Jean Moss interview and giveaway


(Ceilidh)

Today I’m really pleased to bring you an interview with Jean Moss, as part of the blog tour for her new book, Sweet Shawlettes, which has just been published. With twenty-five different designs, this book is a veritable showcase of cowls, shawls, capelets and collars. Small projects provide an ideal canvas for exploring new techniques, and one of the most distinctive things about Jean’s book is the sheer range of knitterly styles and techniques it covers. So if you have never tried entrelac, intarsia, or shadow knitting, there’s a nifty project or two in here for you.


(Penumbra)

Perhaps contrarily, given its impressive technical range, my favourite design in Sweet Shawlettes is possibly the simplest – Enigma – a dramatic and contemporary two-piece shawl. Knit in plain stockinette with two sweet-shop shades of kidsilk haze, it has a truly elegant simplicity.


(Enigma)

Working with Rowan, and Jamieson and Smith, as well as international brands like Ralph Lauren and Benetton, Jean has been at the forefront of British knitwear design for more than three decades. Based in the UK, but traveling all over the world, the trajectory of her career really interests me, so I began by asking her how it all started.

Could you tell us a little about how your design career began?

Originally I learned to knit before I went to school because I wanted to please my beloved grandmother who spent hours teaching me. A fallow period ensued but my interest was rekindled in my teens when I started to make my own clothes. It was the swinging sixties and I loved what I was seeing on the street and in magazines, but had no way of achieving anything similar other than to pick up my needles again. From then on I was hooked. It never occurred to me that I’d ever be able to make a living out of it, especially as I had no formal training in design, but after getting requests for sweaters I’d made for the kids, I decided that it might be a way of making some extra cash from home. No-one was more surprised than I was to find that very quickly I was presenting my designs to luminaries such as Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein and they were placing orders! It was a meteoric learning curve!

. . .and how you began to create designs for hand knitting?

When I started, I was living in an ramshackle old farmhouse with my husband, two toddlers and a menagerie of pets miles away from anywhere. My husband was commuting daily to teach miles away, so we were wracking our brains to find another way of making a living, which involved less travelling. So… we bought a knitting machine! My designs sold well so we quickly had to get more people to knit them. At a London show an agent for Ralph Lauren asked me to do some handknits for him. I jumped at the chance although at the time I had no production capacity and handknitting was definitely not my forte, but within six months we had 2000 knitters in the UK producing handknits for the Polo/Ralph Lauren label as well as selling my own collections to boutiques in the US and Europe. Obviously, as I had no design training whatsoever, there’s a certain amount of luck involved, but this was the eighties when the ethos was go for it and anything can happen.


(Treasure)


From your perspective, how has British knitting and knitwear design changed since the 1980s?

The internet has changed everything. When I started I saw myself as a fashion-led knit designer, producing fair isle, aran, lace and intarsia sweaters which were difficult to knit, had limited production and therefore had a very high price point. However, the cult of the knitted stitch has superseded the fashion angle now. Knitters are into techniques, relaxing with their knitting and sharing the fruits of their labours with their friends and the web is a fantastic tool for facilitating this. If you look at the most successful books on knitting right now they are all about techniques – there are far fewer book which are purely collections of designs. This is fine with me as I’ve always been interested in both – I love fashion, but I’m also a technique junkie, so I try to make each design a mini tutorial for at least one technique.


(Harlequin)


How would you describe your style? Do you feel this has evolved over time?

My signature style has always been a combination of colour, texture and form. However, I’m interested in exploring as much of the art of knitting as I can and I like to think my designs are ever-evolving as I learn more and more. I keep my camera to hand and I take many pictures of interesting objects, people and places – looking back over them often sows the seeds of new patterns. Fashion is essentially ephemeral, and what gives me a buzz is creating timeless pieces that transcend fashion, which hopefully will look just as good in twenty years time as the day they were knit.


You have a great knack of selecting exactly the right yarn for a design. What’s most important to you in a yarn?

I’m flattered that you think that as I do try hard to find beautiful yarns for my designs. I make a list of the yarn requirements for each project and then try to find one that fits the bill. Having said that, it’s become impossible to be au fait with every yarn on the market at any given time, so I always start with yarn companies I love like Rowan, Sublime or Jamieson & Smith. You can never know how a yarn will behave until you’ve swatched it, some projects demand drape, others need stitch definition and every pattern is different, but for me it’s important for the yarn to feel good in the fingers whilst being knit.


(Twine)

Some of the most distinctive of your “Sweet Shawlettes” are inspired by vintage fashions. Do you have a favourite era of fashion history? Or a favourite fashion icon?

I love the glamour of the 1920s and 30s. Poiret’s orientalism, Fortuny’s sumptuous pleats and the fashion drawings of Erte and Iribe are all hugely inspiring. Women were trying out all sorts of new ideas as they threw off the shackles of the Victorian era and fashion design was innovative, outrageous and chic – all the things I love. It’s hard to name one fashion icon, but having done a whole book on Audrey Hepburn, I must say the research was a delight. She was the perfect muse, as Ralph Lauren famously remarked: “Who wouldn’t want to drop everything and design for Audrey Hepburn?”


(Grace)

Your work takes you all over the world, but is there a particular place that you love to visit again and again?

Definitely Morocco, but I love the theatricality of Venice too. I’ve been hosting knitting holidays with my partner Philip Mercer for ten years now, mainly in the UK, but our trip to Morocco last year was one of my favourites – design inspiration wherever you look.

Your love of plants and flowers has inspired many of the designs in “Sweet Shawlettes”, and your garden is clearly very important to you. Do you see any similarity between the processes involved in knitwear design and gardening?

Yes I do find many similarities. At the start of each book I have to have a couple of weeks of cooking time, when I do nothing but displacement activities like gardening, cooking, playing guitar or going on long walks. This gives me a chance to mull over and crystallise ideas and it’s amazing how the seeds of designs are often planted years before and given the right conditions they spring forth – much like growing plants.


(Evergreen)

Thankyou Jean!

Now, a giveaway! Courtesy of the nice people at Taunton Press, I have a copy of Sweet Shawlettes set aside for one of you. Following Jean’s remarks about gardening and knitting, to enter, please leave a comment on this post telling us the name of your favourite garden flower. We’ll (randomly) select the winner on March 21st, the date of the final stop on Jean’s world blog tour.

Good Luck, Everyone!

If you’d like to follow the Sweet Shawlettes world blog tour, here is the full list of destinations:

Wed 7 Mar Jen Arnall-Culliford Knitwear Jen Arnall-Culliford
Thurs 8 Mar Yours Truly
Fri 9 Mar Rock and Purl Ruth Garcia-Alcantud
Sat 10 Mar Woolly Wormhead Woolly Wormhead
Mon 12 Mar Yarnscape Alison Barker
Tues 13 Mar Confessions of a Yarn Addict Anniken Allis
Wed 14 Mar Joli House Amanda France
Thurs 15 Mar This is Knit Lisa & Siobhan
Fri 16 Mar The Knitting Institute Katy Evans
Sat 17 Mar Life’n Knitting Carla Meijsen
Sun 18 Mar ConnieLene Connie Lene
Mon 19 Mar Just Call Me Ruby Susan Crawford
Tues 20 Mar Tiny Owl Knits Stephanie Dosen
Wed 21 Mar Ulla-Bella Anita Tørmoen

545 responses

  1. Peonies (today) tomorrow maybe popppies, or jasmine or verbena bonariensis, or sweet peas!

  2. My absolute favourite garden flower is the crocus. It’s such a happy flower and always reminds me of Spring and that my birthday’s on the way!

