May 14, 2011

They've arrived!

Whilst Blogger has been getting its knickers in a twist about 'maintenance issues', peonies have suddenly burst into bloom in our garden, like everything else out there, several weeks early. What a lovely antidote to the blogging cold turkey they have been. This gorgeous red one is grown by my kind friend who lets me raid her garden, and what a glamourous showstopper it is.

I have been using some other pink ones in a zingy arrangement for a customer's birthday event,

I am also rather smitten with the aquilegia (Nora Barlow) in this arrangement - really sturdy stems but so delicate looking at the same time.

It is these sorts of really full, summery bouquets that give me the most enormous sense of pleasure, particularly that every single stem was home grown, no airmiles or chemicals, and picked by me with a lot of thought and care. It could just not be fresher or have more heart in it, if that makes sense!

It all makes me feel that we are on the cusp between spring and summer, a sensation heightened by a slice of Nigel Slater's summer cake, full of the scents of almonds, butter, vanilla and peaches, with the stain of blueberries adding to the lusciousness. I have posted about it before, but if you haven't made it I urge you  to, no cake makes me feel happier or more summery! What are weekends for if not a little bit of naughtiness?!

p.s. thank you so much for all the encouraging feedback about the new jewellery venture, pieces are selling which is beyond exciting! More anon.


  1. I can't believe you still have alliums! Mine are long over unfortunately. And I have also become a bit of an aquilegia convert - brilliant vase life and sturdy clean stems for picking. Each year I get a new favourite and think, "I'm only going to grow this from now on and become the world's top grower of them..." But there are SO many fab flowers and I am fickle! x

  2. Oh, how beautiful!! I was going to write a post about my peonies but the ground elder growing through them spoilt the look of the pics! I wrote a much better post instead, please have a look ;) Abby x

  3. Well, now I know the reason for my Blogger Houdini post, which has now reappeared.

  4. Whoa, I think that is the most fluffed up auilegia I have ever seen!! If I didn't know you better I'd suspect steroids . . . : )

    It reminds me of a Japanese anemone. Very, very beautiful.



  5. What a beautiful and delicious post Belinda! Your flowers are just stunning and so vibrant!
    The cake looks so yummy, enjoy!

  6. Have just come over from Abby at my spotty pony, your website looks fantastic and such beautiful jewelry, so much so I just treated myself to a necklace Arrrh, wasn't expecting to do that!! can't wait!! The flowers are so pretty

  7. Jan, these were the very last of the purple sensation alliums, but I have loads of other varieties to keep me going all summer! I love my alliums, although i do keep straying like you!

    Abby, just went to see. Bowled over. You are a total gem!

    Bowstreetflowers, it has been crazy!

    Jaime, it is so fluffy, but has that air of Miss Marple at the same time if you know what I mean, redolent to me of English cottage gardens and old fashioned ladies bicycles leaned up on the garden gate....I know I'm bonkers, but you get the drift?!!

    Michelle, thank you so much, and pleeese try the cake, it is fabulous!

    Sophie, oh my goodness, how exciting! Off to see!

  8. I am truly swooning over your peonies.

    I am also swooning over those facetted silver drops (I have been thinking about them since you posted months ago about the beginnings of your venture). Oh my. I am so very sorely tempted.

  9. Beautiful flowers Belinda!

    I love the colours that you have put together in this perfectly simple white jug...

  10. Mine have bloomed this weekend too, but have also had to have extra staking because it has been so windy, I may just have to 'save' them from their fate and try a similar arrangement!

  11. Red Charm peony. That's the name, beauty is its game.

    Mine are still open in the garden, they're stopping traffic on our street.

    Your bouquet is Beeautifool! I would like to come home to one today please.

    xo jane

  12. Oh Belinda,

    That bouquet looks fantastic. I wish you lived nearby, so that I could order my flowers from you!

    Happy weekend!

    Lieve groet, Madelief x

  13. oh my those flowers are divine xxx

  14. Beautiful post as always Belinda...but I don't know how you can cut those gorgeous peonies....
    Ours are no where near flowering yet in Northumberland... your garden is so far ahead.
    Glad you have had such a fantastic response to your silver jewellery launch on deserved, you have great style...well done!
    Julie x

  15. ...wishing I lived a bit closer so I could indulge the family with your gorgeous arrangements!

  16. Drop dead gorgeous flowers! You must have a magnificent garden.

  17. Really stunning photographs Belinda. It must be so gratifying knowing that you are responsible for these beauties. Love Linda x p.s. the cake looks rather scrumptious too!

  18. Belinda, I am so very jealous. That is the most gorgeous peony EVER! Beats my Scarlette O'Hara up on side and down the other!. Lovely bouquet, too. But, you know that! xo

  19. your flowers are so lovely Belinda, beautiful colours and textures.. makes sense to me :) x

  20. I do love peach season! Thanks for teaching me the names of so many flowers!