Our hedges, verges and abandoned corners may look bland and green at first sight but look closer and they are filled with treasure. I'm lucky enough to have friends with fields who don't cut their hedges, but if you don't (and you're not using your materials for profit - see note at the end of this post) then head out for a wander along a verge and see what beautiful things you can find. These are my favourite wild things to hunt for when I'm foraging.Read More
December is here and with it, all the magic of the season. I LOVE December, especially since moving to the (very cold) countryside. The mornings are crisp and misty, the woodsmoke curling out of chimneys into the cold air and frost whorls on the tops of the gateposts. Our house is filled with pine trees, candles and decorations and my thoughts are turned to giving and celebratingRead More
My post the other week on focal flowers quite noticeably left out all spring bulbs because I felt they needed a category all of their own. I love bulbs in spring, they're a cheap and cheerful way to add pops of beautiful colour into the cutting garden, and are especially useful to the hobby florist as they enable you to get the specialist varieties without having to purchase 50 stem bunches from the wholesalers. Now it's November it's the perfect time to be planting them as you clear spent annuals and lift dahlias for the winter.Read More
I love teaching workshops, and it's become almost second nature now. It's always wonderful to see people create beautiful things from flowers and over the last few years I've taught countless wreaths and handtied workshops. Recently though, flower crowns have had a real surge of popularity and they were the class of choice for this summer's hen dos. There was a tropical theme with Hawaiian shirts, English country garden flowers in a luxury glamping site* and pinks and yellows in a hidden Devon valley.Read More
When I'm not creating gorgeous wedding designs or growing flowers in the cutting garden, I can usually be found cosied up inside and making things. And ever since Immy was a tiny thing, I've been making things for her. It started with clothes and blankets but when she started to play and explore my pinterest searches turned more to toys and games that were quick and easy to make, ideally from bits and pieces I already had at home.
The first ones were when she was just old enough to hold things and shake them and, inspired by all the fab sensory bottles they had at our local Children's Centre, I decided to make her some of her own.Read More
This week I'm thinking about the focal flowers - after foliage this is the next one to be thinking about for your cutting garden, as this is where you need to decide about the stars of your designs. Some are tubers, some herbacious perennials and some are shrubs, but they all need a fair amount of space (although lots are great for problem areas like against walls or shady spots) so set aside as much as you can for them and get planting!Read More
Last summer John and I were driving home from a walk on Exmoor when my phone rang. I answered, and my baby sister told me that she had got engaged to the loveliest boy. Immy was asleep in the back of the car so I had to silent-scream with excitement at the wonderful news. So this wedding was naturally the most high pressure one yet!Read More
Foliage is a funny old thing. People disregard it as just 'greens', but it's the mainstay of almost all floral design. There's a vast range of different textures and colours available, and it's an easy way to fill spaces in the cutting garden and create permanent structure . These are my 5 favourites, all of which are easy to grow in most of the UK.Read More
Autumn is here and the garden is slowly starting to wind down for the winter. I'm working with a fairly small space in my cutting garden, beds are precious and only the most beautiful and productive plants get a spot. Even so, there's a lot to do and I've been out over the last couple of weeks pottering about; taking cuttings, planting out and clearing spaces for the spring bulb order that's coming soon.
It's got me thinking about my favourite plants, which ones I'll always make space for, so I thought I'd do a 'My Top 5 Plants for the Cutting Garden' blog post. But after about 30 seconds of writing I realised that would just be impossible - there are far too many! But I've managed to narrow down my top 5 in various different categories, and over the next couple of months I'm going to be sharing these with you, and hopefully inspiring you in your garden planning for next year!Read More
With summer well and truly finished, we've hardly been able to walk past a hedgerow without pulling off handfuls of blackberries. everywhere we walk is accompanied by a very purple Imogen shouting 'more bewwies!' and we've started the great cold-season tradition of becoming 85% crumble. And this is totally normal for us, Autumn is prime foraging time where we go hunting for berries and fruit in the hedgerows and fill the freezer, ready for the long winter. But this is the first year we've really done summer foraging, and I'm really quite excited to look back and show you what we found!Read More
We’re in the thick of going-to-weddings season at the moment, three down and one to go! And what is a wedding without confetti? I love it, colourful and fluttery and celebratory. But the paper stuff is a nightmare, staining everything and having to be swept up. I much prefer to make my own from flower petals and larkspur are the absolute easiest to useRead More
Summer is in full swing in the cutting garden and the beds are bursting with colour and beautiful blooms. Roses and clematis are scrambling over the fences, the dahlias are towering over Imogen's head and cerinthe is spilling out of the herb border. We've had a few rainy days that have rotted roses and encouraged slugs which has been frustrating but things are, thankfully, looking up!Read More
'We're getting married in April. In Cornwall. Outside....'
