Of the many wonders found in nature, it is often flowers that give us the most instant gratification. These beautiful blooms have been inspiring artists and poets for centuries and once a year the world turns to London to see them in all their glory for The Chelsea Flower Show.
This year to celebrate the occasion we have designed a special edition collection of cards and notebooks featuring flowers often found in a British country garden. And whilst they may be found in the same patch of green, they each have their own story to tell…
“Soaring to heaven on balanced wings, Iris blazed a rainbow trail beneath the clouds as she flew…Iris, glory of the sky, cloud-borne.” – Virgil, Aeneid
Holding a noble place in history, the Iris is named after the ancient Greek goddess of the rainbow. Now found in a cacophony of colours in gardens around the world, the Iris first made its way to English gardens in the 15th century. Known as the bearer of good tidings, one would often send an Iris alongside an invitation or announcement. Luckily, our Iris cards achieve both in one fell swoop.
“Life has always poppies in her hands.” Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Grey
A flower as bold as the colours it displays; poppies are only in full bloom for a few days. The ephemeral nature of this flower has led it to represent extravagance and indulgence. Originally grown in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, their silk petalled plumes soon became a feature in Victorian gardens, adding a dash of scarlet colour to the mix.
“Ah Sun-flower! weary of time / Who countest the steps of the Sun / Seeking after that sweet golden clime / Where the travellers journey is done.” – William Blake
There are few people that can look upon the cheery countenance of a sunflower and not feel their spirits life. These bright blooms were once held in esteem by Incan priests whose fields of plentiful sunflowers lead to many myths about cities of gold. Today the humble sunflower is a staple in many a cottage garden.
“In pale moonlight / the wisteria’s scent / comes from far away.” – Yosa Buson
A truly timeless flower, wisteria have been known to live for over one hundred years. In fact, fossils of these plants have been discovered in China that date back 7 million years. These cascading purple blossoms are thought to represent immortality (and it’s not hard to see why). We like our wisteria best as a curtain of flowers in our very own secret garden.
Around and about London? Join our Rio-inspired carnival in celebration of Chelsea in Bloom on the 25th of May.