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It’s a rock garden, an overhanging cliff crusted with lichen shading a little pool with a yellow waterlily. It measures 10cm x 10cm (and no more than 10cm high).


Viewed from the other side, and you can see a few flowers cling on in the cracks, while elegant ferns waft in the breeze (that may be white paper underneath… or a particularly pale beach?)


Oh, all right then, you’ve probably guessed already. This is miniature flower arranging, done on an infinitesimally tiny scale: every piece is dried and preserved in silica before being stuck, one at a time, on the sculpture. Not one is more than a few millimetres long. Everything you see is of plant origin: those ‘bulrushes’ are individual stamens, while the yellow flowers are made from the tiny central blossoms picked out of euphorbia bracts. The ‘rock’ is a piece of bark, and there are more tiny specks from Bupleurum and other things I couldn’t even recognise.


Actually I’ve been sitting on these pictures for a few weeks, as this miniature is a work in progress due to go on display tomorrow at the Wisley Flower Show as part of the new NAFAS flower-arranging exhibit. Since staging has now started, there’s no risk of any dastardly stealing of ideas – apparently flower arranging is a cut-throat sport and much skulduggery goes on behind the scenes. So I can now publish, and to hell with the consequences.

Don’t worry, I was no more than a very admiring bystander: the artist is Pattie Hendrie, the very talented daughter of Mrs M, whose garden I look after and which I have raved about occasionally here before.

Good luck Pattie – I’ll be there and rooting for you!

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