Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Summer in the City

It's been a scorching hot summer, but our garden has held up well with a lot of effort put into watering. Here is a picking of flowers one morning in early July. Stand out flowers were sea holly, red alstroemeria and sweetpeas.
Another favourite of mine has been perennial scabious. It is lovely when it is just starting to open up, when it is in full bloom and also as a seedhead.
Other brilliant flowers, still in bloom, are cosmos, echinacea, garlic chives and lavender.
In the height of the summer I was really pleased to arrange the flowers for Holly's wedding. She got married in Sheffield Town Hall and then had her reception at Tampers. I made her bouquet with just white and blue flowers (including the gorgeous scabious with asters, sea holly, lavender, roses, phlox and agapanthus).
Her bridesmaids' posies included a few yellow roses to match up with the gold ties worn by the men.
Now we`ve got to late summer, the dahlias are the star of the show.
Also the produce for eating!
Mike is really keen on geraniums. They aren`t my favourite, but I have to agree that they have really livened up this bit of wall.
There are a lot of flowers to harvest at this time of year and I find myself arranging them straight into jugs and vases. I will be running a workshop on Saturday 6th October about arranging into vintage jugs. These are the kind of things I like to put together.
Why not come along to the workshop and release some creativity!

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Moving from spring to summer

This weekend I`ve lifted the last of the tulip bulbs and the specialist narcissi bulbs to store until the autumn. We`ve had brilliant weather here in South Yorkshire for the last few weeks. In May I did the wedding flowers for a fabulous wedding at Cressbrook Hall which is the depths of Derbyshire near Monsal Head. The weather was spectacular:
Here are the flowers as I brought them into the hall:
Then here they are in their proper place on the tables. The colours looked great against the views outside and in the setting of the hall:
I am hoping I will get to see some photos of the wedding party with their flowers soon. But, for now, here is one of the bridesmaid's posies (mainly pink and white) and the bride's bouquet (with more blue flowers) in my workshop before they were packed up to go:
I also made a couple of presentation bouquets for the mothers of the bride and groom:
This time of year is usually a bit disappointing in our garden. The spring flowers have gone and the annuals are not yet in flower. This year has been different - the perennials have burst into life. The astrantia and alchemilla have blossomed with particular vigour:
Then the roses and clematis are also fully out in all their spendour:
We have a rather dank area at the side of the house which is full of beautiful spires of foxgloves.
At the front of the house we have some wonderful bright red poppies with splashes of black, the last of the iris and an intriguing flower that we grew from seed - it was a present from a friend and we don`t know what it is. Any suggestions?
And to finish, here is a simple posy of June flowers picked from our garden this morning:

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Spring at last

Spring has come late this year. In March the only things up in our garden were hellebores and a few early daffodils. But I was able to buy these bright spring flowers from my supplier in Cornwall - multi-headed narcissi, double daffodils, tulips and snowdrops. We used these to make naturalistic arrangements in three parts (like a triptych) in my March workshop:
I`ve also been buying gorgeous tulips from Smith and Musson (based in Lincolnshire). I love these deep plum-coloured ones. I mixed them up with clematis, waxflower and spray roses in this white urn. I really like plum up against white like this:
Here is a simple and effective idea for showing off tulips. They are in jam jars placed in a pretty crate:
Another idea is to use a flower brick. I bought this one when we were in Amsterdam a couple of years ago. It is based on an old method (it has a removable lid with holes in it) and the blue and white design is a traditional Delftware pattern with a modern twist. Easy to use and very effective.
I arranged the flowers for Annie and Ed's wedding in April. They got married in Bakewell - here are their flowers ready to go. Just a bouquet, posy, a couple of buttonholes and a few jars to carry from place to place as the day unfolded:
After the wedding they went for a ramble in the Peak District - they both have their walking boots on at this point in proceedings. Such a happy day, and so reflective of their interests and values.
At last our garden has some flowers growing in it. There are lots of white blooming flowers - fabulous daffodils, pear blossom, tulips and narcissi :
We also have lots of blue flowers at this time of year. Some old friends which appear every year - rosemary, bluebells (just starting) and muscari (grape hyacinths). Also some new perennials only recently planted - brunnera and anemones:
Then we have some brilliant purple/mauve flowers. Aubretia so vivid it is hard to look at, intriguing snakes head fritillary and, of course, tulips.
I will finish off with the simplest of little arrangements for a dinner table in spring.