My Patty’s Plum poppies are flowering already and make a very good cut flower. There are buds galore in a east facing border amongst peonies, digitalis, cirsium, geum and fennel, all looking strong with buds plumping up awaiting their turn to flower. Yet is was the Turk’s-cap lilies with their spectacular purple speckled markings and nodding bell heads that were the starting point for this bouquet.
In theory I tend to stay away from yellow as it can be too hard on the eye preferring the more gentle way of lemon flowers but this is an exception and when mixed with pink and silver greys it can look very beautiful. Delicate peonies, astrantia major and double aquilegias self seeded from my neighbours garden make up the other flowers.
Kale seed pods, pittospernum, eleagnus augustifolia and the dark moody actaea purpurea make up the foliages.
It has been so mild of late that all the bulbs I bought in Holland last Autumn are very nearly all in full bloom and the garden is just bursting with colour and promise. This and the fact that last month’s bouquet was cool in colour made me wish for a colourful combination.
The zesty chartreuse green of euphorbia seemed to beckon from under our Acer as did the pretty bluebells and anemones. In a few of the shadier corners of the garden I found the poppies and forget-me-knots; such simple but evocative flowers. There is a sprig of lemon hellebore and some fronds from the kale that has gone to seed, along with fennel, chard and geranium for movement and scent. The tulips are Queen of the Night and Blue Diamond – which is meant to be a late variety but has turned up early!
Our Rhododendrons are in bud but showing colour so perhaps next month I will get to incorporate some bigger blooms, in the mean time I hope you enjoy the fresh lively green and lime tones of spring.
I had a request for a rose laden scented bouquet the other day and began to remanice about the garden roses I used to get from a local market grower who has long since retired. Then I recalled the occasions that I had the chance to order roses from David Austin and knew this was another of those wonderful opportunities.
My client hoped for a bouquet that was heavy with scent and abundant with blousy roses. Herbs from the garden, a tangle of flowering jasmine and David Austin roses, Miranda and Keira were tussled into place with the Dutch rose Amnesia for a little mocha tone.
Later I added some pieris from the garden to add to the vintage atmosphere and soaked up the early summer scent.
This month’s petit bouquet turns out to be white and green primarily due to a strong urge to incorporate the flowers of the somewhat maligned pieris shrub which I love. I think it is the perfect spring wedding ingredient and would look even more decadent en mass in an urn arrangement with pewter and grey tones.
I’ve been admiring the pieris blossoms as the month has progressed and been looking forward to working with them. They have such a beautiful cascading manner and their tone is akin to porcelain, that and the way they evoke lily of the valley makes the pieris a wonderful spring flower to cut from the garden. I have combined these with the beautiful helleborus niger, white tulips, verigated myrtle, a sprig of young bamboo, passion flower foliage, ferns and if you look closely, some delicate snowdrops. Ideally the tulips should be further open but the mornings have been so cold of late that my tulips are still very tight in bud.
Perhaps next month will herald rhododendron blooms and fatter tulip heads. I do hope so.
Now that a few bulbs are braving their heads I wondered if I could put together a seasonal bouquet with elements from the garden. I had a wander round and collected these gorgeous hellebores, some sprouting fennel fronds, the odd fern, evergreen grass, rhododendron buds, hyacinths and myrtle.
I had to sear the hellebores to get them to hold up but it is very easy to do. Just boil the kettle in advance of cutting the stems and when off the boil for five minutes pop the stems in a few inches of the hot water for another five minutes and then transfer them into cold water for ten minutes before you use them. If the water is too hot it will turn the stems to mush, so do be vigilant.
Another element I added were the old fashioned flowers primula obconica, which I love and have as a house plant. Primula are always the first to appear in the garden but the stems were too short for this bouquet and the mottled tones of these were just right for the atmosphere I had in mind. The simple cowslip would have been just as pretty if you have it.
A rummage through my ribbon drawer for this velvet touch and an old terracotta pot transformed it into a table decoration for tonight’s dinner guests.
I plan to do a bouquet from the garden every month now so we can see what is possible from our plot and monitor what is appearing as the warmer months arrive. I can’t wait for the pieris to come into flower perhaps even next month as it has been so mild. It is a beautiful wedding bouquet ingredient.
Holly, skimmia, moss, lichen and lonicera made up the bulk of my wreath this year, much of it collected from the garden.
The holly can really lacerate your hands so do wear gloves if you are making your own. I wanted to keep it simple and the little dried gourds give just the right splash of warmth to it.
Its always such a wonderful thing to work with moss and I particularly like the scent of it. Next to putting up the tree, making a wreath for the front door marks the lead up to Christmas and all the fun family gatherings ahead.
Merry Christmas to you all.
I recently hosted a mini flower road show in and around Edinburgh to showcase some of my work to some old and new friends in the trade. I had collected some beautiful moss and lichen clad branches on a recent trip west and had a hankering for some gentle roses to contrast with the texture of these. Here are my beautiful raw materials before I started arranging them.
The change in the seasons also really affected my longing to hang onto the delicacy of summer so when I saw the marguerite daisies with their lilac and deep pink tones I knew they had the perfect atmosphere to combine with the fennel, curry plant, passion flower and verbera bonariensis picked from the garden.
The basket was the perfect way for me to transport the table decorations.
This is the season for the marvellous kalanchoe succulents that deepen in tone as they soak up the late autumn sun. These combined with tropical leaves, seasonal spider chrysanthamums, pretty muted hydrangea, roses and lichen branches made for a wonderful textural arrangement that was still soft in its palate and form yet had a sense of place and the season.
A gentle palette of ivory and mocha.
I’ve been looking at some previous wedding bouquets I did and now that the snow is begining to fall gently it seems appropriate to show you some in the palest of shades. Every bride has an idea of the atmosphere she would like for the day and after a period of chatting and looking at visuals together I try and capture that.
Another gentle combination of whites, pale pinks and a hint of coffee in Hannah’s wedding bouquet.
Meredith’s wedding bouquet was inspired by the heirloom fabric that she had incorporated into her wonderful dress.