forager about town
I fear that I am doing too good a job upholding my reputation as forager-about-town. A little botanical snip here, and a wee cutting there while out walking, and quicker than I can whip out my secateurs, I turn around and see someone that I know, and suddenly I am caught flower-handed.
This morning’s walk was not very forthcoming on the foraging front. I was very upset to discover that the council had unceremoniously mown down a crop of cow parsley that I had been both nurturing and coveting, and perhaps someone else had beaten me to the just-beginning-to-go-to-seed parsley, but that was also very scarce. I had only two meagre cow parsley flowers, and some small, very green fennel fronds to show for my excursion when one of my clients happened upon me. ‘It’s good to see that you’re on the forage’ she laughed as she walked past.
Last week I posted this image on Instagram. This collection of old milk bottles is currently sitting on my kitchen bench with an ever changing selection of flowers and greenery, depending on my garden offerings and foraged finds. I think it sealed my fate.
One lovely comment on my post said that it was a window into my home, my neighbourhood, the season, and my cheeky foraging finds. So true! And really such a lovely way of looking at it. (Thanks Clare.)
The roadside weeds are from Roseneath, the next suburb around the Bay on my morning walking circuit. The cow parsley is from a secret but well-trodden path up in the town belt. The sweet pea tendrils were unravelled ever so carefully from the fence around the corner, and down the road. The holy fennel fronds were gathered from the path that winds around in front of the monastery. There is flannel flower in a garden up the road, but I promise that this lovely specimen was a gift, and not foraged from said garden. The two tulips were gathered up with the groceries at Moore Wilson, and paid for unknowingly by Brunnel, and the single little pansy is from my garden.
There is another way of looking at this small and really quite unassuming gathering.
And that is, as wonderful as florabundance is, the simple gesture of some wildly random garden and roadside flowers can be as beautiful, if not more so, than the grandest floral arrangement.
I also call this the loaves and fishes of flower arranging – in other words, how to make just a few go a long way in terms of impact.
(photography and styling Amanda Holland for perfectly imperfect living)