April additions have changed the shape and colour of the garden with the greatest significance. From bare soil, stubby old perennial stalks, and fresh weeds that seem to not be effected by the cold snap the new additions bring a much welcomed burst of bright colour to the patch. The tulips have really put on some growth now and finally we have Belle Époque's! Feeling slightly cheated that this year they are singles but leave them long enough on the stem in the ground and they do fade to a 'dead flesh' tone which we all seem to love!
Our white panda anemones have been such a success this year, grown in the tunnel they have a great stem length, so much so when cut I and arrange with them I actually feel like a proper florist!
The late season is a hot topic this year and many ask how do we cope. Well in truth it often is a challenge working with only seasonal flowers but looking back through archieves of images I'm reminded that nothing is ever the same and perhaps that is what is so beautiful. No bride getting married on the Saturday from one year to the next will necessarily get the same bouquet. This is a good thing in my book as no one bride is the same either. We get asked often do you worry that you won't have flowers.... the answer is yes and no.... yes that we may not have the flower they fall in love with, we never promise a particular flower, we would be mad....no because nature looks after itself to a degree and embracing only what is in the garden is a true reflection on what is in season in Fowey, Cornwall, UK!
It is this time of year that is exciting in the garden, you know in September (actually our favourite flower month but you all know this already) you will have buckets of flowers and vast amounts to select from to make a whole host of different combinations. But April... each time I go to the farm I'm noticing a new kid on the block.
This time it was clematis Montana. Covering a quarter of the farmhouse in deep purple tenderals it's starting to burst into life once again - I'll squealed as it caught my eye....whilst also remember not to bash the car going through the gates! Flowering vines and branches have to be an all time Garden Gate favourite and can turn that bouquet into the wispy weaving arrangement we oh so love. So, with snips in hand and my kids distracting mum (she doesn't really mind us cutting it - but I'd rather she didn't look!) I gather a couple of branches for an April bouquet.
And it's the smallest elements in the garden that often make my heart sing. It's easy to see a blousy tulips standing up in a field, but a little geranium, you need to take time to hunt him down, get on your knees and look between the bigger show offs.
A bouquet wouldn't really be a bouquet without a fresh addition of silk ribbon from Lancaster & Cornish to highlight the peach undertones.
Taking the colour palette from the bouquet, those dusky peaches and rich maroons Maz created a beautiful compote arrangement. Working in the last of the hellebores through the bowl which lend themselves in low arrangements like this one. Fritillaries and now just the start of sweet rocket all create a beautiful movement and lightness to some of those larger face flowers.
So, there you have it April in an afternoon - tomorrow could be very different...