I have been chastised for not submitting a blog for a very long time! This blog is about a natural simple life that is true to Sweet Cicely and my personal life.
As a child I spent many happy years in Norfolk being outside, playing in the countryside, walking dogs or riding my bike along the flat Norfolk lanes.
As we grow in life our values change according to our life experiences. On reflection, my values have really not changed much and my interests are still the same as they were when I was young. After the birth of my first child, I started growing vegetables and kept a few hens and later after my second child was born, I produced my own meat. I was determined that if we were going to eat meat it should be produced in the kindest most natural way, free from chemicals, antibiotics and with a natural life using only organic feed.
I have continued to do this and have applied the same principles to growing flowers for Sweet Cicely. I grow according to the seasons and my style of floristry has a natural country garden feel. I use only recycled materials and re-use as much as I can in the flower field.
I have been very lucky to have lived in Norfolk, the West Coast of Scotland, the South of France and Somerset and have never had to live in a city. I love working outside in all weathers and feel very much a part of the changing seasons with the flower growing.
When we moved back from France, I lost interest in many of the material possessions we had accumulated over the years and have made a conscious effort to donate any items we no longer have a relevant use for. This week my youngest child has found her own cottage and this has allowed us to de-clutter once again by donating furniture. When we bought our latest home a few years ago we vowed to use only natural materials within this old house and we have kept to that promise using only wood, slate and natural paints.
This year has seen Sweet Cicely grow so much that we took on a new workshop which allowed me to meet clients away from my home and cater for larger weddings and to run workshops. I have been very grateful to my new helpers Yvonne and Louise and hope to have help in the field next year. My clients have wanted seasonal British flowers with a very natural look. My brides have asked for wildflowers or ‘wildflower style weddings’. Today I have prepared a large area of the field to expand growing wild flowers and next week we are preparing a new growing area for next year which will be just for annuals. We are moving into the bold colours of late summer, early autumn with our flowers and still have a few more weddings ahead for this year. My plans have already turned to next year and I am currently ordering the bulbs/corms for next Spring which consist of the most beautiful Ranunculus, huge anemones, tulips and narcissi.
With my life being so guided by nature, seasonal beauty and natural produce, my husband Richard sent me this article which describes everything I feel in my family life and Sweet Cicely:
“Enjoying the beauty of a delicate rose which will only be in bloom for the next few days. Reading favourite passages in a worn yellowed book aged by the sun.
Taking pleasure in the sand marks left by an outgoing tide and the delicate morning dew drops left on a garden leaf.
It’s the effect of time and weathering on an object or the result of something that has happened by chance.
An old wooden chest with a few scratches on top or a ceramic bowl accidentally dropped on the floor which has been carefully glued back together.
What is a wabi sabi lifestyle?
Going with the flow and adapting to rather than fighting change. Living in the moment and with the passing of time.
Loving, respecting and appreciating nature and its ever changing patterns and using natural materials like wood, stone, paper and bamboo.
Seeing beauty in imperfection and accepting life’s transience; ‘nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect’.
Having an awareness of living things, how they interact with each other and their environment.
Looking after current resources for future generations without depleting or harming them.”