Wildflower walks - fabric design inspiration
One of my greatest joys is spotting and photographing wildflowers as they emerge with each new season in the lanes, hedgerows, fields and woods around my home. Plants have always inspired me and I enjoy incorporating them into my design process - capturing these moments in nature to help create a calm, natural home.
On this page I wanted to share a spring & summer of wildflower walks through the landscape around me. I hope you enjoy looking back on the season as much as I did.
ENGLISH BLUEBELLS. Is there anything as joyful as walking through an ancient bluebell wood - the heady scent, the hazy blue carpet and the dappled light?
WILD GRASS. I love to spot the numerous delicate grasses that are just beautiful as the sun catches them first thing in the morning. Their simple structure influenced my first fabric design, Rye Grass, and it remains one of my favourites today. I can still remember taking this photograph and feeling a huge sense of calm and joy.
Rye Grass fabric in sage green.
COWSLIP. This year, they seemed to have completely taken hold in the fields around my home - bright bursts of sunny yellow that announced the beginning of spring.
GREATER STITCHWORT. This humble plant is capable of lighting up any lane with its abundance of glowing white flowers. So sweet and perfect with its little star shaped form, it had to be captured in a fabric of its own!
CAMPION. My absolute favourite. Pretty red campion seems to pop up suddenly on verges, hedgerows and woodland after the bluebells are past their best. Pure white campion is even more beautiful and produces a lovely scent in the evening. If there was going to be only one wildflower that I captured on a fabric, it had to be campion!
Campion Breeze fabric from The Lane Collection in vintage pink, paired with Hopper in vintage pink.
FIELD FORGET-ME-NOT. So charming - when you look really close, you realise just how stunning the little flowers are, with their perfect yellow centre with its white sunburst!
The woodlands and river banks near my home team with wild garlic every year and from time to time I collect some for cooking. I adore the fresh green leaves and the pretty white spiky flowers.
WOODLAND FERN. Ancient, primitive plants lurking in the shade - they always conjure up Jurassic Park for me! Inspired by their unfurling fronds, I created Fern Hearts as part of the Lane Collection.
COMFREY. You may see this along the riverbanks and in ditches, either with a pinky purple or white flower. To some, its a weed, but I love the pretty bell shaped flowers and highly textured leaves
Drift, part of the Halcyon Collection was inspired by drying comfrey leaves in late summer.
COWPARSLEY. Although it's around from April-June, it's frothy appearance along the lanes always suggests the beginning of summer to me. I've played around with using cowparsely in my designs, but given how often this iconic umbellifer has been used in fabric design, I'm still contemplating a fresh interpretation!
COMMON SPOTTED ORCHID. It may be 'common', but it aways feels quite special to spot it glowing amongst all the greenery. It pops up each year in the same woodland clearing near my home.
ELDERFLOWER. First the flowers, then the berries - you have to love a hedgerow plant that enables you to make such a delicate cordial in summer followed by a rich jam or jelly in the autumn. And the scent!
MEADOW FOXTAIL GRASS. Do you notice wild grasses or do they go under your radar? I find them one of the most beautiful and hypnotic plants, as they dance and sway in the breeze. I have two grass prints in my collection - Rye Grass and Marram (below) - and I'm sure I'll be tempted to capture more...
BUTTERCUP MEADOW. A wild tangle of yellow jumping with bugs
BELLBIND OR BINDWEED. An early morning beauty. I know this twining plant doesn't win many fans amongst gardeners, but I adore the purity of the brilliant white trumpets and the many forms that the closed flowers take on. This humble 'weed' inspired my first ever collection - the Georgia collection (named after artist Georgia O'keefe who showcased similar flowers in her stunning paintings).
MORE COMING SOON...