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Last month I chatted with Kayte of @simpleandseason for her Grow With Soul podcast and it came out on Friday (thank you to everyone who has messaged!).⁠⠀
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It was a catch-up kind of chat. I was last on the podcast two years ago, and I know Kayte in real life, so it was a proper conversation. An honest conversation. ⁠⠀
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It was a conversation about shrinking my business and finding creative freedom; about reducing my workload and finding more financial stability. ⁠⠀
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A lot of it is about my exploration of how to run a business that aligns with my belief that we are all consuming far too much and that post industrial capitalism is really not a good thing. ⁠⠀
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There is a bit about claiming the role of artist in its widest sense and about Lewis Hyde's book The Gift and its influence on my thinking around all these things. ⁠⠀
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@simpleandseason has all the links!
The early sweet peas are all pale - they remind me of shells somehow - the whorls of sea smoothed spirals.⁠⠀
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My studio is a wave of scent from just these few stems.⠀
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I have picked some for the @growgardeng63 Crop Swap which is every Saturday outside the @the_hub_g63 shop in Drymen Main Street.
Every single one of my childhood garden memories is of plants towering over me. ⁠⠀
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My parents' first garden had rows of narrow borders of perennials with paths to gallop along - hidden from view, bright cottage garden plants against the sky.⁠⠀
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I think that is why I love this view so much.
It turns out that one of the joys of selling seeds is that people send you photos of their flowers.⁠⠀
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My inbox is full of the first sweet peas of the season.⁠⠀
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These are mine.⁠⠀
Dreamy blues and purple tipped cream.
A wider view of this week's window. ⁠⠀
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All the colours together, all picked from the Studio Meadow which was planted with left over perennials cast out of the commercial cutting garden when I closed it down.⁠⠀
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It was a garden made in desperation, while feeling a failure as I abandoned half my business. Unable to take the physical work any more, unable to make enough to pay someone else to take that on. It was a garden that felt like a throwing away of a dream.⁠⠀
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But now I am writing a guide to growing flowers in rough grass.  That turns out to be where I find the most beauty.⁠⠀
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It is funny how things turn out.
This week I shall begin sowing biennials for next year.  They have been the best things in the garden for the last month - great clouds of colour and scent - and look set to continue with the foxgloves, Sweet Williams and Iceland Poppies for the next six weeks. ⁠⠀
They are the easiest plants to grow from seed as they are programmed to grow strongly and (mainly) survive the harshest of winter weather.⁠⠀
I have a course on how I grow biennials as cut flowers - my favourite varieties and how to grow, cut and condition them. ⁠⠀
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You get instant access if you join as a member of the Studio Club (or you can buy it as a one off).
If you don't like pinky purples, then I'm afraid that there isn't much at all in my garden for you at the moment.⁠⠀it’s a froth of cow parsley with bobbing purples flowers amongst the white. 
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The first growth of the bleeding hearts (dicentra) was all frosted to a mush at the beginning of last month and I thought that there would be no flowers this year.⁠⠀
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But here we are . . . . . a little late but like festoons of pink hearts strung out to celebrate. ⁠⠀
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Turn them upside down and tweak the petals and you definitely have 'nudie lady in a bath tub'
Before the 1950s there was no flower foam.⁠⠀
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Every single flower arrangement was held together behind the scenes with metal and wood and glass and rope and wire.  The towering pillars of flowers in Tudor pageants had complex hidden frames, the pared back displays of the high value specimen flowers of the same time were equally underpinned. Nothing is new.⁠⠀
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We have been clearing my in-laws house, going through cupboards and sorting out what to keep, what to pass on. On one of the wardrobe shelves I found all my Mother-in-law's floristry underpinnings - a selection of flower frogs in metal, plastic and glass along with balled up chicken wire, scrumpled to fit into specific bowls and vases.  There was a dried out, used and reused, piece of flower foam too - crumbling nastily and now in the bin.⁠⠀
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I mainly use metal pin holders - a type best known from the Japanese tradition Ikebana, where they are called Kenzans.  They were very popular in the UK in 1920s and 30s - giving a solid base to the fashionable top heavy arrangements and stopping the flowers from toppling out of their bowls. ⁠⠀
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Many were kept and passed down in a 'it'll come in useful' kind of way so they are easy to get second hand. I have a great collection picked up in charity shops for less than 50p each, each slightly different. ⁠⠀
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I especially love the way they allow cut flowers to look as though they are still growing. I used to make meadowy arrangements with them for weddings - lines of different sized pin holders arranged in a long shallow tray, tall grasses and cow parsley impaled upright on the pins, all the underpinnings hidden by a froth of ladies mantle and tiarella.
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About Snapdragon Life

At Snapdragon Life I gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

 

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