I am truly a lucky girl, especially when I get sent a book like the one that I am writing about today. A tree in the House ~ Flowers for your home, special occasions and every day by Annabelle Hickson is an absolute gem and a must for all you like minded souls that just adore wild flowers and foliage to adorn your home. The pages of this book are going to be well thumbed I can tell you as I love nothing more than foraging for branches, foliage, blossom, grasses, seed heads, cow parlsey the list is endless. Bringing nature into my home that costs me nothing but time is a day well spent. Annabelle believes playing and working with flowers can help you become a better observer of the natural world. Anything that helps you focus on what is beautiful and interesting in your every day life, when so much can feel repetitive and ordinary is worthy of celebration and I whole heartedly agree.
Annabelle is a writer and photographer, those in Australia will probably be familiar with her work for Country Style magazine. A former city dweller she moved with her husband and three children to a pecan farm in the Dumaresq Valley on the border of New South Wales and Queensland. From here she combines freelance writing and photography with farm life in the most beautiful rural surrounding.
The book is an ode to flower arranging, a guide for the aspiring home florist and a celebration of rural living in sync with nature, its a celebration of flowers and the joy they can bring to our every day lives. From large arrangements that are wild and whimsical to a tiny glass jar with one stem in, even a bunch of stems from the supermarket can be transformed when taken out of the nasty plastic wrapping. There is a definite focus on foraged and locally seasonally grown flowers, the book provides fabulous ideas and instructions to create flower installations and arrangements, covering everything from seasonal bouquets, flowers for friends and special occasions as well as table and overhead instillations. Showing you that flower arranging, even the most magnificent and massive kind of arrangement is accessible, affordable and open to anyone who cares to try.
Alongside the guides of how to create beautiful vignettes you also see a snapshot of Annabelle’s picturesque life, an aspirational window into rural life as well as an inspirational guide to creating simple, beautiful arrangements. Yes not all of us can create displays of daisies tumbling out of an old oven but we can go for a walk up the lane near your house and forage stems of cow parsley in the Spring to create a large vase full of white froth for your dining room table. We can all lay a table for a gathering and bring it to life with a seasonal display to compliment the food. Sometimes its the simplest of things such as a handful of fresh rosemary stems in a jar placed on your bedside table filling your room with is heady scent.
This beautiful book has clarified even more my love of flowers, especially ones that I can find and forage myself, or source from local growers. Even living in a town like I do there are always pockets of nature to be found if you take the time to look and I think the message in the pages of this book makes me realise how lucky I am.
- I was kindly gifted A Tree in the House ~ Flowers for your home, special occasions and every day by Annabelle Hickson (Hardie Grant £25)