Kate and Dan were married at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle. They were a joy to work with - at the first meeting, words that came up included “Edwardian”, “gothic” and “hothouse”. I was immediately excited to be involved. I love hothouses - the humidity, the smell of green and earth, the dappled light, the botanical name labels, everything really. This image (circa 1915) shows the Marble Hall dripping with ivies, geraniums, bamboos and palms.
Although there are fewer plants in the Marble Hall these days, it retains a hothouse kind of feel thanks to the artist Paul Noble who in recent years redesigned the area and installed plants again.
Kate carried long-stemmed dark irises with clematis and ferns. The tables were set around a statue of a fallen angel and decorated with maidenhair ferns, succulents in bell jars, antique brass pots and purples in vintage glass. The ceremony room was a gallery with wall to wall paintings, stunning parquet flooring and palms in urns. I only met Kate and Dan a couple of times but the whole set-up couldn’t have suited them any better. Perhaps it’s because they’re artists that they absolutely considered the surroundings when they chose the dress, the suit, the flowers and even the cake. Everything seemed to just flow faultlessly and work amazingly well as a whole.
As an apology to all the succulents I have thoughtlessly beheaded this year, I salvaged the stragglers and made two goldfish bowl terraniums for home. I’m hoping they rally and look as good as the (much admired) echevarias my mother planted up outside of the studio.
This purple gets a mention for looking the way it does. I’ve never seen anything like it before.