Monday is the day to join with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden and share a vase of flowers picked from our own gardens. I use the word flowers loosely, in my Garden in January there are few flowers and those that are there are needed to add that extra spark to the borders.
In the cuttings bed the only plants remaining are the Antirrhinums and they are stubbornly refusing to actually open their buds, maybe if I picked them they would open. So wandering around the garden I was beginning to feel a slight sense of panic, what could I use and not repeat the vase produced last week for which there would have been more material.
I am regretting not having any forced narcissi this year, but no good complaining I must find something to use. The birds seem to have discovered the Cotoneaster berries I used last week so I will reuse the ones those with some tightly closed buds of Viburnum tinus, which never seems to open its buds here until spring unlike in the UK where it flowers reliably for most of the winter. The prostrate rosemary at the top of the drive is full of flowers and bees too enjoying the sunshine today. For some perfume the Eleagnus is still producing masses of sweetly scented flowers.
I reused the Salvia ‘Indigo Spires’ to add more movement to the design.
Do pop over to Cathy’s to see what other have found in their garden’s today.
I mentioned last week that I had been given a book by my MIL for Christmas; I am thrilled with it, it is full of inspiring ideas that all seem easily achieved. The book is “Flowers Every Day” by Paula Pryke with excellent photographs by Rachel Whiting.
This book aims to inspire you to have flowers in your home every day of the year; as Paula writes “Expense, lack of longevity and a shortage of time can often prevent us from enjoying flowers as much as we would like. But by using your garden as a resource, in addition to carefully selected purchases from the Florist or supermarket, you can enjoy flowers in your home every day of the year.”
The book is divided into seasons, showing us what it is easy to have in our gardens plus listing flowers that should be available to purchase at reasonable prices. Each season is sub-divided into early and late. Paula is an internationally known florist but this book is about the arrangements she achieves for her own home. So the flowers are often simple and inexpensive or from her own garden; but it is her ideas for arranging them are refreshingly modern and different (to me anyway).
Between the pages about the seasons there are pages devoted to containers, raiding your store cupboard, conditioning the flowers etc. The book doesn’t pretend to be a ‘how to’ book for growing your own flowers only one double page is devoted to growing a cutting garden from seed; although there are also notes of evergreens and other shrubs that it would be useful to grow. I liked the fact that she always introduces all the flowers using their Latin Names and only uses common names after that.
There wasn’t anything in the entire book that I thought would be difficult to achieve even for a complete novice.
Paula has a wonderful eye for colour and form and there wasn’t one arrangement that I didn’t like in the book or feel that I could achieve. Not every arrangement has step by step instructions but I didn’t feel this detracted from the books usefulness as she covers most of the techniques that can be used.
I would certainly recommend the book to anyone wanting to arrange flowers for their home and think that everyone would find her ideas inspiring and creative and the instructions helpful in achieving the look you want. I especially liked the many ideas for covering containers and using the ‘below the waterline’ as part of the arrangement.
As I mentioned the book was a gift to me and no-one has asked me to review the book, my comments are all my own response to the book that I wanted to share.