A part of what I do is putting flowers weekly into bars, restaurants and offices. Monday is the big day for this so everywhere looks welcoming for the week ahead. It also means that my studio becomes a graveyard of week-old flowers that generally go straight to the compost bin in my mother’s garden. Last week however, there were a couple of items that came back in vases and I didn’t throw them away, they sat all week in jars on the shelves instead.

Now, I have plenty of friends and relatives who are guilty of hanging onto their flowers until there is nothing left. I have seen lilies in a vase with no leaves, no stamen, no petals… just a stem. And I moan about this. I watch strangers in the supermarket buying flowers that I would have binned a week ago. That said, the sunflowers that had lost all their petals and become brown and gold seed domes, and the peonies that have retained all their colour but curled in on themselves and dried, seemed a bit too beautiful to compost.

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John Blakemore Tulips