Appropriately including a rose named for artist/colourist Gertrude Jeckyll (the most profound influence on my garden; her surname, by the way, rhymes with treacle), my posy has flowers and leaves in the pink-purple-white-green-burgundy range with just a touch of red, bound up tightly; exquisite.
Too large for a tussie mussie (although similarly packed), almost too small for a bouquet, I think; I am calling this bunch a large posy, for it is friendly, with flowers from my friends garden, perfectly chosen and arranged.
Roses ranging from a near single coloured talcum-white to the star, full rich crimson New William Shakespeare with its rich sweet fragrance of...deep dark velvet; I could bury my nose in this forever. Little Cecile Brunner, a buttonhole of pale dolly pink; Gertrude Jeckyll, purple-pink, beautifully shaped swirls of blackberry sorbet, and other pink roses in all shades between.
White-green little florets of hydrangea peep out at the edge, white hawthorn flowers with purple leaves are matched with royal purple hebe blooms. Aeonium rosettes of bronze and apple green are balanced by the prettiest little seed head of green Helleborus foetidis. And a little added zest is given by a touch of red Alstromeria.
It’s a microcosm of my friend’s garden which is a bewitching place, a perfect balance of those 2 drivers of many gardeners: plant collecting and artful design...although charming placement rather than hard formality is her bent. It takes time to develop the artist’s garden, slowly acquiring object d’art and pots and really nice seats...and placing them really well. I’m not sure that I can do it but by heck I’ll keep trying.
Jill Weatherhead is horticulturist, garden designer and principal at Jill Weatherhead Garden Design and garden writer who lives in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne, and works throughout Victoria (www.jillweatherheadgardendesign.com.au)