Category: Bloom

Bloom 2018 – The Hellebores

I love a first. I also love when it’s time to start sharing flower arrangements here again.

We seem to have had a harder winter than usual but you know me I’m not going to complain about the snow….. okay maybe a little bit but that’s only because we are not geared up for snow in the UK so everything grinds to a halt. But I digress. The first in question is the subject matter of this arrangement.

Helleborus. We have four clumps of these beauties and plans for a couple more plants to go in the ground soon. They are a big favourite of mine but cutting them hasn’t been an option because we didn’t have large enough plants. However, when I headed out on Easter Sunday morning looking for a few flowers to bring indoors these were the only thing flowering. So I cut two stems from one plant and two from another. I could only bring myself to cut those four stems!

I arranged them with some viburnum flowers, catkins and some pretty glaucous evergreen foliage. I loved how it turned out but about half an hour after this photo was taken the purple flowers had completely drooped. Oh yes, I should have mentioned that I seared the stems in just boiled water for about 20 seconds before putting them in the arrangement so I didn’t understand why they had flopped.

Here they are, cut down a little.

The internet to the rescue!  I found this article really helpful and discovered that the trick is to wait to pick until there are no stamens left and the flowers have started to produce seed. So next year when I pick some more I’ll remember that tip.

I seared the stem ends of these again just to see what would happen…

A couple of the flowers perked up but sadly not all. It is pretty incredible what plunging the stems of some blooms into boiling water will do!

A day or so later I snapped this photo of the flowers that were still left in the vase.

And sure enough you can see that all the hellebores have the seeds already forming in the centres of the flowers. Even the one at the top that has a few stamens left still has seed pods too.

Looking forward to sharing more floral stories this year as well as pretty arrangements!

Bloom 2018 – Planning and Pondering

It is that time of year again. How many years have I been sharing my endeavours to grow flowers for the house here on the blog? Quite a few now and I still love every part of this experience.

I have talked many times before about how I want to push my flower arranging skills and that I stalk florists on Instagram and feel downhearted sometimes when all of theirs are so amazing and mine are not! But that is part of it all. And I’m ok with it. I keep trying and like I say love the whole experience from selecting seed, sowing seed, pricking out seedlings, planting out and then picking and arranging.

I feel that it’s part of who I am now and that feels great!

I placed my seed order a week or so ago. I had a good look at my Pinterest board which has many of my arrangements from years past in the hope to change it up a little. So all the usual suspects are in the mix, Calendula, Cerinthie, Cosmos, Helianthus, Salvia, Scabious. But I also added a couple of different flowers too just to try and vary my arrangements. Linaria, which is delicate and elongated to add height and Malope, which I hope will create that saucer shape which you see in all the trendy instagrammers bunches. We will see.

Right now I should stop typing and get out there preparing. Here is to another lovely floriferous year!

Bloom 2016 – Crazy Wild (aka the one where I totally go for it)

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Remember I mentioned that there was another arrangement left to share? Well here it is. Basically I picked everything I could lay my hands on in one last burst of floral fun.

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I found that an old stool was perfect for sitting the vase on to take a photo. It’s a great stool that was my Grandmas and usually lives at my sisters but was on loan for a family do we’d recently had. Think I may just forget to give it back….

The sun came out just in time to capture a photo or two. It is a clash of colours, a clash of delicate and robust blooms.

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The flowers making up this vase are sunflowers, cosmos, dahlias, clematis, amaranth, antirrhinum, sweet pea foliage and some rose hips.

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As far as the going for it thing….I really tried to make the arrangement asymmetrical with short flowers at the front and longer stems towards one side. It was a challenge especially as I was limited with my flowers but I like how it turned out and it fills me with hope for trying this type of construction next year.

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Bloom 2016 – late summer meets early autumn (and a vignette series)

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I am absolutely of the opinion that this arrangement does not work but I loved it anyway. These were some stems I had left over from a big arrangement and they couldn’t be wasted so were popped into this lovely earthenware vase.

The phrase ‘vignette’ seems to have been cropping up everywhere internet lately. In fact I was unaware of its meaning in this sense until I read Emily Henderson’s blog post. I always thought they were just arrangements of stuff, but what do I know.

I thought I’d try my hand at this little style cluster with my vase of mismatched flowers…. See what you think.

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I think I liked the first one with the black vase best. Not quite in Emily’s league (I think she’d say there wasn’t enough shape variation!) but fun all the same and good to mix things up a little.

