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How to Do Spring Flowers

Gardens are awash with flowers. The Hambledon is awash with flowers books and beautiful vessels. No coincidence. This week we’re pillaging fields and gardens for an easy, and very relaxed, Spring arrangement.

Shop the 'Blooming Marvellous' collection

The Inspiration

It’s Chelsea season and we can’t help but look to (or should that be at?) Monty Don for some horticultural inspiration. We loved seeing our Hampshire neighbour Rosebie Morton from The Real Flower Company interviewed by Mary Berry and we have thoroughly enjoyed following the progress of gorgeous customer Liz and her ‘Behind the Genes’ garden with Sparsholt College. But setting Monty and The Flower Show aside (if we must), we’ve been checking out our favourite Instagrammers (thank you thank you @misspickering, @jennibloomflowers, @thelandgardeners, @florastarkey, @scarletandviolet) for some top tips. And we’ve been leafing through our flower books at the shop and cribbing all manner of ideas.

The Blooms

What an absolutely gorgeous, abundant time of year and we’ve all been able to contribute to the fund of flowers for the display. Finn raided the hedgerow outside her house for industrial quantities of cow parsley. Lucy donated some beautiful roses. I garden on the ‘survival of the fittest’ maxim once I’ve put the plants in the ground but managed to supply hardy buttercups, alchemilla, assorted herbs and lots of nigella. I’m afraid the home grown astrantia in Winchester wasn’t quite ready and we had to break a Hambledon rule and pay retail. But I think the key for this sort of thing is to avoid too much of the florist’s blooms. The whole thing should look effortless and a little messy.

The Arrangement

We have a long, large wooden table at the front of the shop which occupies a central space by the fireplace. Obviously it’s a display table for selling things (we’re a shop after all) but it was once upon a time a dining table and this arrangement would be perfect for a spot of casual (and yet clearly quite showoffy) Summer entertaining. Cut down on the height if you want to see diners opposite and build up the cow parsley bulk if you need to screen off any warring factions. Muck about with height and scale as much as you like. It would also work beautifully on a long mantelpiece or a wide window sill.

We took inspiration from the following books: Ngoc Minh Ngo ‘Bringing Nature Home’, Annabelle Hickson ‘Tree in the House’ and Fleur McHarg ‘The Flower Expert’. Feel free to copy!

Amy has made a little film because it was all just too irresistibly pretty.

The Vessels

We have quite a few glass vases at the shop but we also have lots of household vessels of all shapes and sizes ripe for repurposing. The containers for this kind of display should reflect the style of the flowers so we’ve deliberately mixed up the heights, volumes and materials and kept it very deliberately un-precious. For larger forms we used Falcon Enamel and Pearl White China jugs. La Soufflerie vases, handblown and beautifully various, provided the bulk of the mid size. A cute mix of enamel mugs, The Vintage List tumblers, monument vases and pharmacy jars were perfect for the single stems and tiny flowers.