Inspiration at The Lavender Fields and Cutting Garden Selborne Hampshire

  • 16.7.18

The Lavender Fields at Selborne Hampshire, had an open day yesterday and it was great to visit with the family. A stunning backdrop of colourful fields against the blue sky and fluffy clouds. The blues and subtle shades of the lavender never fail but to impress. It was great to see so many people taking photographs in the fields and simply enjoying themselves. It was also interesting to learn more about the Lavender Fields, the third generation farm and the story behind the farm. What had been farmed before and why they now have wildflowers in the centre of the field. To give the land a rest and to recover before they replant lavender back. Interesting to learn more about local businesses and I loved the bright yellow in the middle of the Lavender so a great visual treat.

Lavender Fields Selbourne Hampshire Uk 
Beautiful Blue Lavender 
Arctic Snow English Lavender will be a new edition to our garden.
On the visit, it was good to see Rebecca Goff from Blooming Cow Flowers giving a talk and demonstrating hand-tied flower arranging. The flowers and the shop looked so gorgeous and wonderful to know these are now so local. As I tinker with my own cut flower garden out next to the studio it is wonderful to see flower cutting gardens blooming across Britain.
Rebecca Goff - Blooming Cow Flowers
Surrey Beekeepers gave us a great explanation of bees, hives and how queen bees are selected. The children loved asking questions as they had been learning about bees at school this year. He showed us how it looked inside the hive and took time to explain lots of questions we all had about bees. Thank you Surrey Beekeepers, you taught us all something new yesterday.

Surrey Beekeepers - Giving us great information on beekeeping
Lots of fun spotting the ceramic pig smelling lavender, the rat and the lamb on our way into the Lavender Fields. It was a great delight to see Jon Barrett-Danes Ceramics was also located onsite and he was at work painting the spotty pig's feet when we saw him. Lovely to see inside his studio and how the items are stored, hand painted and carefully kiln fired. Be sure to look out for the ceramics around the lavender field as you go in as they are great!
Jon Barrett-Danes Ceramic Pig - Smelling the Lavender 
I love to see local and British businesses doing a great job, sometimes it really is the simple pleasures that make the most fun days out and great weekends. It has to be said this visit was followed by a Sunday roast at a local pub so a perfect Sunday with the family. Thank you Lavenderdar Fields, we shall be back and I would recommend if you haven't visited them for an open day before, it is well worth a visit. 

Cutting Garden Flower Books Summer Reading

  • 8.7.18

These cutting garden flower and women inspiration books are in my studio and the ones I recommend for summer browsing. Perhaps in your garden next to the cutting patch or while on holiday. These scrumptious books are filled with beautiful images, ideas and tips. A wonderful way to while away a few hours and plan the next stage of your garden or building something new.  

I have chosen this selection of books with the theme of gardens, women and building something wonderful. Every time I have returned to these books they have offered me something valuable so I hope you may find them of interest too.

Cutting flower garden flower books stack in the studio

Start with In And Out Of The Garden by Sara Midda, a delightful sketchbook of summer days spent raspberries picking, seeing bees,  and water colouring images of vegetables. There are poems, verbs and recipes to delight and relish. The illustrations and tiny details in this book mean every time I pick it up I find something new to look at. 

In And Out Of The Garden by Sara Midda 
Second in my summer flower garden reading stack is Flora Forager but this list is not in a particular order of preference just as I have simply stacked them in the studio. Flora Forager - A Seasonal Journal Collected From Nature is a beautifully illustrated notebook. I use this daily to keep my thoughts together and the images on the page corners are delightful. I do not have the new Art of Flora Forager but it is on my next list of purchases, which I will share soon. I love to follow Bridget Beth Collins on Instagram and you can find her @flora.Forager where she shares her wonderful collection of foraged flower art. 

Flora Forager ((Notebook) By Bridget Beth Collins
Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life, the plants that inspired the classic children's tales by Marta McDowell. In the book, you journey along through a year in Beatrix Potters garden where each season you can see what she was growing. Pansies, peas, foxgloves and pink roses along with many old-fashioned English flowers in her home in the Lake District Hill Top Farm. As a travel guide it also offers walks and once my two sons are a little older we shall be off on adventures to find these places.  Packed with gardening inspiration, illustrated with Beatrix Potter's work and a travel guide to the Lake District a little gem of a book. Bought for me by my husband Joseph, luckily he knows me very well!

Beatrix Potter in Bolton Gardens holding her pet rabbit, Benjamin Bouncer, 1890. From the book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life by Marta McDowell
As well as a great source of gardening equipment and tips on the Sarah Raven website, there is also this Cutting Garden Journal, which offers advice for a beautiful year of cut flowers. It helps you keep your plants and cutting garden in good shape from January to December. Each month there are tips and jobs to do that month along with the monthly page to write your own notes. Although I am more of a trial and error gardener myself I do like to scan and pick up little particles of knowledge along the way. Something this book is filled with from arranging flowers, different varieties and a flower of the month section. 