  3. Just one favorite flower? impossible. I suppose I shall have to pick the nasturtium. I first fell in love with it when I saw it in pictures of Monet’s garden. And then i found out it is edible as well as beautiful.And you can plant it in all of your beds to add color.
    Or maybe the peony, because it is so generous with petals and scent and, in my garden it is a soft lovely pink.
    Or the cosmos, because they last and last from august through september and self sow every year.
    So you see, I am having trouble choosing just one.

  4. My favorite garden flower is the lupine. Irises and celandine come close second. My mom would read the story of Miss Rumphius, the lupine lady, to us as kids… I loved the idea of leaving lupines scattered about in your traveling footprints….

  5. As it’s nearly spring, I’ll go with the tulip…to be followed by peonies, old garden roses, and marvelously unkillable daylily!

  6. Lovely patterns! My favourite garden flower, hmmm, must be achillea. I have hordes of it all the garden.

  7. I have two! Here in Virginia the Camellia’s are blooming- beautiful full red and white flowers, absolutely gorgeous! Lilies are my other favorite; I love the varying varieties!

  8. Peonies, hands down. We were surprised to have a whole wall of them blooming the first spring we lived in our house.

  9. If truth be told, I am a lazy gardener but LOVE long lasting color so my pick is Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily). Beautiful color that lasts a LONG time and I enjoy every minute.

  10. It varies with the time of year, but I do love the Daffodil; it is the brightest and best of signs that the winter has turned to spring, with the promise of summer just around the corner.

  11. Freesias are my all time favorite and clematis which never fails to come back year after year!

  12. Picking a favorite is nigh on impossible. So many…but for sheer versatility and scrappiness, I’d have to say Monarda, or Bee Balm. I love how the flower heads look like shaggy spiders. I could watch them all day as they are visited by every flying nectar drinker from bees and butterflies to hummingbirds. Really indestructable and smelling lovely–faintly orange. I love the stuff!

  13. Certainly passionflower. Looking at my passionflowers in bloom is like momentarily slipping into a tropical paradise.

  14. Marigold for me. A few years ago I had a breakdown and lost interest in everything. My dad started to tried to engage me through gardening, and seeing the marigolds come up from tiny seeds and knowing I had helped bring that about finally made me feel alive again. Have learnt to grow plenty of things since then, but marigolds are special to me.

  15. peonies are my favorites of all time, but I am also quite partial to anemones and hollyhocks. The shawlettes book looks like great fun and with beautiful projects.

  16. Sunflowers!!! I always grow my own from seed, all that potential from one small seed, a bit like a ball of yarn. :)
    Vivienne

  17. Astrantia are my favourites – as seen in great swathes in Ian Hamilton Finlay’s Little Sparta.

    Incidentally the Ceilidh shawl has a similar look to a Rowan baby jacket I knitted for my then baby son – I thought tartan appropriate as we were living in Edinburgh. He’s 14 now and five inches taller than me but the jacket is packed away for the next generation.

    Best wishes,

    Joan

  18. I love knitting shawls. I would love to win this book. My favorite garden flower in the sweet William.

  19. O my!! What an amazing book! I have loved Jean Muir’s knitwear forever!!
    My favourite flower, like so many gardeners, is “whatever is in bloom right now” lol (except that, here in Canada, that means nothing right now–first daffodils will bloom at Easter!)
    However, I love the short lived beauty of iris, the summery scent of peonies, the ‘grow anywhere’ attitude of sunflowers, the amazing ‘tuber to flower in a few short months’ ability of dahlias . . . I think daylilies (hemerocallis) are one of the most useful plants to have in a garden for their long blooming time, their range of colours, reliability etc So I guess if I have to narrow it down to one, it would be hemerocallis.

  20. My favourite spring flower is the Fritillaria Meleagris. I had them growing in my garden when I lived in the country and keep forgetting to plant bulbs in the autumn here in my new home. The snake-skin pattern on the petals never fail to make me happy.

  21. Oh boy, a favourite flower, huh. Wellllll, I think because the smell is so splendidly delicious I will say Jasmine is my favourite, at least for today!

  22. Lavender. Lovely colour, gorgeous scent and the bees love it too. And you can even use it in cooking. What’s not to like?

    That book looks gorgeous – must get one anyway, competition or no competition…

  23. Oooh, a difficult one with so many to choose, I suppose I have to select the one that makes me smile so much when I see it every year….the simple primrose…it tells me that winter is nearly over and spring is on it’s way. I have everything crossed to win this book!

    Thanks Kate for a very interesting post, Jean Moss is a knitting designer that seems to have been around all the time I have been knitting (I started when I was 6!) and it’s great that she is still producing unique and inspirational knitting designs.

    Happy Knitting
    Fleur xx

  24. For me it has to be the simple daisy, they take me back to long hot summer days, making chains and discovering whether “He loves me! He loves me not!”

  25. I think I’m going to have to buy this book! Just from the pictures you showed here, I can already spot three shawls that I know I want to knit!

    My favourite garden flowers are hydrangeas. I love the bright colours that you can get from them!

  26. My favourite garden flower is huechera. It’s really more of a garden plant as it’s flowers are small and not too showy but the foliage of these plants is beautiful and colourful and I just love them.

  27. You can’t beat good old fashioned daffs – there’s nothing like a bright yellow proud trumpet to cheer you up after a grey Scottish winter!

  28. Hi Kate
    I just came across your blog and I love it. So excited that you are having a giveaway too.
    My favourite garden flower is the Shasta Daisy.

    Good luck everyone!!!
    EL

  29. My favourite, well I have 2 favourites really, the first one is the Carnation it last and last as a cut flower and the second is the Rose there beautiful and fragrant also love Jean’s Treasure.

  30. What a beautiful book…
    My favorite flowers are hydrangeas and lavender. Hydrangeas are so beautiful and despite it’s pickiness, lavender is just heavenly to have in the garden.

  31. I live between the prairies and the Rockies so any sub-alpine wildflower is like gold to me, but my favorite ha sto be the shooting star, ( Dodecatheon meadia) because it can connect me with all of nature from the grasses on the ground to the cosmos above.

  32. My Cherry Parfait (grandiflora-type) rose bushes are my favorite garden flower. This book looks AMAZING!

  33. Lilacs – childhood memories with my grandmother are full of lilacs – both the fragrance in the early morning and the lacy blossoms.

  34. Chrysanthemums. My great grandmother grew them so I associate them with her (the irony being that she preferred carnations, I am sure for their staying value and smell), and I love their rich, bright colors and their variety of shapes.

  35. My favourite flowers are lily-of-the-valley, which are so beautifully interpreted in Estonian lace knitting.

  36. Impossible to pick one, as my favorites evolve with the seasons. But crocuses and snowdrops arrived in western Massachusetts very early this year, and have survived freezing nights to rejoice our spirits. They are so beautiful and cheerful.

  37. Lily-of-the-valley: small, gentle aroma, simple beauty without ostentatious display, unobtrusive, stand together in groups, multiply like crazy … rather like powerful and creative women!

  38. oh it’s those darn Hollyhocks, we’ve lived here for 20 years and I haven’t got one to bloom yet! but I started some more last fall and they made it through the winter . . .

