Updated: Nov 9, 2022
When I had the idea to use my floral art as designs on mugs, it was more than just a physical product I had in mind. Those who know me know that I have always loved a cup of tea - from an early age my granny made me a mug when she had 'elevenses' (mostly she'd been working in the garden) and as a small child I sat between mum and dad in their bed with a mug of tea of my own, while they read the morning papers...
Being a thoughtful soul I took to drinking my tea outdoors from an early age. I learnt early on that it was a good way to be with my thoughts and to be in nature, and growing up in a mill house with a mill pond I took to sitting up there are gazing out at the water whatever the weather - I particularly liked being there in rain, watching through the steam from my mug as raindrops fell on the still water while the mug of tea warmed my hands.
For me the best mug to drink my tea from in the garden transcends a simple vessel. It is a means to slow down and savour the moment, to connect with the outside space around us, to take some time to simply breathe, listen, think and become part of the garden for a short while. Without the mug of tea in my hand there is always something else that I could and should be doing, but with one of these mugs 'I am drinking my tea' - it is a process and it requires legitimate time spent on it.
I knew that the mugs I designed would have to be of the highest quality. My love of gardens and flowers is deep - I want to do them justice. My art prints honor each individual flower and capture the fleeting flowering beauty of them for all time. I want my mugs to encapsulate that same quality and value.
Not only do I love the way the art looks on a mug - a way to appreciate floral art and design in our day to day lives - but I feel they are also a part of history. The pottery where these mugs are made dates back to the 1800s and is a part of the enduring story of the quality and origins of fine bone china itself.
As a keen gardener, there is nothing quite like the moment when you've been working for hours in the garden and the time comes for a mug of tea - you can sit back for a while and feel the satisfaction of the work you've done, and mull over what's left to be done.
Taking time out for a cup of tea has all sorts of benefits - it can relieve stress, increase your focus and recharge your energy, but doing this outdoors allows you to feel the breeze, the warmth of the sun, hear the sound of birds, watch the clouds scud by and have a mindful moment we wouldn't otherwise have. In the meantime we sip our hot tea bit by bit, and cradle the mug in our hands - a source of warmth and comfort.
I love this garden habit - how about you?