Grace Alexander Flowers

Journal

Growing happiness
Photo @painterlyandblooms

Photo @painterlyandblooms

On a busy, rainy, slightly too busy Tuesday, someone said this.

Today could have been only about an irate baby who refused to nap and me not getting any lunch. But instead it has been magical. Thank you Grace Alexander Flowers – to new seeds and beautiful futures…

Yes I thought. This. This... Growing happiness. Warmth and joy in a tricky world.

When I started the seed business, people made all sorts of practical suggestions. Can we have a picture? How many seeds are there in a packet? My mother (still) insists that they should have a sow by date on them. It isn’t about that I said. If you want that sort of seed, I can recommend you at least ten really quite good suppliers.

This is not what this is about.

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There were days when I had been so busy at work, I’d be pulled and pushed and emailed and phoned and people wanted something from me all of the time. I’d give and give and give. I’d get home and know I had a wedding that weekend and I just didn’t know how I was going to pull it off. I’d walk into my flower field and there it would all be. Whilst I was busy being busy, she was there, just doing her thing. Roses, always just at the right moment. Nigella that I’d been willing to burst for weeks, cracking open with that Friday feeling. Buckets and buckets of dahlias. Even my tulips come back year after year. And I’d get this feeling in my chest and behind my eyes. Like gratitude was coming up my throat and trying to come out in tears. I have a doctorate in feelings. I should know this one. The closest I got was joy, but even that didn’t fit quite right. So in my head, I call it heart-rise. Because that’s what it feels like. An overwhelming gratitude and pleasure in the beauty and generosity of a thing.

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Then I noticed that other things gave me the same feeling, often with a tingling in my fingers. Local Milk’s Instagram feed. Hans Blomquist’s interiors. Bauwerk paint. Khadi paper and almost anything by Bureau design. Rough things with elegance. Patina, texture, and quite often wonkiness.

In Detail by Hans Blomquist

In Detail by Hans Blomquist

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My seeds aren’t a thought through thing. I never did any market research. I never beta tested a design. I have absolutely no interest in appealing to the masses. I did what felt right and what made me happy. And maybe they’ll make you happy too.

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Grace Alexander
Equinox & an introduction
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If you have a garden, you will know that each patch of ground is unique. The textbooks will tell you you should find out what your soil pH is; whether it is loam or clay, aspect, shade, sun, drainage. It's not really like that here. We're a team, and I accept that my field knows best. I know that she likes pink (irritatingly, because I don't), she is a grafter, she is forgiving, she produces nettles better than any other field around, which is fine because it means fertility and copious amounts of nettle tea and I'll never get arthritis.

 
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The equinox is the one time of the season that we are out of step. The magic of the equal days and nights gives her a little boost and there is a spring like rush of growth. I'm winding down and she's raging against the dying of the light. Funny things happen at this time. I have an iris that has sent up a flower spike. The orchard is covered in baby frogs. There's a sprinkling of blossom on one of the apple trees. I can't keep up with the deadheading...

Grace Alexander