Gardens are the greatest source of inspiration to us in our work as flower arrangers and growers. Seeing how natural materials converge, how plants are grown together, witnessing their shapes, colours and textures - these are fuel for so many creative ideas and revelations in our studio. In this photographic journal series we share the gardens that we visit throughout the year, both in England and abroad. We hope you enjoy the journey!
RAAS HOTEL | JODPHUR
In my notebook:
Kachnar tree, the “orchid” or “camel’s foot” tree has bright purple pink flowers that drop their petals into the water channels and ornate squares of gravel below. The garden is neatly organised into symmetrical sections. An avenue of green, rustling trees leads towards the spa in the old haveli building, behind which looms the Mehrangarh Fort - a cascade of water in front. Pennisetum lines the pool. Gardeners with brushes made from gathered grasses painstakingly sweep the squares of grass beneath the trees clear of fallen leaves, which they gather in wicker baskets. The aromatic beds are full of kumquat trees and frangipani, and dried agastache seed heads. White and cream bougainvillea cascades over our private garden wall. They have placed shallow terracotta bowls for the ring-neck doves and pigeons to drink from.
At night the gardens are lit with small lanterns at ground level and hundreds of flickering tea lights in the crevices of the stone walls. The air is thickly scented with burning incense and charcoal.