June 27, 2011


I'm bringing a shy girl to Jane's flower party today.

If she really was a person rather than a plant she would be one of those people whose beauty doesn't scream for attention, is maybe not immediately striking, but on closer viewing, perhaps the angle of the cheekbones, arch of an eyebrow, colour of eyes or shape of mouth is quietly really beautiful? Sometimes it is just the way someone moves or laughs or simply the atmosphere they bring with them that strikes one as lovely. Yep, one of those quiet beauties. Astrantia.

You hardly notice astrantias from the other side of the garden, certainly not in the way you notice roses or poppies or the spires of delphiniums.

She doesn't knock your socks of with her scent or colour, but if you take the time to bend down and really look her in the face... oh my goodness - so beautiful!

Astrantia, Shaggy

There is just something about the angles of the pointy petals, the soft graduation of the simple colours, the mixture of shapes, and the way the flowers dance on their wiry stems that make me really rate this plant for its beauty. It is one of my very favourite plants, and not only is it hardy, shade tolerant and gently clump-forming in habit but it is also brilliantly long-lasting as a cut flower. Beauty and character!

There are wonderful white, greenish white, pale pink, dark pink and red varieties, all widely available. I can't recommend these quiet beauties enough. In the garden and in the vase they bring grace and exquisite detail. I am enjoying them in little posies in the house at the moment, they last so long in water and there is the added benefit of not having to hunker down to appreciate them close-to.

So, if you haven't met her already, please introduce yourself, she's quality!


  1. Thank you for the introduction, I'm very pleased to meet her. I'm hoping that next summer she will grace us with her presence in our garden. Have a happy week, Ax

  2. I quite agree. I have one (name not known), dark red, about to open in its re-purposed recycing box - I will certainly have ore when I eventually have a garden.

  3. I agree, she is the perfect posy flower! How lovely. Jane x

  4. I love her and always want her in my garden. Must plant. Seeds? Sow directly? When?

    We were clearly on the same page today for our flowers.

    Freakishly cool, no?

    xo Jane

  5. Hello Belinda:
    We are in complete agreement here. Astrantias are such elegant flowers, always adding interest to a border or arrangement without stealing the show from the principal players. We grew many different kinds in our garden since they are, as you say, terribly tolerant of soil and weather conditions , but we did so enjoy introducing pools of 'Hadspen Blood' into the borders for a dramatic effect that always attracted praise.

  6. Wow. My goodness. Amazing. BTW I came via flwrjane.

  7. Sinead, glad you agree!

    A, I'm sure she'll be a wonderful addition to your garden, brilliant for a slightly shady spot where other things look a bit peeky.

    Rachel, You and the astrantia awaiting new homes, willing you on from over here! That garden, when it comes, will be such a celebration for you, makes me happy thinking about it!

    Jane, yep, perfect indeed!

    FlwrJane, I buy mine as small plants from garden centres I'm afraid. They aren't expensive and bulk up nicely in a year or two. Loving my freakishly cool moment!

    Jane and Lance, gosh how lovely 'pools of Astrantia 'Hadspen Blood' sounds, that is such a richly coloured variety, do you have photos of that garden, it sounds wonderful?

    S and Z - thank you so much, I caught them in some early morning sun which seemed to suit them!

    LPC, a warm welcome to my blog, so glad you enjoyed the post, I will hop over to yours to say hi!

  8. What a lovely post Belinda and so educational too. Your photography is top notch! Thanks for your comments on my post. Yes I know we are so lucky to be near the sea, and it seems to have a lovely calming and relaxing effect on us all.Love Linda x

  9. I love astrantia! Only discovered it a couple of years ago and try to use it in gardens whenever I can. Wish I had some in the house...

  10. I cut some flowers this morning from the garden and white astrantia was one of them! The only thing with astrantia is the smell which I find a little overpowering....however it does make up for it with its fabulous flower head and longevity.
    I teamed them with some white astilbe, alchamilla mollis and fern fronds....very restful
    Julie x

  11. I'd just been trying to find out what astrantia are called. Beautiful writing.

  12. She was a total stranger,and now I want to date her. Hope I can find a source. just beautiful!

  13. We can't keep her in the shop! She quivers and bobs and is perfect in wild wedding bouquets! Walked through your garden yesterday, Belinda. Really breathtaking!

  14. I love astrantias and was out there photographing them at the weekend trying to work out how to replicate their beauty in felt......outer leaves easy, middle pretty impossible. Maybe I just need to sleep on that for a few more nights! Lovely photos as usual Belinda.
    K x

  15. I fell in love with her the first time I saw her. This is a plant and a flower I'd buy any day of the year. Beautiful.

  16. How pretty! I'm curious, though, what's the name of the flower that produces that striped seedpod in picture 6? My old neighbors had those (blue flowers, right?) and I thought they were lovely, but never knew what they were.

  17. I don't think I'll be able to sleep until I read up on your Astrantia. I must know everything and am hopeful that she will want to spend some time in my garden. Beautiful.

  18. Lovely post Belinda, and what an unusual flower...quite subtle. I am enjoying this party as I am discovering with my new-found love of photography (thru this blogging thing), that I absolutely love producing pics of flowers...so visual...and this might stretch me a bit more!! Robx

  19. Linda - thanks so much for the kind words!

    Marie, lucky clients!

    julie, you know I have never noticed much of a scent on mine, maybe different varieties?

    A in B, thank you kindly!

    Webb, it's love, I can tell!

    Shelley, interesting you stock them, they are not easily found in my local florists around here, maybe in the big cities?

    Katie, like hellebores? Those dotty middle sections are so hard to paint even, let alone make out of felt!

    Sweet gum Thursday, thanks so much for your kind comment, welcome to the blog if this is your first visit!

    Sunshine, they are Nigella, otherwise known as love-in-the-mist, usually blue although I grow a white variety. Thanks for visiting!

    Counting Dandelions, yay! Welcome to the fanclub!

    Robynne, it is a great link up of flower lovers/photographers for sure!

  20. Stunning photos Belinda, it is a beautiful plant and I love it in your arrangement x

  21. Almost every bride I see points to the astrantia and says, "What's that? I love that! Can I have that?" Can't grow enough of it. Jan x

  22. Your love for your flowers comes shining through

  23. Such a beautiful flower, and so beautifully captured. It's one of my favorites, too, but it seems like I don't see it as much out here in California as I did in Boston. DO you know if it likes a winter chill? I know you get a good dose of that in your neck of the woods.



  24. I love the look of astrantia (does the plural have an s?) but we don't have any in our garden currently.

    I was thinking about you the other day and wondered whether you'd consider doing some kind of e-course for the incredibly amazing flower arranging you do? Or maybe a series on your blog? I'd be the first in line if you did!!


  25. I agree that this is a really lovely flower and your photos are beautiful. I don't think I've seen flower before.

  26. Your photos are so delicate - just BEAUTIFUL!

    Thank you for joining Post Of The Month Club :)

  27. I'm so delighted that you shared this in the HH blog hop as it meant that I could meet you and sign up for more of these glorious gifts being sent to my inbox on a regular basis = yippee!

  28. I have never seen these unusual flowers before, Belinda! They are absolutely lovely and your bouquets are stunning as always!

  29. Sooo nice! I've never seen it before, but I fell in love... Fantastic! And those photos are great. Love your blog and flower arrangements, so inspiring!