A marriage of diverse floral talents

26 Jun
House steward Rachel decorates the bannisters

Floral art: Rachel preparing for the wedding pics

I’ve often watched Rachel, our very creative house steward, collecting swathes of flowers and evergreen foliage from my beautiful garden to decorate the house, but there were far more swill baskets of blooms going indoors than normal the other day.

In between flower forays, she stopped for a quick chat and informed me that she was decorating the banisters with a “garland of perfumed flowers and architectural foliage arranged in a natural and haphazard fashion”.

Being of a curious mind, I enquired what she meant. Apparently, it was a popular way of arranging flowers in the Georgian period. As Batty Langley suggested in 1726, “Flowers in the house should be arranged in a free loose manner, so as not to represent a stiff bundle of flowers void of freedom.”

The display was for publicity pictures for our new venture: weddings at Wordsworth House. If I were the marrying sort, I couldn’t think of anything nicer than to get hitched in such a lovely house – with photos taken in my glorious garden, of course.

It was a great moment for Cockermouth when the Olympic torch passed down Main Street, right in front of Wordsworth House, last week. So I could join in the festivities, Rachel and gardener Amanda moved me to the front garden and Rachel gave me some flowers of my own, made into a splendid Olympic torch fit for a perchcrow – she really is multi-talented.

Rachel gives me my Olympic torch

Flaming brilliant: Rachel gives me my Olympic torch

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