  39. I’ve always loved Jean’s designs. They’re classic yet unique. My favorite garden flower is a toss up between pansies and lily of the valley…..for very different reasons. My amazing maternal grandmother forged a life for my she and my mother in Alaska back in the 40’s. She was an office manager for a “men only world” company. Right on puget sound……it wAs somehow connected with the barges that brought the goods In and the trucks the goods went out to the various towns. As my mom said she was a tough cookie and didn’t take any guff. God bless her she even died strong. Yet, she also looked like a million bucks when shed go iut. The most incredible tailored clothes that she made by hand (usually without a pattern). I remember that she made me a custom riding jacket with fittings in less than a day. Chanel type suits usually a day or two. I was impressed as a child and now that I’m much older……I’m in total bewilderment as to how she did it all. When my grandmother died after a valiant struggle with stomach cancer in 1977 her ashes were scattered on our lily of the valleys.

  40. My favorite are Marigolds. Why? Because it’s the only flower I can plant that my neighborhood Woodchuck (AKA Fat Bastard) won’t eat.

  41. I’m going to have to go with Lilacs. Particularly white lilacs with big hefty blossoms and deep scents. My favorite time of year is when the arboretum near my house has their lilac festival, a whole hillside of lilacs in bloom. The scent will blow you away!

  42. I would have to say the Daffodil is my favorite garden flower. I love many different kinds, mainly the ones my grandmother used to plant in her flower gardens, but those are my top favorite. Thanks for the blog!

  43. Thank you for this thought-provoking interview! I’m sad I can’t be in the UK to attend any of the tour…
    Wildflowers are my absolute favorite, but if I’m looking at a garden, I like zinnias the best for their bright colors.

  44. Daisies… because picking them with the grandchildren and stringing them to make chains is such a wonderful way to spend a afternoon.

  45. Snakeskin lilies (also known as fritillaries) for their textile-like markings and freesia for their scent.

  46. Zinnias are so colorful, so willing to bloom and spread, don’t mind being cut for arranging, and they last and last, inside or out. Love them. Love the looks of this book too! Must order it for our library (I’m an acquisitions librarian)! Thanks for inspiration, a peak into Jean Moss and her new book, and the chance to win!

  47. A sweet and happy trumpet of spring, the Daffodil is my favorite! Jean’s work is very inspiring. It is an excellent time of year to knit up a shawl!

  48. Either hydrangeas or peonies are my favorite. The both just take my breath away.

    Those designs are breathtaking, by the way! I love them.

  49. I love Soldiers and Sailors,(also known as Lungwort, Pulmonaria.) For me, they herald spring with their red and blue flowers…and they made my daughter laugh when she was only 6 months old..and I always laugh when I see them. A sweet memory

  50. Hydrangeas and roses, those are my most favorite!
    The designs by Jean Moss are so lovely, thanks so much
    for the giveaway!

  51. Hard to choose just one favorite flower. I am looking forward to crocosmias blooming this summer, but my all time favorite are the old English roses! I have followed Jean Moss’ work for many years, and love her designs and creativity. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity!

  52. Hydrangeas have always been my favorite but mine don’t grow well. So I’d have to say lately that I’m rather fond of Cymbidium orchids. They are stately, last a while and the color combinations are unusual. Maybe they’ll inspire a sweater.

    Thanks for featuring the book. It looks interesting. I enjoy the variety of projects & techniques.

  53. Just one? Snow drops or Lily of the Valley or tulips or roses or peonies.
    OK, I’ll go with snow drops since they are so sweet and encouraging at this time of year.

  54. I love the flowers of aconitum napellus (monkshhod) shame it deadly poisonous. I also like oleander, foxgloves, wormwood and my favorite hedge is yew, so maybe its a personality glitch???

  55. I love pansies. Such a simple way to add color and drama to the lawn. Thank you for the giveaway!

  56. My favorite flower is the iris but, in the garden, I love cosmos. They are wonderfully bright, vibrant, and prolific and draw in lots and lots of beneficial insects for the good of the whole garden!

  57. Hellebores are my very favorite. Blooms appear in early spring and last almost the entire summer. They have gorgeous, tissue paper-y petals and a hearty, deep green foliage. The foliage remains green even under the snow! Love, love, love them!

    Love the Kidsilk cape! I think I have those colors stashed!!!

  58. Has to be sunflowers of any shape and size. My husband grows them by the score in any receptacle that will hold soil!

  59. I’m digging the Dandelion. My kiddo just discovered them and she pronounces it “Daddy lions!” It’s horribly cute and makes me appreciate the little flower.

  60. my favourite flower is the dahlia. They come in so many different sizes, colours and shapes that I want to have one of each in my garden. I pick them all summer and fill as many vases as I can to cheer up every room in my house.

  61. At this time of year it is the pretty little snowdrop. The first flower to bloom in spring, it gives a glimpse of warmer days, and many more flowers, to come.

  62. A great interview! Though some people find them “common,” my favorite flower is the daffodil. Nothing makes me happier than seeing that sunshine yellow and smelling their sweet scent. As a native New Yorker who recently moved to Massachusetts, this will be the first year I’ve had my own garden space, and I can’t tell you how excited I am for the daffs I planted to come up.

  63. Tulips! planted them with my dad when I was little, and he and I watched and waited for them every spring afterward. Then peonies, because they’re so happy-looking. And my sister and I used to have a contest about who would see the first daffodils of spring – another good flower-memory.

    Love the interview & the pics from the book – thank you for the giveaway. I also send my best wishes for consistent (or improving) health and mobility for you.

  64. My favorites are camelias, a beautiful flower commemorated in the novel by Alexandre Dumas: La dame aux camélias.
    Thank you for the most interesting interview. The book will be on my wishlist!

  65. I love flowers….so much that I can never decide on a favorite flower….but I must admit, every year I just HAVE to plant some sunflowers because they are so cheerful! So I guess I would chose sunflowers!

  66. This book looks wonderful!
    My favorite garden plant: Hollyhocks, singles, the darker the better. I have one that is such a dark rosy purple that in the shade it looks black. All the other shades, pinks and roses and whites, sparkle against this beauty.

  67. Right now, my favourite flower is the snowdrop because it’s blooming everywhere at the moment. But I also like ranunculus, narcissus and sunflowers. I find it very fitting that you should ask this now since this is the first year in which I’ll be planting a vegetable bed (including some flowers!) together with a good friend. We live in rented flats in the same house and are allowed to plant things in the garden! I hope something will actually grow. ;)

  68. Inspiring interview- it’s hard to pick just one garden flower but at the moment it’s the dog rose. Wild, beautiful, smells lovely and you get rosehips in the autumn to make yummy syrup for your porridge. Perfect!

  69. Columbine. In the UK it’s *Aquilegia*, one of the few flowers that thrives in our dry East Anglian garden, but I grew up calling it Columbine when we saw its flowers in abandoned gardens in western Canada.

  70. Most definitely, my favorite is my tenacious brook thistle. Only the flowers of my poppy tree can compete with her!

  71. Great interview. Thanks!

    Right now I am loving Daphnes – fragrant like Jasmine, but grow where I live. However, I plant tons of bulbs and tubers- tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, anemones, crocus, iris. Those wake me up every spring.

  72. Oh sweet peas for me. They remind me of my beautiful daughter who grows them along her garage wall each year. Their colors and frangrance are as lovely as her.

