It's easy to get into the flower doldrums in February. It's still winter and nothing is flowering in our garden yet apart from a few unhappy hellebores. But this winter, my heart has been lifted by embroidered flowers. It all started at the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow. They were exhibiting the works (embroidered) of May Morris, William's daughter. She was chief designer of embroidery at Morris and Company. At first she followed her father's style, but over time she developed her own complex and beautiful designs. Often these included flowers and birds:
She lifted embroidery from a domestic craft to a serious art form. Here are a few more examples of her work.
But the domestic craft can also be wondrous. This work was embroidered my Mike's grandfather who was a miner. He produced this embroidery when he could no longer exert himself physically very much.
Mike's mother also created some beautiful pieces - full of flowers and birds and not so very different from the Morris style.
Back to the real thing! We have now acquired a new propagator with both heat and light and we have started off some germination.
Then, at last, some spring flowers for Valentine's Day last week. I bought tulips, snowdrops, exquisite green iris and narcissi (wonderful scent).
The flowers were delivered on Tuesday morning and all the bouquets, posies and bunches I put together had been collected by the evening - it was busy and I had no time to take any pictures of the finished things. But I did make a few simple arrangements for our home:
I also developed some ideas for a new workshop using a naturalistic style. This involves placing the flowers vertically into the container as if they were growing. I think this looks really delightful and I will be running the new workshop on Saturday 10 March.