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April 10, 2020
How long does it take before we reminisce?
Three days into Lockdown, I was struck by how sad I felt about a lost vibrant world of colour. The people, creativity, glamour, flowers. Yes flowers. I missed the flowers, already so soon.
I’d started the tidying up jobs that had been left to fester. Digital housekeeping – file, sort, delete; particularly photo libraries. I clicked through hundreds of images of flower displays in the salon.
It had become part of my weekly ritual visiting Covent Garden Market at 5am on a Monday morning. Bringing the flowers back for Saori to help make displays for everyone to enjoy.
As each season passes, I learn a bit more. I’m sure I could name at least six flowers on Mastermind now. Some flowers are around throughout the year these days. Flown in from Kenya and South America. Spring blossom either side of Spring, amazingly, but getting earlier and we had some stunning Quince in early January, so perfect that people thought it was fake.
But the finest quality blooms are still seasonal, with the best falling into a very narrow window of a week or two.
I’d not found roses this large and fulsome before. Twice the size of my fist. I managed to get them for two weeks and then they were gone. The dealer told me legends of an even larger one, but so rare he could seldom source them.
They’ve stretched the availability of peonies throughout the year. But these beautiful giants were only around for ten days.
And I’ve learnt to go earlier. The choice at 6am isn’t as good as at 5am. Our friend Paul looks after a lot of Richard Caring’s venues including Annabel’s with his wife Jane Wadham. He‘ll go when they open at 4am but he’ll often asks his dealers to meet him early at 2am. And then go back a couple of times before they close at 10am.
Paul and Jane created our Xmas and Easter installations last year. People traveled in just to Instagram themselves against the backdrop.
I’m amusing myself re-landscaping our terrace at the moment and tidying up the plants around the building but it’s not quite the same.
Michael Van Clarke
September 23, 2023
September 22, 2023
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