Whether in gardens, nature, art or through the camera lens, flowers fascinate me. At the root of my love of gardening lies a deep-seated passion for flowers in all their myriad forms. On the journey from bud to seed, my favourite stage of a flower’s development is its first opening. There is something about the perfection of silken, unsullied petals and the dusting of fresh pollen on stamens that of speaks to me of life at its most pure and hopeful. Rarely does a bloom in senescence set my heart racing in quite the same way.
Returning home last night after a couple of days away, a bouquet of mauve tulips and pink freesias had declined quickly from plump-petaled youth to puckered old age. Instead of bowing out gracefully, the flowers were clinging onto their glorious past in the manner of Norma Desmond – gaudy, dry and railing against the inevitable. Affording them one last moment in the spotlight I photographed them with my iPhone under the harsh lights of our kitchen counter. During their final performance, they displayed a wild, complex beauty. Hardly the big time, but more glamorous than the bin where they’ll be heading today.