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My Flowers Of 2023

December 31, 2023
by the gentle author

Tickets are available for THE GENTLE AUTHOR’S TOUR OF SPITALFIELDS tomorrow


Each Sunday, if I can afford it and have the time, I visit Columbia Rd Market to buy a bunch of flowers, seeking what is in season and avoiding repeats where possible. Here is the story of my year told in flowers. Looking back, I am reminded how much joy they brought me. Which are your favourites?

Mimosa, tulips and paperwhites, Sunday 8th January

Tulips, Sunday 15th January

Narcissus, Sunday 29th January

Paperwhites, Sunday 5th February

Hyacinths, Sunday 12th February

Snowdrops, Sunday 26th February

Tulips, Sunday 12th March

Amaryllis, Sunday 19th March

Chestnut buds, Sunday 2nd April

Tulips, narcissi and hyacinths, Sunday 23rd April

Tulips, narcissi and hyacinths, Sunday 30th April

Peonies, love-in-the-mist and antirrhinums, Sunday 22nd May

Dahlias, Sunday 11th June

Delphiniums and camomile, Sunday 25th June

Dahlias, Sunday 2nd July

Sunflowers and artichokes, Sunday 9th July

Lilies, sunflowers and artichokes, Sunday 16th July

Hydrangeas, Sunday 30th July

Delphiniums, Sunday 13th August

Dahlias, Sunday 20th August

Roses, Sunday 27th August

Dahlias and astrantias, Sunday 3rd September

Roses, asters, camomile and freesias, Sunday 10th September

Dahlias, Sunday 17th September

Roses and clematis, Sunday 24th September

Chrysanthemums, Sunday 1st October

Stocks and chrysanthemums, Sunday 22nd October

Hyacinths, Sunday 5th November

Mimosa, chrysanthemums and freesias, Sunday 12th November

Ivy, tulips and hyacinths, Sunday 10th December

41 Responses leave one →
  1. Rick Armiger permalink
    December 31, 2023

    Splendid. Thank you for all your magnificent posts this year.

  2. Lesley James permalink
    December 31, 2023

    stocks and chrysanthemum

  3. December 31, 2023

    What a magnificent way to mark the passage of time.
    Thank you for displaying such a variety of English flowers – it’s interesting to compare them with what grows here in Australia . . . most of which probably arrived here with the earliest settlers.
    Happy New Year to you, Gentle Author.
    I look forward to seeing what you have in store for us in 2024, regards, Di

  4. December 31, 2023

    All of your displays are beautiful. The snowdrops in February, the dark red dahlias in July, though I am equally transfixed by your vases and the background of your home! All the best for the coming year.

  5. December 31, 2023

    I adore blue hyacinths. They appear to be the most highly scented of all of the colours. When I was a teenager, I had a Saturday job in a florist’s shop so had the opportunity to see flowers that I didn’t know existed and if they started to turn, to take home huge bunches to my mother’s delight.
    I started work at 8 am and opened the shop. My sister had a job in the baker’s two doors down – hence the early start. I was sometimes confronted by an anxious best man, waiting to collect a bouquet, buttonhole carnations and corsages for the mothers. This was a cause of anxiety for me if they weren’t prepped and ready! I also contributed to making winners’ garlands for the nearby Brands Hatch racing circuit, including for the British Grand Prix. Not a bad achievement for a teenager.
    The door of the shop was always open which made the shop cold in the wintertime. Cold hands in cold water made winter deeply uncomfortable. A job in a warm shop was what I craved and eventually, I secured one in the local Argos store.
    However, the delicate blooms of lily of the valley, which cost £1 per stem even back then, bunches of violets, cheerfulness narcissus, hyacinth and roses, all with their heady, beautiful fragrance, were magical to me. Exotic orchids and bird of paradise flowers were fantastic in their waxy glory. The beauty of the flowers was a definite bonus that I never tired of.
    Freesias were Mum’s favourites. She had them in her wedding bouquet. They also have a unique signature scent. Blue hyacinths for me though please. They make several appearances in your photos so I suspect that you are also a fan dear GA.