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Bloom 2016 – A little late, late splash of colour

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I had hopes of harvesting more these last couple of months but sometimes things don’t quite work out. September zoomed by then we were away and here we are almost at the end of October! I’m disappointed at my flower arrangements this year but not too much. After 20 years of growing flowers and vegetables I know that these things happen you have to let it go and look forward to next season.

That said I did harvest a few stems last week and have a couple more vase fulls to share yet. This one was filled with the greenhouse grown Zinnias and the tougher Antirrhinums and Salvias that have done well outside as usual. I added one or two clematis trailing stems in as well. A sweet vase for this Tuesday.

Bloom 2016 – Summer colour

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This is an arrangement from the other week. I spotted the beautiful Anemones at the back of the border and wondered how they’d last as a cut flower. I also found a clump of Oregano that I’d planted flowering away merrily so I picked a few of those stems too.

I definitely pushed my arranging skills well outside my comfort zone with this one and I’m not entirely sure I pulled it off?

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I think that pink Anemone could have been an inch or two shorter. But I tried and loved the bright and cheerful vase.

Also in this arrangement is Alchemilla mollis, Antirrhinum ‘the bride’, and an unknown yellow daisy flower that has crept into our garden from next door. (After a search on the internet I’ve found out that it’s called Inula.)

As for my wondering how long the Anemones would last? Well all of the arrangement held up for over a week so that’s a perfect vase full in my book.

Bloom 2016 – update in August

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There is a little sigh happening around here. Summer is winding down. The light is fading earlier and there is a chill creeping into the morning air. And I have not harvested many flowers at all so far this season.

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It had been a challenging year what with the greenhouse building. I was thrilled to get so many plants into the garden back in June but the late planting has naturally delayed the picking.

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Above are the Cosmos. They are late to flower anyway so hopefully our late start won’t affect those too much. Below you can see that the Nicotiana are starting to bulk up.

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Very happy to see self sown Borage.

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Ammi struggling along.

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My first attempt at Amaranthus……hmm. They have certainly not done quite what the should have because those flower spikes should be about  10 – 15 cms. I think that some plants just don’t do well in our climate.

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Take the Zinnias for instance. Here a specimen that had been planed out in the garden at the same time as everything else. It was attacked by slugs and sat there sulking. So I dug most of them up and potted back up and popped them into the greenhouse.

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They stated to grow away perfectly. SO my conclusion is that our Leeds temps are just not hot enough. But now I know they’ll grow in the greenhouse I will probably try them in the ground in there next year, if I can wrestle a small bit of space from Gav and his tomatoes!

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The sweet peas were planted in my now tried and tested way and are doing well.

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And my favourite Antirrhinum ‘Liberty Classic Crimson’ getting ready to flower.

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So a little snapshot into what’s what in my cutting patches. Not a total loss just a little late to the party!

Bloom 2016 – Free Purple

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I love collecting flowers and foliage from the self sown plants that pop up around the garden. It’s flowers for free and that tunes into my frugal side. Truth be told one of the main reasons I grow my own is the cost factor. At the moment I don’t have bushes of fancy roses to pick from but what I do grow is always a joy to sow, pot on and harvest. Growing flowers has become part of my life blood.

In this arragement we have lunaria seed pods, canon went, knautia seed heads, lemon balm, dianthus barbatus oregano foliage and lavender all popped into a little tin can that once held dried yeast. More cost saving!

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Hoorah for ‘free’ plants and ‘free’ vases.

Bloom 2016 – Silver White

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Is this a good thing or a bad? I wait all year for certain flowers to bloom and then can only steel myself to pick them once and leave the rest in the garden?

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Good and bad I think. Which is fine. At least I get one arrangement. The flower in question on this vaseful are the Viburnum opulus. Those green/white orbs of dense wonder. They begin tight and firm, lime green and fresh signalling everything about spring in one flower head. Then as they mature the grow in size and develop into voluminous white balls, loose and frothy.

Along with them are Euphorbia, Lunaria, Hesperis and the grey foliage from an ornamental pear tree whose boughs hang over into our garden from next door! (I asked before I cut them.)

The annuals are slowly growing and filling out and hopefully I’ll be cutting a few stems from them soon.

Bloom 2016 – hot pink

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Another from a few weeks ago.

The Tulips all in their second year are Dolls Minuet, Black Parrot and Queen of Night.

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I also picked wallflower foliage and some self sown Aquilegia that had a dark plummy stem but still a greeny/pink flower which picked up on the pink Tulip.

Loved this combination and love those pink Tulips, must remember to order more this autumn.