In Vintage Chic by Christina Strutt there is a whole chapter called "Living with flowers" all about Christina's passion for flowers and the subtle way in which they can bring a room to life. After reading this chapter and gazing at the photos I was inspired to try to keep flowers in the cottage for as much of the year as I can.
A cold, grey January always makes me long for spring and there is nothing more spring-like to me than the sight of a chartreuse green shoot emerging from a onion-shaped bulb. So I've potted up a couple of pearly white hydrangeas; their sweet scent fills the sitting room and dining room and make me smile each time I catch a whiff of it. On the dining table they sit in a pretty French breakfast bowl that my husband and I picked up from a street market while we were in Paris.
While in the sitting room the sit in vintage French jam jars I bought last year topped with gravel retrieved from under the snow in the garden! I love the way hyacinths look just before they begin to open. The tightly furled buds in their green casings always remind me of a bunch of grapes.
And now, leaning languorously as they come to full bloom, I find my eyes are also drawn to the thin, milky roots that wind themselves through the gravel and push up against the glass. It's quite strange seeing something that is usually hidden by soil displayed for all to see.