If you know Cornish weather you'll know why that's a slightly terrifying thing for a florist to hear! But if you're going to risk it, then Polhawn Fort is the place to do it in. A stunning Napoleonic fort, nestled into the side of the cliffs with sweeping views over Whitsand Bay; it's the perfect venue for a relaxed, romantic wedding. Thankfully, the weather held and Laura and Luke were blessed with glorious sunshine!Read More
I'm so thrilled to share these beautiful photos from Jemima & Mike's wedding last year with you! Jemima has been a dear friend since we were 13 so I was honoured to be asked to do her wedding flowers. We've had a lot of adventures together, from the time she bleached her hair on a school trip, to spending our summers at festivals as teenagers to a couple of wonderful girly holidays together; but nothing has been as exciting as watching her fall in love and get married to her wonderful husband Mike.Read More
This week I finally pulled up the tulip bulbs to get some space back for perennials. They bloomed for weeks and filled that little corner of the garden with gorgeous soft pink tones. So beautiful but also such a learning curve, it appears I have a lot to learn about growing tulips!Read More
I hope you've had a marvellous weekend in the sunshine. I'm home now, settling back into the rhythm of the garden and preparing for a crazy week next week (shoot flowers on Sunday, wedding flowers next Thursday, flower crown workshop for 30 (!!!) on the Saturday.) I'm off to Polzeath tomorrow for a couple of days so today I've been catching up in the garden, but also reflecting on the wonderful weekend I've just had!
I was down in South Devon for Easter with my parents and assorted silbings/in-law. It's so wonderful to go home and be together and take part in all our traditions. There was chocolate, trips to the sea, chocolate, church, hot cross buns, more chocolate, roast lamb... you get the idea!Read More
Now is the perfect time to get out into the potting shed and start sowing seeds like cerinthe and scabious for the summer. Hardy annuals and veg can all be sown now, and if you have the greenhouse or coldframe space you can get a head start on more tender things like tomatoes and dahlias. A little bit of attention to detail now will pay dividends at harvest time, so to get seed sowing right there are a few things you need to bear in mind.Read More
With April comes the beginning of Wedding Season in all it's joyful craziness, and in amongst all the planning I've been having a ponder about the latest wedding trends for Spring. John and I really wanted a May wedding, but sadly his exams got in the way, but if we had I'd have tried really hard to get all of these into the day!! From chocolate to tree branches, there's all sorts of ways to bring the season into your wedding.Read More
This week spring has properly arrived here in North Devon. The trees are in bud, the garden is coming alive and the birdsong is incredible. I was watching an episode of Countryfile on catch up yesterday about the smell of spring in the soil and how the rain sends the scent molecules up into the air so we get that incredible smell telling us Spring is on the way, I thought it was absolutely fascinating. Especially as that smell, and the grass smell as everyone gets their lawnmowers dusted off and working again, is one of my favourite things about the season.
I thought I'd share the others, and I'd love to hear yours in the comments too!Read More
Well, spring has well and truly arrived - the clocks going forward coincided with Mothering Sunday and a weekend full of warm sunshine. My Mother's Day involved a gloriously long lie in, a bottle of Wicked Wolf gin (Mother's Ruin, classic) and a lovely, blustery walk on the beach with my Mum. Lots of cuddles with Imogen, lots of cups of tea and rounded off with a brilliant slow roast leg of lamb.
We're trying to learn how to eat more seasonally and this week have been planning the vegetable garden and sowing lots of seeds. Spring is tricky though, we just don't have the space that things like rhubarb and asparagus need, so rely on the greengrocers having a steady supply from local producers. Rhubarb has already arrived and I'm counting down the days til local asparagus turns up too!
So here's four of the best things we've been eating and drinking lately... starting with Sunday's lunch!Read More