Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Lonely Bouquet Day 2015

The last Sunday in June is Lonely Bouquet Day, when we are encouraged to make posies of flowers from our gardens (or a kind neighbour's) and leave them in a recycled container for a stranger to enjoy.

I had left this posy at a train station during British Flowers Week.

But on Lonely Bouquet Day, I was looking after my disabled sister, and while I had buckets of flowers cut and ready for us to make posies together, she really wasn't in the mood. 

So when she suddenly decided she wanted to go out, I hastily made this one and she left it by the cut flower plot at Hall Place.

I have since seen that it was adopted!

Then the rain poured down, and in the afternoon, during a brief dry hour, I made and left a few more - by the allotments near Sundridge Park, and on the bench overlooking the Desmond Tutu Peace Gardens in Chinbrook Meadows, which were designed by Chris Beardshaw (and which were the site of my first abandoned bouquet a few years ago).

Unfortunately the rush meant no fancy photos; just hasty phone ones!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

British Flowers Week: A British flowers tea party

It was wonderful to fill up five buckets with flowers I've grown. Pink alliums, cornflower-blue cornflowers, strongly-scented roses...summer is well and truly here. I had to get the sprinkler out as the grass and shrubs were so parched - we've had a bit of drizzle the last few days, but it's so warm, it barely waters the plants before it evaporates.

I was so pleased to include my Bowl of Beauty peonies - they aren't scented, but they are showstoppers! This was the first one to open - if you are cutting yours, cut them just before they get to this stage.

The sixth bucket was filled with claret astrantia, drooping purple alliums, and blue-purple penstemon from Zest and white peonies from Pratley at New Covent Garden Market. You could tell it was British Flowers Week and wedding season, as the market was really buzzy when I went on Thursday, even though I went quite late (8am).

It was lovely to see a sea of Rosebie Morton British-grown roses at Zest.

I had a few flowers to do for a house party and so many left over, I was able to take some to a friend who I haven't seen for a year, and leave a couple of lonely bouquets on trains and train stations.

It was a great excuse to use a tea set (more on that on Alice Day, on the 4th of July) and to get a piece of rainbow cake from Cloud 9 in Brighton!

The philadelphus is looking gorgeous, and when I opened the door in the morning, I was hit with the smell of orange blossom (hence its common name, mock orange). So this Tiptree jar was perfect for a white posy of philadelphus, ammi, hesperis and alliums.

I have some Apollo irises that are a sunny yellow colour, and some orange and cream osteospermum. Not quite apricot, but this jar would have to do - and the peachy rose sat in one of many jars that I collect from people when they go out for scones!

The next date in your diary: Lonely Bouquet Day this Sunday, and an excuse to carry on using homegrown flowers!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

British Flowers Week: Eggcups, the new jam jars

It's British Flowers Week again, and my summer flowers are filling my corner of South East London with colour, scent and texture.

Last week I filled three vases (and four eggcups) with them - from scented Harlequin sweet peas that I managed to grow from seed I saved last autumn to self-seeded and deliberately grown nigella, from pretty white alliums that were an experiment in planting unused onions to huge 'Galahad' delphiniums grown from seed, and from French lavender (bought in Mayfield Lavender) to British-grown French marigolds.

I love China blue and white, and so I used this Portmeirion vase and mixed a few blue nigella and flowering physocarpus with the white alliums, delphiniums, ammi majus, and hesperis.

This vase and matching eggcups are so cute - I thought the bright colours of the calendula, cornflowers and osteospermum would suit them. I don't think I'll tire of jam jar posies in a hurry, but eggcup flowers are a wonderful, miniature alternative.

And this lime green glass vase was made for summer flowers. There are plenty more to come. In the meantime, you can read more about British Flowers Week here.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Hello Goodbye

...said the Beatles. I have lots to share here, but no time as I'm off to see the Manics play their best album in Cardiff and to the Thomas Hardy 175th anniversary celebrations.

In the meantime, here's a couple of photos from Sissinghurst, which I finally visited a few weeks ago.

Enjoy the sunshine!