I have been gradually gathering everything together for some wreath making. Dried artichoke heads, teasels, hydrangeas and honesty have come out of the airing cupboard. Greenery of all description has been gathered along with bare stems, fir cones, bracken, willow for 'skinny wreaths', moss for keeping a degree of moisture, string, ribbons... Read More
This year the dry autumn has encouraged me to dig up my dahlia patch for some reorganisation and rejuvenation. Read More
The zinnias have loved the hot dry weather we have had this August and early September.
They are half hardy annuals and dislike being transplanted so they are generally the last thing which I sow each spring. I do not direct sow (which is often recommended) but the seeds germinate very quickly so if sown at the end of May and quickly moved into their final growing space they should thrive. Read More
There is something very special about decorating a church for a wedding. This year I have spent some happy and thoughtful hours in various churches, mostly in Suffolk. Sometimes busy with visitors, sometimes deeply quiet, sometimes very chilly. From a decorating point of view I love finding places to ‘flower’. A floral arch or font full of flowers always looks beautiful and bountiful, but a little vase on a ledge can be just as striking, drawing attention to some forgotten carving or inscription. Read More
A couple of very sunny days in and around Amsterdam worshiping the tulip. From the Hortus Bulborum where ancient types are still preserved by a team of volunteers, to the futuristic looking flower auctions in Aalsmeer. I thought that I was prepared for the extraordinary excesses of the Kerkenhof display gardens - but in fact still found them to be overwhelming and inspiring in a way that I had not expected. The beautiful park like setting with the sun shining through the emerging leaves of the mature trees somehow allows beds bursting with nothing but bulbs to avoid being vulgar. 4 million bulbs are planted every year and it is a wonderful showcase for the bulb growers.
Spending so much time outside means that we see a lot of wildlife. Every morning we walk past the pond on the way to the yard where the flowers are. It is a draw for all sorts of things – ducks and moorhens, an occasional heron, very occasionally blue flash of a kingfisher, frogs, newts, grass snakes and fish. Not to mention the adorable water voles plopping into the water from their holes on the bank. Read More
t is good to remember that many favourite plants are quite capable of growing themselves, although not necessarily where you might choose to sow them. In fact, the ammi majus are making their point by popping up between the cracks in the paving. Read More