As I have grown older I have become more in tune with older things ... distressed finishes on pots and galvanised buckets, ancient lumps of wood, discarded bark. My children say “It takes one to know one!"
I have always been plant-led in my flower arrangements and they, more often than not, contain lichened twigs or such. So, to quote Miranda’s mum, what I call ‘organic’ is not the gardeners’/chefs’ accepted definition. I love twisted twigs and driftwood and bark, all natural materials. However the one thing which really gets my interest is a rusty bit of iron and it degrades eventually! I have some whole things like metal urns and a little iron table but there are horse shoes and a curl of barbed wire, lengths of chain and odds and ends picked up on beaches! There are a few old terracotta pots as well. I was interested to see lots of rusty and distressed items on a visit to Hampton Court Flower Show this year.
I promise you my garden is not like the Steptoes’ yard. It does have lumps of wood as well! I feel that both the rusty items and the wood add unexpected points of interest. Some folk have railway sleepers, sculptures, gnomes, some people have beautiful stone urns……I have rusty metal. Now and again I take a piece and use it in in one of my floral designs. Rust seems to add a certain something …….both texture and colour. It seems to possess hidden chroma itself and enlivens any colourway.
I have noticed that the manufacturers of posh plant supports now produce them in a rust finish or one which will go rusty! I wonder, did they secretly visit my garden? There has been a lot of rust about at the big gardening shows this year…
The two photos of my arrangements are by David Lloyd. The first one has wonderful late summer flowers - Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty' , and Achillea 'Golden Plate with luscious rowan berries clustered together - with very distressed corrugated iron pieces and a few curls of bark. You can really make something out of nothing. The other was just a coil of barbed wire with hazel rods, Fennel, Crocosmia, Hawthorn berries, Pine and Bracken arranged in an old cheese press. The ones of my rust are my rubbish photography!