Summer inspiration

How do you like your summer flowers? I love an informal display, with blousy blooms and colourful vases. Most of my vases come from charity shops. I have hundreds of them – I don’t know where to put them all. Every time I go into an op shop, I come out with some kind of glass, ceramic, pottery, metal or china vessel of sorts. What’s your weakness, flower or otherwise?

Can you guess these flowers?

Here’s a bit of fun. Who can tell me what these flowers are? Leave a comment if you know.

Summer posy



A quick summer posy. Virtually anything looks good in a vase with daisies or roses – and a posy of both looks divine. So country chic.

Boxed flowers

I have a thing for old wooden boxes at the moment. They make excellent vases – at least, they do if you put a waterproof container inside the box to hold the flowers. In this case, you need a rectangle-shaped container. Add some floral foam, or scrunched up chicken wire, and insert your flower stems. Easy.

Floral workshop in Wellington

Vase with white chrysanthemum
basket2Candelabra and flowersvase of red roses candlesvases-redWedding glasses flowers
This weekend I’m holding a workshop in Wellington at HANDMADE on Tablescapes: table flowers, centrepieces and wreaths for special occasions. I’ll be talking about some of the designs above as well as demonstrating wiring techniques and different types of displays. Check out the workshop here. I’m also running a workshop on Growing and using herbs for culinary, cosmetic and medicinal purposes. I had great fun last weekend making my own perfumes with herbs to bring to the workshop. Check out my herb class here.

Kalanchoe cut flowers

Kalanchoe blooming branchKalanchoe flower blossomsKalanchoe
The potted indoor Kalanchoe blossfeldiana (aka flaming Katy) is in bloom for about 10 weeks over winter and early spring, so it makes sense that it lasts well as a cut flower too. It certainly looks pretty in a vase, and I’ve seen it used in wedding bouquets. There are both single and double flowered forms, and the blooms come in vibrant colours or paler hues.

Displaying flowers

Crochet vase
Glass vaseSelection of vases
You can virtually make a vase out of anything, including crochet bags, glass jugs, and lab cylinders, small jars and hanging candle holders. Am I right? Don’t these look great?

The crochet bag has a small tube inside to hold the flowers.

Flowers for the table

table flowersBlue table centrepieceHere are two very different floral creations that would both suit a casual centrepiece. The top image shows roses, jasmine and unripe strawberries in a fancy vase; the bottom image is a collection of blue flowers in plain metal dishes. Both look striking in their own way and both look like they’ve been casually thrown together on the spur of the moment – none the worse for it.

Image source: rose bouquet Moonlight Rainbow; blue flowers Basket Bike.

Happy New Year!

Cup of tea and summer blooms

Happy New Year everyone! I’m very excited about this year, with all its opportunities. Flowers have been planted for cut flower production and my new online magazine, Sweet Living, has been launched. (Check it out here). But I’ve decided not to let myself get so busy this year as to not be able to stop for a cuppa and smell the flowers. I simply adore flowers – without them life would be less beautiful, I reckon. Here’s to a good year to you and yours.

Sunshiny blooms

Hydrangeas and roses
Pink roses in elephant vaseHydrangeas and celosia
It’s officially summer and the roses are finally coming thick and fast. They’ve been late this year. In fact, that’s been the case for many plants. Some commercial growers have reported that their crops have been slower to bloom this year – four to six weeks slower – due to the amount of cloud cover. Apparently we’ve had more cloudy days than usual. Rain too, I’d say.

Roses look terrific in small vases (like this cute little egg cup display from Celebrations, and the pretty pinky blooms in the elephant teapot at Style Me Pretty) or larger ones, as seen over at Florali. Those crinkly blooms beside the roses in the photo directly above are celosia, or cockscomb.