For some reason, I rarely have people over to my home for a visit. (I’ve been in my current house, the Palazzo Sandro, for about ten years. Friends have come for dinner at most three times; this could be because most entertaining, on weekends, is done in at Jay’s place in Gloucester.) A recent exception, lunch for my beloved friend Patti at the fashionable hour of 2pm. All the more time to shape this centerpiece of local and sustainable early-summer blooms from my backyard. And a memory, of course: When Jay’s sister, her husband and young son were visiting from the Northwest some 25 years ago, we invited them to our Cambridge home for brunch. We also invited our friend Eleanor, who arrived with a big bunch of flowers that I trimmed and quickly arranged into a “docent bouquet” for the table. When Mara and her family arrived and we were having our meal (her son Paul blurting out, “This is better than the breakfast we just had at the restaurant!”), she artfully covered with “What lovely flowers.” I said, “Yes, Eleanor brought them.” Mara smiled in a sisterly way and said, “You can tell a woman arranged them.” We all remained silent. For the time being. This has become one of our absolute favorite comments, repeated over and over again through the years each time one of us brings flowers to the table.