Top six houseplants


We love to be surrounded by greenery. It is synonymous with serenity and good health. It provides us with oxygen. Green is a peaceful colour.

With so mich emphasis on cleaning up the environment, the spotlight is on adding more green to our lives. Plants not only feed oxygen to us, but they also remove toxins from the air.

I love to put the key in the door at the shop in the mornings, and see all my beautiful plants – succulents, cactuses, palms, ficus, dracaenas, ferns and philodendrons adorn the window and shelves.

So my top six are:

  1. First place in houseplants has to be the spathphyllum, or peace lily, as it is commonly known. This is an amazing plant, with elegant, deep green, shiny leaves and white blooms. It can be kept moist, and it tolerates shade.
  2. The spider plant. This is a robust plant that sprouts little baby plants in the air, easy to repot at this time of year. I have one hanging from my ceiling in the living room, and itt’a enormous.
  3. philodendron scandens, with its heart – shaped leaves. Tall plants on moss poles are great for corners, and aren’t too wide. You can also have the trailing/creeping version
  4. Cactus plants are fascinating! They are sculptural, and come in all shapes and sizes. They require good natural light and very little water I owned a collection of 24 cactus plants when I lived in Stockholm, and they flowered in July while I was on holiday, then shed the flowers all over the window ledge before I returned.
  5. Succulents, including the crassula, (money plant), echeveria and of course, aloe vera. It’s a useful one to have on the kitchen window ledge in case of burns!
  6. Stephanotis (jasminum). I love the scent of jasmine! You can train these plants to grow around a window. When they are not flowering, the beautiful leaves are enough

Wedding flowers ideas

Wild bridal bouquet in peach and white for April wedding
Wild bride
A bridal bouquet in vintage shades of pink, mauve and soft greens
Vintage pinks bouquet

Wedding flowers are a joy to design! Such an important day, and we are the right people to help create the fairy-tale look for your flowers!

The softer tones are definitely popular at the moment. We love the vintage shades in bouquets, including the gorgeous Memory Lane roses. The introduction of clematis to the cut flower collection adds the wild look, as well as Green Bell, which looks like Shepherd’s purse, with its tiny, heart-shaped leaves.

Eucalyptus is the favoured foliage, keeping the look very gentle. Astilbe is wild and wispy, and the spring ranunculae look like little peonies.

We recommend going for either the palest peaches with soft green and white, or the vintage pinks. They both have a very gentle, serene look.

If you’re having rectangular dining tables for your wedding or event, little clusters of vases look fab, perhaps interspersed with candles.

Circular tables can have a ring of flowers, surrounding a storm lantern with a candle, or filled with flowers.

It’s a good idea to create a Pinterest board for your florist, which can show the feel you want for your day – dresses, venues, flowers you love….

We have been supplying wedding flowers for over thirty years, and have seen all the changing trends – and returning trends! The best thing about now is the vast selection of flowers there are to choose from. From big Colombian roses to the tiniest, snowflake rosebuds, from indigenous, English country garden blooms to exotic orchids fron the Far East.

Meadow flowers

Meadow flowers in March
Foraging in July

There seem to be lots of corporate events taking place earlier than usual this year, possibly due to the Brexit effect, and all the uncertainty surrounding it.

Anyway, exciting for us to be given new challenges, and no time to feel the exhaustion from the week before!

Wild, natural and meadow flowers are very popular right now. If you’re looking for the natural look, but with flowers out of season, it’s a bit more tricky to recreate in the early part of the year.

Some flowers with all year round availability, like veronica and clematis, have a wild, natural look, with their delicate nature. But fresh grasses and seed heads are not available.

The first image shows the meadow bouquet we created this week, from cultivated flowers. The soft mauves, pinks, whites and yellows of a summer meadow, and the small, delicate blooms of wild flowers have been used.

This image shows what is really on offer in the garden at this time of year – wallflowers, japonica, myrtle, lavender leaves and camellia. The abundance of green, in all its various shades, is missing, and is replaced with blossom and leafless trees.

I’m working with a couple who’ll be getting married in July. I’ve seen the venue, and I know where they’d like flowers, but I hadn’t seen an image of the bride’s dress. They had described it to me. When I finally saw the dress, it was a reminder of how important it is to see the whole picture. The colours were not what I had envisaged, neither in shade nor in quantity.

My favourite time for flowers is in the summer, when we are surrounded by a profusion of green and flowers. Nature provides all the inspiration I need to create amazing designs.

My preference is always to add flowers to a backdrop of foliage, just like we see in the wild. The natural curves, gnarls – and even gaps, allow us to see the true beauty of their juxtaposition.

It’s amazing how certain flowers thrive some years, and not others. Of course it depends on the weather, but not just the recent weather. A dry winter can have an effect on what happens in summer.

The cow parsley was beautiful this year. All of a sudden, one hot day at the end of May finished off all the beautiful white clusters in my garden.

This was soon replaced with the joy of seeing the first digitalis, or foxgloves, as they are affectionately known. Tall and proud, they sway gently in the breeze.