10 Feb 2021

The At-Home Diaries: Florals To My Rescue

The At Home Diaries: Florals To The Rescue on vickiarcher.com

This might be considered an unusual rescue remedy?

We have talked about yoga, online classes, the benefits of walking and even dashes of red lipstick as a way to brighten up the days of restricted living. I’ve played with dress-up Friday and I’ve mixed my very best with my least exciting. Reading and Netflix has amused and taken up hours of my time; I’m deliciously devouring my way through Call My Agent – it’s a must and thank you for the recommendation – and not sure what’s next after that.

What I haven’t mentioned is the joy and happiness florals have given me.

Flowers brighten our home, they are an extravagance I must make happen. Before the pandemic, I was less disciplined about filling our house with flowers – there was a plant or two or a bloom here and there – it wasn’t always on my agenda. Fridays now mean not only dressing up or a red-lip day but the changeover of the vases. They make me smile, they make me happy and they make me content in a world atmosphere crying out for discontent. Flowers, their colours, their forms, the way they change over days brings a lightness and joy to where we spend 99% of our time. I find florals a positive therapy in a mad world.

Our living space is open plan – an L shaped living and kitchen with a terrace and garden square in front. It’s pretty classic London and in particular Notting Hill. I adore arranging any type of florals or greenery – outdoor pots being my latest crush – and our terrace is my experimental ground each season. This year with the snow, my hyacinth pots have been well and truly decimated by the snap storms.

Friday is a flower-arranging day.

We all have our own style and preferences. Mine has changed this past year – there are mixes and brighter colours appearing. Once upon a floral time white and green, everything was my choice; now I’m in deep with colour. Florals, like everything else we do, changes.

Tulips are in abundance.

There are so many colours and petal varieties to play with. I like to arrange my flowers in groupings – place them where they can be seen from all angles in a room. In our living space, I have them on an entrance table, above the fireplace and at the other end of the same room. Wherever you sit – kitchen or more formal area, we can enjoy them. Yes – it’s extravagant and wonderful at the same time. If there was ever an indulgence needed it is now.

How we care for them and organise them counts to their lasting ability and the vases we show them in make all the difference. My most-loved vase is on our fireplace and it is a test-tube style that bends. It’s been with me a very long time and I bought it in a florist in Paris some 30 years ago. It works well with tulips and especially if their heights are different. Placed near a window the tulips with continue to grow and twist during their lifetime. I have found something similar here which would look sensational on a mantle.

And what about these arranged in a group to brighten our home. The more the merrier and don’t be afraid to mix glass with ceramic or cluster colour and heights. One vase in the centre can always be replaced by an eclectic group of vessels.

Rescue remedies come in many disguises and florals must be right up there. xv

Florals To The Rescue

lsa set of 3 ||  aurora vase  ||  umberto glass vase || tozai hinged vase

two’s company hinged vase  ||  metal and glass hinged vase  ||  rhea khalo squiggly vase   || eschasse hurricane vase

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Vicki, good morning! I too have been introduced to the powerful “remedy” of flowers. I would have never thought of having fresh flowers in my home until a few years ago when a magazine editor and her photographer came to style and photograph a few rooms in our home. The editor/stylist added fresh flowers for the shoots and it was a revelation for me. After that, I would treat myself to large bouquets of roses and tulips and of course, display them after my own photo shoots. Lately, I found another wonderful trick – and this I learned from a friend and local small business owner. She always puts little bitty vases around her shoppe with cuttings and they are not extravagant but they are peaceful little reminders….so I’ve been doing that here. I have taken snippets from larger bouquets of roses and have strewn them about the house. What a difference. From powder room to kitchen and bedside, these little petals reward in such a grand way.


I love that idea… and the reminders are all we need to brighten our days… I do love a bloom here and there too, Anita… and especially in the bathroom and powder room… that seems to me pure luxury :)

Susan Erlandson

I don’t confine well, this past year has not been fun. My pre-virus activities were done in groups, book club to volunteer work. But fresh flowers, from the summer garden or even the grocery store, plus scented candles and a daily dose of perfume provides a mental health boost. And a daily dose of Vicki Archer helps creative thinking. Thank you. I enjoy every posting.


How lovely fo you to say, Susan… thank you. IT has been a very tough time for all and anything we can do to make it even a small bit better I am all for.


You do so much efforts to survive this terrible virus and you do it in the very best way
I can imagine….flowers. When nobody let you smile, flowers always does even when they are covered in snow. I bought my first tulips this year in white, which is my beloved one colour for tulips, only one layer no double leaves, and I bring it in the cooler kitchen over night. They close their blossoms and look so pretty new next day.