  73. Wild roses are my favorite-the look and the smell and the way they find their own spots to thrive.

  74. Oh, that’s so hard, but I think the honeysuckle in my garden, because it has so many family associations (snippets passed from aunty to my parents to friends and variously to me), and because the flower is seemingly insignificant (gorgeous if you examine it closely!) but the perfume is divine. It speaks to me of generations…and of course, my daughter now grows some in her garden…

  75. I love bearded iris….I recently got a clear pink one, dug from my father-in-law’s garden, and it bloomed in my garden last spring for the first time! Made me very happy!

  76. My favourite flower is the white calla lilly. It does not have death connotations here in Mexico where it is called “alcatraz”. I love its simplicity and elegancy… traits much like those in Jean Moss’ Sweet Shawlettes.

  77. I love, adore and smile when the Johnny Jump ups pop their lovely heads in my grass, this is the name my Gran gave to them. I also love Lavender perhaps not a flower rather an herb but to me the colored tops of lavender are so lovely.

  78. The old fashioned petunia. It comes back year after year and has a wonderful fragrance. As a child I remember singing a song about “A Lonely Little Petunia in an Onion Patch”. All she did was cry all day! My petunia seed came long ago from my mother-in-law who brought them here from her mother’s home. Thanks for your lovely blog.

  79. Shasta Daisies have to be one of my favourites. They are quite tall and on a moonlit night they look like the flower heads are just floating in the darkness. Tulips are number one for me though I am always amazed at how they come up all green( flower head included) and as they develope, with the sun’s help they take on their intended colour.

  80. I think my favorite changes every month. Right now it would have to be wisteria. Here in California they’re just getting ready to put on their annual show. They smell a bit like grapes, probably what C.S. Lewis meant by a “dim, purple small”. Another purple, grape-scented favorite is not really a garden flower: lupines, which blanket our local mountains in good years.

  81. Lily of the valley. Small, discrete, shade-loving harbinger of spring. With the most glorious scent! And the inspiration for a great knitting stitch :-)

  82. Penstemon. The natives, primarily. Just about anytime there will be a bee stuffing it’s overloaded body into a bloom. Can’t wait.

  83. I love violets, their delicate heads hiding under umbrella leaves. I love the nostalgic feeling they evoke of Grandmas and Aunts and embroidered hankies; and I remember searching for them in woodlands when I was a child. I have beautiful clumps of pale violets with dark blackish leaves that reliably flower in my garden

  84. This week I noticed that the daisies are already coming in my lawn and announced that all is well as long as there are daisies…………… it has to be daisies.

  85. I saw the book on the internet the other day and fell in love with several of the designs.
    For instance Ceilidh and Enigma.
    Jeg would so like to win that book.
    Pleeease!

  86. Sweet peas, daffodils, poppies-especially gigantic pink ones with black hearts. I guess that’s more than one. The designs look rather lovely.

  87. Gerbera Daisy… just the happiest flower ever. There is no way to be sad when you have a Gerbera Daisy staring at you, smiling.

  88. Each season has a different favorite and living in California I miss my childhood Cornish cottage garden. Today I am breathing in the sweet scent of daphne and noticed that the love-in-the-mist has self seeded in a new spot and will be blooming soon. By the summertime they will all be burnt up in the California sunshine but the poppies will be glorious.

  89. Looks like a good book! I fell in love with purple coneflower (Echinacea sp.) when I first saw them growing wild in a meadow here in the U.S. Their flowers are fascinating and beautiful from the time they emerge in bud in June and through the winter after the petals dry and their seeds ripen. I love watching the goldfinches devour their kernels late in the fall garden and later they have a wonderful presence through the winter months.

  90. Being a Canadian I am use to very long winters, even now at the beginning of March the snow is still on the ground. But, I have started to look for my Snowdrops the first flowers to have the courage to show it’s lovely little bells. They shall appear within the next few weeks and then I will know that another cycle has begun.

  91. I anxiously await lilacs and alliums each spring…they can hardly come quick enough! Then, in the fall, New England asters with their bevy of butterflies are equally thrilling. Thanks for doing this giveaway. Gardening and knitting…two of my favorite things!

  92. Daffodils because they are the weirdest flower ever. Actually, they are silly. I mean, what’s with that trumpet thing? And they are so cheery, coming up bright yellow in spring.

    I loved reading Jean comment on the “theatricality of Venice.” I am just back from there, and Venice is my favorite city on earth. My favorite activity in Venice is sitting by the Grand Canal, sometimes on the water steps near to where gondolas are moored, and knitting.

  93. Even though they’re poisonous–foxgloves. I think it’s due to a Beatrix Potter influence. I have vivid memories of reading “Jemima Puddleduck” over and over to my kids when they were little, and there were lovely illustrations of foxgloves in the story.

  94. Only one from my garden? Peonies. Two? Peonies & Hyacinth. I only wish delphiniums had a scent. If they did, hands down, they’d be my favorite!

  95. Any daisy or daisy type flowers are my favourite, every time, though I think all flowers are beautiful in their own way, and in their prime!

    Nature gives a lot of inspiration to designers of all our garments, whether intentionally or otherwise, and let’s face it,nature has has millions of years to perfect and evolve, so who are we to argue???! LOL!

  96. Pansies – always bring a smile to me – with their happy little faces!!!!!! Daylilies a close second. Thanks for the wonderful blog Kate.

  97. It is hard to choose one favourite but since Spring is slowly coming to Canada, I can’t wait to see the daffodils make their appearance. Thank you for the give away.

  98. I love hellebores: they thrive in the shade; they multiply; and they bloom in February, just when I need to see a flower peeking up through the snow. Thanks for the interesting interview and the preview of some delightful shawl designs.

  99. Red geraniums. I’ve always had pots on the front steps since I was s girl.

  100. What a fabulous giveaway!! I love poppies best… any variety. The big oriental ones, the delicate little shirley poppies, the fascinatingly blue himalayan variety, the regal double-ruffled ones… all so pretty!!

  101. Ranunculus! Not sure if they are a garden flower but they’re so pretty even if you have only one and they have the best name ever!

  102. It’s so hard to pick a favourite flower, so I’ll go back in the mists of time to my childhood favourites, which are both centred around playing in my grandparents garden.Snapdragons, because we could play with them and have imaginery friends and Barnhaven primroses which nana imported the seed of and grew, I loved their muted, delicate shades. I’ve also been feeling quite nostalgic about fuchsias lately!

  103. Lilacs–they are the flower of my state (New Hampshire) and have the most intoxicating smell. When I was little, we had a lilac tree in our backyard that I used to climb in and read. We had to cut it down, but it is one of my favorite childhood memories.

  104. My favorite flower is probably all of them. Even weeds have beautiful flowers. I have to say I love roses and pansies with their cute little faces.

  105. Are amaryllis considered garden flowers? I love those.

    I also love the idea of the tube around the shoulders… not to have to worry about things slipping…..

  106. Crocus – fresh, lovely, springtime colours peeking up from the grass in West Yorkshire today (although I have other favourites depending on the time of year).

  107. Oh, violets . . . not African violets, but the little wild ones that grow all about the yard. We have dark purple ones, and lavender, and even a few white ones. But all three colorsl infuse purple, and make lovely jelly if I can bear to pick them. (and cowslips, too, but mine don’t always bloom) These are beautiful knits; I will have to have this book, I think, win or not!

  108. My father-in-law used to have the wildest patch of peonies I’ve ever seen and loved the smell of the back yard when they were in full bloom. Last summer I really enjoyed putting little splashes of color around our place with gomphrena. They lasted for a long time and our community farm had them all season long.

