Garden Garlands…

Picking perfect posies of your very own…


One of the things I love about summer is the endless arrangements I can make from whatever is in flower in my garden at the time. There is no other season so abundant in colour and fragrance. Having fresh flowers in the house throughout the year is something I try to stick to, a different colour or shape in a vase can not only change a room instantly but sets the tone for the time of year too. While your house might not change, the way you decorate it does, and this can’t help but be affected by the seasons. Sweet peas, anyone?! So now is the time, more than ever, to make the most of the best your garden grows…


It is wonderful to be able to head out into the garden in the morning and come back with armfuls of blooms that have cost you nothing. This morning I was able to make five gorgeous arrangements just from what was in my garden. And for Munchkin’s birthday party and her christening, half of the flowers came from the garden too. The trick is to have enough hardy perennials that grow no matter you do, enough simple greenery to bulk it out and then one or two star pieces to pull it all together.

The best summer perennials for your garden and your house…

  • Hydrangea – great in pots to start with, but will grow and grow if planted in the ground and looked after. Beautiful pink and rich blue tones are my favourites, they look fantastic cut short with their leaves in a wide, low vase.
  • Roses – get a range of roses – colours and scents, climbers and bushes – teach yourself how to grow them and look after them; and then benefit from the notion that one single rose, surrounded by some pretty foliage is often all the flower you need.
  • Crocosmia – so hardy, so striking, grow both the red and orange varieties, they’re great with other flowers or in a vase by themselves
  • Shashta Daisies – very tough and robust, they last and last and look fantastic for up to two to three months in the garden, fill a vase with just these or mix them with other wild flowers for a subtler effect

The best garden foliage to add to your arrangements…

You’ll need some greenery to pad out those beautiful blooms. Filling your flowerbeds with green plants though feels a little depressing. Here’s a mix of herbs, greenery and coloured plants that give extra body to your arrangements and look gorgeous in your garden…

  • Rosemary – a great one to grow because you can cook with it, and use it in arrangements; it is so pretty when it flowers, and incredibly hardy too
  • Lady’s Mantle (alchemilla mollis) – a gorgeous green-leafed plant with billowing green and yellow flowers, it looks great in huge vases, or little ones, and provides a plentiful backdrop to any arrangement
  • Mint – another great herb whose soft green leaves, impressive height and little white flowers make for a great addition to your vases
  • Smoke Bush (cotinus coggygria) – this stunning bush flowers throughout the summer with rich burgundy leaves and delicate flowery nets (hence the ‘smoke’ moniker). I love using it as a base for an arrangement because you often need so little else to add to it.



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