I have a fine arts degree and trained as a garden designer over 15 years ago, following a love for gardening, flowers and being outside wherever possible. Recently, floral design has consumed more and more of my time, and garden and floral design now inform each other daily. I think floristry can be really wasteful, so wherever possible I avoid floral foam and use potted perennials that can be reused. I adore the wonky stems and the imperfections from homegrown flowers and try to look at my designs in a “painterly” way.
The Beauty of Nature
I love the fleeting beauty of nature and flowers. It makes you stop and stare, drinking in all the beauty as you know it will possibly be gone tomorrow. Saying that, I do think that some flowers are at their most beautiful in their final moments before all the petals fall off.
The Art of Slow Living
Slow living is being able to take time to notice the small things. Notice the bird song and the changing seasons. Take time to enjoy them. Eat from the land, even if it’s just a few peas or runner beans that you’ve grown in pots in the garden. Avoid mass market consumerism wherever possible. Laugh often and cherish family and friends.
We live in North Wales in the UK. I live on the side of a mountain, surrounded by big skies, fields and fabulous views, very remote but fabulous. I love visiting the city, but always breathe a huge sigh of relief when I can escape home to the clean air and space.
Flower I Love: The Charmer
Peony “Coral Charm” is a stunning single peony that looks like a graceful water lily as it ages. Don’t put many in a room, though, as they can smell like rotting shellfish as they die!
A few of my favorite flowers that are magnificent at their peak and then die beautifully:
In spring, they seem to get more and more graceful as they age.
Tulip “La Belle Epoque”
Soft, smoky tones of bruised plum and toffee that get paler as they age. Lasts as a cut flower for ages.
Single bloom roses
Such as “The Lark Ascending” by David Austin. Delicate, but with a steely determination to flower all season.
Phlox “crème brulee”
An annual flower grown easily from seed. Flowers its socks off from June to the late October frosts.
Geum "Mai Tai”
A hardy perennial that cuts and lasts in a vase for two weeks. All geums are worthwhile flowers for the garden, but “Mai Tai” is a beautiful muted buff and yellow color.
A bit of a diva that sums up autumn in all her orange tones, but is not too brash.
Never take photos in direct sunlight. A side light is the best and, if it is bright sunlight, hang a piece of thin linen gauze over the window. A pale blush linen will give the filtered sunlight more of a blush glow. Pay attention to detail. Consider the whole scene in front of you. Don’t fill the frame, but take out items if it feels too fussy. The human eye likes clear space and a feeling of order; it makes us feel calm. Consider how all the items in your photo relate to each other. Split the picture space into thirds, both vertically and horizontally, with the use of picture frames, mirrors, curtains, table tops, etc.