Garden Idea: Plant a Meadow!

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Good morning! Happy Monday. I hope you had a lovely weekend! This week on Frolic! I’ll be sharing the rest of the photos from my English farm adventure the last six weeks. I am honestly still processing the whole experience. Collaborating and working alongside Lara of Manor Farm Cottage Flowers opened my mind to new ideas, tips, and garden inspiration. We’ve collaborated on a series of photos for her new website and without giving too much away, I’ll be sharing many of the photos this week to savor these last moments of summertime.

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In addition to flower farming, Lara is also a garden designer and landscaper. One of her recent projects is this meadow! Isn’t it just divine? Honestly, while I have so much admiration for the craft of garden design, a lot of it just doesn’t resonate with me. Just as I like my flower arrangements, soft, billowy, and natural, like you just picked them from the garden, I like my gardens to look as if they just sprouted on their own without being overly designed.

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Naturally, any design that appears to be so effortless takes quite a bit of work! To make a meadow work, you need to take into account the soil, exposure to sun, and climate of the area. You also have to have methods for keeping weeds at bay and figure out if you have the right varieties to keep the color blooming throughout the season. You can buy mixes of wildflower seeds with different combinations of flowers through seed catalogs like this.

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Lara designed and maintained this garden for a residential client in the English countryside. I often walked past it on my wanderings through the our little hamlet, and just smiled every time I saw it.

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Don’t you just love the idea of planting a meadow?! I also love this idea of a fleur de lawn instead of a normal lawn! My dream house is a super modern little cabin with clean lines set in the midst of a meadow like this! Have you ever planted a meadow or a wildflower lawn? I’d love to see photos!

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Photos: Chelsea Fuss. Garden design by Lara Smith of Manor Farm Cottage Flowers. Taken in Somerset, England.

English Country Fair

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Several weeks ago, my hosts in England took me to an agriculture farm show called the Mid-Somerset Show. It was incredible to see all the beautiful sheep, and pigs, and gorgeous poultry. The fair was quite large and encompassed everything from livestock to produce to crafts and handmade baskets with music and displays of old machinery as well. Admittedly, I was much distracted by the English country fashion. Much more posh than our country fairs in the states! I love the classic Burberry looks with tweed and riding boots and the Boden and Joules looks too where people sport bright colored wellies, dots, and florals. So fun!

Photos by Chelsea Fuss.

An English Country Wedding with Saffy of Bath Flowers

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My lovely farm host, Lara of Manor Farm Cottage Flowers, has introduced me to a whole new world of English florists and growers and I am much obliged. A few weekends ago, I had the chance to help out one of our friends, Saffy of Bath Flowers, with a big floral installation at a country house in Devon. I learned so much from Saffy and loved tagging along, helping out with the floral design and snapping some photos. India of Vervain Flowers and another florist friend, Emma, also assisted.

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Saffy tries to use British grown flowers in all her designs. For this project, she combined her local sourcing (many flowers were grown at Manor Farm Cottage Flowers) with flowers from the client’s garden and the result was lush, wild, effortless, and quintessentially English.

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Saffy created an amazing floral installation on the mantle where the wedding ceremony took place, meadows in window sills, and around sculptures, to really bring the old manor house to life! Simultaneously wild, effortlessly sophisticated, and vibrant, the designs and floral plan were spot on for the location and event.

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I was thrilled when I learned one of my assignments was to fill a collection of swan vases with a recipe of pepperberry, muted pink hydrangea, and caramel antique roses.

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Here’s one of Saffy’s trademark fresh meadows, she designed for the window sills.

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Three of us stayed up til all hours making boutonnières from billowy garden flowers (grown by Lara).

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Here is Saffy’s grand floral installation in the living room.

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And the lovely Saffy, herself above! This was such a fun little trip to the country and such a blast to help out with a floral team again, especially one who understands the importance of sourcing locally. Hope you enjoy the behind-the-scenes! I so admire Saffy’s work. She’s the real deal! A florist who understands technique but constantly creates fresh, effortlessly natural work that doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you want to learn from her too, check out her courses with Tallulah Rose Flower School or if you need a florist in England, contact her here.

Photos by Chelsea Fuss. Floral Design by Bath Flowers.

A Visit to Petersham Nurseries

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Last week I took a wee break from farm life for a week of fun in London! I stayed near Richmond and had so much fun meeting up with blog friends, several of them I had been in touch with since the beginnings of this blog (2006!). So it honestly felt like meeting up with old friends! Thank you Jane (we’d met before in Berlin!), Sarah, Krissy,  Lynne, and Alaina from House and Garden UK. (they have a gorgeous new site!) for the lovely lunches and walking tours! One day I spent walking along The Thames with my friend Lynne and we had lunch at Petersham Nurseries. I’d always wanted to visit this nursery/cafe and it was just as lovely as I’d imagined and the food was delicious. I took some photos for you:

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Photos by Chelsea Fuss. Taken in Richmond, near London, UK.