  6. Sally permalink
    December 31, 2023

    That is a hard one. I think the roses and clematis, on Sunday 24th September has something about it, but your first bouquet with all the fresh sulfur yellow is my favourite! Have a happy new year!

  7. Winnie permalink
    December 31, 2023

    Love them all but am a sucker for Dahlias, Roses and of course Mimosa.

  8. Gilbert O’Brien permalink
    December 31, 2023


  9. December 31, 2023

    Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. What a lovely ceramics collectopn, by the way. Congratulations. Happy New Year, dear G.A., and a very special greeting to Schrödinger. Thank you for a great blog.

  10. Bernie permalink
    December 31, 2023

    What a sweet idea!

  11. Sue permalink
    December 31, 2023

    I can’t possibly choose and what a selection of jugs and vases.x

  12. Cherub permalink
    December 31, 2023

    Beautiful. Flowers always look so lovely in a jug instead of an elaborate vase.

  13. Laura permalink
    December 31, 2023

    For me it’s Sunday, the 30th of April.
    Great journey!

  14. Yvonne Neblett permalink
    December 31, 2023

    What a wonderful idea displaying all your beautiful flowers throughout the year! They are gorgeous photos. Wishing you the best for 2024.

  15. Kate Bacon permalink
    December 31, 2023

    Tulips on 15th January (so hopeful in the middle of winter) closely followed by roses on 27th August (because they look like the garden variety with beautiful fragrance).

    Thank you for bringing so much joy in 2023 and for teaching our lovely group on your blogging course in November how to create the same.

    Happy New Year!

  16. December 31, 2023

    What a perfect antidote to a grey, wet, leaden New Year’s Eve. And a lovely symbol of the pleasure which this blog brings every day of the year. A Happy New Year to you Gentle Author, and to all Gentle Readers, whose comments also raise smiles, empathy, and sometimes shared indignation.

  17. Julie Cruickshank permalink
    December 31, 2023

    How lovely. These photos would make a wonderful calendar! Happy new year!

  18. Barbara Elsmore permalink
    December 31, 2023

    Lovely. I have the same Lambeth Hunting Jug as pictured with Dahlias and Roses and it is a pleasing addition to my jugs too.

  19. December 31, 2023

    This idea of the Year of Flowers is wonderful! It shows once again that the Gentle Author has a very special understanding of culture.

    ALL the flower arrangements are wonderful, it is difficult to emphasise just one. But I particularly like some of them: 
    the incredible Sunflowers, Lilies and artichokes from Sunday 9th July and Sunday 16th July, the Roses, asters, camomile and freesias, Sunday 10th September and the Roses and clematis, Sunday 24th September! — And I noticed that there is an original Christmas pyramid from the Erzgebirge!

    In the firm belief that everything in this world can only get better, I wish us all a peaceful 2024.

    Love & Peace

  20. Annie permalink
    December 31, 2023

    How beautiful. A delightful way to mark the seasons and fill the house with joy. May I wish you a very happy 2024, with many more posts to come.

  21. Linda Granfield permalink
    December 31, 2023

    Two weeks of gray weather in Toronto and I woke up to this dazzling display of colour! Thank you!
    April 30th’s pastel perfection, Sept 24’s moody mauves, and Nov 12th’s airy mimosa…

    I’m also admiring your wonderful linen collection. That blue Japanese wave pattern–spectacular!
    Oh, and the candle box on the wall–full and less-full. William Morris would be proud of you owning things that are kept because they are beautiful and useful (and don’t take up a lot of space).
    I wonder what blooms you purchased today to begin 2024. Happy New Year!

  22. Sharon permalink
    December 31, 2023

    All beautiful, but I particularly like the photos taken on 23rd April and 5th November – not only for the flowers but also the spongeware! I envy your collection..

  23. December 31, 2023

    Gorgeous pics and my favourite was Dark Red Dahlias in August.

  24. Clare Edwards permalink
    December 31, 2023

    Such a really lovely post – thank you! And thank you for all of your wonderful posts, a gift every day.

