Up until this summer, I have been hesitant to cut flowers to bring into the house. Part of the reason was that I didn't know how long the blooms would last in a vase, and another part of me felt that flowers should be left outside to grow. This year, I realized that we have an abundance of flowers, and clipping a few in strategic places to bring in the house lets us enjoy them with more intimacy. Earlier this summer, I cut some sprigs of lilac and was amazed at how our home filled with the sweet fragrance. We also had a few hydrangea branches that were almost as short-lived as the lilacs, and pretty, but no scent. Tonight, I risked being devoured by mosquitoes to cut an armful of peonies before several days of predicted storms, which ruined our peonies last year. When I first walked into the house with them, I dumped them in our farmhouse sink, and loved the way they looked, spilling over the edge.