Peonies from the Cutting Garden

It’s peony season! If you have a spare spot in your garden or on your patio, plant a peony you’ll never regret it. They are dead easy to grow, pop them in full sun or partial shade and then just leave them alone and they get bigger every year. If they are in pots make sure you give them a fair amount of water.

Mine are just coming into flower, they’re a little bit in the shade so they take longer to bloom. However my Mum dropped these over from her cutting garden and they are just glorious!




Thanks Mum!


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A little pot of Spring

My parents dropped over an early birthday present yesterday, in the form of two sweet little pots planted up for spring.


They are so cute and full of spring bulbs and in my favourite colours. I love them! Thanks Mum & Dad xxxx

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On Saturday we did a day trip over to the village of Lavenham in Suffolk. It’s one those almost untouched English villages which is full of Tudor and Medieval buildings with just a few Victorian and Edwardian thrown in for good measure. It’s set in rolling farm land which at the moment has ripe corn in, so was just beautiful and glowing.


I could have wandered around for hours taking photos it’s so pretty, but strangely my family weren’t up for that. I was dragged to the quaint shops and then for a really delicious ice cream – hard life!


I love how the residents had planted their gardens, pots well pretty much anywhere you can put a plant to set off the buildings which are really colourful. Quite a lot of the houses were entirely white washed including the black beams. But I’m guessing that is probably more traditional than the look we associate with Tudor buildings.

The bright yellow building in the very top photo above is a museum but we got there too late to go round it. But what a spectacular looking building!

Hoping to go back again soon, I think there were some cream teas I missed out on.

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Mine are out and are so pretty, this year they are a mix of shop bought and home grown. So far I’ve been lucky and the slugs have left them alone *fingers crossed*. I just love all their jewel colours and the boost they give the garden once the roses have gone and how pretty they are cut in a jug.

They are in the markets and garden centers at the moment and should last through to the end of October, flowering throughout.  So if you fancy a bit of end of season colour stock up now, either pop them in a pot or in a boarder and they will look amazing.  My perfect flower!

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Floral Gifts

Miss L broke up last week from school and she always likes to take a posy of flowers from our garden into her teachers every year (I send in wine, they’ve most certainly earnt it!).  Here are some of what we’ve taken in over the years  2008 2009 2010

This year was a little different the rain had rotted most of the roses and peonies on the bushes so there wasn’t as much to use as in previous years.  So Miss L added some Nasturtium’s that she’s been growing in her little raised bed – they have gone mad so it was good to use some up.  But I think they worked really well with the white and yellow roses she used for her teaching assistant’s present.

And then for her teacher’s flowers we went with what was left of the pink roses and peonies. It was so pretty and I put a bottle of pink Prosecco in with them.

Hopefully next year they’ll be less rain and I’ll have some more flowers to use *everything crossed*

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Spring Buckets

Remember my little silver buckets from Christmas?

Well I’ve added some mini daffodils from the market, a bit of dirt, and spring is in the lounge!

Just be careful not to overwater them as there is no drainage, so a tiny drop will keep them going.  Try different bulbs, whatever your local market or garden center has flowering at the moment will work.  Have fun experimenting!

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{Guest Post} DIY Tutorial About Flower Arranging – Easy Steps to Creating Your Own Flower Arrangement

Patricia my guest poster today is a florist from one of my advertisers and knows her stuff about flower arranging.  So I thought it’d be nice to have a tutorial from a professional florist, who explains how to get the most from your market or supermarket flowers.  Over to Patricia:

Flower arrangements brighten up any home or office, but the problem is that it is sometimes difficult to get the perfect effect that is desired. While it is possible to search for florists, it is also simple to take matters into your own hands and start making their own flower arrangements. The truth of the matter is that flower arranging is relatively simple, and when time and money are short, it is essential to think about how this skill can help the buyer cut costs.


In the first place, consider the materials that are necessary. A vase of some sort is necessary, as are the flowers for the arrangement. Secateurs, also known as pruning shears, help trim the flowers down to the right size, and ribbons can help hold the flowers together.

Beyond this, there are some trims that help the flower arrangement look more professional, but that is essentially all that is necessary. Think about what size and shape the flower arrangement should be, and choose the flowers and vase based on this decision. Take some time to think about how tall the arrangement should be and how the flowers should sit in the vase.

