Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Alchemilla for Camilla.

Mr Davey came home from school recently - he will pass his exams eventually, I am sure - and announced that he was organising a visit to the school by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; he then announced that he had said I would do the flowers for Camilla and her Lady-in-waiting. Oh. Right. Now let me tell you a little story...

Once upon a lifetime ago, Pipany sort of trained as a florist. This was as a back-up plan because she had actually trained in horticulture, but as Pipany was a skinny waif of a gel, it seemed getting work in the world of gardening may be a problem in not so very enlightened Cornwall (it was a long, long time ago), but soon decided that she was not keen on such formal flower arranging and returned to her own tied posies of garden flowers grown by her own not-usually-very-fair hands.

Having learned all about corsages and wreaths, wedding flowers and all manner of funereal crosses and sprays, Pipany then did indeed work in the prettily-scented floristry shops of ye local town (plus ye not so local town now I come to think about it).

The years rolled on until one day Mr Davey announced that he had put Pipany's name forward as the arranger of posies for m'lady Camilla - Ooohhh bum. The thing is, my posies are very informal and full of things like herbs and marigolds, wildly disarrayed sprays of whatever is looking pretty out in the garden. Typically, we are on the in between bit, but there was plenty of golden marjoram, lavender, daisies, hypericum berries, oregano and masses of my trusty alchemilla. I even cut our precious few brodeia - like a small and very dainty agapanthus which lasts brilliantly as a cut flower despite its fragility.

So, there you are and there I am, yet again bemoaning the fact that the photographs I took were hurried and in harsh light which has turned what were really rather pretty and natural tied posies into things of garishness where the soft mauve of brodeia and the gentle lime of my favourite alchemilla are lost only to be replaced by a harsh purple and green which bears no resemblance whatsoever to the original.

Ah well, such is life. The day went well and the flowers didn't fall apart and I made fruit loaf to mark the occasion

and jammed the tayberries

and made a batch of bread rolls to scoff thickly spread with butter and said jam.

Not a bad day, all in all. How was yours? x


  1. I think the flowers look wonderful. I bet she appeciated the naturalness of the bouquet too! When I left school (many, many moons ago) I thought I wanted to be a florist. I lasted 2 weeks working for a very mean and nasty man and that was the end of my career in floristry!!! Your tayberry jam looks delicious. I have grown tayberries this year but the hens have had most of them! x

  2. I too think the posies were beautiful and am sure Camilla appreciated such naturalness - after all she probably gets far too many of the stiffly arranged sort anyway! The bread and jam too looks fabulous. You could be a UK Martha Stewart with all your domestic skills andartistic too!


  3. Lovely flowers, and even lovlier bread and jam.

    Sue xx

  4. Oh Pip, this just made me smile, having just mentioned her in my email to you! She must be spending a few days in Cornwall. The flowers look beautiful, well done!
    D xxx

  5. I bet she would have liked some of your scrummy bread and jam as well as the lovely posy of flowers.

  6. Sooo, sooo pretty bouquet, Pipany! You are a woman of MANY talents! The jam looks wonderful... I've got rhubarb and strawberries to jam this week--can't wait. It's great to be back here catching up with you after being away some days away and being unwell--on the mend now, I think... Happy Summer Days ((HUGS))

  7. Domestic bliss.... i think that's supposed to be about relationships with people. At the moment, however, your talents embody my idea of "domestic bliss"! The posies are beautiful and, if they were even better than these photos, I too wish that I could have seen them - wow! The others are right - it's so wonderful to see something natural and different. I'm thinking of Sense and sensibility, when Marianne says, "these are not from the hothouse."

    Well, I want to come over for tea, please! I, also, just notice that, somehow, I missed your last post. Your daughter is soooo pretty and what an adorable skirt. I love it with her blouse and black vest. Phew, I wish that I could whip something up like that!!!

    Once again, peaceful happiness has attended my visit here.

    Love, Katy xo

  8. They look beautiful, well done!
    The bread and jam doesn't look half bad either!

  9. Oooh Pip, do you know what, I think I like posies myself in preference to the formal arrangements, and yours are beautiful! The colours work so well with one another its obvious you have a talent and an eye for it!
    The jam looks tasty..indeed it looks even tastier on that scone!! My goodness, Im kind of wishing I lived at your house right now with all those pretty flowers and tasty home made goodies!

    Sending you love
    Julia x x x

  10. Sounds like you had an excellent day. The posy is beautiful.

  11. Sounds like a wonderful day to me! I LOVE your flowers, they are perfect! What a wonderful mix and they look so natural and uncontrived, perfect! Alchemilla mollis is one of my fav plants, I love the lime green flowers. And if that wasn't enough, you then go and make the most delicious looking jam...!!! xxx

  12. the flowers are gorgeous - clever you and the rolls look a bit tasty too!

  13. Oh you clever thing! I bet HRH and her lay-in-waiting were thrilled with such wonderful and beautiful posies. Much lovelier than something lifeless and formal.

    Well done. Pipany by Royal Appointment!
    love Stephx

  14. Well Pipany, I consider you to be a very talented artist who knows how to create beauty in many media.

    Lucky Camilla to benefit from your artistry! Hoping that she will remember to send you a thank you note. (This colonial is not so devoted to royals.)


  15. Hi Pipany! Beautiful flower arrangements. Beautiful post. Beautiful jam....YUM!!!

  16. I would have loved to recieve the bouquet and bet she did too. It is lovely. I don't care for stiff prim arrangements!

  17. Pipany those bouquets are simply gorgeous. I am sure they went down really well, especially because they are not only beautiful but very individual and unique. Posie

  18. Gorgeous flowers Pipany, I would love to receive such a pretty posy!! Your jam is making me look forward to hopefully harvesting tayberries and raspberries on our lottie next year.
    twiggy x

  19. Garish? - no way! They look beautiful. Who wouldn't love to receive such a pretty posy. I'll be studying the first one and attempting to duplicate it.

  20. The best posies are filled with wild shaggy flowers and are naturalistic and beautiful so I totally approve of yours!
    The less said about those scones the better, having just returned from your neck of the woods I have partaken in rather too many!!!!!

    Thanks so much for your lovely comments, I do believe we were just down the road from you! In fact I popped into Penryn for top up supplies. I love the yellow shop that sells flowers and coffees and cards and lovely things like hairclips that I always buy!!!!

    Sarah x

  21. I love both your posies, but particularly the one with the Lavender and Alchemilla, GORGEOUS in every way, and very inspiring. Lucky Camilla, to receive those. I've just been enjoying your dress making too, especially the pinafore dress, which I'd wear myself if it was in a bigger size! Very inspiring posts Pipany, thank you. Love Vanessa xxx

  22. Beautiful flowers Pipany - and the loaf looks so yummy, I just know that it must have been delicious with the tayberry jam!

  23. Sweeeeet flowers and i love your flowers;)
    Great from belgium