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Foraging for flowers
In my mid 20s I lived in a city. I didn't have a garden. I didn't have any cash for regularly buying flowers and I also had serious ecological reservations about how cut flowers were being grown.
However I did have a driving, nagging need to have nature in my home. I had a perfect little shelf in front of my bedroom window, next to my desk. I had a collection of old glass bottles.
Throughout the year I would arrange flowers, grasses and seed heads in the bottles on that shelf - a connection to the seasons that I was missing.
There is something about taking commonplace things - a few stems of grass, a sprig of ground elder, a bunch of creeping buttercup - and displaying it with intention and reverence that transforms them.
Simply putting the grasses into a vase transformed them into a flower arrangement. They became special, worthy of attention and study.
I would pick my 'flowers' from wasteland that I passed on my walk home from work - through the West End of Glasgow to Broomhill. There were garage forecourts where poppies and barley struggled in the dust, there were cracks in the pavement where buttercups grew and walls where fireweed had split the coping. All became something exotic when they were arranged by my window.
I've continued this to this day - even when my cutting garden provides me with armfuls of fresh flowers, I still treasure those weeds, bringing them in, really looking at them.
There is something special about the spareness and simplicity of wild flowers - something that you can never achieve with something more lush and grandly grown.
When you forage for flowers it is especially important to condition them well when you get home (though grasses and seed heads will be fine without conditioning) as you have probably been carrying them home.
It is also important to remember that it isn't just you that likes flowers - bees, butterflies and other insects need them - so only pick where there is a profusion.
You can get my free magazine with my tips for conditioning flowers to give them amazing vase life HERE.
If you enjoyed this you might be interested in reading this article about making a windowsill arrangement.