Gardens

Step Inside a Floral World

I consider myself a flower plopper,” says the designer Rachel Ashwell, the founder of the vintage-and-floral focused Shabby Chic brand. “I gather roses and hydrangeas from my garden, plop them in water, and let it be. As long as everything is beautiful, I’m not very strategic.” It’s that informal, inviting approach to beauty that sets apart the rooms Ashwell has decorated, the events she’s hosted, and the bed and breakfast she operates called The Prairie in Round Top, Texas. In the new book, My Floral Affair, Ashwell shares images from beloved gardens in her native England, as well as her properties in California and Texas. She also shares how flowers—including Southern standards like roses, peonies, hydrangeas, and wisteria—inspire her creations.

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