  109. Love-in-a-mist (nigella) because it was the very first seed I planted as a toddler, oh-so-many years ago. Or maybe Aquilegia… but it would have to be Nora Barlow

  110. Thank you, Kate, for that great interview with jean Moss! I read every word with interest. I agree that knitters have changed in the past few years, as the internet has connected us. I am emboldened by the wonderful “mods” I see people making, and the differences that yarn choice makes.
    My Ravelry handle is LateClematis, so I would have to claim the clematis as my favorite garden flower.
    I am particularly keen on Ms. Moss’s Treasure and Evergreen patterns. I am a happy, healthy, vigorous thyroid cancer survivor, but four surgeries in my neck area have left me with a lot of unsightly scars. That very collarbone area which is so attractive on most women is an area I like to cover up. I get tired of turtlenecks, and they look silly in the summer. While I love scarves I get a little tired of them, too. So those neckpieces look great to me – especially Evergreen!

  111. Love your blog and love Jean Moss’ designs, especially Evergreen! Gorgeous!
    As an avid gardener and lover of all things gardening, picking just one is impossible!
    But perhaps my most favorite is the Abraham Darby rose for both its stunning beauty and scent and other *scent*imental reasons, stingy as it is. A close second would have to be Brother Cadfael (a peony-like rose bloom with a delicious scent). Both are high maintenance but worth it. (Thankfully I also love low maintenance evergreen flowerings like lavender, rosemary, hardy (true) geraniums and rhodies!)

  112. Red, red poppies…. I love the contrast of colors and textures. The luxuriously velvety and crinkly petals, the inky black stamens, and the dusty green, softly prickled stems.

  113. Hmmm, hard to choose, depends upon the season and the use, but I adore any flowers with luxurious scents, so peonies are always at the top of my list!

  114. It has to be the daffodil, the bright sunshine colours always cheer me up after the dark of winter.

  115. Near impossible to decide…first – forget-me-nots…then sweet peas (my wedding bouquet), then marigolds – flowers of my childhood garden…the smell stayed on my hands after a day out in the garden…..

    what a beauty of a book!

  116. Freesias in the spring, roses in the summer but ask again in a few minutes and I will say something different because ya’know there are lilacs and peonies and irises and daphne and . . .

  117. Anemones – gorgeous rich colours and my mum loved them too.
    The book looks great.

  118. peonies. my wife hates them, but i love how lush and sumptuous they are. it’s my favorite plant in the yard!

  119. Thank you for this interesting discussion with Jean. As for garden flowers, where to start ? But I do love Sweet Rocket (Hesperis Matronalis). I only discovered this gloriously scented plant a few years ago thanks to Sarah Raven’s books, it so so easy to grow, comes back year after year, and lasts well in a vase – absolutely indispensable!.

  120. It’s so hard to choose one, but my current favourite is campanula… constantly reminds me of fairies and yet is hardy enough to survive a Canadian winter.

  121. Perhaps due to it being spring(ish)…the first flower that popped into my head is
    ‘Leucojum’ it is true perfection.

  122. Oooooh – been eyeing up this book for a wee bit now! We recently bought our first home and it has LOVELY roses. I’ve been really enjoying them (and now have to learn how to take care of them).

  123. Crocus. I love many flowers, but the crocus wins hands down. Harbinger of Spring, gorgeous colors, just love them, lots of them! And loved the post! Got my knitting needles at the ready :)

  124. Buddleia…it’s the illusion of them. They look like hug flowers, shouting for the attention of butterflies and as you look closer the individual flowers are so delicate and fragile.

  125. We are leaving summer and heading for winter. Yesterday I noticed the grape hyacinths poking their green stems out through the remains of summer vegetation (as they usually do) and wondered how these little guys manage to tough it out through the frosts and snow of winter to greet me again, 6 months from now, when spring arrives. Love you Muscari, see you in 6 months!

  126. Jerusalem Artichokes – you have to cut the flowers if you want the plant to put it’s energy into tuber production, so you get lovely sunflower-like blossoms and a delicious crop come late winter when nothing else is growing. Practical and pretty, like Ziar Poppies (the edible kind)!

  127. because I live in the bush, on virtually solid rock, any flower has to be really hardy and both frost and drought tolerant, so it’s lucky that two of my favourites fit that bill: roses [ especially David Austin ] and iris. I’d grow Lisianthus if I could but they’re just too delicate.

  128. My favorite are hydrangeas, but sadly, I can’t ge them to grow in my garden. Too hot here, I think.

  129. Oh, by far, crocus, because they’re the first to bloom here in the spring! Such happy little faces, in my favorite purples, yellows, and whites!

  130. Carnations or dahlias. There are so many lovely flowers it’s hard to choose! I love Jean’s designs.
    hotknitter

  131. Sooo many favourites but a gloriously scented profusion of sweet peas was the first image in my head today!

  132. I like daffodils or buttercups as we called them in Alabama. They are the first of spring to me. I also like peonies, petunias, and hydragenas.

  133. Lavenders, I love the dark ones that look like purple bumble bees and also that they attract the bees as well

  134. I live in Missouri where zinnias can hold their own in the heat. Nothing says garden flower to me like a Mason jar filled with their bright blossoms.

  135. The ancient and not-so-ancient Old Garden Roses, whether single- or hundred-petaled, once-blooming or repeat, any color or habit. Whether it’s the glory of a rambler like Rambling Rector covering a wall or the prickly surprise of the Scots roses, the Dog rose of the hedge perfuming the roadside or the refinement of a French centifolia, or even the damask roses in Bulgarian fields awaiting the pickets at dawn, it’s always the rose. Love the designs and would love nothing more than to share a bouquet of roses with you both! Kate, you’re an inspiration and a gift in my life.

  136. And those would be the Bulgarian pickers, not pickets. Unless the rose workers were striking!

  137. Mophead hydrangeas, because they remind me of my beloved Poppa. And camellias, because they helped introduce me to my beloved husband.

  138. My favorite garden flower is the rose. My Grandmother is a gardening wizard and that is her favorite as well. I am lucky to have spent enough time with her when I was a child to learn her love of plants.

  139. Oooh, favorite garden flower is definitely lemon balm. It smells amazing in the sunlight, and the bees love it. It never truly feels like spring/summer until the lemon balm blooms. I have a soft spot for dandelions, though. They invade the garden and I’m happy to let them hang out there. :)

  140. dafodills, they are very cheerful, and the deer don’t bother.

    Thanks for the chance.

  141. Wintersweet- the flowers have such joyous scent when little else has, it belongs to the witch hazel family and looks almost prehistoric

  142. My grandmother helped teach me to knit and she grew many beautiful flowers. I will name the Sweet Peas that she grew for their beautiful fragrance although I also love Lilacs in May.

  143. Today my favorite flower is the primrose, because I have some pretty ones blooming in my yard – yellow, purple and pink. These are my first flowers this spring, my daffodils are buds but not yet flowers. They’ll be my favorite when they bloom in a week or two.

  144. What a fascinating interview. I’m most delighted by evergreen but wonder on my fortitude to knit it. Thank you for the opportunity, K

  145. I love the smell of jasmine, but it’s not really a garden flower, so I would have to go with orchids, which one might now normally consider a garden flower either, but my mother potted two in her yard and they have taken over the are with large, bright blooms year round. So pretty and exotic.