For example, if a tall, spare arrangement is required, choose a tall fluted vase with tall flowers, like lilies, for the arrangement. On the other hand, if a squat cheerful arrangement is preferred choose a round, short vase and rounder flowers, like daises. Choose flowers for the arrangement that are as fresh as possible, whether that means picking them by hand or ordering from a very good florist.

While florists will often put the flowers into arrangements themselves, many online florists will be more than happy to sell purchasers simple bundles of flowers at a reduced price. It is best to get the flowers as close to the date of the event that the flower arrangement is meant for as possible. When one wishes to buy flowers from UK seasons are an important thing to consider, as it will determine the flowers’ cost.

Think about the color of the event before making these flower arrangements. For events held during fall, look for golden, brown and red blooms; spring calls for fresh pinks and purples, while summer allows the purchaser to take advantage of a multitude of different colors.

Creating a Flower Arrangement

First, take care to pinch off any yellowed blooms or leaves. This is something that allows for a very fresh, very perfect look for the arrangement. Yellow or brown foliage creates a dreary look that brings the entire arrangement down. Clasp the stalks of the flowers in one hand, holding them together. Shift them so that the flowers with the longest stems are towards the middle of the bundle. This will allow for the creation of a gently rounded shape. This will also give the arranger a good idea of what he or she has to work with.

Place the largest, showiest flower with the longest stalk in the vase. This is the centerpiece of bloom, and it will be ideal for catching the eye. Slowly, surround the centerpiece with flowers that are shorter, trimming the stalks with secateurs if necessary. The result is a lovely, rounded flower arrangement that is suitable for both formal and informal occasions. If the flowers look a little scanty, it is possible to plump out the arrangement with greenery or with other types of foliage.

A taller arrangement is something that is even simpler to create. Simply gather the stalks in one hand and trim them so that they are even, though once again, it is attractive to leave a longer stalk to act as the centerpiece. Cut the stalks off so that they are even and set them in a tall vase. To keep flimsy flowers supported wrap a ribbon around the stalks. Finish off the ribbon by holding it in place with a dot of glue or simply tying it into a quick bow.

There are many different options open for someone who is looking to save some money while still having lovely flowers at an event. DIY flower arrangements provide any event with a sense of class and glamor without breaking the bank.

About the Author

Patricia Hall works part-time for a florist focusing on floral delivery but loves to surround herself with flowers at any given point of time. Even in her free time she loves to involve herself with everything flora and fauna. ‘To me there is nothing more beautiful and global as the language of flowers – it is the easiest to understand all around the world in the same way. That is one reason why I truly admire flowers for what they represent in some ways – unity of all mankind!’

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{Easy to Make} Simple Flower Buckets

I love making these little flower buckets. They are a nice little thing to make for either a ‘thankyou’ present, to leave scattered about the house or for on a Christmas table.  They only take about 10 minutes to make and really simple but look good.


I’ve bought some inexpensive buckets to make them with this year (£2.80 in Hobbycraft) but you could easily do them in terracotta pots or in a mug – anything you can use as a container really.

You don’t need that many flowers just some with stout steams, I’ve used 7 red roses in this one.  Check out your local market, which will often stock interesting colours and if their anything like mine really cheap – a bunch of roses at mine is £1.50. If you don’t have a market a bunch from your local supermarket will do.

Check out your garden, if you’re lucky enough to have some Holly and other greenery out there use that to fill in any gaps or maybe cinnamon sticks to make it smell extra festive.

What you need:

A Container

Flower Foam (Wilkinsons, Hobby Craft and Supermarkets now stock it)




Extras like ribbon, cinnamon sticks or maybe diamonte’s or pine cones on sticks?

How to make

1. Soak the Floral foam for a few minutes in some water and then pop in the container.

2. Trim the steams of the flowers to a bit shorter than the container, for the mini buckets I did them to 5 inches.

3. Fill the container with flowers, do it so you’re happy with it. Easiest way is to get the heads so they are level with the top of the container.

4. Either leave it as is, or add some cinnamon sticks, diamonte’s or pine cones on sticks in with the flowers, ribbon around the bucket.

5. Pop in a small box with some tissue paper give as a gift.

Check out more simple Thrifty Christmas ideas from other crafty bloggers here







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Garden Cuttings

A massive thanks to my parents who came to help us tame our garden this weekend. Hedges were trimmed back, trees prunes and all the roses and lavenders cut back. Miss L rummaged through the cuttings and rescued these for the flower jug, so pretty and they smell amazing!.  I love that she’s still so into nature and flowers even though she’s getting older. So cute!

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