The flower geek in me couldn’t help but be excited about what flowers Kate Middleton would choose for her wedding bouquet. Whilst over at Madame Guillotine, fellow writer Melanie is all about the wedding dress, I was dying to see which flowers Kate would choose for her bridal posy.
The Northern Ireland born florist Shane Connolly designed a beautiful shield shaped wired bouquet of flowers for Kate. The official information from Clarence House states
The bouquet is a shield-shaped wired bouquet of myrtle, lily-of-the-valley, sweet William and hyacinth. The bouquet was designed by Shane Connolly and draws on the traditions of flowers of significance for the Royal Family, the Middleton family and on the Language of Flowers.
The flowers’ meanings in the bouquet are:
Lily-of-the-valley – Return of happiness
Sweet William – Gallantry
Hyacinth – Constancy of love
Ivy: Fidelity; marriage; wedded love; friendship; affection
Myrtle: the emblem of marriage; love.
The bouquet contains stems from a myrtle planted at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, by Queen Victoria in 1845, and a sprig from a plant grown from the myrtle used in The Queen’s wedding bouquet of 1947.
The tradition of carrying myrtle begun after Queen Victoria was given a nosegay containing myrtle by Prince Albert’s grandmother during a visit to Gotha in Germany. In the same year, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought Osborne House as a family retreat, and a sprig from the posy was planted against the terrace walls, where it continues to thrive today.
The myrtle was first carried by Queen Victoria eldest daughter, Princess Victoria, when she married in 1858, and was used to signify the traditional innocence of a bride.
When I went to Judith Blacklock’s Flower School last month for a course on wedding flowers, she talked to us about the coming trends for wedding bouquets, and particularly about her thoughts on what Kate Middleton would have at the forthcoming Royal Wedding. Funnily enough, she mentioned wired bouquets, the delicacy of lily of the valley, and that she could see hand tied wedding flowers with a wild, picked-from-the-hedgerow feeling being in vogue this summer. I think Judith might have psychic powers.
I thought Kate looked gorgeous, natural and very lovely. Very much like the wedding bouquet.
We’re on our way from our little village in North Buckinghamshire. The boxes are being packed. We’re redecorating and decluttering and scrubbing like fiends. Soon the house will be on the market.
We’re off on an adventure.
We’re moving to Canada.
I told you it was exciting.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to run around in circles, drink some gin, and write a things to do list. Again.
I don’t live in a cottage. I live (and strangely, this comes as a surprise to lots of people, who think I’m living in a 300 year old thatched cottage) in a fairly ordinary brick house built in 1984. But I have always loved English cottage gardens, even as a child living in the north of Scotland where summers were short (and rather chilly).
So when we moved in here, five weeks after baby no3 was born, we knew exactly how we wanted the garden to look. And another baby and seven years later, we’re getting there. Slowly.
Back in September I wrote about our front garden which was in a tragic state. So look, here’s an update:
I’ve planted up some more pots to go on the gravel, but it’s a huge improvement on the dandelions, don’t you think?
I realised when I came to write this that I’ve taken more photographs of the garden this weekend than I have of the children. Oops. Anyway, above is the long border and path of doom. On Good Friday, I dug out the path. You’d be amazed how much of a mess chickens can make in the garden. In fact after a morning of hacking away with the azada I was thinking about chicken pie and chicken kiev. They’d scratched all of the earth out of the long border into the gravel path, where the children had then cycled up and down all winter and grass had grown. Argh.
Then we laid out our gravel bags, and my trusty garden fairies turned my path into this:
Which is very lovely, don’t you think? And when the border is full of chives, and sweetpeas, and runner beans and things it’ll look like a proper English cottage garden. Only without the cottage, but that’s okay.
shared from my twitter account because it still makes me laugh.
Gardening and the Easter holiday – one goes with the other, doesn’t it? I am lucky that this year we’ve got such a long break and all six of us are off together, pootling about at home, decorating the house and sorting out the garden. Well, K is painting, I’m gardening, and the children are running in and out of the sprinkler – it’s so hot for April.
So this is what I’ve been up to. You’ll either read it and want to throw things at me for being so efficient, or you’ll be nodding smugly.
I’ve oiled the table and chairs, and put the parasols out. And I’ve eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner there for the last couple of days. This spring is beautiful.
Yesterday I cut the grass (that was a long job, because I had (ahem) forgotten to cut it since last autumn). And I strimmed the strimmy bits, whilst the chickens said ‘BUCKbuckbuckbuckBUCKBUCKBuckAWK! Help! End of the world!’ in horror. And then I did all the stuff you see in the picture above.
And I cleared off the little patio (covered in Buddlejia cuttings from ages ago) and found two chairs and made it into a nice little place for sitting down, which is what it was meant to be, rather than a nice little place for piling up assorted rubbish and wheelbarrows, which is what tends to happen in my garden.
The clematis is coming out – another week and the trellis will be covered in flowers.
The Japanese Quince has more flowers this year than I’ve ever seen. It’ll be interesting to see if we get much fruit from it. I used them to make jam and jelly last year because they have gorgeous perfume, like true quinces, and tons of pectin (which makes your jam set well).
I’ve been treasuring every sunny moment in the garden this holiday. What are your plans?