  25. Saba permalink
    December 31, 2023

    Thank you, GA, for reminding me that art and caring persist in spite of two wars, ecological armageddon, and whatever else is awful. 2023 seems just a bit more gentle.

  26. Dixter permalink
    December 31, 2023

    Chestnut buds!

  27. Adele permalink
    December 31, 2023

    Happy 2024 GA

  28. December 31, 2023

    YOU are my favorite. You are the gift that keeps on giving.
    Today happens to be my birthday, and seeing these beautiful blooms this morning was the most optimistic way to start the day.

    (Not only do I love the all flowers, but the way you have highlighted them in the perfect containers and then placed them in the ideal surroundings…….a wonderful way to chronicle the year. )

    Happy healthy new year, GA!

  29. Helen Breen permalink
    December 31, 2023

    Greetings from Boston,

    GA, what beautiful flowers in such unique pots and pitchers. Enjoy!

  30. Mary G permalink
    December 31, 2023

    Dahlias in August.
    All very beautiful, such gorgeous colours. Thank you very much ?

  31. Jill Wilson permalink
    December 31, 2023

    What a great idea, and fab photos.

    My favourite has to be the good old narcissus on 29th January although to me that is a bit “previous” as I always buy my first bunch daffs on February 1st to celebrate the end of January (which always seems to have gone on for at least six weeks!)

    I particularly liked the paper whites as well, and the chestnut buds are the most unusual. Dahlias always remind me of my grandfather who used to grow them in his beloved garden, and the smell of hyacinths immediately recall my history teacher Miss Sparrow who was allergic to them and wouldn’t let us have them in the classroom – shame!

    Favourite table cloth is the checked one in September 10th, and favourite jug must be the one with the one with all the dramatic characters on it.

    Thanks for giving us a joyful floral quiz to end the year and have a great 2024!

    Jill xx

  32. December 31, 2023

    What a wonderful display of blooms and vases.
    I love the bright tulips of 15th January set amongst a backdrop of blue hyacinths waiting patiently to show their full glory.
    Thank you dear GA for another year of inspiring and uplifting writing.
    Wishing you a very happy New Year.

  33. gkbowood permalink
    December 31, 2023

    It was a tie between the one on the 8th of Jan ( hah! my wedding anniversary) and those gorgeous yellow tulips on the 12th of March. I enjoyed looking at all your different Staffordshire figurines; that sneaky fox next to the sheep! May we all have a safe and bearable New Year in 2024!

  34. Jennie Welch permalink
    December 31, 2023

    Excellent flowers, and it looks like you’ve furnished your entire home out of Stephen Long’s shop. We may have met as I worked there briefly, and I dare say you met my mother, who worked there for years.

  35. Ann V permalink
    December 31, 2023

    Simply beautiful and so hard to choose. However, hyacinths on 12 February, chestnut buds, sunflowers on 9 July, and snowdrops for my late mother as they were her favourite. Happy New Year GA and all your Gentle Readers. ps I love all your ceramic pots.

  36. December 31, 2023

    all very beautiful but if pushed wd go for the chestnut buds..

    thanks lovely to see

  37. Betty Alice permalink
    December 31, 2023

    Thank you – almost all of these flowers grow here in Georgia!
    Betty Alice

  38. Marcia Howard permalink
    January 1, 2024

    Love the stained glass window and blue delphinians for August, one of my favourite flowers

  39. Marie-Anne permalink
    January 1, 2024

    If I had to choose from these beautiful pictures, I would choose the Mimosa as that reminds me of my late mother. She adored Mimosas and when she died in February 2020, my sister and I saw some in the florists when we were ordering our wreath for Mum’s coffin so we asked that they added some, which they were able to do, thankfully.

  40. Maggie permalink
    January 2, 2024

    This is a delightfully cheerful start to the beginning of a grey January day. I love the colourful arrangements and charming array of flower jugs. Thankyou ?

  41. January 21, 2024

    So much loveliness. Impossible to pick a favourite. I love your selection of ceramic recepticals.

    Happy New Year.

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