Saturday, 24 August 2019

Harvesting and creating

This is a haul of flowers cut from our garden a couple of weeks ago. I tried to select a good range of flowers in terms of colour and shape....but some of the flowers (sweet peas especially) are cut and come again and you just have to get on and cut them nearly every day. On this summer morning I cut phlox, hydrangea, cosmos, crocosmia, hebe, alliums, sweet peas, sea holly, mallow, lavender, scabious and dahlias. This blog is about what I did with the flowers. First of all, I used fluffy pink phlox and hydrangea off-set with white phlox, white dahlia, white hebe and blue sea -holly. There was so much pink, I used a contrasting white enamel jug.
Then I tackled the sweet peas. I started off by selecting the purples and whites with good, long stems and I placed them in a vase and a sweet moroccan glass.
Next I took the old-fashioned sweet peas (lovely scent, but shorter stems) which are a mix of purple and lavender and I hand-tied them into a jam jar.
The thing about sweet peas is that you get some with recalcitrant, curved stems - I put these into a pretty bottle (nice for the dinner table).
Then I used up the short-stemmed bits and pieces. I hand-tied them into small round containers and lined them up on a window sill. I love the splash of red here, and the flowers looked stunning in the morning light.
I had quite a few airy, floaty flowers to use (like mallow, scabious and cosmos) and I decided to use these together in glass vases. I added a hydrangea near to the rim of the vase just to give a bit of weight/stability. It works well when you can see the stems in this kind of arrangement.
It can be a it of a challenge when you have flowers with really strong colours. These can be mixed in with other contrasting colours, but I decided to use them together - I mixed orange dahlias with dark pink cosmos and red sweet peas.
Then I was left with one gorgeous dahlia. I used this on its own in a brown jam jar. It is such a dramatic bloom that works on its own.
Finally, what to do with the crocosmia? I love crocosmia - such elegant and intriguing flowers. I placed them in this simple white jug. I stripped off some of the spiky foliage and added that to the jug. Perfect.
It is wonderful to have flowers to cut in your own garden....but it is important to allow enough time to harvest them - this is best done in the evening after the heat of the day. Then you need to allow plenty of time to really enjoy creating something lovely with them. This may demand a bit of imagination. It helps to have a good range of vases, jars and bottles. What I love about the end result is the way cut flowers bring the garden into the house.