure enchantment.
The two little girls remind me of another time and other little girls.
Church Lane, as the name indicates, led to a solid Norman church, opposite which was the entrance to my grandfather's farm. Further down the lane, where it narrowed to a single track, almost tunnel like from bramble filled hedges, lived a family of great interest to me. All the girls were named after flowers, which to me, surrounded by plain and simple, seemed unbelievably exotic. There were many of them but the only names I can remember now are
Sounds like the Larkin family in "The Darling Buds of May", so alike in so many ways I could believe they were the inspiration, although I know they are not. What I do realise, now, is all the flowers would have been very familiar, filling the hedges and fields of the Suffolk countryside.
The girls looked very much alike and were as lovely as their namesake flowers. It was generally agreed that any man lucky enough to marry one was destined for a happy life. They may not have been immortalised in a famous painting but their children and grandchildren all share the same features, their lineage instantly recognisable in their sweet faces.