It's that quiet time of year, the bit between Christmas and New Year, when we all reflect on what we've achieved over the last 12 months. And a time to start looking forward to all things new and exciting in the coming months. So I thought I'd kick off this feature with a look back at all the beauty of 2016. Lets call it a 'best bits'.
Highlights, so, so many. The chandelier at Upper House, the mammoth 15 metre green wall plus ceiling at Gary Barlow's old house and making my industrial copper arch, a major feat of engineering that seemed to freak out the neighbour who thought I was installing the world's dodgiest bit of plumbing. One of the best bits of 2016 for me has to be finding the lovely Carol Siddorn. We met via Twitter and mutual friends. I meet lots of floral friends via social media. It's not all trolling and nastiness so, if you're new to the floral world, it's a great way to meet like minded peeps. Don't be shy, the thing with growing and creative jobs is that there's always something new to learn, be curious, ask lots of questions, join in.
Carol's garden has a stunning array of flowers. I'm quite fussy. She would disagree. That's because we're on the same page, I genuinely don't think there's anything she grows that I don't like. Which makes my life so much easier. The dahlias are something else. Icelandic poppies, ranunculus, anemones, so many varieties of narcissi. Peonies that don't arrive bullet hard, and Queen of Sweden roses, writing this I'm transported back to warmer days and the scents of summer. So British flowers are firmly on my agenda this year.
I need balance in this piece, it's all super upbeat! I managed to grow a whole bed of nigella for a wedding, it flowered the week after. Ditto the pale pink cornflowers. The overall winner on the home grown front were the dark claret coloured scabious. Prolific flowerer for months. Definitely on the plan for 2107. And on that note, I need to think about seeds, from here. Busy times ahead.