I expect I have told you already about my cutting garden and how I love having home-grown flowers in the house. Over the past three years, I have doubled the number of flower beds and some are planted in cottage garden style with traditional plants like corncockle, poppies and cornflowers, whilst the rest are fare for my cutting garden.
My favourite flower in the cottage garden is the poppy and it is also probably the flower I have translated into stitches more than any other. Thankfully it is still a common sight in surrounding fields too. (If you would like to stitch in stunning scarlets, then please have a look at my new Poppy Meadow Silk Collection.)
I do not suppose that there is another common flower that has become such an emotional symbol as the poppy. We all know it as the way we commemorate those lost serving their country, but I hadn’t realised how far back this wartime association goes. It was actually after the Napoleonic wars in the early 1800s that battlefields first became red with poppies. Many of the same fields saw fighting again during the First World War and flowered with poppies where it was said nothing else would grow. It is no wonder the poppy was adopted by The Royal British Legion as the symbol for their Poppy Appeal, when they formed in 1921.
In more recent years, I am sure many of you will remember the art installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ at the Tower of London, by artists Paul Cummins and Tom Piper in 2018. An incredible 888,246 ceramic poppies – one to represent each British and Commonwealth death during the First World War – were placed in the grounds of the Tower of London and as many as five million people queued for hours to see them. A beautiful book about the installations is available through The Imperial War Museum.