Sweet peas and roses with the addition of a papery poppy - summer has arrived in the garden!😁
#gatherandcurate #underthefloralspell #stylingtheseasons #seeksimplicity #britishgrownflowers #britishflowers #gardengathered #gardenstyle #gardenroses #embracingtheseasons #slowfloralstyle #myfloraldays #flowersandotherstories #flowersmakemehappy #foamfree #nofloralfoam #alovefornaturesbest #realflowersoftheseason #inspirewithblooms #inspiredbynature #seasonalfloralstyle #seasonspoetry #summerflowers #seeksimplicity #pursuepretty #botanicalpickmeup #seasonalflowers #inspiredbypetals #poppy #sweetpea
I am revelling in the first voluptuous flush of roses cascading from the climbers, scrambling through the hedgerow and peppering smaller shrubs. The generosity and abundance make me itch to get my secateurs out....which I did in my mums garden to gather these Madame Alfred Carriere. She has clay soil and rabbits - 2 huge problems that we hear much about! But my goodness when it comes to roses her soil is like rocket fuel. I grow on sand - my roses are miserable specimens in comparison. She and I both love this one and she always insists I take armfuls home...yes that’s how good her soil is! This time she quietly bought me a new, shiny red pair of snips and asked that I discretely give them back without John seeing! I think she has more trouble in the garden than just rabbits!!! If you want to enjoy the first flush with me I have two revelling in roses classes coming up...one on the 12th in another super beautifully rosy garden, Julie’s @peoniesandposies and on the 20th at mine. Let me know if you fancy joining me!
Church arches - always a feat of engineering but when you get it right so worth it!! I can’t wait to see more of this one created for a gorgeous @cocoandkat editorial at exquisite @holywellhallweddings by Liz @blueskyflowers and myself on a wonderfully hot spring day. This is just a sneak peek and given @beccygoddard was behind the lens I just can’t wait to see more - frustratingly patience is not one of my virtues!!! Better go and do some weeding instead which will mean I can avoid cleaning buckets for a bit longer - ah the glamour!!
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A glimpse of some of the flowers that decorated @butleypriory on Saturday for my lovely couple Vicki & Paul. What a glorious day they picked - full of warmth and sunshine - the perfect way to start married life together. Huge congratulations to you both!
When your wedding at the weekend is all white and green but the garden has very different ideas!! The choice was simple - compost or use. Obviously use won not least of all because I was so desperate to fill up another lovely new vessel from Zoe @gardenbrocante. I am not very comfortable with lots of colour when designing although I do enjoy it in the garden so I’m still not sure about this little number. If you would like to see my colourful garden in June and design with a few bits, come along and join me on an urn workshop on the 20th during British Flowers Week. I’m also really looking forward to returning to julie @peoniesandposies stunning garden on the 12th to work with her exceptionally glorious roses. Now that’s going to be a treat - let me know if you fancy joining me there too!!
Pretty little bridesmaids posies hydrating before their big day! It’s always a good idea to drink lots of water before you go out!😂
Wishing you all a fun filled bank holiday weekend.
A pared back expression of my garden and a lovely new vessel from Zoe @gardenbrocante. It’s just not Chelsea without a visit to Zoe. I think those alliums are one of my favourites - muted and understated but quite extraordinary once you bother to really get to know them!! Now on to wedding flowers.
So here they are and not only have they been on the BBC coverage of Chelsea Flower Show they are now the profile image for the RHS Facebook page! So terribly terribly proud of @lucytheflowerhunter who designed these letters with foam free mechanics. Her designs both in the landscape, garden and vase are truly exceptional - she’s one to watch!! As her friends, we were so delighted to help her create her vision on Sunday - it was a great day, working with a wonderful team and here they are - Carol @painterlyandblooms, Kate @tangleandthyme, Carol @carolsiddorn, Claire @honeysuckle_and_hilda and Sarah @simplybyarrangement. If you would like to see more images Rona @flowerona has written a lovely piece all about it on her blog. And in other news from the show - @flowersfromthefarm an organisation that supports and promotes British grown flowers (and which I am proudly part of) won a Chelsea gold medal for their fantastic stand in the floral marquee!! The first time at Chelsea and gold - it doesn’t get better than that. You can catch up with that story on BBC iPlayer from last nights Chelsea coverage as Mary Berry went to investigate why British flowers, how they are grown and how we use them is quite so special. Oh and Rona has written about that too!! Chelsea flower show 2018 has been truly tremendous for putting foam free designs and British flowers centre stage at last!
