Category Archives: Spring

Friday…with The Flower Arranger Magazine ( and my Granny )

February 17, 2017

Filed Under : Arrangements - ikebana - Spring

Towards the end of last year I was asked if I’d like to contribute something to the NAFAS Sping edition of ‘The Flower Arranger’ Magazine

( NAFAS is National Association of Flower Arrangement Soceities by the way )

I was really thrilled as it had been my late Granny’s favourite magazine, having been an avid flower arranger with The Coventry Flower Club since the early 1960’s.

I have held on to lots of her flower arranging bits and pieces ( including the metal frogs and ikebana snips and books in the image above ) as I knew they meant so much to her…little realising how much influence they were going to have on me over the last few years.

She would have been so surprised but also really happy that I had had something published in this magazine, so I wanted to create some arrangements which somehow included her and her work too…I have her sketchbooks, lots of photos of her arrangements and certificates… …she was evidently pretty skilled as these First Prize cards date from 1966 – 1995She had also achieved her advanced diploma in Ichiyo ikebana by 1973……and this is an image I really love as here is Beryl Stanton running what looks like a flower arranging workshop on a lovely wooden table!These were obviously some arrangements she was most proud of…even though they seem rather dated now…She had a beautiful garden too which I spent many weekends running around ( and dodging mud ‘grenades’ my brother would hurl at me from across the lawn! ) this photo is so reminiscent of summers spent there…I can almost smell it I also have a selection of some of her ceramics which she used. The keyhole one is my absolute favourite but they’re all brilliant to work with… …and here is her 25 years of flower arranging badge …and her NAFAS apronIt’s strange, but also quite comforting, to realise the influence someone has had on you during your childhood when you weren’t even noticing…I really wish I could have had a chat to her about it all, or even a class with her in her shed…

However, at least I’m able to share a bit of that history here…even though she’d have been completely freaked out by anything digital!You can order a copy of the Spring Issue of ‘The Flower Arranger’ HERE which is full of really interesting ideas and also a great piece about Japanese Cherry Blossom!

Weekly Snaps…( with uploading hitch )

May 31, 2016

Filed Under : Arrangements - Art - Brighton - colour - Cornwall - cycling - My Home - Open House - Spring - Summer - Weekly Snaps


I tried so hard to get these ‘Weekly Snaps’ up here on Sunday evening at the same time as my Steller Story, but for some reason my blog is proving a bit of a nightmare re uploading images at the moment, so these images have taken about 2 days to upload after re loading and re loading as they just keep freezing mid import…maybe it’s because I’m away from home or something, but here they are now!

( there are extra images and film on the Steller version of this post if you click on the link above )image image image image image Photo 25-05-2016 Photo 26-05-2016, 17 35 25 Photo 26-05-2016, 18 16 30 Photo 26-05-2016-2 Photo 27-05-2016, 07 24 19 Photo 26-05-2016, 10 38 16 Photo 24-05-2016 Photo 26-05-2016, 11 20 32 Photo 28-05-2016, 15 49 30 Photo 27-05-2016, 18 14 01 Photo 27-05-2016, 16 49 09 Photo 26-05-2016, 16 29 22 Photo 27-05-2016, 18 13 04 Photo 27-05-2016, 16 54 57 imagePhoto 28-05-2016, 10 47 40 Photo 28-05-2016, 19 00 38 Photo 27-05-2016, 10 11 34Photo 28-05-2016, 14 03 14 Photo 28-05-2016, 15 54 05 Photo 28-05-2016, 17 13 18 Photo 28-05-2016, 17 19 01 Photo 28-05-2016, 15 53 46 Photo 29-05-2016, 16 34 36 Photo 29-05-2016, 16 32 00 Photo 28-05-2016, 17 17 31 Photo 28-05-2016, 20 05 10