  146. Bluebells in amongst woodland – such an amazing and startling colour and the heady scent they have. Takes me right back to early childhood, laying amongst them with Enid Blyton’s words rolling around my head describing them as fairy bells. Many little twig structures were built as fairy shelters in amongst those beautiful flowers (and, ahem, I might still do that…!)

    The book looks beautiful, and a really interesting interview to boot.

  147. It is so hard to pick a favorite-I love all flowers, but I guess it would be hydrangea with old-fashioned hollyhocks a close second.

  148. I was introduced last year to the moonflower, which I think is closely related to nightshade, and is quite poisonous, but has beautiful, fragrant, white flowers.

    Also, I just got my Rams and Yowes kit in the mail and am so excited to start this project!

  149. Sunflowers! The dried stalks and flower heads are beautiful all winter in the snow too.

  150. Carnations for me. I used them in my wedding bouquet almost 40 years ago and they are still my favorite.

  151. Any flower – it’s the grimy schizophrenic end of a Canadian winter! But I remember it will be lilacs soon and that will certainly cheer me up.

  152. My favorite would be nasturtium, though closely followed by irises and oh so many others! We had a taste of spring today in Maine, but it will be a while before we do any real gardening. In the meantime, knitting is my color fix!

  153. Great interview with inspirational Jean Moss! Thank you Kate!
    Although not native to the UK, I grow COBEA each year and am continually inspired by its evolving form and colours, beginning with a green bud which opens into a beautifully shaped bell of palest green, which a day or two later melts into lilac, gradually deepening until it has tranformed into a rich dark purple!
    Then it has yet another surprise in store, for when the petals drop it leaves behind the
    most exquisite display of stamens surrounded by a star shaped hat which, if you haven’t been paying attention could easily be mistaken for the petals of this mysterious flower. This climber decorates itself with
    endless gorgeous orangey red tight ringlets which hang and intertwine and somehow hold this extraordinary plant together.

  154. I love the bright cheeriness of pansies. The bright yellows, china blues, dark purples, fiery oranges, they never fails to make me absurdly happy.

    And on a completely unrelated note, I just ordered the Rams and Yowes kit from Jamieson & Smith. All that sheepy goodness coming to me by mail, I can’t wait for it to arrive!

  155. It’s nasturtiums, for sure but I also really love the little snowdrops that are thr first flowers out after the winter here. thanks, Mary in Cincinnati

  156. My ‘Autumn Joy” sedums are just coming into bloom here in Australia now …. love ‘em in any season really.

  157. Hyacinths are my favorite especially since they are blooming in the garden right now.

  158. So many but I love night scented stock.

    I cannot believe that first shawl is knitted. It looks like a very expensive woolen fabric.

  159. Roses – I just moved into a new apartment and my only plant is a tiny rosebush with miniature blood-red roses. :)

  160. Poppies. I teach gardening to children in Australia and we all just planted some today. Tiny seeds for tiny hands.

  161. Black-eyed Susans are my favorite — and their seeds are the favorite of goldfinches.

    Jean’s designs and colors are intoxicating — I want to knit every one of her shawlettes.

  162. Queen Ann’s lace, if I may pick a wildflower. It reminds me of the long summer visiting my grandparents. If it must be *garden* flower, then probably the dainty African violets my grandmother doted over.

  163. Too many choices! I think one of my favorites is the Bletilla striata, or hardy terrestial orchid. I moved mine twice before finding a spot where it’s happy and spreading here in Western Canada. I love it!

  164. Definitely the rose, and in particular the David Austin roses and the antique varieties- and even more specifically Mme. Louis Leveque, an antique moss rose that blooms in shades of pale peach and pink and slightly deeper pink and without any pattern to how the colors fall. They are ever so slightly tie dyed!

  165. Sweet peas for me. They promise Spring and the colours are irresistible. Love the Shawlettes!!

  166. I love the pink day lilies in my grandmother’s backyard. It’s so lovely how one will just pop up randomly for a bit of beauty and color.

  167. Blue Morning Glory, in all it’s glory! Especially the dark-blue violet variegated, with pinkish heart.

  168. without any hesitation or doubt its got to be Jasmine for its wonderful distincive scent and because it was brought in for me from my late Mother’s garden on the occasion of my first son’s birth in hospital and ALWAYS reminds me of the first early days as a “new mum” myself!
    sight/smell of Jasmine takes me right back and evokes strong positive memories.

  169. Roses in all kinds are my favourite flowers.
    Garden nasturtium or Indian cress (tropeolum majus) comes right behind the roses.

  170. An Australian native – flannel flowers. I have some in my garden, but they haven’t flowered yet. Google them – they are the most textural of flowers..

  171. Tulips. And clematis. I just plantad a batch of black eyes susans, hoping for lots of flowers. They have never failed me before!

  172. Pinks – but I love the old fashioned name of gilliflowers! I just love the heavenly, rich clove scent.

  173. I’m a florist so I have seasonal favourites. At the moment its the helebore. Theres many varieties but the helebore nigra is pretty wonderful. Lovely designs in the book

  174. My favourite garden flower is morning glory… Never fails to captivate me every time.

    Thanks for the interview on Jean, Kate. I always want to know more about the designer as a person and what are the driving forces behind their designs. I would definitely buy the book, if I don’t win the giveaway.

  175. I love the flowers that end up giving you something at the end, at the moment we have a watermelon vine. The yellow watermelon flowers are so simple yet produce something amazing I love looking at them and hoping that they produce a massive watermelon to eat!

  176. Choose one favourite flower? That’s a tough one but I shall pick Dierama, aka Angel’s Fishing Rods, for its ethereal quality.

    I’ve been a fan of Jean’s designs for many years so I’d love to win the book.

  177. I’ve been looking and looking for shawls on Ravelry over the past few weeks, with much disappointment and little inspiration. This collection is just what I need.
    As for garden flowers, I dream of raising dahlias, but at the moment my favorite are my mom’s sunflowers- dinner-plate size, Van Gogh’s, and I don’t know what all. They bring the bees to her California garden.

  178. I think it has to be Aquilegia, especially the pale pink colourway, beautiful and delicate. Love the Enigma design in those colours.

  179. I love all the old cottage garden varieties! If I had to pick one it would be Love-in-a-mist… equally beautiful when in flower or as a seed pod..

  180. Love the patterns in the new book. I am a Gemini and struggle with picking one favorite anything and when it comes to flowers that is even harder. I love all the colors and textures created in my flower gardens and I especially focus on the variations of the wonderful greens in the foliage. My hands and eyes often linger more on the greens than the blossoms.

  181. My favorite garden flower has got to be the tiger lily; with its spots and long, thin stems waving in summer breezes…..just my favorite thing in the world! (sorry! my flower didn’t turn up in the comment the first time ;-})

  182. Right now hyacinths are my favorite, because my girls and I have been forcing them this winter, and the house smells lovely with all those pretty, colorful stalks of dainty flowers.

  183. The pansy is my favorite and have been since I was a child. Their happy faces and bold colors are an early spring treat.

  184. I have long admired Jean’s work. Proof that it is not essential to have formal design training to come up with great patterns. To answer the question though; My garden is an attempt to bring the indigenous countryside to my doorstep. So, amongst other things, I have planted Hawthorn and a Rowan and Broom and Heathers. Plants that I see and smell when out walking away from the town. I adore Hawthorn. I remember getting great pleasure as a child from running my hands down the swingpark hedging, and tearing the leaves off in the process. The smell of Broom is just gorgeous, but if I have to choose it would be the lovely pink dog roses. Entirely natural and harbouring a gang of sparrows.

