Friday, 16 May 2014

The first nigella and roses of the year

After nine months of nurturing, my Nigella 'Moody Blues', which I grew from Sarah Raven's seeds, began to flower this month. Nigella are a beautiful, fairy-like flower that I never came across when I did my floristry course or when I worked for other florists. I think they deserve to be used more often - they are such a delicate-looking flowers, but last well in water. Here is my first one, along with a couple of early sweet peas.

The first roses began to flower too, and the scent hits you as soon as you step outside.

I was longing to make my first garden rose and nigella posy of the year! I added lots of sweet-smelling herbs - both lemon thyme and flowering orange thyme, and last year's apple mint (which is doing even better this year) and lavender mint. Combined with the scent of the roses, this is a posy that fills a room.

The odd bits of thyme, rosebud and nigella were used in a tiny Tiptree jar. I don't like wasting flowers! The rest of the flower waste gets thrown on the compost heap.

Since I don't like flower waste, I got these from my lovely local florist, Julie at the Grove Park florist shop. She was going to throw them out, and didn't want to take money for them, but I did manage to pay her a little for them. I've talked about how difficult it is to manage a flower shop before - one day you sell out of everything, but another day you end up throwing half of your stock out.

As ever, my message is: please buy flowers and plants from your florist or garden centre when possible, and not from a big supermarket. Or grow your own!

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