I make no secret of naming May my favourite month. The French mark the first of May by gifting Lily of the Valley to one another as a sign of affection, and in Floriography (the Language of Flowers) these sweetly scented bells signify the return of happiness. The lanes are overrun with dancing cow parsley whilst arching boughs of white and pink hawthorn blossom tower overhead and clematis tumbles over garden fences and wraps its way around porches. It has brought me such joy during those sleepy early mornings and late evening sunsets as I have driven down the winding country lanes of Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire to and fro between shoots/events/weddings and seen England on the cusp of summer. It is so very bridal too - the lanes awash in fluffy white blossom and pretty wild flowers in lilac, blush and buttercup springing up wherever they so fancy.
Sandwiched between the two bank holidays I am lucky enough to celebrate my birthday which is always marked with a floral themed cake, and this years suggestion was a rose, raspberry and pistchio cake which my mother conjured up with much enthusiasm. It was delicious, eaten with family and shared with friends the next day in this basking sunshine we have been so lucky to enjoy this May. I popped to Danesfield for a delicious afternoon tea, admiring the gardens and beautiful views of the Thames river as it stretched towards Henley, and was treated to birthday brunch by two of my oldest and loveliest friends. We also celebrated my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary the same weekend, gathering around plenty of good food and (more) cake in their garden, watching red kites dip and dive over the rolling Chiltern hills in the distance as we raised a glass in celebration.
I was honoured to be asked to create the florals for two beautiful shoots this month too, one at Green Acres in Buckinghamshire and the other at Wickham House in Berkshire. I was delighted to be able to use a mixture of homegrown flowers and foliage for both, mixed in with beautiful palest peach and blush roses, spires of unruly spirea and one of my favourites - the foxglove. There is so much more to come but for now I shall have to sit on my hands and wait patiently until the final edits are ready.
In between I managed to take a few stills on my camera; a mix of behind-the-scenes photos from events and bespoke orders and haphazard arrangements that just happened to be around when my camera had film in it. I've shared them here as I so easily forget about them once I am onto the next thing, and I thought it would be a mighty shame to lose them to the archives when its been such a pretty few months.
We are being beckoned into June with the early garden roses we have been so lucky to enjoy already thanks to this glorious weather, and the gardens, meadows and fields that surround us are plumping up in flower and foliage. The lovely British growers I have been lucky to meet are suddenly messaging more frequently with longer lists of flowers available, and it seems every morning I wake there is a new flower to appreciate that wasn't in bloom the day before. Suppers are getting lighter, fresher and laden with smoky dressings, enjoyed al fresco as the bees buzz around and chased with wobbly fools made with homegrown rhubarb. My annual pilgrimage to Cornwall with my dear friend Katy Lawrence to shoot by the Cornish sea is planned for early June, alongside a beautiful summer wedding for a lovely couple at Old Luxter's Barn and various other floral events, shoots and adventures in the pipeline.
So here is to the return of happiness...