Floral artist and award-winning landscape designer Lucy Hunter celebrates the intricate cycles of the natural world. Here she shares some artful arrangements from her book The Flower Hunter.
We live in a busy world, but it never ceases to amaze me how the garden quietly gets on and does her own thing regardless. We need to take the time to look at, marvel and appreciate the splendour of the natural world. Whether you have a large garden, a small courtyard, a balcony or even just a window box, there will be a plant that you can sow, nurture, grow and, eventually, cut and bring inside to arrange in an urn, vase or glass jar.
An everlasting arrangement
For those who don’t fancy attaching dried flowers to the wall, here is an option for a table arrangement using dried flowers and a vintage glass flower frog to hold the stems.
A frog is a glass sphere with a flat bottom and holes in the sides that I push the dried stems into and hold in place, if needed, with floral fix. Using a similar palette to the wall bouquet, I have included Lunaria annua var. albiflora (honesty), larkspur, limonium, Stipa tenuissima ‘Pony Tails’, Lathyrus latifolius (perennial sweet pea), the grey wispy flower heads of Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ and dried dahlia heads.
You don’t need to grow armfuls of flowers to enjoy them inside. Lupins, verbascums and pale yellow Aquilegia chrysantha will all grow in a container. Coriander has delicate white flowers if allowed to bolt and will live on a windowsill.
As the energy in the garden slows, my arrangements take on an elegant slump. This one combines Rosa ‘Gentle Hermione’ with Dahlia ‘Wizard of Oz’, Echinacea pallida, some flowering purple basil that smells delicious, thalictrum leaves and Spiraea ‘Arguta’ (bridal wreath) foliage cut from the garden, plus a few leftover ‘Purple Tiger’ and ‘Café Latte’ roses. I arrange the flowers in an old silver bowl using a pin frog and chicken wire held in place with floral tape, allowing the stems to fall naturally as they might do in the garden at this time of year.