Harrogate Flower Show

So, it’s been a busy couple of weeks, some seeds have begun growing as if they had been eating spinach (Popeye would have been proud) and others, are very slowing emerging from their soil duvets, so finding homes for hundreds of seedlings has been interesting.

The constant moving of seeds in and out of the greenhouse felt like I was camping out with the whole family in a 2 man tent, with far too much equipment. It reminded me of the daily routine on a family camping trip which would include re-arranging and shifting all the clutter that we had brought with us -“just in case” Camping has always been part of my families lives, and a time to escape the cocoon of concrete, bricks and double glazing, which seemed to balance our body clocks: sleeping when it’s dark and waking when it’s light.

Our tiny greenhouse is no exception, crammed to the top with little seedlings, (which in any other year would have been hardened off by now) that are ready to spread their hungry roots beyond the confines of the seedling tray. Responding to the weather, they are confused by the extremes of temperature: cold one day and ice-cream weather the next. Many are holding off showing their secondary leaves “just in case”, but others are not so shy. The cornflowers and larkspur are planted up – it’s going to be a beautiful summer.

A greenhouse that didn’t struggle with slow growing seedlings this week was the “Greenhouse” which was a feature at the Harrogate Flower Show this spring. I was very lucky to be invited along with other florists to collaborate with the very talented Sarah Richardson at Leafy Couture to create a flowery wonderland in a bathroom.

The whole experience of collaboration in the form of shifting bodies, equipment and all those “just in case” items, prompted memories of dancing through an improvisation at university. Where the task is set and then the unspoken agreement between bodies just let the creativity of the moment take over. Of course, there was slightly more chatter attached to the making of the room for the Greenhouse, but the sense of purpose was the same.

I believe Improvisation is an extremely important part of a creative process, and applying it to a different setting is just about learning the new rules. The creative process for the realisation of the bathroom provided moments of encouragement, reflection and agreement. What it didn’t include was a single outlook, rather multiple views focused towards a single outcome – to create something beautiful.


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