A Horticultural blog

Culti-Vate’s 2013 in Pictures

Happy New Year!

Here are a  few images from 2013, Culti-Vate’s best bits of the past year. Lets hope 2014 brings even more exciting things!

img_9072-copy img_6396-copy img_6316-copy img_6245-copy img_3197-copy img_2925-copy img_1822-copy img_1748-copy img_0179-copy img_0159-copy 02Various images from Culti-Vate throughout 2013.

img_4904smallimg_8731-copyimg_9436-copy1img_2496-copy1img_2331-copyimg_2010-copyHodstock priory, Tom Stuart-Smith’s Barn Garden, Noel Kingsbury’s Montpelier Cottage, Dungeness & Prospect Cottage, Sissinghurst & the Exotic Gardens in Monaco.

02-carnivimg_8358-copyimg_0208-copyimg_0648-copyimg_7436-copyimg_7473-copyMalvern spring, Gardeners Worlds, Hampton Court, Tatton Park & Chelsea

For more details on any of the pictures or events from 2013 simply scroll through the blog!


Happy Christmas from Culti-Vate!

I hope you all had a very Happy Christmas & wish you the best for 2014! Lets hope it brings lot of exciting new things.

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Christmas lunch was cooked outside this year! Which resulted in a very blackened la creuset, the tastiest chicken ever, a few singed hairs and some very smokey but happy festive diners!

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Thanks to Nico at Red Kite building for creating this amazing oven in time for Christmas!

Culti-Vate Homemade #025 Christmas Wreath No.5

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Wreath No.5

Foraged and gathered burdock branches, Eryngiums sprayed with metallic paint, seed heads, baubles & a silver fern leaf.

A very simple and elegant wreath with a more modern, delicate design with a bit of Christmas sparkle!

Culti-Vate Homemade #024 Christmas Wreath No.4

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Wreath No.04

Lichen covered branches, dried leaves, rose hips & Chinese lanterns.

+ a lot of glue gunning!

Culti-Vate Homemade #023 Christmas Wreath No.3

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Wreath No.3

Willow branches, dried hydrangeas & dyed leaves, plus some glue gunning.

Festive colours but still not too Christmassy!

Culti-Vate Homemade #022 Christmas Wreath No.2

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Wreath No.2

Large pine cones, faded dried hydrangeas, grass tops, pine tree branches & twisted willow.

This one is for the less festive among you, more decorative than christmassy. A simple elegant wreath with pale colours and lots of texture.

More wreaths to come!

Culti-Vate Homemade #021 Christmas Wreath No.1

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Wreath No.01

Pine tree branches, faded dried Hydrangeas, tiny metal flowers & gold sprayed Eryngiums (sea holly).

Look out for more of Culti-Vate wreaths over the next week, I hope you are all getting in to the festive spirit!

Floral Inspiration #035 Culti-Vate’s Top 6 Instagramers

Below are six of my current favourite instagram account, there are so many I love browsing through but these are the current feeds I can’t stop scrolling through. The are all full of great inspiration, ideas and beautiful imagery.

Small Stump is images taken by Jill Rizzo who is co-owner of Studio Choo, who produced the amazing ‘The Flower Recipie Book’ which came out earlier this year. Well worth adding to your christmas list!


Ritual Bloom has some incredible arrangement ideas & close up flower detail.


Jo Flowers images and designs are incredible, this is by far my favourite instagram’er, I get excited when I see she has posted something new! If you follow anyone from this list it must be her!


Swallows and Damsons was my local florist when I lived in sheffield, the tiny shop was always a delight to wander into. Anna Potter’s images on here are a great insight into her beautiful flower shop & business. Look at that urn!


Dutch Flower Line is a great flower wholesaler based in New York, it’s a great one for checking what amazing bloom are out!


The Plant Hunter is new a online culture & horticulture magazine that launched this month from Australia,  the founder Georgina Reid post some great images from the mag and daily life.


To follow Culti-Vate’s instagram click HERE !

Culti-Vate Explores #007 Apple Tree

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There are some exciting things coming up soon on Culti-Vate but until then enjoy the abundance of apples and vivid blue sky above!

Keep a look out for a seed giveaway in the next few weeks!

Floral Inspiration #034

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A burst of chaotic colour for this gloomy November day!

For more flora images to inspire you head over to Culti-Vate’s pinterest page and check out our ‘delights from others’ boards! All these images were collected via pinterest, details on each image can be found there.

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Reading Material #007 Encyclopaedia of Flowers

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This is by far one of the best books I own, not only because it is a truly beautiful book full of exquisite photography but it is also a true encyclopaedia. At the back of the book there is a glossary that lists every common and latin name of every plant within the book, along with thumbnails of each individual floral arrangement with the corresponding list of flowers and plants used within it. It not only inspires you, but it also teaches you, with over 2,000 species being used in the book and identified in the glossary.

I had been longing to get my hands on this book since it was published in 2012 having seen snippets of the images on various sites, but you don’t really appreciate the beauty of this book until it is in your hands and you become lost in page after page of vivid composition of the unusual & the exotic.

These images are just a taste of some of the stunning photography and incredible floristry by Makoto Azuma  and Shunsuke Shiinoki within the book.

