Spring flowers

Walter Crane wallpaper, 'Dulce Domum', 1904 - http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O225568/wallpaper-dulce-domum/

As the spring finally gets under way and the bluebells and hawthorn are in bloom, it’s a good time of year to think about the importance of flowers in British design. Floral motifs are interesting as they can be both homely and familiar and strange and new. Even without overt symbolism, the choice of flowers can also create meaning, referring us to wild countryside, to planned gardens, or to heated greenhouses. William Morris and Walter Crane understood this, combining British wildflowers in arrangements that drew on medieval ‘mille fleurs’ tapestries but also responded to the taste of their times. This Crane design, with native bluebells, daisies and cranebill, is titled ‘Dulce Domum’ – ‘Home Sweet Home’.

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