Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Harvest flowers at the Garden Museum

I've recently started doing some flowers for the Garden Museum. I wrote about the London museum in March, when I visited it for the first time - it's such a lovely place, it's a joy to do flowers there now.

This week, the flower cart needed to look especially bright and beautiful, so I cut, collected, and foraged as much as I could: conkers from Greenwich Park, purple grasses and pretty ivy trails from Hither Green Station embankment (thank you Lewisham Gardens for the invite), and berried ivy, mystery tree foliage, jasmine, cotoneaster, lavender, sedum, zinnias, cosmos, borage and nicotiana from the garden. I also cut a bucketful of prettiness from the museum's cutting garden: rosemary, euonymus, more zinnias, verbena, grasses, Michaelmas daisies (appropriately, since it is almost Michaelmas), tagetes, and a beautiful blue flower that I still don't know the name of. Finally, I bought sunflowers, celosia and carmanthus for the bold "autumn flowers" and artichokes, radishes, peppers and fresh dates for the "pretty harvest".

With some help from a kind assistant, we made a couple of wooden boxes, and drilled holes in half of the conkers. I wired some of these conkers and made a garland with the others. I mossed up a wire wreath frame, and decorated it with conkers, dried hydrangea heads (thank you Sara Willman for prompting me to dry my flowers), sedum and wired radishes. I also made a garland with berried ivy, mystery foliage, hydrangeas, sedum and snowberries.

And today I put it all together, along with more arrangements for the cart.

One of the loveliest things about doing flowers at the museum is the visitors; many stop and watch and have a chat about the flowers and why they are visiting. It's wonderful.

Today a few people commented on the conkers, saying that children don't seem to play with conkers anymore, so it was nice to see so many of them!

Sunflowers: reminding us that despite the cold nights, it's not winter yet!


  1. What a gorgeous display! I love the conked garlands too! You are ahead of me! I haven't got round to drying my hydrangeas...yet! I love the mix of flowers & veg. Stunning!

    1. Aw, thanks Sara! I was pretty late to dry my hydrangea, but I managed to get some with a bit of colour. I'm drying sedum too. Yes, flowers and veg for harvest, but soon it will be flowers and fruit for Christmas!