I’m loving these…

I’m drooling over these great seed storage tins. What about you?

These seed packet storage containers are perfect for collecting, storing and organising your seed packets. The leather-handled tins are available from Annabel James in the UK, for £21.95. The British Bloom storage tin (middle), also available from Annabel James, here, is decorated with painterly peonies and dahlias, a design from the Royal Horticulture Society’s Lindley Library and endorsed by the RHS. It retails for £24.95.

Summer blooms to pick

There are some lovely summer blooms out and about right now, ready for picking – purple geranium, roses, hydrangeas, astilbe, dahlias, gaillardia, Shasta daisies and lisianthus (or eustoma – these are very hard to grow from seed),  with eucalyptus and coleus for foliage fillers. 

What’s ready for picking in your garden?

Autumn brightness

Well, it’s autumn in New Zealand right now, so we’re seeing colourful blooms like dahlias, coreopsis, rudbeckias and sea holly. You may even have rose hips in your garden if you didn’t get around to deadheading them. Or apples, which are useful in arrangements, like in the design one up from the bottom, found here.

I’m loving the second arrangement down by La Musa de las Flores, which features dried leaves, nasturtiums, phlox and ranunculus. It appears over at Elle Decor. As does the berry arrangement by Vervain. This plant, Celastrus orbiculatus, is actually a pest plant in New Zealand, but there are many other berry plants you can try instead.

Beautiful illustrations


Are these gorgeous or what?

Health and wellbeing summit


I have some exciting news to share! My friend James Roche is hosting this incredible summit where he and Suzanne Evans have brought together over 50 experts in life and in business to share their best content with YOU! It’s going to be amazing! AND the best part is I’m joining them as one of the experts. I’m so excited.
[Read more…]

Inspired by spring


Janna Brown and Katie Grant are both amazing creators, with Janna putting together this gorgeous bouquet that includes clematis, peonies, roses and ranunculus, and Katie capturing it on camera. Their efforts make me want to dive into the garden right now and plant every single one of these flowers.

For more colour, take a look at New Mexico florist Melissa Paquin’s stunning bouquet, photographed by Alicia Lucia. Flowers include orange ranunculus, moth orchids and buddleia.

I’m also loving this bridal bouquet with the everlasting flowers – Helichrysum bracteatum. They’ve been pooh-poohed over the past years as being old-fashioned, but they’re slowly making a comeback, with beautiful new varieties on the market. I love them, and I’ll be planting lots more this this spring. This bouquet was put together by Ambedo Floral and photographed by Sara Weir.

This bouquet, which features over at Nouba, contains everlasting flowers as too. These are a wine-burgundy colour. Love them!






Spring arrangements


Need inspiration for home-picked flowers? Check out these gorgeous spring creations. This lovely arrangement by Meades Florist (above) includes tulips, roses, chamomile and clematis. It’s a simple bouquet that works with any flower – whatever is popping up in the garden now.

This is a late spring arrangement (above) with foxgloves, campanula, dahlias, snapdragons and yarrow. All these blooms are long lasting in the garden, and the vase – it would make an excellent summer display too. You can see this arrangement over at Casa di Stile.

Who doesn’t love ranunculus and cabbage roses with their soft, billowing petals and sheer elegance? Ranunculus come in all colours, so if orange is not your thing, there are a multitude of other hues that will fit the bill. This arrangement features over at 100 Layer Cake, the flowers by Brown Paper Design and photography by Annie McElwain.

I LOVE this arrangement by Charlotte of Tradgardsflow with tulips, cowslips, geranium and lily of the valley. So very simple yet so elegant. 

Plant Now: Lavatera trimestris

Lavatera trimestris is a great cut flower with white and rose-pink blooms from summer to autumn. These plants are annuals, but they do self-sow, so they should pop up again the following year. Sow seeds direct or in trays for transplanting later. Choose a spot in full sun that has well-draining soil. Kings Seeds, Egmont Seeds and GardenPost all sell these bushy plants. Sarah Raven has a beautiful dwarf pale pink-white version here (second and third photos from top).

Plant Now: Clematis ‘Freckles’


Long-blooming, hardy, and with attractive, glossy leaves year round, this flamboyant clematis is quite the novelty. Its bell-shaped, creamy blooms are heavily speckled on the inside. They start out raspberry red in colour then turn more purple-red as they mature. What more could you want in a plant?

Flowers in winter? Yes! Clematis cirrhosa var. purpurascens ‘Freckles’ puts on a terrific show in the cooler months. The flowers dangle at the ends of multi-branching stems, but there is no problem getting a good peak at the inside of the flowers, as ‘Freckles’ climbs up to 4m high.

‘Freckles’ was raised from wild seed collected in the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, so the plant likes a well-drained gritty soil in sun.

Plants available in New Zealand from Yaku Nursery.

Images: Top image by Jason Ingram; bottom image from Clematis in Seattle.

Kings Seeds is turning 40!!

Wow! How incredible. Kings Seeds is turning 40 – and there’s a huge celebration at their base in Katikati. I’ll be there, as will Lynda Hallinan. Are you coming too?