Image: Butter Wakefield

All Things Spring

Hang in there, spring is on the way. These are the books, films and ideas keeping us going through the February storms:

We’re loving Willow Crossley’s insta-tutorials that offer simple floral tricks for anyone to try at home – no prior experience needed. We particularly liked her tip for making a twinkly party table setting using a scattering of clear glass bulb vases and hyacinths by rinsing the roots clean of soil. She also talks us through planting up a container of dwarf iris (she uses Katherine Hodgkin which are a particularly pretty pale blue) to have on the kitchen table, which is so easy once you know how and would work just as well with narcissi or muscari if you’re after scent.

Also via instagram we’re getting cheer from the gardening and floral accounts we follow. Our favourite posts of late include @butterwakefield’s old colander planted up with iris. Grower @milliproust posts pictures from her West Sussex patch – currently breathtaking snowdrops. Also keep an eye out for her regular #windowsillwednesday. And Faja Schroeder’s porcelain pot production might be booked up until mid-2021(!) but we can still dream by following @porcelain_summerfield.

There are two new books we’re particularly loving at the moment, Amy Merrick’s On Flowers: Lessons From an Accidental Florist that is a world apart from a traditional how-to flower arranging guide. The pictures are a visual feast and we love the 50’s styling. And Alice Vincent, the green-fingered writer who nursed her heartbreak by tending to the plants on her small South London balcony has a new book out. Rootbound is part memoir and part gardening book and you can read an extract here. Written for young urbanites, it will inspire even those without a garden.

On screen, we’re obsessing over Autumn de Wilde’s adaption of Emma. We wanted to freeze every frame and drink in the details; vases of flowers with fluttery petals, millinery adorned with tiny rosebuds, piles of cakes and sugary confections, chintzy fabrics and Chinoiserie wallpaper and an exquisite embroidered wedding veil. It’s all so English and spring-like from these soft, mossy steps to the triumphant candelabra of the horse chestnut tree beneath which Knightley proposes. Shot through with contemporary details – a score from Fleabag composer Isobel Waller-Bridge, an iconic nose bleed scene and schoolgirls in red Handmaid’s Tale capes – it’s a must-see.

And finally, we posted last week about Super Nature, a new weekend festival at the Garden Museum 28-29 March where you can buy affordable artworks by artists concerned with plants, flowers and gardens. See you there!


— Daisy Allsup
18th February 2020