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Stuff We Love

The Blooms That Make for One Heck of a Cottage Garden

Stuff We Love BY jasmine respess 06/25/2019


“When I was growing up, my family had a lot of land that my mom and my grandma both gardened. I thought of it as an island of plants, and those are some of my favorite memories,” says Jenny Rush, the designer behind the jewelry line Four Eyes Ceramics. Though the shapes Jenny rolls out to make her graceful earrings are often abstract, many of them come from her ongoing flora fascination. As she explains, “I love that there are so many shapes in nature, even ones that don’t look organic, and all colors originally come from things in nature.” Here’s a guide to some of her favorite blooms, which look especially great mixed together in a cottage garden—which just so happens to be Jenny’s favorite style.



“A lot of the flowers I love are nostalgic, and when I was growing up, we had a really long driveway that was lined with peony plants. I love the shape of them, bulbous and round. The leaves also have an interesting shape, and the plant is very heavy. They are tightly wound when they first come out, and they bloom into a large cup shape. It’s beautiful. I have four plants in my yard.”




“Irises are kind of old-fashioned. The petals have this delicacy—they are ruffled and thin, and their greenery is sharp and pointed. They come in a lot of colors, but I love the classic periwinkle blue. Irises are kind of interesting because they are tubers, meaning they’re bulb plants, but you can just set them on the ground, and they will grow. You don’t have to plant them.”


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“Hoya Kerrii has these thick leaves that are heart-shaped. It is a vine plant that seems almost like a succulent. I love that a plant can be so solid.”



“Foxglove has a conical, bell shape. The plants only bloom every other year, and they get very tall. It comes in different colors, often purple or pink. The color fades into a cool ombre.”



The zig-zag cactus showed up in some of my recent designs. It is a super fun plant. The leaves have a kind of wavy, rick-rack design. It is amazing that shape occurs in nature.”



“I saw an amazing poppy super bloom in Los Angeles. It was an insane yellowy-orange color, similar to a shade that will show up in my fall line. There are many different variations of poppies, and I like them all.”



“Hellebores are one of the first things to bloom, even when there is still snow on the ground. They are low-mounding flowers, so you have to look closely to see them. Hellebores have these beautiful color combos of pale green and dark purple. My husband and son make fun of me in May because I start walking around the yard to see what is sprouting. When I see these, I know spring is coming.”



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