The fabulous annual Chelsea Flower Show starts today, but what I wanted to show here is that you don’t always need to buy lots of fancy flowers and that you can make something little from your garden look really quite sweet.
I picked and photographed these Forget-me-nots over the Easter weekend when they had just bloomed. These came from my tiny London garden but my plants were originally a donation from my parents’ garden in the countryside, where so many were growing that I was able dig up and transfer a few. I love that they are so commonly found and that tiny arrangements like these can be made really easily to display in your home. I love the soft blues with the little pop of yellow at their centre.
To me, the name Forget-me-not conjours up old fashioned love letters and romantic messages, so in this little shoot I wanted to reference this. I included some old typed envelopes, letters, a key and a note book that I bought at car boot sales. The little glass vase is a recent purchase from Designer’s Guild and is one from a set of six, the handmade saucer with blue flower print I bought a while back at The Hambledon shop in Winchester (I’ve been trying to remember who it is by, I should know but I just can’t think – does anyone know?) and the little bowl I bought at a Cockpit Arts open day one year.
I love that they are just perfect miniature blooms that without something to gauge their scale, could be much bigger. I couldn’t help adding a little bit of wrongness to this shot with the addition of the cowboy gun charm.
The Forget-me-not is a flower that grew in my parents’ garden prolifically. When I was little I would pick bunches of them and press them. It’s quite time consuming, placing each flower carefully on the card of the press, especially as they are so tiny, but worth it as they dry and keep really well. When they were ready a few weeks later, I would store them in an envelope to keep them flat. I would have a different envelope for each flower type and stick a flower to the outside for quick reference of what loveliness was inside.
The dried Forget-me-not flowers work beautifully stuck to swing tags for gifts or to cards and pictures.
I still press flowers from the garden, now with my little daughter as a helper (she loves it too). In fact I still have the press I had when I was little! It’s a lovely way to never forget the Forget-me-not.
Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 18 years, and is known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for top architecture practices and property development companies. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.
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