So thrilled to see that the RHS letters that my friend Lucy The Flower Hunter designed and I and 5 other friends helped her create on Sunday for the Chelsea Flower Show, are now the RHS cover photo!!
Well, what an incredible week...I don’t feel like my feet have touched the ground. Helping the amazing talent that is @lucytheflowerhunter create her fabulously romantic RHS letters for Chelsea followed by a blissfully relaxing day with Claire @honeysuckle_and_hilda finished off with a great day wandering around the delights of the flower show with Claire, Sarah @simplybyarrangement, Kate @tangleandthyme and Lucy herself was not exactly how my weeks usually begin. The highlight though, has to be quietly eating our lunch next to the letters we created. They seem to have become the photo booth of the show with people queuing to get themselves in front of them. Overhearing wonderful comments and seeing the expressions of delight on people’s faces was really very, very special! But the weeks not actually over and I need to prepare for this weekend’s wedding - so I had better stop reminiscing and get on with it!
Inspired by Meghan’s beautiful little bouquet here’s my version of white and green - all picked from my garden on Saturday afternoon and finished off with hand dyed silk ribbon just like hers. I thought the flowers in St George’s Chapel were just incredibly beautiful - simply amazing work by @philippacraddock and her team. It’s been a rather good weekend for flowers all round!
It’s a very misty early morning start here in Suffolk as I wait to board the first train to London. I’m Chelsea bound to help my wonderfully talented friend @lucytheflowerhunter create a glorious installation evoking the tumbling, scrambling, unfettered beauty of romantic English gardens (and I understand there may be the odd urn required too😊)! To say I am really looking forward to what today will bring is a huge understatement. Realising a dream and working alongside lovely, talented friends and in lovely sunshine - I don’t think it gets much better than that! I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday too!
So will it include cow parsley...possibly the most seasonal flower right now? I am very intrigued to see Megan’s bouquet and the rest of the flowers - they will very likely set the tone for wedding flower requests for the next year or so! Telly booked for 11.30am!! What a glorious day for a wedding!!
This little bouquet simply consists of cowparsley, aqueligia, shepherds purse, plantain, hellebore and a sprig of pretty clematis. I loved making it!
This is my demo bouquet from earlier in the week which apart from a few left over majolica roses is a true reflection of what was seasonally available that day in Suffolk and Yorkshire. Ranunculus and a stunning clematis amongst other bits from @themidnightgarden together with a bit of shepherds purse from a dog walk (of course) and all the rest proudly supplied by Sarah’s @simplybyarrangement and my garden! Today will I be sorting out paperwork before a very exciting weekend begins in the Chelsea show ground! I’m weather watching - hot sun plus hobnail boots and a high vis jacket sound like a prickly combination but rules is rules!!
When you have two willing models, very focussed on the task in hand, how on earth do you choose? Well I couldn’t so swipe left to make up your own mind! May I present florist dog royalty, Molly @simplybyarrangement who clearly tones beautifully or my faithful hound Daisy who we probably need to make another arch for because frankly she doesn’t but she looked keen to try!! So I think I am going to try and persuade @jessicaaldsworth and @simplybyarrangement to return soon to create another entirely foam free natural seasonal arch to frame Daisy because this installation was undeniably great fun! (Any suggestions on the best season to tone with brown dog gratefully received!) Oh and the best bit was being looked after like royalty by the fabulous @mrsbcooks - I need her in my life much more often than occasionally!
First there was one - now there are about 10....I’m hoping that by Saturday week my bride will have many of these homegrown sweetpeas in her bouquet! The joy of growing flowers....a constant stream of checking, coaxing, chatting and treating them bad if they don’t behave!!
An oldie but goodie - one of my favourite bouquets from around this time last year when I had the great fortune to pick from the magical flower fields @gandgorgeousflowers. Rachel’s ranunculus were like nothing I had ever seen before and although mine are now up, out and glorious they are not quite in this league. She also had some magnificent shepherds purse tucked up a corner of her orchard which of course I pounced on! Picking straight from the field, garden or hedgerow is a lovely way to create with flowers. It slows you down, makes you really think about what you could use and appreciate what nature is up to right at that moment. It allows you to capture the essence of that seasonal second in time before its shifted again. Beautifully captured forever by @imogenxiana
Now for something completely different....Yesterday, whilst walking Daisy, I was struck by just how beautiful little clumps of dandelion seed heads are. I’m sure we all remember so well lying in the warm sun as children, telling the time by blowing away the fairy seeds of dandelion clocks. It seems the ‘weeds’ have all appeared in the last week - tall grasses, my all time favourite cow parsley - I love pushing through it feeling small again, white bladder campion, red campion, plantain that we used to catapult at each other, dead nettle that with delicious honey to suck from behind the flowers, the list goes on and on. These are the flowers of my childhood - I really do hope children today get to just explore and be absorbed by the natural wonders around them - those simple pleasures stay with you forever.
