Viewing entries tagged
flowers

Lupin fever

image

image

Today I bought my first lupins of the season. Lupins are one of those flowers that don’t last a long time in the vase but that has never bothered me. I’d be happy to have anything looking that good for just a few days. They have exactly the right combination of geometricity and unruliness with the added bonus of arriving in mixed colour bunches.

I packed up the van with said lupins, cornflowers and roses among other flowers, and headed to the nearby barracks where a group of lovely women had asked me to run a morning of flower school. After a bit of foliage foraging (mounds of hebe, copper beech, stachys and clematis) we set to work and the group did themselves proud.

image

image

As an aside, I also enjoyed my little insight into life “behind the wire”. I was green with envy at their collection of beautiful tureens and dishes (for flowers obviously, not soup).

Decay

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.

image

image

image

John Blakemore Tulips

The cutting garden

image

image

Yesterday was spent with my good friend Karen of Widehaugh House near Hexham. Karen was teaching a cutting garden course which I took part in, mainly turning up to eat an incredible lunch and then snip at her garden and create something beautiful with what was available. All the rain of last month, followed by the heat of the last week has meant that at last things are growing and we collected clematis, scented roses, cornflowers, aquilegia, lilac, euphorbia and wallflowers. To call this work would be ridiculous, there is nothing better on a Wednesday than sipping wine in a beautiful garden, feeling the sun on my back and turning my phone off to play with flowers that money can’t buy. The Dutchman cannot compete with this garden. And since July brings a new home with a south-facing garden I have good intentions of working on my own cutting garden…

image

image