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Book Review: WREATHS: Fresh, Foraged & Dried Florals Arrangements by Katie Smyth & Terri Chandler

Book ReviewsAmanda Russell

Foraging flowers and foliage, is now a thing, we all delight at coming home with a handful of hedgerow discoveries, but how to make the most of our collection?


I was sent a review copy of the book WREATHS: Fresh, Foraged & Dried Florals Arrangements by Katie Smyth & Terri Chandler. It gives a glimpse into the world of flower arrangers, Worm, packed with insider knowledge into how they achieve their original and contemporary approach to wreaths and flower installations. Exuberant and full of life, the can do flower company aims to bring the delight of natural foraged flowers to your home or venue.

With their characteristic enthusiasm they set out to demystify the art with a wealth of fresh new tips for constructing and building up original floral installations so they look their very best. Even if you are not into creating with flowers the book is a must for the beautiful images alone. Photographer Kristin Perers, creates serene moments of floral calm leaving us all wishing they were part of our lives.


Liberated from more formal arrangements this book reflects the recent move away from monoculture flower arrangements towards a more seasonal approach, as often as possible, using foraged and farmed British flowers and foliage. People who know me will be aware I am always looking for new ways to bring the outside in and I love the crazy, mad, romantic almost Midsummers Night Dream vibe of Worm designs.

The detailed recipe for Meadow Ball, makes the concept approachable, I’m itching to sling a hook in the ceiling and get on with it. Another design I am keen to try is the Late Summer Chandelier, which uses a gnarled, ropey clematis vine as a base. The smell from the Giant Pine Wreath promises to deliver an intoxicating perfume, so that’s a must when the time comes round. And for sheer vibrancy the Autumnal Wreath would be the star at a Harvest or Thanksgiving celebration.


Dip into the pages of this beautiful book, Wreaths, with its glorious images and all the tools and know how to develop your own instinctive floral style,  you will be ready to create a wreath to celebrate each seasonal event when it comes along. 

WREATHS: Fresh, Foraged & Dried Florals Arrangements by Katie Smyth & Terri Chandler (Quadrille, £14.99)

Photography: Kristin Perers

Worm London

Kristin Perers


If you liked this book review then why not read my book review of Modern Lettering: A Guide to Modern Calligraphy and Hand Lettering by Rebecca Cahill Roots

Styling Interiors with Plants

StylingAmanda Russell

Take your time and have fun styling with plants, here are a few tips to set you on your way.

  • Move plants around and give them a new spot so they don't look samey and static. Move them around and style up with a variety of hero objects, you might have a collection of pots, a favourite beach find or a treasure picked up on an adventure


  • Before you get cracking with the styling, first tidy up and clear your space. Remember beautiful styled images are about what's in front of the camera. You maybe very aware of the cluttered corner behind you, but so long as the view in the shot is clear, nobody else needs to be any the wiser. Tidying completed, gather together the pieces you have chosen to work with in one place.


  • To construct the narrative, choose plants of different heights, leaf shape and colour. Start to layer up the plants along with the hero object. The rich texture of green on green gives the hero a backdrop shine out from. Alternitively choose just one plant or a frond or leaf and display alone in a vintage ceramic vessel with a couple of shapely pieces. With space around, you will be able to observe the design and beauty of the plant and leaf construction.


  • Remember, be generous at all times. Try a variety of groupings, taking images as you go along a clear space where your hero sings in glorious isolation can have as much impact as a large curated collection.


  • Be brave, remember rules are there for breaking. Try a variety of groupings taking images as you go along. When you look back over them note how very slight changes to the styled arrangement can make a world of difference.

If you like this post check out my post on How to style your home using Sylvac Urns

My Tiny Indoor Garden by Lia Leendertz, Book Review

Book ReviewsAmanda Russell

If you have no garden and are thinking you are never going to have enough space to have your own or grow your own plants and salads look no further than My Tiny Indoor Garden. House plants are having a moment just now, I use them for styling in so many projects, they are something we can all have and everyone wants to be in on the act. This delightful book by Lia Leendertz with beautiful images by Mark Diacono is packed with space saving indoor gardening ideas. It includes lots of ways to display flowers and plants as well as a wealth of tried and tested growing tips.

Before I go any further I have to declare my interest in this title and tell you I was one of the featured case studies. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty more case studies with very doable projects I want to immerse myself in.

There’s lots of detail on plant maintenance and how to keep them in prime condition from the people growing the plants. There’s a pretty succulent garden in a porch with a useful demonstration on how to take cuttings to increase your plant collection. Cookery writer Deborah Robertson shows us the secret of reinvigorating mint plants to keep them producing flushes of beautifully scented leaves. And who couldn’t linger over a fabulous multicoloured hyacinth jar collection, attractive whether or not they have blubs in them. 

Full of beautiful images and information this book would have shelf space for a long time even if I wasn’t in it. Great as a gift to inspire again and again as well as being a reliable and in depth reference book.

By Lia Leendertz

Published by Pavilion Books

Images Mark Diacono

If you like this book review check out my review of 'Making Winter' by Emma Mitchell

Spring Flower Living Wall: Kokedama Inspiration

Interior, Crafts, StylingAmanda Russell
Photo 08-01-2017, 09 23 19.jpg

Can't wait to get out and see what's growing in the garden but feeling a bit cold? Bring outside into the house with moss wrapped bulbs. When I'm styling I'm always trying new ways to bring life, colour and texture to the home.  These moss wrapped hanging Kokedama bulbs are great to bring a fresh twist.  Suspend them to  make a stunning interior living wall, move them around to create a  lush planty corner. Everyday beauty, mixing plants with vintage crockery and contemporary ideas. 

Lots of vintage contemporary ceramic finds for your home over at the shop, take a look. Happy hunting!

If you liked this post check out my post on working with contemporary and vintage