FLOWER OF THE MONTH / Queen Ann’s Lace

I LOVE Queen Ann’s Lace! One of my favourite times of year is that May morning I open the front door and the road side backs have exploded into a white, frothing mass of delicate, white, pillow like blooms.


Many think of this beautiful flower as a weed, but I like to believe that weeds are simply plants that grown up in the wrong place, and that we should be careful not to underestimat something simply because of it’s name. The more common term for this flower, is Cow Parsly or Wild Carrot, but I think Queen Ann’s Lace sounds so much more romantic, almost Victorian, and is a far more accurate description of what this flower is.

Fun fact for the day is that this is the plant that the carrots we now eat were once cultivated from. It originally came from Europe, and blooms from May to October. It is a biennial, which means it lives for two years. It spends the first year growing (it can reach up to 4ft), and then bloom in the second year.

My favourite way to use Queen Ann’s Lace is on mass. Leave the stems long and fill a flutted china jug as full as you can, allowing them to fall into their natural shape to create a loose dome. They look so lovely presented this way, on their own, or you can transform a simple arrangement into something truly spectacular by filling it out. Try using some acid green beech leaves, filtering in a couple of throthy skirted peonies and a stem or two of lightly fragranced lilacs. All of which are blooming in the garden at this time of year. It will be the most divine celebration of late British spring.


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