April Flower Decorations

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Last weekend I stayed near Ross-on-Wye, in a house with flowers on every windowsill. My hosts have a square cutting garden and their seeds and bulbs are from Sarah Raven. One year ago, this is what greeted me as I walked through the door:

April Tulips by the windowTulips by the barrow-load, in every window. This year, we had several of these wee daffs dotted around. As we all know, Spring is running a little late this year.

Daffodils in April In Wiltshire yesterday, my hosts had done some decorating with these specimens:

April Primroses

Very charming I thought. My friend C is a stylist and always has large arrangements of cut flowers in the house. The little glasses of primroses though, being utterly seasonal and local, really sung out. Simple arrangements gladden the heart and makes a joke out of the weather. If it's sleeting and snowing and you can STILL bring flowers indoors, it is a show of defiance. It shows character. It's very British.

White tulips in April “I get a thrill from being able to see the actual flowers,” says Shane Connolly, flower decorator by royal appointment, who spoke at the Garden Museum last month. “I love single specimens: you can enjoy the beauty of the container and the beauty of the flower.” He cites one of his greatest influences as “The seasons, and nature within those seasons.”

When you feel that the only flower around, delightful as it is, has had a rather protracted moment in the sun, look for something more subtle. Winter-flowering cherry is doing what it's supposed to, ditto viburnum. Bring them in. Use what's there. Even plants which you think you loathe (which will remain nameless) take on a new personality when cut and placed in the company of an improving vase.

April branchesThe formal bunches of my friend C the stylist are lovely and quite grand, pulling up the tone of the room. But if you prefer informality, use what you find and do what you like. Homegrown flower arrangements will become more fabulous later. But for now, enjoy the simplicity.

Thanks for reading!