September 21, 2014

Flowers on Sunday

I was out at Halcyon House Antiques this weekend and went up to the house to pick some flowers. And what gorgeous flowers they were.  I showed you the garden a few weeks ago, and in the middle of September, it’s getting that louche, overgrown look that I adore. IMG_2746

We headed into the garden at around 5:00 p.m. and wonderfully, there were loads of bees buzzing round all of the flowers, and Jonathan warned me to be careful when I was picking flowers because the bees were so active. Bees are disappearing, so it was good to see so many in the garden, although butterflies have been scarce this year.

I came home with a huge bucket of flowers, as well as some large and small tomatoes and some basil. I think that next to peonies and gardenias, dahlias are my favourite flowers.IMG_4085

I quickly set about arranging the flowers, using my trusty champagne bucket. I can’t tell you how helpful a flower frog is when working with flowers like these with heavy heads. You stick the stems in the holes which hold the stems in place. They’re hard to find, but work brilliantly.image

After fiddling around a little, I finally made an arrangement that I liked. IMG_4086


I used the burgundy and purple dahlias along with some deep red coxcomb. I’ve set it on a table in front of my Japanese silk painting that I love, and I think it works perfectly.

But I still had some flowers left over. These amazing flowers are Leonotis leonurus aka Lion's Tail. IMG_4083This is an African plant related to mint, with tubular flowers that encircle a square stem. I was fascinated by the plant, never having seen it before.


I knew that this plant called for a tall container, so I pulled out a silver ewer with a rattan handle (to keep it cool to the touch), and put the Lion’s Tail in it. IMG_4090IMG_4095

The plant’s leaves echo the ones in the painting perfectly!

I accidentally cut some of the flowers too short, so I added them to other vases. This one’s floating in a piece of old English china. although you can’t really tell. IMG_4113

This is a deep purple, so dark that it almost looks black.IMG_4097IMG_4101The leaves are such a velvety texture and the colour is just fabulous.

I also loved this purple and white variegated variety. IMG_4115

These flowers just make me so happy and I am pleased to share them with you.

Also garden related, my friend Loi Thai, over at the beautiful blog, Tone on Tone, was up in Baltimore visiting us a few weeks ago, and he had a chance to see this garden, too. imagePlease click here to see Loi’s take on this garden. He took pictures immediately after a rainy day, and I took them the next day which was sunny. It’s fun to see how differently we looked at the same garden.


  1. Shh! Frogs are what I look for at tag sales. Shhh! Also, tea towels. Can not one fashion a frog in a pinch with floral tape --create a grid pattern at the container opening and style appropriately.!

    1. You can do it with floral tape, or as Bosom Buddy Bags says below, with rubber-bands.

  2. Most fun florist tip ever: use rubber bands to create a grid across the top of your container. As soon as you have finished, cut the taut rubber bands,especially on silver items, as the rubber bands will leave dark marks on silver.

  3. Hello Meg, I too like gardens in a more relaxed, seedy state. In fact, I often like them best when they are on the point of reverting to meadow or woods, as sometimes found around abandoned houses.

    I saw Loi's photos, and they are equally appealing, while creating an entirely different mood.

    1. I can't wait to take some pictures of this garden in the snow!

  4. Lovely arrangements Meg, I just commented to Loi that I have been obsessed with Dahlias in the last two years! There's something fascinating about the petals forming - they remind me of curled tongues! Also I'm glad to have the Lion's Tail identified. I saw them pictured in the latest issue of Millieu and wondered what they were. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I am enchanted with the dahlias. The black one was incredible!

  5. LOVE your silver ewer - late summer / early fall is really my favorite time of the year if the temperatures stay cool enough and we've been lucky! Such a wonderful weekend :-)

  6. Meg absolutely gorgeous!! You really do have a way with styling arrangements!

    The Arts by Karena

  7. Beautiful, Meg! Love the dahlias from Halcyon and your silver vessels. Thanks for sharing more photos. I enjoyed your preview on Instagram.

  8. Aren't Dahlias just delightful at this time of year. You are most fortunate to have so many attractive blooms to compose your artful arrangements. The Leonotis looks particularly handsome in the silver ewer.

  9. Oh thank you for all the flowers. Just what I needed.

  10. Quite a haul! And your arrangements are perfect. I need to grow more dahlias.

    Xo J


Thank you for reading and commenting on Pigtown*Design. I read each and every comment and try to reply if I have your e-mail address.