Receive updates via email of new articles.

Crazy about Cosmos

August 25, 2023
I never realised until this year that some species of bees sleep in flowers. Apparently they are always male: the sensible females retreat to an underground nest when they want a snooze. In my garden, by far the most popular flowers for either a quick nap or an overnighter seem to be zinnias and cosmos,…
Read more

Flowers for summer bouquets I

July 2, 2023
It's mid-summer and I'm spending a lot of time doing what I love the most: not planting and not weeding and deadheading, though those tasks continue, but making bouquets. So I thought it might be a good moment to do a few posts on some of the flowers I most like using in bouquets. My…
Read more

Ranunculus Revisited

June 5, 2023
It's been a great year for ranunculus here in Victoria, even though the season was unfortunately brought to a premature halt because of an early heat wave. Ranunculus, like me, don't like it hot, and even shade cloth didn't help all that much. But while it lasted I got a lot of fabulous flowers and…
Read more

Review of Rachel Siegfried’s The Cut Flower Sourcebook

May 22, 2023
Review of Rachel Siegfried, The Cut Flower Sourcebook: Exceptional perennials and woody plants for cutting, with photographs by Eva Nemeth. Filbert Press, 2023. Rachel Siegfried’s The Cut Flower Sourcebook has its much anticipated North American release on 23 May 2023, and this is quite simply the best and most useful book on cut flowers to…
Read more


May 15, 2023
Anyone who reads this blog regularly will have discovered that I have something of an aversion to striped flowers. Each to their own, of course, but they are just not for me. So, when we first moved to Victoria last year and I discovered the only tulips in my new back garden had red and…
Read more

Victorian flower arranging

April 23, 2023
Long before Gertrude Jekyll published Flower Decoration in the House in 1907 and Constance Spry opened her shop, Flower Decoration, in 1929, books on flower arranging had become popular with the Victorians. I've been looking through some of these old books, thanks to various internet archives, and realising just how influential nineteenth-century women were in…
Read more

Easter lilies

April 4, 2023
I dropped into the shops this morning and found myself assaulted by a strong whiff of lily. Combined with the rows of chocolate bunnies, it was a dead give away: Easter is coming. The lily has become the flower associated with the Christian celebration of Easter because of its long associations with renewal, rebirth and…
Read more

Spring has sprung: here comes the daffodil

March 29, 2023
She wore her yellow sun-bonnet, She wore her greenest gown; She turned to the south wind And curtsied up and down She turned to the sunlight And shook her yellow head, And whispered to her neighbour: 'Winter is dead'. A.A. Milne, ‘Daffodowndilly’ It's often said that snowdrops are the first sign of spring. Wishful thinking,…
Read more

Pleasures of the nose: fragrant flowers in early spring

March 4, 2023
March has arrived, coming in like the proverbial lion, and it’s a decidedly nasty day. Everyone is impatient for spring. Yesterday I made a gesture of faith and planted out my sweet peas: they are tough as old boots and sat outside in their pots most of the winter, surviving minus 5 and being buried…
Read more