Culti-Vate Explores #006 Sissinghurst

IMG_2291 copyIn mid-September Culti-Vate visited Sissinghurst Castle garden on a grey chilly Sunday afternoon. We explored the inspiring garden of the poet and author Vita Sackville-West & the diplomat Sir Harold Nicolson. The garden was created in the 1930s by the couple, and is designed as a series of ‘rooms’ and areas with certain colours and themes attributed to each. The tower along with precisely clipped hedges and walled sections of the garden separate it into it’s specific areas such as the cottage garden, white garden and the lime walk. There was also a chalk board at the entrance with the head gardener’s notes about the plants that were looking particularly good at this time of year, a lovely personal touch. IMG_2292 copyIMG_2302 copy IMG_2305 copyThe bright oranges and yellows within the cottage garden were a burst of vibrant colour that helped to brighten up the grey day in Kent. Walking around here you felt as though you were enclosed in a little tropical world. IMG_2336 copyIMG_2331 copy IMG_2377 copyThroughout the garden and tower there are small personal touches. Reminding you how much love and attention went into creating this delightful garden and grounds. IMG_2334 copy IMG_2389 copy IMG_2391 copyThe surrounding oast houses, typical of this part of the country, were also wonderful with their cowls gently spinning in the wind. I would love to revisit Sissinghurst in the height of summer to see more in bloom and catch the garden on a warm sunny day, I imagine it is transformed into somewhere even more delightful and charismatic!

Culti-Vate Homemade #020

IMG_3351 copy IMG_3360 copy IMG_3362 copy IMG_3366 copy IMG_3375 copyAmazing Dianthus barbatus ‘Green Trick’

Celosia, Physalis ‘chinese lantern’, Dianthus ‘green trick’, Carmanthus Tinctorius ‘Indian safflower’ & foraged foliage.

A Halloween inspired arrangement, with traditional halloween colours and a mixture of ghoulish textures. These flowers look as though they would be more at home in a witches’ potion than in a vase!

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Culti-Vate Homemade #019

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With Autumn in full swing now and pumpkins everywhere I thought it was time to share this autumnal set up with you. With old antique ladders, urns, branches of lanterns draped around the pumpkins and the bright orange & yellow Dahlias, this arrangement becomes almost a shrine to all things autumn! A vivid celebration of the new season & the colours it brings.

Everything in these images is either homegrown or locally sourced.

Culti-Vate Homemade #018 Physalis Alkekengi

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Physalis alkekengi, Antirrhinum ‘Night & day’, Dog rose hips, Coreopsis tinctoria, Leycesteria formosa, Helianthus sun flowers & Hawthorn leaves.

Plant Appreciation #019 Michaelmas Daisy

IMG_3048 copyCombe Margret

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IMG_3063 copyBarr’s Purple

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IMG_3030 copyRudolphe Goethe (below also)IMG_3046 copyIMG_3028 copyThe beds at The Picton GardenIMG_3042 copy IMG_3047 copy IMG_3067 copy

Michaelmas Dasies or Asters, herbaceous perennials that flower during September & October.

The Picton Garden, who hold the national collection of Asters, was exploding with Michaelmas daisies last week, they filled the borders with thousands of delicate daisy heads of varying shades of pink and purple. With beds in the garden specifically dedicated to identifying which varieties are which it’s the perfect place to choose your daisies, there is such a huge choice that the decision is impossible! Especially as they just keep getting better and better the more you explore the garden.

Above are a few of my favourite varieties, not only did I come home with a few plants but they also had bunches of cut Asters too so I just couldn’t resist those!

Floral Inspiration #033

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I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter.  Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.” – Andrew Wyeth

For more wintery monochromatic flora images to inspire you head over to Culti-Vate’s pinterest page and check out our ‘delights from others’ boards! All these images were collected via pinterest, details on each image can be found there.

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Culti-Vate Homemade #017 Michaelmas Daisies

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This is all about michaelmas daisies, they are the main attraction this in late september and October. They burst out in the garden giving you just a bit more colour, filling your beds with swaths of pink and purple hues. After a recent visit to Old Court Nursery & the Picton Garden I was inspired to create these arrangements with michaelmas being the main focal flower (photos from the wonderful Picton Garden coming soon).


Culti-Vate Homemade #016 A Vibrant Yellow

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I am desperate to eek out as much colour and flora from the garden as I can, collecting the final few flowers and green foliage. I think this arrangement looks like lemon sherbet exploding out of the urn. Yellow isn’t normally a colour I am drawn to but the pale tones mixed with the vivid brightness of the Helianthus just seem to work, especially with the colour of the urn. There are many more arrangements to come over the next few weeks, with more bright colours, more dahlias, michaelmas daisies and various vases and urns!

Russian Vine, Dahlia ‘White Perfection’, Cosmos ‘Sonata White’, Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ & Cephalaria gigantea.

Floral Inspiration #032

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Pink seems to be the colour of choice in the fashion world for this season’s autumn winter collections, it’s everywhere! This group of images illustrates how nature & flora continue to inspire the colours we wear every season.

For more floral photographs to inspire your wardrobe choices head over to Culti-Vate’s pinterest page and check out our ‘delights from others’ boards! All these images were collected via pinterest, details on each image can be found there.

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