After the rain some cheery survivors

Pattern-floral-possTimes are a little turbulent and it’s been a grey summer so far, but some flowers are doing just fine. Hardy geraniums, single clematis, small spray roses, foxgloves and poppies.

Beautiful flowers in the garden, as arrangements or simply as a single bloom bring some cheer to our daily grind.

Although I have been moaning about the English weather in previous posts, I have had enough survivors by the beginning of July for two mantlepiece arrangements.



Survival of the Fittest – or the least delicate/tasty

Like many gardeners I have fistfuls of labels from all the plants I’ve bought over the years. Coming in from the garden this evening I thought you might recognise this scenario.

Clematis Blue Angel

You are rifling through your box/tin/drawer to find the name/height/growing requirements for a shrub you remember planting earlier in the year and you find more and more tickets piling up from all those now lost choice specimens chomped into oblivion by fat slugs and snails.

It is a sad little moment when you remember a favourite plant that has been disappeared. My favourite clematis ‘Yukikomachi’ has not been seen this year neither has ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’, but I do have some survivors – as you can see.

Clematis viticella alba luxurians
Clematis viticella alba luxurians

This will have to remind me to be more vigilant next spring protecting the new shoots and keep up with the feeding and watering regime.


Girl with a Pink Scarf

This photograph was snapped, opened on the computer and surprise – it just felt so familiar. My daughter looked over my shoulder and said “Looks like ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ to me”, and I said “Ah yes, it does, doesn’t it”. I had no intention of reconstructing a picture in the style of this famous portrait – it just happened.

Vermeer - Girl with a pearl earring
Girl with a Pearl Earring – Vermeer, c. 1665-67.
The Mauritshuis, the Hague, Holland
PInk scarf
Girl with a pink scarf – June, 2013.
Scarf by Agnes Ashe

It is fascinating how images get lodged in our visual memory and then become markers or signposts without our conscious effort. Thinking about it, I suppose when you view a fair number of photos some are bound to spark wider connections and as I prepare to launch my online shop ( I have looked at a lot of photographs!

Pale pink roses
Colour inspiration from a cluster of pale pink roses.
Rosa ‘Narrow Water’

With my own work I find shape and colour gradually gets distilled from primary experiences that have been captured first in my photographs.

pink clematis
The opening flower of Clematis Proteus.

This beautiful flower of clematis Proteus, saved from relentless slug attack by being dug up and replanted in a large pot near the house, is one of my favourites. Its intriguing shape has contributed to my work.

Flowers and foliage in the garden, architectural details I’ve spied and sometimes the inspirational works created by others, all goes into the melting pot during the design process.

clematis venus fly trap
Aliums, pomegranates, clematis and Venus fly traps have all contributed to this scarf.