Tuesday, 21 December 2010

William Morris flowers

Today I visited our city market for some Christmas goodies. Our 'Adelaide Central Market' has been going for 140 years and it is a wonderful place of visual delight and full of the most amazing aromas. Their website is worth a look;
Fresh flowers are abundant and I bought myself a rare treat - a bunch of peonies.

I have never seen them grown in my home state - this bunch comes from Tasmania where I am sure the climate is better than home. Peonies feature in many Morris designs including Cray:

I've appliqued peonies in a wall hanging which is a project in my new book. This is the original embroidery and then below is my wall hanging version:
 Above Photo "Portiere" is courtesy of the Art Gallery of South Australia;

I know little of peonies but our ABC television garden show has a wonderful fact sheet: http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s933726.htm
I have recently received another wonderful 'William Morris' plant. This is a rare specimen given to me by my friend Valerie last week- it is 'Fritillaria'. Valerie took a photo of it flowering but of course now it is dormant. Her photo was carefully displayed with Jane and William in the background!

 I have found the most common Fritillaria meleagris is known as 'Snakeshead' as seen below:
The above photo is courtesy of wikimedia;

And below is William Morris' design of the same name. The mystery is unravelling and I always wondered why this design had such an odd name - I can now see those flowers! Thankyou Valerie.
Snakeshead 1876
So I am looking forward to next winter when my bulb hopefully produces flowers. For now I will get great pleasure watching the peonies open.


  1. Those Peonies are just gorgeous!! Your pattern really looks like a peonies too love it..fabrics are really to dream over they are so lovely...almost romantic to me
    I have different varieties of peonies on my yard. The red ones I cut in different stages of bloom and dry them. They look like rose buds and last a very long time.
    I tried white they do dry but to a really lovely beige that almost look like old paper...

  2. Your peony wallhanging is fantastic Michele!!! I can't wait to see this new book and that wallhanging will be hanging in my house soon. I just love it. I can't wait to show my friends the wallhanging. They will love it too.

  3. Peony is one of my favorite flowers. Your wall hanging is absolutely beautiful!

  4. Beautiful Peonies. I love the wallhanging and have just the spot for it. Thanks for sharing.


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