The beauty of flora
Goodness everyone seems to be posting pics of garden flowers in simple pots on IG.
I gathered a sweet cherry blossom bough, a handful of Cow Slip spays and a few Stinging Nettles with tiny blue flowers from the local overgrown church yard. Yes, I bunched them in a glass bottle and voila, instant happiness.
Flowers bring joy. Whether so fresh they look as if they have been brushed with watercolour, when they are just on the brink of turning or already fallen as in Dutch floral masterpieces.
Creatives are drawn to flora and fauna. For centuries artists have captured their rich symbolism and for designers, flowers have been a constant leitmotif in their work.
I love seeing the homes and showrooms of those I work with filled with mood-making flowers and plants. Standing alone they make a strong statement and no matter how mixed and massed, we see how effortlessly beautifully nature is.
Enjoy a few of my snaps and some styled pictures...
Bennison: English Country-house style in the Georgian home of Gillian Newberry.
Jamb work alongside Coade. This Coade Lion Cistern was used as a planter by florist Charlie Mccormick to create an English country garden outside Jamb's Pimlico showroom during Chelsea Flower Show last year.
Cox London’s Pimlico showroom with lush, sculptural arrangements where everything is extraordinary.
Ochre always have the prettiest of flowers grouped together and often in a series of simple glass vases.
Stately Fox Gloves planted in pewter in the home of artist-designer Margit Wittig. Beautifully sculptural like her designs.
Tara Craig in her London apartment. In a word - exuberant.
Photo © Tillmann Pretscher
This is Scott with the most blowsy show of Hydrangeas in de Le Cuona's Pimlico showroom
A bunch of inspiration to finish with….
Gathered by Mary Norden
A beautiful book by interior stylist Mary Norden and photographer Polly Wreford. Mary and Polly indulged themselves with this year long project, photographing flowers from Mary’s garden, that culminated in this self-published book.
‘I wanted to create something more than ‘just pretty pictures’, images that the stir the emotions, sometimes in an unexpected way. I have always loved flowers. I have my own garden, and what I’ve come to realise is that my love of flowers and plants is not just about their colour and scent, but also about their seasonal cycle of blooming and dying. I love those first tight buds, and the blossom in spring that offers hope just as everything is at its greyest. Then there are the lush greens and glorious blooms in the summer, which are followed by autumn, and that sense of things decaying and ending. I wanted to express all of this, and doing a book seemed the perfect way to do this.’
'Gathered' book by Mary Norden & Polly Wreford published by Us Publishing.
Bloom, the first trend magazine for flowers and plants and how they relate to fashion, interiors and other industries.
Alexander Hoyle is a London based plantsman and garden designer.
"My design aesthetic is best described as the modern English country garden. It combines form, and function, structurally and architecturally,
and with a sense of serendipity in the cacophony of planting. I like gardens that are a little wild, have flair and zest, and are a little camp."
Charlie McCormick is one of gardening's most powerful new voices. He gardens in West Dorset, and is now making a new plot on the West Coast of Scotland.
Time will tell
"Cinema Closed Until Real Life Doesn't Feel Like A Movie" Sun-Ray Cinema, Jacksonville, Florida, USA. Photo by © Seth Langer
(Image seen on Instagram @let.the.eat.likes)
My youngest is solaced that a summer of GCSEs is no more. The eldest studying for his finals was faced with a term that saw strikes and then full university closure. The class of 2020 will go down in history. This vile virus has stolen the young, stranded the old made and left the rest of us in limbo.
Cities in particular are made of people, full of bustle and this lockdown is hard to bear. It takes a while for us to adjust to this new world order but adjust we must as we all have to listen to health experts and unless a key worker or can safely work, stay home. I am fortunate to be working from a recently finished garden office, my close-knit team has always been set up to WFH and our lovely clients remain loyal.
Be cosy at home with de Le Cuona's beautiful new accessories
This lockdown world will have an impact on how we work for sure. But at the moment we as a PR consultancy are feeding media with inspiring images, readymade features and positive news stories across the print, digital and social media landscape. We will keep in touch via our website, online gallery, newsletters and social channels. Yes, we are all Zooming and exploring innovative formats tailored for the digital sphere but I hope we are doing this in a respectful and helpful manner. It is nice to see that Conde Nast have unlocked their May issues with free digital access so design lovers and home birds can be entertained during the weeks ahead.
However, other media platforms have gone into autopilot blitzing us with daily coronavirus architecture and design briefings and now Virtual Design Festivals, with a rolling programme of online talks, lectures, launches and more. It seems, if there a buck to be made and a gap to be filled someone will more than fill it. I say leave some time and space to sow the seeds of fresh ideas and let sees what grows.
On Radio 4's Today programme, some of BBC News' best-known voices are offering their favourite poems of #comfortandhope, and talking about the importance of the words in their lives. Fergal Keane recites the verse that helped sustain him as he experienced PTSD.
He selected this from the Benedictus: Book of Blessings by John O'Donohue
"This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.
If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.’
Tap yourself on the shoulder to remind yourself of the simple things we can all enjoy together.
Handmade dinnerware by Canvas Home
Make your homes as welcoming as you can and be kind to your family, friends and colleagues.
Country kitchen, Max Rollit
No matter if you are working, WFH, schooling, furloughed or day dreaming about how to breathe life into your interior as yes, homes are important in times of crisis, we are all also facing a colonnade of emails and voices instructing us how to self-improve with new timetables. I loved the Tweet from House & Garden and the online story by Rumer Neill: In defence of not self-improving during isolation
"To cope in these tricky times, it seems that the entire population has embarked on one mammoth, nationwide quest for self-improvement. And I, for one, am finding myself increasingly tired of it all."
Before this illness struck we worked all hours of the day and night. Now we are made to feel anxious for not filling our days, nights and weekend with a new time table of activity.
However you are charting your days, pause to watch the blossoming of spring in your garden, balcony or on your one a day walk. Make time to clear your head, reflect on life and work. Someone who has done this better than most I know is Ben Pentreath, who writes a beautiful authentic blog each week. Read his latest Inspiration here
Ben Pentreath Inspiration Blog, Image © Ben Pentreath
“But the question for us to think about so very carefully now - to use this time - an unbelievably challenging time for so many (including me, I will add), but also precious time - to use this time to think carefully and profoundly and with love and humour about the world we'd like to see together on the other side. And I think it's going to be okay.” Ben Pentreath