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Into the Wilderness

By Leonie Butler Wild swimming, wild camping, wild flowers. Add to the word 'wild' to anything these days and it's instantly trendy. We've been swimming in streams, camping in meadows and picking flowers since time began and there's nothing new to it, but anything that brings a re-discovering of simple pleasures gets my vote. Especially when it comes to going into the floral wilderness.   One of the most wonderful things about wild flowers is that even the most uninitiated to floristry will recognise a few and can probably draw on a childhood memory of picking them and placing them in a jam jar for their mother.   Today, more and more gardeners are choosing to cultivate wild flowers in their own borders. (Though the dandelions you picked with love as a child aren't usually on the wish list!) The only problem with recreating this wistful vision in any formal setting is the longevity of these wild beauties. After a day in the jam jar a lot of wild flowers look very forlorn.   However, there are a number that can be used in bouquets and won't droop as soon as they're let loose in a vase, and the trick is to put some sturdier blooms in the arrangement for the wild ones to hold on to. The simple oxeye daisy, delicate cow parsley, the bright blue cornflower, the whimsy (but badly-named) scabious and the feathery larkspur can all create a natural looking and seductively scruffy bouquet.   Don't forget the wild foliage, including grasses, herbs, holly, ivy and even blackberries – which introduce a whole new texture – for a wonderfully vintage feel   By Leonie Butler

Just wanted to say thank you so much for the lovely bouquet of flowers that you sent to my daughter today. She's been shielding since February so these made her day. She was delighted that there were no lilies in the flowers as she suffers with hayfever. Thank you - Helen P

Just to say a lovely thank you for the beautiful arrangement of flowers for the funeral sheaf I ordered for my fathers funeral. He was 91 and always interested in the environment and wildflowers. The arrangement was just perfect. Many thanks once again - Magda B

My family arranged for you to deliver flowers for my birthday last Monday and I have to say that they are the best flowers I have ever received! After a week they are still looking amazing and are likely to do so for several days yet. Thank you very much! - Mary B