The garden sweet shop is open for business and today it’s the turn of jelly tots!! All these gorgeous ranunculus were picked yesterday morning alongside the geranium. I mixed them up with the left over David Austin roses from @therealflowercotrade I am so pleased that wafting around the garden in search of new little treasures is now a daily option! Mind you yesterday I was planting out seedlings all day from around 9am to 8pm and the reality certainly wasn’t an elegant waft! More to do today - so better get on with it!
When your tea mug matches your flowers! One of my favourite images of the last few weeks. The beautiful work of Claire @figandfernfloral cleverly captured and framed by Julie @peoniesandposies on our Gather and Grow Tulips workshop. (In that coach house, with that wall that as of this week has lovely new fancy lighting apparently!) Next month its Gather & Grow roses...and I really can’t wait!! My roses are all budding up and showing great promise - it’s a race to see which might flower first! Right more pots and tubs I think!
Yesterday brought on a sudden bank holiday impulse garden centre moment. I had the overwhelming urge to refresh all my pots & tubs and having just put my daughter on the train back to London I was ‘home alone’ again so there was no one to stop me! It was only when I started to unpack my purchases that I realised I had gone for a colour palette that I could have won millions betting I would never choose...whites, silvers and burgundy! It all started with a pretty little night scented phlox with lovely white starry flowers and contrasting burgundy backs to the petals. Now I’ve got to make it work...but if nature can do it....!!! I will keep you posted on stories!
Here’s a late spring early summer bridal bouquet full of David Austin roses from @therealflowercotrade, apple blossom, forget me not and choisya from my garden. Beautiful ribbon from @katecullenstyle
Yesterday I spent the afternoon @artforcure at beautiful @glemhamhall. This incredible annual fundraising event was set up around 3 years ago and now raises a huge amount of money for local breast cancer support and research charities. It is a wonderful day out admiring (and buying if you like) glorious art and sculpture displayed throughout the house and Repton designed gardens of the hall. Today is the last day so if you are in Suffolk looking for a great day out in a spectacular setting I couldn’t recommend it more highly - go straight to the rose garden - some of the sculptures there were....well let’s just say...if only I had a big enough garden!!
Here is a simple bowl of David Austin roses - my nod to that dreamy rose garden!
Can I smell summer in the air? It certainly feels like it this weekend. This time of year, on days like this, it just doesn’t get any better does it! Here is an urn (not just any urn - my gorgeous birthday urn from @violetgreydecorative!) full of the gentle transition of spring into summer - garden tulips, glorious David Austin roses from @therealflowercotrade and crab apple blossom. If only you could smell this scent of summer too!!
The last of the fritillaries - until next year. This is why working with the seasons is so wonderful - ephemeral treats come and go to be replaced with the next beauty. Now it’s the return of garden grown ranunculus and sweet peas. Yesterday evening I picked both for the first time this year - too small to really use so I plonked them in a pot to just be admired and of course sniffed!! Enjoy this very promising bank holiday weekend!
Garden abundance - using up the left overs to create a bouquet for me! Indulgent but why not! This is full of tulips, hellebore, spirea, bleeding hearts, geum, ranunculus, snakes head fritillaria, geranium phaeum, viburnum and I still don’t think that’s everything!! Sweet shop and child come to mind!!
If I could only get this wall home and attach it to my workshop.......Still at least I can admire it from time to time and place arrangements in front of it. My next chance is in June working with roses if you fancy joining me and meeting the wall yourself. This time last week was my celebration of Julie’s @peoniesandposies glorious selection of tulips and I was very very drawn to the beautifully fading, elegantly papery hellebores too. They know how to have a good long life and then age gracefully....I think I am going to try and age like a hellebore!!
There was so much beautiful light yesterday dappling through the fresh new little leaves on the trees. It was really fun trying to recreate it with a shaft of sunshine through this all British locally sourced spring arrangement. I won’t be doing that today though!!
Two of the Julie’s in my life combined to create this glorious celebration of Spring last week. The first being Julie @peoniesandposies creating magic in her extremely photogenic coach house on our Tulip workshop last week. She used lovely freshly picked (by me...what a treat!) spring flowers and foliage from her garden combined with some stunning Norfolk grown ranunculus from the second Julie @hillcrest_flower_garden. All British, all local, all grown with love and passion...I’m not sure it gets much better than that! Oh and Julie also takes a pretty good photo too - that’s the @peoniesandposies one!!
