March 10, 2011


This is a post that has been on my mind for a long while now. When my lovely friend, Sarah, at the blog Modern Country Style said she was going to organise an Inspiration day (button to the right), I knew I should get posting.

So, inspiration. There are a few particular people in the world of cut flowers and floral design that have been a powerful source of inspiration and encouragement, without whom I may never have embarked on my little dream of Wild Acre. You will have to bear with my enthusiam here, because these are people who have fuelled a growing passion in me, inspired me to do something I never imagined I would, take bolder steps than I could have predicted and started me off on a whole new little adventure. So please excuse the gushing, but I owe them a lot!

First up, perhaps predictably, the cut flower guru that is Sarah Raven. Without having heard her enthuse so knowledgably on TV, or having pored over her amazingly practical and deliciously photographed books about growing and arranging, without having attended one of her excellent workshops and gleaned (and bought -eeek!) so much from her far too tempting website, I'm not sure I'd  ever have had the confidence and knowledge to give it all a go. I lack a formal qualification in floristry, but I have learn't so much from this woman. If you want to give growing your own cut flowers a go, these books are a great place to start, and soak up lots of inspiration at the same time.

The qualities that have given her cut-flower guru status to me are these: her unerring eye for colour combinations and texture, her vast knowledge of flower growing and ability to communicate it straightforwardly, her rock solid confidence in her own taste and opinions (need more of that!), and a willingness to blaze a trail of originality. I have never visited her gardens at Perch Hill but would love to one day. Sarah-Jane, a wonderful, flower-loving blogger, has visited and kindly allowed me to share her lovely pics,


Another key influence on me has been the blog of grower/florist/designer,  Jane of Snapdragon's Garden.

Jane's blog, when I discovered it a couple of years ago, planted a belief in me that growing garden flowers for bouquets and events was a genuine possibility, and her passion and determination still inspire me. Again, like Sarah, she has a brilliant eye for original and gorgeous floral combinations and is so generous in sharing her knowledge about growing flowers and also growing a new business.

Sometimes simplicity is stunning but has to be pulled off with panache and Jane know this. These pictures had me off my chair in delight, thumping the computer table - utterly simple but so confident. Sublime.

Latterly she has been beyond busy with her thriving textile design business, but promises she still loves her garden! It is interesting for me to see how her love of plants crosses over, in terms of inspiration, into her textile designs, because I find the same cross over with flowers/nature and my jewellery making.

For astounding precision and skill, for doing sometimes tiny but always brilliant, original things with flowers - much I know that will always be wayyy beyond me - is the nimble fingered Jaime at Monkey Flower Group. Her work is so unique and breathtakingly intricate, please go and have a look at her stunning blog.

You will discover that Jaime's blog is another exclaimoutloud coffee-spiller, she really is a virtuoso, and takes inspirational photos of her work. She works with seasonal, local flowers and shows an impressive commitment to environmental issues. The whole package is faultless to my mind. We all need something to aspire to right?


Talking of which, there is a blog I have more recently discovered, so choc full of floral glory that it makes me feel enthused and inspired everytime I read a new post. For a powerhouse of talent and hard graft, living the whole flower farmer/floral designer dream, it's Erin at FloretFlowers. Her photos will have you gasping like a guppy fish, wishing you could run through her sweetpea patch!! Sigh.

Jane, Jaime and Erin all provide examples of how locally grown flowers, in season and combined with an artistic eye, can be astonishingly beautiful and kind to the environment at the same time. Slow flowers. It is light footprint, all-round, 360 degree beauty, and very much what Wild Acre is about.

I hope you too find shedloads of inspiration for your garden from these extraordinarily talented  women, and maybe even have a go growing your own cut flowers.

Also linking to the floral party at A Place for Tea today.


  1. Belinda, you are too kind.
    Thank you so much for including me in this wonderful group of talented,inspiring ladies!!!

  2. Yes, I have been ooo-ing, aaaa-ing, aw lovely-ing all the way through this super post. Truly inspiring and particulary enjoyed the mask- how fab is that mask and those roses.......lovely, lovely, LOVELY!!!!!

  3. That was quite a read. And my head was nodding in enthusiastic acknowledgment of each perfect addition.

    As I sit here, surrounded by the sound of pouring rain, you make me dream of sunny days ahead.

    You little inspiration you.

    xo jane

  4. How nice of you to pay such homage to the ones who have inspired you. Your work is very good and joy to the rest of us.

  5. These are lovely images that inspire me to get out and weed my messy patch! The bouquets look splendid...I am dreaming of springtime.

    These bloggers have a great eye for details...I'll check them out!
    Thanks Belinda!

  6. Wow, wow, wow! So lovely. I'm adding some beautiful blogs to my read-thank you! I need to say though, you *completely* inspire me. I love your creativity and the beauty of your flowers and amazing jewelry. Keep going! Xxxx

  7. How deeply our passions encompass and what sweet beauty emanates.

  8. You are spot on! All of the above ladies and blogs massively inspire me too. I actually get excited when I see a new post from them and scroll down the page with excited anticipation as to what wonderful pics will inspire me on this occasion.
    Just to add another one to the inspiration pot, Green & Gorgeous have a wonderful set up. I went to visit last september and was totally blown away by their plot, and came away eager to recreate even just a small section of it in my little patch! x

  9. All so beautiful, and -if I had a garden - so inspiring!

  10. Hello!
    Nipping in quickly as Im nipping out in a mo - thanks for signing up for Being Creative, here's how to add your button:
    Right Click on the image, choose Save in the little box to save to a file on your computer (pictures, documents etc); go to Blogger, click Design, Add Gadget, scroll down and choose Add a Picture; click Browse and find your button in appropriate file. It's 150 pixels square so should fit ok.
    I hope this helps, and no you are not being blonde at all!
    Shout if you need any more help, or if those instructions are not making sense.
    Love Julia x

  11. i loved starting my morning with this! delicious!


