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Just a little posy of flowers . .
It was the flowers that made me realise I wanted to leave my job at the gallery. I had begun creating my first garden in the Kilpatrick braes, and every Sunday night I went around and picked the tiniest flowers - pulmonaria, grape hyacinths, primulas, forget me nots and popped them into a jam jar for my desk.
They sat there, by my files and my computer - a reminder of where I really wanted to be. They convinced me to hand in my notice, that life is too short to squander doing something that you do not absolutely love.
I still do this - not always on a Sunday, but at some point in the week I will walk around the garden to find the jewels, the tiny flowers that get missed in the larger view.
I pick them and put them somewhere that I can really look at them and appreciate the detail - the delicate markings, the neat petals, the ruffles. Sometimes it is my desk, sometimes my bedside table, as in the photo.
When we create a proper guest bedroom this winter there will be a space for flowers like this by the bed to welcome friends and family.
The wonders of this kind of arrangement is that you aren't plundering the garden - you can probably do it even if you don't have a garden, with tiny stunted plants that grow in pavement cracks and in neglected areas. When I lived in Glasgow without a garden I used to pick poppies from the local supermarket carpark where they grew as weeds at the base of a wall.
Tips for collecting jewel type flowers.
- Cut a piece of twine or fine ribbon about a metre in length.
- Look in corners, under leaves, by hedges and find tiny flowers, leaves and grasses - larger flowers growing in terrible soil often grow as miniatures too.
- Gather them loosely together in your hand - as though you are a child picking flowers from a meadow. This will give you the most natural looking arrangement.
- Double over the twine and put it around the stems, putting the cut ends through the loop - pull tightish and then wrap the ends round and round the stems to hold them together - finish with a knot.
- When inside, fill your jam jar or vase (a small duralex drinking glass is perfect) with water. Cut the stems to the right length, you want them to stand up so that the flowers are slightly above the rim of the vase, sear if you like and then pop into the vase. Because the stems are tied together they will stay upright and not flop to the sides.
If you liked this post you might like this one about conditioning spring flowers too.