Sarah Raven's Cutting Garden Journal
Coming Up Roses isn't a garden book but the name blends and it does go along the theme of women building great things. The Story of setting up Cath Kidston in her own words "When I set up Cath Kidston in a small shop in Holland Park in 1993 I had no idea what a journey the company would take me on." It is a great read for anyone like myself interested in business and how ideas spring into life. It never is so random as you think, or a great flash of lightning like in the movies, I think it is more to do with passion, hard work and perseverance. A lovely book and an easy read, accompanied by vintage and craft inspired pictures. 
Cath Kidston Shop Image is taken from Coming Up Roses by Cath Kidston with Sue Chidler
The Cut Flower Patch - grow your own cut flowers all year round by Louise Curley. A handy guide to flowers and plants, aimed more at beginners just starting out with tool lists, what to consider before you start a cutting garden and which plants they would recommend. Pretty flower photography and good information source of lots of plants like Sweet Peas, Love-in-the-mist and many more. 

Love-in-the-mist was taken from The Cut Flower Patch by Louise Curley
Small Space Big ideas are exactly that, it gives creative solutions to small areas with wall planters you can make, small farmyards to plant with children (we tried it and the children loved it!) How to make garden decorations, picture framed planters and lots more. This is for creative gardeners looking for a new project and who likes to try fun ideas out for themselves. The below image taken from the Small Spaces Big Ideas book is one I will be trying out one day and I will show you the results!

Small Space Big Ideas - Create your dream garden on a windowsill, wall, step, staircase, balcony, porch or patio. 
The Flower Appreciation Society is a vibrant London Florist now and this is their book and story on everything A to Z of all things floral. A story of two women meeting and growing flowers behind the pub where they worked and first meet. Now they work with well-known brands and hold regular workshops which I intend to visit very soon! I will share pictures and update you on the course after. To look for yourself you can see the Flower Appreciation Society course list. The book has drawn illustrations, fresh styling and just a cool vibe to it.

Illustration from The Flower Appreciation Society by Anna Day and Ellie Jauncey
When the Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden arrived through my door I was super excited, after following Floret Flower Farm on Instagram @floretflower (take a peek on their Instagram feed you won't be disappointed) this book was a must. Packed with the amazing pretty floral photography and the spirit of growing your own. This book has descriptions of amazing flower plants and is sectioned into growing seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter with jobs to do in each. Step guides help you decide on what to plant and how, then when the flowers come, there are guides to making your own flower crowns, flower arranging and cutting guides. This is one book which will be sitting in the studio next to my cutting garden, ready to inspire me for a long time.

Scabiosa Flowered Mix from the Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden 
Each of these books has given me insight and joy. I hope you find a quiet moment to savour one or two of these books too. With their mix of gardening, flowers, creative ideas and strong inspiring women, it has and is a pleasure to browse through these, time and time again. Happy summer reading and if you have any thoughts on other books I should look at do let me know.

*This article was written because I believe in these books but links from this post go to affiliates where I receive a small commission on any sales which helps to support this blog.


Flower Cutting Garden Design Inspiration

  • 1.7.18

July in the flower cutting garden outside the studio is blooming wonderfully, with Cosmos 'Blush' Cupcake, Cosmos Daydream, Cosmos bipinnatus 'Click' Cranberries, Sweetpeas, Zinnia 'Gaint' Dahlia, Huge Dahlia's Sunflowers and so much more bursting into flower. 

I am so glad now I took the journey last year with my husband Josphe to begin building this flower garden area. The flowers give a constant source of inspiration for my designs and fill our home with fresh flowers in jars everywhere. 

The 'Bloom and Grow' designs were handcrafted in the Hayling Island studio and flowers from the garden were used. These designs are styled and captured on the same day to ensure the flowers are at their most vibrant. 

As I was planting the cutting garden earlier in the year, the little pots and pretty flowers inspired this collection. I hope the plant designs will make you smile. Coming soon are the new matching greeting cards, to view the newly added flower wall art prints Molly Margaret Shop

Fresh cut flowers sign - now hangs above the flowers.
Watering in the evening on the cutting garden
Cosmos bipinnatus 'Click' Cranberries
Beautiful purple poppies have appeared and grown within the flowers
Zinnia 'Gaint' Dahlia - Amazing Red!
Sophia Laurhen Painted Metal Chicken - hiding under the Sunflowers
Bright Pink Large Dahlias coming out in full bloom
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