Here is the final glorious large urn arrangement from my Spring Study workshop a couple of weeks ago. This time created by Gilly, again sensibly not a social media user, but she is a wonderfully passionate gardener who has just moved house and is able to start planning her plot from scratch. Creating something beautiful with flowers whether large scale in the garden or smaller in the vase just seems to come naturally to many of my guests...the common denominator and seemingly the only requirement is a love and fascination of flowers & gardens. Beautifully captured by @ginadoverjaquesphotography
The British flower season seemed to finally get into its stride this week despite everything this spring has suffered. My garden is lush & green and full of colour again which coincided wonderfully with a week of workshops! This is the beauty that Emma @sassybloomsdesign created with me on Tuesday. So lovely to have a garden full of flowers again and local growers selling armfuls once more!
That wall again - with another beauty created so thoughtfully and with great consideration, this time by lovely Claire @figandfernfloral. Sometimes I feel like I need to pinch myself...working in such beautiful places and with wonderful guests who are prepared to travel so far. There’s nothing quite like sharing the mad flowery thoughts that fill my head with others who are similarly obsessed! It’s been a great week thank you so much Julie @peoniesandposies, Emma @sassybloomsdesign, Emma @thealilyloves and Claire @figandfernfloral
Yesterday was a magical sunshine flower filled day spent in Julie @peoniesandposies beautiful garden. Her boundless knowledge and enthusiasm for growing flowers for cutting is incredible and yesterday she shared this knowledge with lovely Emma @thealilyloves and Claire @figandfernfloral I meanwhile had the enormous privilege of wafting about picking all sorts of lovely bits for us to play with in the afternoon. You really couldn’t describe this as a work day! Here is the work of art created by Emma captured in a sunbeam! Oh and don’t mention wall envy - I already have it in spade loads!!!
All British, all spring and I’m so happy! This is one of my very few belle epoques that survived the storm reaching for the light. I ordered about 100 last Autumn all planted around the garden but they were obviously mislabelled because the only ones to appear this year were last years!! Tulips are such frustrating flowers but so lovely!!
Just a little peek of the beautiful bouquet that Emma @sassybloomsdesign created with me yesterday. Trailing with British grown jasmine and other locally sourced spring flowers from Julie @hillcrest_flower_garden and my garden (plus a few bits from Holland which of course we didn’t really need - panic buying because of our strange weather!) We had such a lovely day together - have fun with this weeks wedding Emma!
Fancy a bit of spring/summer flowering with Sarah @simplybyarrangement and me? Well we have one place left to do something like this, in this setting, in this place....the Folly of Flowers a foam free floral installation. We will create all day with a well deserved delicious supper to celebrate at the end of the day! May 15th, Suffolk - DM me if you’re interested! These images from last time taken by @helenwarnerphotography who will join us again this time too!
Here is my narcissus swan song from just before last weeks glorious and then devastating weather! Beauties from Julie @hillcrest_flower_garden and my garden. What a difference a week makes!! Oh and ribbon dyed by me with some friends! @vvravenfloral @jenn_pinder_flowers
My demo urn from last week - feels like a life time ago because this last week was so full. Two workshops for this coming week - a one to one and a gather & grow workshop with Julie @peoniesandposies. Based on what I last glimpsed in my garden I think they will both feature a lot of tulips!!
Now I don’t say this very often, but I am very taken with this image of me. I’m doing what I absolutely love - running a workshop and selecting my first few flowers for a demonstration urn. So I think this image really sums me up. Also I hadn’t realised my boots matched my hair so well!! Thank you so much Gina @ginadoverjaquesphotography - you got me! Hope you all get to enjoy this beautifully sunny weekend!
Just look at this beauty by lovely Sue (who very sensibly doesn’t use social media) created last week at my spring workshop! She claimed to have very little experience but my goodness she demonstrated a very stylish eye. I really did have some lovely talented guests and their stunning work was captured by another @ginadoverjaquesphotography. I’m now looking forward to greeting next weeks guests to a garden that has thrust itself into glorious spring colour after bathing in this lovely dose of warm sunshine!! I was away for 2 days this week and so much has changed!! Some evidence in stories if you’re interested!