  185. It’s the daisy for me – can’t beat it for looks AND you can make daisy chains too.

  186. Currently my favorite is a beautiful orange and fuschia calla lily which is lounging in my crawl space under my house. I hope she survived the winter and will bring her out soon. Impatiens have the most beautiful intense colors. I must look into the Cobea that a person posted about. Sounds intriguing.

  187. Wisteria. Currently looking for signs of life that my specimen has made it through the winter.

  188. Hellebore is one of my favourites … love seeing its graceful skirted form and muted shades coming up now, in an otherwise dormant winter garden. Love the patterns … would love to make Ceilidh!

  189. My favorite would be petunia’s. Living in an upstairs apartment I don’t have a garden, but in the centre of this city they got this large plant containers, sometimes filled with petunia’s. Such joy ! I really love the way all those pink flowers will overflow the baskets, always manage to brighten up my days when I spot them :-)

  190. I love sunflowers: they’re cheerful and bright, as well as habitat and food for birds, bees, moths and butterflies.

  191. So many favourite flowers! My favourite flowering shrub would be Rhododendron yakushimanum, and my favourite flower is probably the Himalayan blue poppy, Meconopsis betonicifolia, though I cannot get those buggers to grow anywhere :-(

  192. chrysanthimum – not only because they are known among florists as ‘mums’ and I recently became a Mum but also they look like great big daisies and bring a huge smile to my face.

  193. Daffodils! So cheerful and springlike. I never wear yellow but I could fill my house with daffs>

  194. Snakes head fritillary.
    They’re gloriously beautiful, I love the chequered pattern that nature has created so perfectly, I adore the connection with Charles Rennie Mackintosh… And they’re gracious enough to grow and flower in my garden year after year despite my decidedly non-green fingers and despite being moved a couple of years ago.
    They make me happy :-)

  195. So hard to pick just one, but as its nearly Spring I’ll say daffodils, especially the mini “tete a tete” ones that naturalise so beautifully.

  196. I have loved Freesias since I was a little girl.
    My Dad always had a garden with hundreds of them blooming in the spring.
    I can remember telling my Mother that I wanted Freesias in my wedding bouquet, I must have been about 10 at that stage.
    Freesias remain my favorite flower

  197. Lilies are the only flower with a sweet smell in my nose (the others smell identical to cut grass to me, not lying) and chrysanthemums are the flower of my birth month. I’m no gardener, but I enjoy these two.

  198. The daffodils are just starting to flower in my garden I look forward to seeing them every year.

  199. I love Lily of the Valley, their smell, the fact that they are one of the first to pop up after a long winter and how sweet and delicate they are!

  200. It’s hard to narrow it down, but California Poppies it is! They look so incredibly delicate and fantastical. I love to look at them early in the morning when everything is still wet with dew. Thanks for asking and thanks for the giveaway.

  201. Is there a flower not to love? If I have to choose a favorite, today I will say it is the forget-me-not. Such a sweet, happy, blue little thing. Makes me glad to see it!

  202. My favorite is whatever is currently blooming – today that would be daffodils. Jean’s book looks wonderful. I’ve never tried intarsia and that first shawl pictured above is beautiful!!!

  203. I love Globe thistles. They are full of attitude like an industrial punk-rocker, with soft coloring and a sweet scent. The instant I saw them I was hooked.

  204. My favorite at the moment is the crocus…because it’s the first thing out right now!

  205. I love BlueBottle Flowers! they are lovely fresh, dried and tucked here and there in the garden. They make me smile and I love the butterflies and sweet lil honey bees that come to visit them.

  206. I love Wild Flowers, from Shepherds Purse and Clovers, to Blue Flax and Wild Roses, Yes even dandelions too, But the flower I’m going to pick is one that is everlasting. I have a vase in my room of some I picked a year or two ago and there still as beautiful as ever, though they have little color they still brighten my mornings, The “Pearly Everlasting” Is a favorite Of mine.

  207. I don’t think I have a favourite flower I just love flowers in the garden or in nature. I grow flowers but hate to pick them for vases inside mostly because I like them outside but also due to haphazard housework.

  208. Daffodils, because I always am longing for their sunshine in the spring, and later roses, because our house came with so many beautiful rose bushes, which seem to thrive on our neglect.

  209. It’s hard to choose just one. Aquelegias, poppies, peonies, geraniums, roses, lavender and primroses, but that’s just the start of it!

  210. Daffodils, but they don’t grow here. Last year I surprised myself by really liking the bizarre looking and supposedly foul smelling Dutchman’s Pipevine flowers, and this year I’m hoping to see another crop.

  211. Love the interview! My favourite flower is the rose. Love the scent, I just can’t help it.

  212. I’ve always had a particular fondness for tulips and sweet peas. We always had both in our gardens when I was a child. They both evoke very particular memories for me.

  213. Lavender, you can smell it, keep the moths at bay with it , wash with it and eat it! and the colours in all its varieties are the most beautiful to me!

  214. My favorite flower is Baja fairy duster because the hummingbirds love it, and it is blooming right now in the garden.

  215. daisies are my favorite flower hands down. they’re hardy, make beautiful bouquets, and come back next year. that’s my garden, no muss, no fuss.

  216. I love hellebores. Their delicate looks belie their toughness and tenacity.. Bridging winter into spring they are such welcome flowers in my garden.

  217. I have so many favourites, but I am a winter girl, so snowdrops for me. When I was a kid it was always a big thing to see if we could find one blooming for my birthday in the middle of January. My grandmother somehow always found at least one to bring me from the warmest corner of her garden.

  218. Yay Jean Moss !!! Thanks for this interview Kate, she is another I am gaining great admiration for(are you reading this comment Jean? ;) …a fellow musician/knitter/gardener/walker and just all-around exceptional person it seems. I love the Enigma shawl most in “Sweet Shawlettes” and won the pattern in her pattern give-away a week ago !! So I will get to try my first Rowan Kidsilk Haze soon, when I knit it up, likely in. Fun little thing I intend to do is wear it to a nice farmers market gig this season (for which I’m booked many times this year) and will have a kick out of mentioning to the wandering shoppers that I’m wearing something I knit from a fellow musician/knitter. Maybe I’ll get more tips in the jar…lol. ) NOw, to get down to business, I must say that in my garden, my most sniffed, most adored of my flowers are the perennial kind ~ roses ! Of the roses, I must say it’s my David Austen variety called Graham Thomas, pale golden yellow, fruity fragrance, and lovely delicate shape. Though she doesn’t like to be clipped and stuck in a vase, she does rather steel the show next to my other roses. Your interview with JeanMoss has just prompted me to buy one of her books , and I just may start a wee collection of them if I might win ‘Sweet Shawlettes’ !

  219. Hands down-HYDRANGEA’S. I have different varieties in my yard. I bought the Limelight on a whim and it is gorgeous!

  220. Lovely giveaway! My favorite flower is the rose. I love the gently unfolding petals and the heavenly scent of old-fashioned roses.

  221. I am not sure whether water flowers count, but my favorite flower is the lotus. It is a beautiful, delicate flower.

  222. Hard to choose, but really I like to see flowers in profusion, and my favorite is the lovely, delicate and suprising “Cosmos”. One summer I took a bed about 10′ wide and 30′ long, ploughed it under and planted it completely with Cosmos 9″ apart in a grid. It took a lot more weeding than I originally thought, but the sight of all those tall blooms shooting up and waving in the summer breeze was a sight I’ll never forget.

