Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Hydrangea Inspiration

Every summer I fall in love with hydrangeas. I love their papery, multi-flowered blooms.

 I seem to forget about them a bit during the rest of the year and then, when we get to mid-summer, I start to notice their huge pom poms blooming everywhere and am smitten again. 

They come in such a range of colours too. Pale vintagey shades,

soft pinks,

violet purples

and those intense blues that I see when we go on holiday to Cornwall.

Gillian Clarke's description in her poem 'Blue Hydrangeas' really captures them, I think: 

'You bring them in, a trug of thundercloud, neglected in long grass and the sulk of a wet summer ... a load of night-inks ...their lapis lazuli, their indigoes tide-marked and freckled'.

They can be delicate and lacy.

Or have cupped petals.

Planted en masse they are a glorious sight.

For a while I've been thinking about make something yarny and hydrangeaey (think I just invented a word).

Last year I started to make some little hydrangea flowers. Do you remember me crocheting with my feet in the cool, crystal-clear river at Watersmeet?

Lots of little four-petalled flowers.

But I just couldn't decide what to do with them .. a purse or bag, maybe a hat? I put them away for the winter and forgot about them. I got them out again recently and decided that I must make something with them. No more shilly-shallying. Sitting in my shed last week I got some more hydrangea-coloured cotton yarn out, matched it to my photos and decided on a hydrangea wreath, rather like the autumn one I made and the Easter one too.

I found some deep green yarn too and a polystyrene half-ring that had been hanging around. I crocheted a long rectangle in green cotton yarn to match the size of the ring and wrapped it around it, sewing it into place. It's on the left of the photo below.

I hadn't written down my flower pattern last year and couldn't quite remember it, so improvised a new one to make little squarish four-petalled flowers.

Then I sewed tiny glass beads into their centres.

Before long I had 22 little hydrangea flowers. 

I carefully arranged them in groups of colours and sewed them all into place. Here it is, my hydrangea wreath - ta dah! I am very pleased with it, and have included all my favourite hydrangea colours in it: bright blues, intense purples and mauves, warm pinks and those pale lilac shades.

I've hung it on the door of my shed and am very happy with it.

See you soon x

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Fragrant Blooms and a Cream Tea

A few weeks ago just before the summer holidays P and I met up with my parents for the afternoon at a really delightful spot - the New Forest Lavender Farm. It was the most heavenly flower-filled place, and I think I got enough of a flowery boost to charge my batteries right through the winter! Let me show you.

There was a pretty garden, full of perennials where we sat outside to eat our lunch.

I wished I'd tried my mum's lavender cream tea, it looked so pretty. The lavender cordial and tea was pretty good, though.

Past the drying lavender, we headed through rows of blooming purple plants and inhaled the perfume.

My favourite bit was this wonderful scented area which was full of annuals. I could have stayed here all day, surrounded by buzzing bees, butterflies and wonderful perfumes. Pathways of grass led through huge swathes of riotous colour.

It was a hot day and the scents wafted on the air, making me feel drowsy and very happy indeed.

So much colour.

Just look at this gorgeous wirework bench. I could just imagine sitting there with my crochet for an afternoon. Bliss!

Everywhere I looked the blooms jostled with each other, and reminded me of one of those millefleur Medieval tapestries where green backgrounds were stitched with many tiny colourful flowers.

This restful, tranquil white garden was calming after all that fabulous colour.

One last sniff of the lavender fields before we left,

and at home I arranged my souvenir on our table - a dark purple bunch of lavender flowers which I later hung up to dry. Wonderful.