Understated elegance - knowing when to stop despite a sweet shop array of choice is never easy. However, plantswoman Karen @fenhen1971 knew exactly how to draw various botanical elements together at last weeks workshop to create a design that gently whispered just that! I love this and as ever it has been beautifully captured by @ginadoverjaquesphotography And on the subject of understated elegance - I am heading off this morning for two days at beautiful Holywell Hall which oozes elegance for a rather special shoot! Better get going!
Butterfly ranunculus - it seems, like every other florist up and down the land they have captured my heart! Not British yet - they are so new - but hopefully very soon the growers will get their hands on them. They have all the movement, shape, bounce, delicacy, colour tones, buds and blooms and importantly longevity that we are always looking for! I shall be using a lot of these this week on two special projects. It’s going to be a good week! These ones were beautifully captured at last weeks workshop by the talented Gina @ginadoverjaquesphotography
It seems it’s Monday again - how did that happen so quickly? This week is a double photo shoot week - working with some wonderfully talented people on two very different aesthetics in two very different places - one by the sea and one in rolling countryside. And the sun’s going to shine on us so this will be the first proper suncream week for this red head! Here is a look back at last weeks beauty created by lovely Claire @waterbabyflowers a super talented florist who wanted to loosen up her designs....well I don’t think there is any better description for this urn arrangement except beautifully light and airy so she nailed it! Fabulous photography by @ginadoverjaquesphotography of course!
Yesterday evening I received the best treat in my inbox - a beautiful set of stunning images of my Spring Study workshop from earlier this week. It was the greyest and coldest of days and yet clever Gina @ginadoverjaquesphotography managed to work her magic and make the day full of light and beauty. What a talent! But it was a day overflowing with talent - here is the amazing urn that lovely Joanne @joannetrubyfloraldesign created. She cleverly used huge poppies in a way that still felt beautifully light and airy! She also included my sweet smelling home grown brown sugar tulips - I think she really liked those!One of the best bits about my job are the lovely talented people I get to meet...I feel so lucky! I shall be sharing more gorgeousness through the week!!
How to make an entrance on your wedding day - turn the staircase into a British flower meadow of course! When lovely @emmajoytheweddingplanner got married to Saket last September she loved the idea of filling the staircase @pennardhouse with her mums beautiful home grown flowers from her cutting garden. Of course her wish was our command and so florists @susan_elizabeth_carroll @michelle__at_cordonfarm and myself made it happen! A special installation which I really enjoyed creating. Beautifully captured by @helenliskphotography
So this is the last dismal, dreary day apparently (hurrah!) - yesterday was so busy with lovely guests and flowers I didn’t really notice the gloomy light but my goodness it was cold! However, talented @ginadoverjaquesphotography who came to document our day certainly noticed the lack of good light! But she seemed to find a way to make it work and took it all in her stride! Thank you so much Gina. I am so in awe of photographers who seem to cope so well with incredibly challenging conditions. I didn’t even try with my camera so this is one from earlier in the week and I shall enjoy seeing my guests beautiful urn designs again when they arrive in my in box!
The first of my tulips and these ones are very special for several reasons. Firstly, they arrived on time for my spring urn workshop today - now we are not talking armfuls but they were here and so beautiful. Secondly, they are lovely and long - so great for making shapes in big urns. Thirdly, they have little baby tulip buds at points up their stem - so cute! Fourthly, they have come again from last years bulbs - yippee and finally but most importantly they have the MOST exquisite delicate sweet scent. I love my brown sugar tulips - if you’ve never grown them I urge you to plan to next year... and if you would like to know how and where to source them plus get your hands on these guys come and join Julie @peoniesandposies and I on our next workshop on 26th April. We will have armfuls of tulips then and Julie’s garden will be heavenly!! There are only 2 spots left!
A favourite image of my little botanical collection boutonnières. These were for Emma & Saket last September. Beautiful capture by @helenliskphotography
Today is a busy prep day for a workshop on Thursday. First job on the list is a trip to see Julie @hillcrest_flower_garden to gather up the spring beauties she has waiting for me followed by some foraging in a lovely overgrown (and no doubt very damp) garden - always a good start to the day!
Unfurling leaf tips - possibly one of my favourite things about spring. Daisy and I noticed on our walk yesterday how just a couple of days of warmer temperatures have worked their magic. Soon it will be time to enjoy all the tree flowers too - now you really have to look out for some of those less showy ones but they are so beautiful!!
Flowers to celebrate special events - we have done this for hundreds of years possibly thousands - perhaps that’s why an occasion with out even the simplest floral element just feels a little less celebratory. So these for a lovely spring birthday this week helping to shout out ‘today is special’!
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