  223. I like Lachenalia’s, but my favourite flower is the Lily longiforum, the November/Christmas lily oh the divine natural perfume, and their beauty and grace.
    Interesting interview, and the patterns are lovely.

  224. I love London Pride which we used to have in my parent’s garden – they’re so sweet with their tiny yellow and pink spots and they have a song and a beer named after them.

  225. I simply love daffodils. As a child on Canada’s west coast, daffodils heralded the coming of spring after a long dark winter and they provided a beautiful reminder of my family in Wales.

  226. Violets! Not those gaudy yellow ones, but the modest soft blue, purple & green of the small violets that used to grow in my father’s garden. Some wool is toned in these colors: irresistable!
    (Just found your website: absolutely fabulous designs!

  227. Sweet peas and wisteria are some of my favorites, I love a beautiful, curly, climbing vine. Love the shawls featured in the interview!

  228. Violas are my favourites. Would never forget when a friend gave me one – it was dark purple and white/cream in colour, a sweet and beautiful flower!

  229. I just love lilacs. I love the way you can always smell them before you see them. And how they remind me of Easter in my mom’s backyard.

  230. Delphiniums. Truly blue flowers are so hard to find and shades of blue in these flowers just blow me away!

  231. I’m wearing a silver plumeria necklace, a souvenir from Hawaii, that is something of a trademark accessory so plumeria it is!

  232. I really love most flowers, so choosing a favorite is hard. I’m going with the wild violet because it’s such a tenatious little plant. I’d much rather have a yard full of violets and clover than bluegrass.

  233. It is impossible to pick just one favorite flower. I love any of them. Roses are one of the first ones I think of. Lillie’s, tulips, anything with blooms and beautiful colors I guess.

  234. Thank you for the interview; I’ve recently started knitting more shawls & shawlettes now that I feel like I can integrate them into my wardrobe without feeling…dowdy? As for my favourite garden flower, I’ll have to go with the iris. I’ve loved that flower for as long as I’ve had a favourite flower.

  235. The spring flowers are my favorite; so beautiful after a long winter. Of those first flowers, the crocus is my favourite.

    Thanks

  236. I know its not the prettiest, but my favorite is Cosmos. I planted some from seed from plant sale at a local Victorian Historical Estate, and it thrived. Practically took over everything else.

  237. My favourite flower is the iris – the colour is delicate and it is at tis best for my birthday in May

  238. I was just looking at a beautiful lenten rose in my garden.I planted it last year.It is an understated beauty.I also love the showy rudbeckia.I can’t wait for the dogwoods to bloom either.They are so gorgeous after winter.

  239. Sooo difficult to choose a favourite flower – but I do love Japanese Windflowers – a whole bank of them dipping their delicate heads above the leafy foliage is just beautiful. I’ve started planting them in my mother’s garden – she has pink ones that have just come out in Melbourne.

  240. Violets are my favorite. They don’t grow in my garden but in the woods surrounding my home. Their little purple heads pop up when spring is here!

  241. I really enjoyed the interview, and Jean’s designs are absolutely lovely. Thank so much for the opportunity to win a copy of her book.

    As for flowers, if forced to choose just one, I’d have to say irises are my favorite. Some other commenters have listed flowers that are unfamiliar to me, though, so I may discover a new favorite after I’ve done some research.

  242. Hollyhock! A friend gave me some seeds for my birthday some years ago-I didn’t even know these beauties at all. Now they’re all over my garden and I can’t wait for summer to come…
    Thank you for your blog-keep at it!
    Greetings, Betti

  243. For my favourite flower I would have to go with hollyhocks. They bloom for a long time and practically take car of themselves.

  244. It is so hard to pick just one, but there is nothing like the first few daffodil flowers. I naturalized them throughout my yard and now enjoy the surprises each year. I love how a few here and there in the grass, along a walkway…. My favorite daffodil blooms on or around ,y second son’s birthday at the end of march. I have also planted heather and forsythia as ods to my name.

  245. Daffodils are such a gloriously happy flower, and I love how they herald the arrival of Spring!

  246. lovely interview, great to hear about the person behind the designs. favourite flower…so much to choose from, i love whatever is in season at the time, but if i had to choose – a cherry blossom.

  247. Absolutely tulips. We live in snow country, even in California, and the valley floor gets the tulips before us on the mountain. Once we see the tulips poking their smiling faces toward the sun, we know that Spring and new life is right around the corner!

  248. Blue flag Iris grew wild near our old house. Always love to see them around the end of May. But I’m enjoying the first daffodils and crocus now.

  249. today I would have to say Tulips–they usher in Spring which makes me very happy that a new growing season is beginning! I say today because my favorite will change with each season. Spring is here in Texas, and the tulips are blooming. I watch the tulips as the wind tosses their heads back and forth and I am surprised that this a gentle flower stands up to the strong Texas wind. The color variations are inspiring–they go from pale shades to brights, can be varigated or solid. Their shape is of a cup which surrounds the bees as they collect their pollen–protecting them while they work! So much can be said of tulips, I could go on and on!

  250. If it is garden flowers rather than wild flowers then I would say Gerbera, always and forever…I used to love the fact that Ask (pizza chain) used to have them on their tables every day ( that and the fact they used to put the glasses they used for Peroni in the freezer)…I liked their happy cheerfulness that I guiltily had them at my wedding (Cream and crimson) even though I got married in deepest winter… not very green…but I’m not planning on making a habit of it

  251. As the seasons progress to the end of the year my favorite will change. In the spring tulips are my favorite flower. Tulips announce that spring is here. Their strength against the strong Texas wind is surprising; their soft petals hold tight to the stem as the wind tosses them back and forth. The cuplike shape of the flower protects the bees as they gather pollen from each flower to bring home to their queen. The colors of the petals range from soft pastels to bold brights which can be solid or variegated. Color and texture in nature inspire art. Tulips in spring bring inspiration to my art.
    Thank you for sharing your inspiration in your artwork as it is a conformation to all of us that love of craft and love of nature go hand-in-hand.

  252. glad you are doing well Kate, I’ll say my favourite flowers are roses but I love them all, x

  253. While not quite known as a flower, I am partial to vinca vine. I saw some today in bloom and It reminded me of the shady gardens in the neighborhood I lived in while in graduate school.

  254. Right now I am really looking forward to the irises coming up soon. The mini versions started just yesterday. Thanks for hosting a contest!

  255. So many comments! I love a give-away. My favorite garden flower is thrift. You may not know it by that name, but it grows in a rock garden hanging over rocks. It comes in many colors and has a small flower in a mass of green. I remember it from my days of living in Tennessee.
    Tina

  256. It is hard to pick just one, but I would have to say zinnias. They come in a variety of colors and bloom until frost. And best of all they remind me of my grandmother, who loved all flowers.

  257. I adore rhododendrons.
    I want to have a garden full of them, with all ranges in colour and flowering time, from white to deep violet, from early to late…

    Regards from Annie (Bouquinesse)

  258. I love Gerberas!! They are so beautiful and there is such a variety of colors to choose from! I love them so much that I also chose them to be my wedding flowers!

  259. If I had to pick just one, it would be snow drops. I love seeing them peering up out of the cold ground and letting me know that winter is almost over!

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