An impressionist garden in the Tuscan hills

 
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I’ve just come back from a short stay in Tuscany where I visited the beautiful ‘Podere Puscina Flowers’ owned by 3 sisters.

A family run business in the very heart of Tuscany where Teresa, Mara and Laura grow their own local flowers respecting the biodiversity and nature.

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I was greeted by Kira, their friendly dog and an incredible landscape. Walking through the fields was like being part of an impressionist painting. The colours of flowers, the bright blue sky, the magical wood at the end of the valley, together with the golden wheat fields were truly inspirational.

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There were many amazing varieties of flowers such as: romantic English garden roses, corn flower, lavender, veronica, false goat’s beard, love-in-amist, scbious, alchemilla …

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Cotinus

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Cosmea simple and double 

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Sanguisorba, amni, love-in-a-mist, strawberry scabious

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Acquilegia

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Scabious

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The one that captured my attention the most was the poppy. I’ve never seen so many different colours and varieties.

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I really enjoyed my wonderful stay at Puscina an enchanted place where 3 families live and work in harmony with nature.

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4 reasons to choose carnations

 
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Today I would like to write about carnation, a flower that is very often underestimated without being able to stand up for itself. These opinions come from the past when the floral arrangements were very basic or because here in Italy the custom is to use them on sad occasions.

But I think the time has arrived to open up the doors to this special flower which has a lot to offer.  Let me give you at least 4 reasons to change your mind about carnations

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First of all nowadays there is an incredible variety of colours which always leave me speechless. Since the start of my career I’ve discovered numerous carnation varieties.

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The second reason is that carnations keep you company for quite a long time, nearly a week or more. A tip they don’t like much water in the vase and the stems are quite fragile.

Thirdly carnations can be found throughout the year and they are fairly cheap. For these reasons they are ideal to complement any floral arrangements.

Ph Paolo Castagnedi

Ph Paolo Castagnedi

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And finally they have a wonderful delicate scent and are very soft to touch. A bunch of white carnations  looks like whipped cream. Their consistency and the movement of the petals remind me of sumptuous velvet.

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Don’t forget that in flower language they mean pure love.

Ph Paolo Castagnedi

Ph Paolo Castagnedi

Have you ever thought about giving them or  decorating  your home with them?

 
 

ideas for decorating your home at Christmas

 
 

In the last few days I’ve been checking out the latest Christmas decorations. Out of the many Christmas images I was always attracted to a natural and cozy atmosphere.

Let’s start with some useful tips:

  • As I wrote in my last post, do start by choosing your colour palette (maximum 3) and the style you desire to have in your home. These two tips will make it easier for you to focus on what you like best and how to make it. (Do take a look at what you have at your disposal)
  • Do use a lot of candles, they help a lot to create a warm atmosphere.
  • Do try to decorate all your home so each room will look festive

By the way the official date to start all Christmas decorations is the 8th of December, but we can start them a little bit earlier to make the magic last longer!

I love to use what nature offers in this season, so I’ll give you a list of foliage that you can buy at the local florist or find in the woods

Pine

Pine is the king of this season. In the shops, you may find two different varieties that don’t lose needles and last for all the period: Norway pine (bottle green colour) and silver pine (silver green). Not forgetting the very perfumed strobus pine.

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Cypress

Silver and green cypress branches always remind me of vintage lace and will add an unusual twist.

Eucalyptus

When dried, eucalyptus silver green leaves change to an ash grey colour. I personally love the silver berried eucalyptus as they look like little fireworks when blossoming.

Berries

You’ll be spoiled for choice with berries: from pillar box red right down to a wide range of browns and burgundies.

Moss

Moss is an absolute must for any festive occasion. Its softness will add a fairy magic to your home!

Here are some photos of easy and interesting things to make.

In a nutshell try to use different kinds of foliage to add texture to your creations. And don’t forget a splash of colour!

Do you find this post helpful? Send me your feedback and photos about your creations.

Some pics are mine, other from Pinterest!