Tag Archives: flowers

Deadheading geraniums, the new rock ‘n’ roll

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As the funksters next door rocked back from their marathon Hackney clubbing session, at about 4pm one Sunday afternoon, they caught me in the act of attending to my window boxes. “Just deadheading the geraniums” I chirruped like a classic middle-class tosser. “It seems the sex, drugs and rock n roll years are far behind me,” I continued unnecessarily.
Funkster DJ was kind enough to listen politely to my eulogy on the joys of a decent geranium, their longevity, ability to flower profusely and general bang for buck. I like to think the whippersnapper actually learnt something in our brief exchange. Even if it was how quickly childbirth seems to age a woman.
Anyway back to window boxes. For me they brighten your entrance and welcome guests into your home.
I have chosen some bright orange Habitat planters for outside our house. They seem to blend beautifully with the Jaffa hues of my Victorian pathway and indeed bring out the warmth of my gravel. Clever little buggers. I planted them out with correspondingly happily-hued orange primulas and I have to say that they lift my spirits.

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At our old house I had taken the plunge and painted the outside window frames and details black. I then bought six revolting polka-dot lime green cup and saucer plant holders from BHS and painted them out in the same Farrow and Ball Pitch Black.

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I liked the sort of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ connotations of these cups of geranium. Unfortunately so did the playful little scrappers of Archway and over the course of six months most of my planters were nicked. I would love to say that this crime uncovered an inert but innate design consciousness amongst the local crime fraternity, Sadly I think it was just Archway kids nicking stuff from poncy North Londoners.
Having had the majority of my window box stash stolen I resorted to cheeful red designs from Ikea. I planted red geraniums and come Christmas I adorned these boxes with red stars from Ikea.

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Here are some other window boxes to inspire you.

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Planters on the market now.

Anthroppolgie, Kerio Window Pot, £18-£28, www.anthropologie.eu

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Graham and Green, rabbit planter, £50, www.grahamandgreen.co.uk

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Rockett St George, Concrete Brogue Shoes Plant Pots, £44, www.rockettstgeorge.co.uk

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Ikea planter, £4, www.ikea.com

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Habitat, Rhode planter, £20, www.habitat.co.uk

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Small pink fibreglass window box plante£20.00

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A bird in the nest

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Here is a small floral offering for my New Year’s Eve hostess. I am playing at creating my own Golden Era still-life-inspired floral arrangements. This is a small twig nest with a mixture of meadow flowers, heather berries, a blowsy creamy pink rose, pine cones and a little sparrow on the top.  Well it beats carnations from the petrol station.

Happy New Year everyone, I hope it is peaceful and exciting year for everyone that sees dreams coming true.

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A cup of Christmas cheer

Here are a few floral fancies that I put together with a combination of flowers from the shops and our garden.
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Actual flower power

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Real flowers are one of life’s best and most beautiful luxuries. I am going to include a picture of perhaps my favourite all-time bouquet of flowers that my brothers and I bought for my parents 40th wedding anniversary. Made up by the very talented florists at Wild at Heart, the shapes and colours are just beautiful. www.wildatheart.com

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I was also lucky enough to receive this beautiful display by the Urban Flower shop in Crouch End for my birthday a couple of days ago It is a complete gem of a shop with lovely staff and beautiful and unusual flowers. www.urbanflowercompany.co.uk

I love that this bouquet is sort of faded grandeur with subtle lilacs, weathered purple, greens and dotted with black berries.

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For more floral inspiration check out the very talented Jenny at Iris & Blue, whose incredible arrangements have graced the cover of Conde Nast’s Brides magazine. https://www.facebook.com/irisandblue

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Faux flower power

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What can be more joyous and uplifting for the spirits than a beauty of opulent blooms spilling out of a tarnished gold vase. Flowers symbolise lots of things, love, friendship etc, but for me they are a beautiful way to express the feelings, depths and rhythms of a room.

In the absence of a partner bequeathing the real floral goods with any kind of regularity, as is my case, faux flowers can be a great, and ultimately cost effective, way of festooning the home in a verdant excess of foliage.

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Abigail Ahern is quite righty known as the purveyor of the ‘Chanel of faux flowers.’ Her shop is always lavished with acreage of beautiful blooms. Abigail’s very talented sister Gemma, is also a professionally trained florist. At certain times of the year she produces ready-tied bunches of faux’s and there are also a selection of these online. If you ring ahead you can always try and combine your visit with when she is in the shop and ask for advise and help. www.abigailahern.com

Other retailers have quickly cottoned onto this trend and the florist Jane Packer sells some great faux flowers via her Rose Grey collection in Debenhams. John Lewis, Marks and Spencers, Ikea, they have all jumped on the faux band-wagon. Your best bet is probably to take your vase (will do a blog on vases) with you to the shop and play around until you are satisfied with your arrangement.

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I used to always stick to one colour and flower type but it can be quite fun mixing colours and blooms. I just experiment until I have something I am happy with. The beauty of these faux flowers is that you can be quite brutal with them, bend them, push the around. They always bounce back.

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