Work featured from a Brighton Open House in Stanley Rd from and


Monday…with garden progress

May 9, 2016

Filed Under : My Garden - My Home - Spring - The Shed

Photo 09-05-2016, 14 02 56Over the last couple of weeks the garden has transformed…everything has woken up after such a cold early Spring…Photo 03-05-2016, 17 59 00 I managed to keep a lot of the succulents out of the frost and now I have to try and keep the snails and slugs away…Photo 03-05-2016, 18 13 45 The sage is in bud and this seemed to literally happen in days…Photo 03-05-2016, 17 48 54 this is my favourite patch where each year I move things around and try and create texture, colour and height combinations…Photo 09-05-2016, 14 31 13 Photo 09-05-2016, 14 31 26 I have Spanish bluebells, not like the sweet woodland ones, and I really have to manage them each year; digging up loads of the bulbs, otherwise they would completely take over and choke loads of the other plants…Photo 23-04-2016, 16 45 34 This was my echium just over a week ago and on the right, the poor one which got blown down in the high winds and which I desperately tried to save with no luck. I had to dig it up and saw it into sections, but I have kept the top half in water just in case I can save some of its buds…Photo 23-04-2016, 16 42 41 Photo 23-04-2016, 16 41 55 …before it completely snapped from its root

Thankfully I have this one as well which is growing at a crazy rate at the moment…Photo 09-05-2016, 14 34 23this is a cluster of quaking grass which I adore, so I let it pop up all over the place…Photo 23-04-2016, 16 47 21…and a mini giant echium in a more shady spotPhoto 09-05-2016, 14 34 55I found this today…a really pretty looking umbellifer, but one which I fear is hemlock, so I dug it out. I find it really difficult to tell the difference between the highly poisonous hemlock and wild carrot or Queen Anne’s Lace, but apparently wild carrot flowers later in the Summer and this is the prime time for hemlock flowers…will have to keep my eyes peeled in the garden. Funny thing is I think it got there because I had loads of it in arrangements in the house this time last year!!Photo 09-05-2016, 14 35 11Photo 03-05-2016, 18 13 32 baby succulents, common hogweed and hollyhocks..Photo 23-04-2016, 17 03 26I found what I think is toad spawn in a shallow dish at the bottom of the garden, so I transferred it to this deeper old enamel bowl which I found in the garden when I moved here 15 years ago…Photo 23-04-2016, 17 07 32 These cowslips originated from my Great Uncle’s farm, probably in the 1960’s. His wife was my Granny’s sister and she gave my Granny some for her garden, and then my Granny gave some or those original ones to my mum in the mid 1980’s. Each time we moved house my mum would make sure she took a section of the cowslips, and then a few years ago she gave me some from her current garden…hopefully I’ll still have some to give to my son…when he’s interested!Photo 23-04-2016, 16 46 38 Photo 23-04-2016, 16 43 13 the aquilegia has shot up and flowered in a week…Photo 09-05-2016, 14 33 40 The Granny poppies are well on their way…Photo 09-05-2016, 14 33 11 …and the miniature lilac has started to flowerPhoto 09-05-2016, 14 32 15Photo 23-04-2016, 16 51 31 …this was my one and only tulip this year. Hopefully more will come back next yearPhoto 09-05-2016, 14 34 36 Photo 09-05-2016, 14 31 42 Photo 09-05-2016, 14 31 59 Photo 23-04-2016, 16 50 29 Photo 09-05-2016, 11 08 58

Photo 09-05-2016, 14 30 47I haven’t been sure what this umbellifer was until today. It’s been growing like mad and makes opening the shed door very tricky.

I thought it was common hogweed but it’s leaves were shinier, and then when I cut some today I realised it had quite a pleasant smell, so I looked it up, and it’s common name is ‘Alexanders’ or  ‘Black Loveage’ or even Smyrnium olusatrum…I think it may have travelled back from Cornwall with me accidentally as I don’t remember seeding one, but I love that it’s been a bit of surprise…and apparently you can eat it!
Photo 09-05-2016, 14 29 52 It’s apparently related to celery, so I thought I’d make a dandelion and loveage sald…Photo 09-05-2016, 17 44 53 Photo 09-05-2016, 17 45 22 Photo 09-05-2016, 17 46 41 Photo 09-05-2016, 17 46 03 I was a bit nervous about eating something I’d only just discovered, and I would love to say it was amazing, but it wasn’t massively flavoursome and the dandelions were quite bitter…however I like that it’s edible and I did really enjoy the flowers…more of a brocolli texture,  and who knows, it’s probably a bit better with dips!Photo 09-05-2016, 18 16 42