Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Little Challenge of My Own

A little over a year ago, I set myself a challenge which matched, in its own little way, the Challenge of the Utmost Kind - I decided not to buy any cut flowers, but to decorate the house only with flowers, foliage or other items I could pick in the garden or the local area. At a pinch, I would allow myself to buy a potted plant (as I did on May 1st) which could then be planted in the garden.

Over the year I've planted lots of bulbs, to provide spring flowers, and have thrived on Ben's wild meadow flowers and his roses through the summer. It was the foliage and berries of last autumn that really inspired me, though, and once again I find myself loving the autumn arrangements, such as this accidental vignette on our kitchen table, best of all.


My reasons for the challenge were varied - to save money and to reduce the environmental impact of my shopping on the one hand, and to inspire creativity and appreciation of our local area on the other.


I have a few other autumnal projects which I would love to share with you, but life keeps getting in the way... Maybe one of these days!


Sarah said...

Great idea. My mum does wonderful displays of flowers and foliage from around the garden, especially at this time of year - mine just don't look the same!

marigold jam said...

My absolute favourite indoor flower arrangement of all time has to be the little posies of spring flowers picked from our garden in France where we had cowslips growing in abundance which I used to put on my table during the spring and early summer months. I am with you on not buying flowers which cost money, have been grown most likely on land which might better be used for crops for the indigenous people, and then flown half way round the world for our delight.

Love your autumn foliage and that blue vase and table napkin set it all off wonderfully!


Elizabethd said...

There is nothing nicer, in my mind, than finding something of one's own in the garden, even if only a few grasses or leaves. We have a lot of very colourful berries...but am only taking a few as the birds love them too.

Michela said...

Hi Floss, trés chic your autumnal arrangement!

Lyn said...

What a lovely idea. Potted plants can be great. I have lots of potted pelagoniums and as they flower bring them in and display them

theshepherdshouse said...

That is a wonderful challenge and I think your arrangement is lovely! I love finding things in my own garden to add a little homey touch indoors.

Sweet blessings,

A Bun Can Dance said...

Hi Floss
Such a good idea, and nature's bounty is always full of wonderful flowers and foliage. I'm a great fan of foliage arrangements and I often think leaves are just as interesting as flowers - they deserve a starring role from time to time!
Your display looks very pretty,
Have a happy week
Denise x

TheMadHouse said...

What a fantastic thing to do. I have some holly and ever green in a jug on the kitchen window ledge from our advent wreath cutting!!

I need to get out nad plant some bulbs at the weekend.

Oh and we do the stir thing with the pudding, but I think lots of people do it with the cake too.

Josie-Mary said...

What a great idea, I did that in the summer using anything in the garden. It worked really well but I only did it once.....must remember for next year :) x

Tabiboo said...

What a wonderful challenge - I do try, really, really hard to use what I have in the garden rather than buy flowers from a shop, but my poor old garden is looking so bare now and my lack of organisation - as in pre planting, has found me buying my first bunch (last weekend) this Winter - I doubt it will be the last, hey ho, maybe next year......maybe!

take care,

Nina x

jeannette stgermain said...

If I have flowering plants, I can do it without flowers of a store (since most of them don't stay fresh for a week anyway here in CA). Now I live in the condo, it's potted flowering plants, because I lost my yard!

Lola Nova said...

How wonderful! I too resolved to brighten up the cottage with only things from the yard, or the parks close by, or found on our adventures. We recently had a lovely centerpiece made from Horse Chestnuts, walnuts and fall colored leaves that we found on the street by our home. So nice and interesting.

Sarah said...

We never have bought flowers either. I have a few lovely ones in the garden that I like to pick, but I prefer to spend money on plants for the garden. They seem to die so quickly in a vase which is a shame. Green foliage is a lovely way of bringing nature into your home.

sarah-jane down the lane said...

I must admit I do a bit of both! I have cut the last few roses and they are by my bed as we have gale force winds hurtling through our garden at the moment. Your Autumnal display looks great,

Sarah x

Pomona said...

These are my sentiments entirely - I really worry about the conditions under which supermarket flowers are produced, and tend to stick to potted things from a local independent nursery. My aim is to produce more in the garden, but flowers have had to take a bit of a back seat to vegetables this year - your post above is very inspiring, though.

Pomona x