They are always an uplifter… I love white too.. but I am for whatever reason having a breakaway… I and they will be back :)


I do resonate with this Vicki. Flowers just lift a mood to happiness I feel. I’ve always got flowers in the house and have loved having time to find unusual vases, jars anything to hold them in. At the moment my house has the simplicity of daffodils as such a cheery bunch makes me smile. I have also a doily under some vases because I didn’t wipe a vase and it made a mark on my wooden coffee table. I actually got a selection of doilies from the Victorian market in Maussane!! On another point about tv series, have you watched Bridgerton?


I was just going to mention Bridgerton- and potted hydrangeas in “Bridgerton Blue!” I’m not saying I’d race to be trussed up in a Regency corset but the costumes, houses, flowers and furniture were almost as good as swooning over the handsome menfolk!
I also really enjoyed “The Dig” on Netflix. Stay safe and warm over there- you will be snuggled into your cashmere Vicki!

Suzanne McAuliffe

Hello, Vicki! Fresh cut flowers enliven a room with their unique forms and colors and close-up beauty. I have a homemade floral preservative that keeps bouquets fresh. Here it is:
1 12 ounce can of non diet lemon-lime clear soda
3 12 ounce cans of water ( use soda can as measure)
1 Tablespoon of chlorine bleach ( not more!)
Mix all together and stir until the soda bubbles have dispersed. Voilà!
Store the excess solution in the fridge for up to 10 days. Don’t forget to label the container. ;) !
Stay well!


I rarely had flowers in the house when I was working and not around to enjoy them, mostly just cutting from my garden. But between retirement and pandemic restrictions I have also been bringing flowers into my home regularly. We need all the small treats we can give ourselves during these times. Flowers never fail to cheer!


Always the best remedy, fresh flowers, I get my fix before work visiting the florist outside the supermarket, such abundance, the colours are vibrant and the arrangements are splendour itself. Absorbing their colours and vibrancy is a super uplift.
*rescue remedy, a BACH flower remedy for those moments of utter necessity, before giving a speech, loss of someone, being in an accident, when you just can’t cope, giving birth. Rescue remedy works. #homeopathic.

Terrel Drendel

Vicki, Since we are lovers of flowers, I would like to suggest a fascinating book about the cut flower industry. It is called, Flower Confidential, by Amy Stewart. It was so interesting. As we all have more time to read these days, I thought I would share a book I think flower lovers would enjoy. You will learn a lot.


Living in the burbs in Oz I’m lucky enough to pick fresh flowers from the garden for at least 6 months a year. Even eight months. They vary with the season, but can be very colourful. Everything from spring bulbs, camellias, azaleas, roses, gardenias, stocks, dahlias, dusty miller yellow flowers, etc. I prefer the small vases from my Astier de Villatte collection, little blue and white jugs from Spode or Russia, or engraved old glass vases and arrange them along the open plan kitchen/family sitting room windowsill and bedroom dressing table. Many of these flowers are scented naturally so I don’t use the candles very much as I prefer fresh natural scents. Since Covid we’ve put more effort into the garden and plant many things we can pick and bring indoors. They light up each day! Best wishes, Pamela

Paula Robinson

Flower power: YES!! They always make you smile…

I too just binge-watched “Call My Agent” – it’s fabulous, isn’t it? “Lupin” is great too, especially if you want to maintain that French fix. I’m currently stuck in the US so my next binge is “Last Tango in Halifax” and my tea consumption has gone through the roof – all that “put kettle on” at every turn is having an effect!

Is that forsythia in bloom outside? Our daffodils are barely breaking ground here with all the snow.


I have watched those too!
No, nothing blooming outside… think it’s the ivy in its winter colouring :)

Jacki F.

Love the flowers and ideas for vases, but so much maintenance for those multiples! I did bring 2 bonsai trees–an olive and a juniper– into my home last summer, in the midst of the pandemic, when a fun outing was the Saturday morning Farmer’s market. They make me smile! I think I will go get 2 bouquets and divide them among all of my little vases! I need some blasts of color!


I love this! I’ve recently started keeping a small vase of flowers on my bedside table, it feels so decadent to me. I always have some on the vestibule shelf as I see it when I go downstairs first thing in the morning. I also just added some wonderful Tulips around my office to share the joy with my workmates! Thank you for sharing, I love your space.


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