The Sweet Meadow



plants, inspiration, flowers, living the sweet lifeAishe Besim

I ticked an item off of my bucket list recently - a visit to the beautiful country garden Stonefields!

Designed by legendary landscape designer Paul Bangay, Stonefields is located in between Kyneton and Daylesford and boasts seven acres of lush gardens. I first heard of the garden after reading about Paul's vegetable patch in Edible Garden Design two years ago. I then purchased Paul's book about the creation of his entire garden and I was hooked. 

This was definitely the busiest open garden day I'd ever been to. I admit it was a struggle wading through the hundreds of people to explore the property, but if you're a green thumb I highly recommend visiting for yourself. I'm eying off a private tour with the man himself next time!

Drying flowers

flowersAishe Besim

I cannot do without flowers. Their ability to convey emotions, evoke memories, change our mood and transform a bare room into a place of great beauty never ceases to amaze me. They are my muse, my passion and my world.
— Saskia Havekes, Grandiflora

I was never a huge fan of flowers. Why spend money on a bouquet of flowers that were just going to shrivel up and die in a week or so?

Since going plant-based I've done a complete 180 - I love flowers! They appear in our most significant rituals and traditions all around the globe, from ancient civilisation to the present day. We give different flowers for different moments in time, but all for the same purpose - to say that which cannot be said, and to say it with beauty and grace.

I soon discovered I could prolong the life of freshly cut flowers by drying them. They could then happy sit in a vase for months on end. Keep reading for a super easy method of drying flowers.

1. When picking flowers for drying, they should be in full bloom but not full blown or they will drop their petals. They are also best gathered in the morning of a dry day.

2. Hang them upside down in bunches in a warm, preferably not too light position and leave them there until they are dry to the touch. This could take up to a couple of weeks. 

3. Once you are confident that your flowers are fully dry, pack them into boxes and store in a dry place until you wish to use them. It is important to store dried flowers in boxes in order to keep them free of dust and preserve their colour. 

4. How to use dried flowers? Display them in a vase, leave them hanging, press them into your favourite books, or frame them!