  12. Hi Belinda,

    What a lovely, lovely post. I love the way you've paid homage to the people who've inspired you. Do you know, that's how I think about *you*!! Really! When I'm gathering bunches of flowers from our garden I sometimes find myself thinking, "Would Belinda do that?"!

    That's the lovely thing about blogging, I think. There's so much gorgeous inspiration from really lovely YOU!


  13. I've come over from Modern Country. Thanks for featuring garden inspiration. I'm hoping to do more gardening of the flower variety. I need people like you to follow to build up my desire to get out there.

    Lisa x

  14. The pathway lined with those beautiful tall pots of flame coloured tulips are just wonderful, great inspiring photos.

  15. Hi Belinda - Thank you so much for featuring me in such a beautiful post - I feel quite overwhelmed;
    J x

  16. a fabulous summary + inspirations to me too.

  17. So beautiful and inspiring. I found you via Floret and am glad I did!

  18. I am putting on my kettle and closing the doors and putting up a sign no interruptions!!! This is pure inspiraiton this post! Wow.. nice work flower lady..Sinead x

  19. Firstly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BELINDA!(albeit belatedly) :)

    Secondly, what a wonderfully inspiring post - thank you for featuring these gifted women and for sharing your own appreciation of each of them with us.

    I hope you know how much of an inspiration you are, too!!!

  20. Talk about inspiration!!! Breathtaking! Your photos are superb! Am a new follower!
    Can't say enough how beautiful this post is!

  21. Erin, complete pleasure!

    VS, so glad you enjoyed it, these ladies work floral magic!

    Jane, we gotta keep dreaming of summer while the rain falls and the wind blows.

    Webb, I take so much encouragement from your appreciation of my efforts, thank you.

    Hostess, go check them out and be enchanted!

    Alice, well that is just so kind, it seems that inspiration flows both ways between us, and that rocks!

    Jennifer, exactly so.

    Julia - thanks for the info.

    Michele, so glad it pleased you and welcome to my blog - thanks for the visit!

    Sarah, you're just so sweet and generous (and welcome to a glass of something nice in my garden any time!). Thanks for the party!

    Lisa - go for it, Sarah Raven's website is a good place for inspiration for beautiful and easy flowers to grow.

    Lilacs, I love that combo too.

    Jane, least I could do for all the pleasure and info your blog has given me.

    Charlotte, they are quite a line up, no?!

    Jen, a huge welcome to you!

    Sinead, your comment has put a big grin on my face, hope you had a fun peruse!

    Desiree, thank you for your kind words, the post was such a pleasure to write.

    Cat and Cricket, the warmest welcome to Wild Acre, glad to have you aboard!

    Rachel, well thank you so much!

  22. What a beautiful post in so many ways! I adore Sarah Raven too and have been on "Bold and Beautiful Garden" course and also a growing veggies one. She is amazing and such a natural speaker/teacher - an inspiration. As are your other ladies. Wonderful. And a happy but belated birthday to you. xxx

  23. Thanks Sarah, did you enoy Monty back on Gardeners' World??xx

  24. Dear Belinda, I feel so bad for just making it in for a big, belated thank you!!! now. I am so honored, warm and fuzzy. And how wonderful to read about all these amazing women! Thank you so much for your kindness and for sharing. And as others said above, YOU and are an inspiration. For. Sure. Thank you!!!



  25. I had to remove all the flowers from our little 12thC village Church on Ash Wednesday for the start of lent. It looks so bare now so it has cheered me up looking at your beautiful pictures. Your lovely blog really has given me inspiration, and I am now really looking forward to creating some wonderful floral display's in Church for Easter. Abby x

  26. Belinda what beautiful pictures,are those your Fritillaria? no sign of mine yet they are my most favourite of flowers. Ida

  27. Truly inspirational Belinda. There are so many talented bloggers out there. The two bouquets above are exquisite!


  28. Dear Belinda,

    What an insipring post! Those bouquets on the last two photo's look great and that garden by Sara Thank you for introducing me to her books as well. I plan to have my own cutting garden this year, so I could use the book!!

    Happy new week & lieve groet,


  29. You have a beautiful blog. I am your newest follower. Hope to see you at My Dream Canvas:-)

  30. My Spotty Pony, can we see pics of your Easter arrangements?

    Ida, one of my faves too, the beautiful ones in the post were grown by Jane from Snapdragon's Garden.

    Jeanne, they are such inspirational women!

    Madelief, those books are a great starting point, especially 'Grow your own Cut Flowers'.

    Anu, i'm right over!

  31. Gorgeous photos and some lovely blogs recommended. I have also been inspired by some of the people you mention and will be following the ones I hadn't heard of until your post. Thanks

  32. I saw that Sarah Raven's garden will be open for NGS - I put it in my diary - I think it will be amazing!

    Thank you for joining Post Of The Month Club - I hope you will link up again next month :) XOL

  33. What a gorgeous post! Just popped over from Laura's link party :)

  34. Calling by from Happy Homemaker UK as participating in Post of the Month and really enjoying meeting everyone else and reading their favourite posts. I am a great fan of Sarah Raven since meeting her at Chelsea years ago.