Summer Notes

From wallpaper launches and flower boxes to IGTV and online flower arranging, read the latest summer news and musings from Willow.

I live for summer. As much as things still feel very much up in the air here in the UK, just the longer lighter evenings, being able to sit in the garden with Chaz while the boys practice their bowling, makes me feel extraordinarily grateful. The foxgloves are back in my garden after their annual hiatus. They’ve literally doubled in number, self-seeding to form towering pink and purple bonnet shaped blooms, absolute manna for the bees!

It feels so strange to be here, one year on, still in slight state of limbo professionally. It was recently Glastonbury weekend and usually I’d have a summer packed full of weddings and festival workshops. Or seasonal events like Chelsea in Bloom when the King’s Road embraces the Chelsea Flower Show and my team and I get to create incredible floral installations. Two years ago the theme was ‘Under the Sea’ and we transformed the Boden shop into a coral reef with floral sea urchins, barnacles and corals spilling onto the pavement, magically winning gold for the People’s Champion award! I am really missing all these events.

So it felt extra special to launch my new wallpaper collaboration with Barneby Gates in ‘real life’ with a lunch at heavenly Daylesford farm the other week. Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore wallpaper! It was a total dream project to create my own with Vanessa and Alice at Barneby Gates. I’ll be sharing more from that lunch and also posting an interview with the girls shortly so I do hope you will stay tuned for this.

Like for so many of you, my work has really shifted online this past year. Thank you so much to all of you who watch my IGTV tutorial videos. I absolutely love doing them now even though I found them terrifying at first! I love the comments and questions and seeing all your beautiful creations and I really am so grateful for this wonderful digital community.

Last year I launched my online floristry course “Nourish yourself through nature” with Create Academy and this year we’ve added a monthly flower box scheme where I get to pick the most beautiful seasonal blooms for you to play with at home. The box scheme and online course complement each other really well and I’m thrilled this has taken off the way it has. We will be writing more about July’s box and also about the flowers we’ve chosen soon – I hope you will all love them as much as I do.

This time last year I published my book ‘The Wild Journal: A Year of Nurturing Yourself Through Nature.’ I was so gutted to not be able to launch it properly at Anthropologie as planned. It is a very important book to me and my most personal book yet so I’d like to take the opportunity here to share over the coming weeks some of the research and ideas on how to use nature to feel calmer, grounded and more joyful. Something we all need more than ever in these unsettling times. I write about gratitude in The Wild Journal and how studies show that making a daily gratitude list makes us both happier and can help relieve symptoms of depression. I thought I would start things off by sharing my current gratitude list:

  • Being able to launch my wallpaper in real life not virtually.
  • Playing with summer flowers – roses, sweetpeas, peonies, phlox.
  • Hedgerows overflowing with cow parsley and the scent of cut grass in the garden.
  • My children actually experiencing a whole term of school.
  • Crab tacos back on the menu at the Bull – my absolute favourite and also seeing the beer garden full of happy people again.
  • Having friends over for dinner.
  • Not worrying about seeing my parents whenever I want.
  • Being outside all the time with my barefoot babies exploring.

Some of you may know I used to write a blog which actually lead to me getting my first book deal! I’ve really missed writing it in recent years and I thought it would be fun to get it going again, a sort of a journal of my musings. Absolutely lots of flowers yes but also travel, interviews, recipes - all the other things I’m loving or am inspired by. I do hope you will follow me along my journey here too and please do write in to if you have any questions or topics you’d like me to cover.

Sending you all love and wishing you well.