Dior, already famous for its creative use of flowers in its shows (see here) has gone next level to create the most magnificent delphinium mountain in the middle of the Cour Carrée of the Lourve.

The show took place inside the structure where the models walked in front of a smaller but no less impressive hill of flowers. In total 400,000 stalks of blue Delphinium were installed by mega production company Bureau Betak.

Dior set RTW Spring 2016Dior set RTW Spring 2016Dior set RTW Spring 2016Dior set RTW Spring 2016Dior set RTW Spring 2016Dior RTW Spring 2016Dior RTW Spring 2016   Images from WWD and Paris in Four Months.

French-born, Belgium-based florist Thierry Boutemy has worked with the likes of Sofia Coppola, Opening Ceremony and Vogue amongst others. Not a bad little line up. He creates intuitively and revels in the imperfections of nature. Check his website here.

In late June James and I took a train down to Lyon, hired a car and cruised across the alps to Piedmont arriving at dusk to an amazing little farm by the name of Finocchio Verde.

We found our hosts Mario and Isa along with another WWOOFer Marco milking the sheep and goats in the barn, next to a mama giving birth to a little lamb. We wandered around the beautiful property pointing out to each other all the edible things along with the melange of animals. Keeping the goats and sheep company were donkeys, endless cats and kittens that seemed to share mothers jumping from one teet to the next, two dogs one just a puppy and a few grubby pigs at the bottom of the vegetable garden. That night we were fed one of many amazing meals and returned to our room through a path of fireflies.

Our mornings were spent doing hard labour – erecting temporary fences, clearing stinging nettle and tending to the vines. We stopped when it got too hot and made our way inside to help prepare lunch. Most everything we ate was grown on the farm. We would go to the garden to collect asparagus, beans, lettuce, artichoke, purslane, herbs, capers, peppers, and the very first tomatoes of the season.

After siesta we would wander the property looking for wild fruit. Next to Mario & Isa’s property are some semi abandoned farmhouses which make for great exploring. Like the owners just disappeared they are still full with farm equipment and even old stiff coats still hanging from pegs next to doorways. We picked cherries, prunes and red currents and made summer fruit tarts most evenings, which I always decorated with sage flowers or rose petals. The wild flowers growing provided us with sweet little table arrangements which Marco sweetly started making with me.

Along with some of the most amazing cheeses I’ve had, Mario and Isa also make their own honey, jam, wine, vinegar, olives, and once a year they slaughter a pig and make many different types of delicious salami that last them through the year.

One afternoon Mario returned from a nearby fish auction with a tonne of fish bought from his fisherman friends. I gutted my first fish that afternoon and we helped clean maybe 100 more while Mario salted 50 kilos of anchovies. That evening he cooked the most delicious fish gently poached in a pot of incredible homemade passata, wine, garlic and olives. Another food highlight was the fried pardon-style peppers and raw minced meat seasoned simply with salt, pepper and wine covered with freshly shaved local truffles. And the fresh pasta… I could go on. It was all so bloody delicious.

On our final evening Mario’s family came for dinner and he fired up the pizza oven while the whole team helped prepare the delicious rounds of dough. A perfect send off. They really know how to work hard but also get the absolute most out of their day. They take such pleasure in their land and the food that they cook, it’s catching.

We are so happy and thankful to have experienced this small amount of time on their farm. They welcomed us with such generosity and their enthusiasm, vitality and ability to live so thoroughly off the land is enviable. IMG_3499IMG_3333IMG_3358IMG_3360

IMG_3340 IMG_3350     IMG_3382IMG_3366IMG_3394    IMG_3439IMG_3516IMG_3464 IMG_3491    IMG_3503 IMG_3506

IMG_3509   IMG_3524 IMG_3531 IMG_3537 IMG_3546 IMG_3551 IMG_3552IMG_3364IMG_3561 IMG_3562  IMG_3573IMG_3567 All photographs by Sophia Kaplan.

I’ve just returned from the most amazing job at a Chateau just outside of Paris working for Amy Humphreys of Flowerjugs. I can’t yet show any pics of this wedding (except a couple little details I posted on Instagram) but wanted share some of her other work with you. And I must thank Deb for the introduction!

Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 5.04.08 pm62photographe-lifestyle-mariage-ceremonie-laique-Moulin-Ande-Lovely-Pics_0061unnamed-2Amelie-17unnamed All editorial styled by Deborah Sfez and photographed by Mélanie Rodriguez.

I find myself back in Paris once again. Thus the lack of posts lately – my apologies – as I’ve been rather wifi-less of late. Our week in Paris at the end of June involved lots of summer fruits, flowers and food and sun.

We ate at Clamato, Bones, Le Verre Vole, saw an amazing Charles-Edouard Jeanneret exhibition at the Pompidou and spent the afternoon in the garden of the Chateau du Versailles. We wandered through the Parc de Belleville, the Jardin du Luxembourg, and bought some begonias at the Marché aux Fleurs. Then we left for a beautiful little farm in Italy – more on the farm to come.

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I recently changed my Instagram handle from @thesecretgardenblog to @sophia_kaplan

Still the same photographs of gardens and flowers, but I wanted it to reflect my new branding and website.

Some recent posts…

All images by Sophia Kaplan.

This garden, in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, and off the Promenade Plantée which I have previously written about, was an explosion of colour when I visited in summer last year.

 All photographs by Sophia Kaplan.

Imogen is a young Australian artist based in London who is making beautiful botanical illustrations of all flowers including those dead and worn. Check out her website here.

After Gili Air and Ubud we headed up into the mountains at Sideman where we stumbled upon the most amazing Patal Kikian. We were the only people staying and had a huge private balcony looking straight onto the volcano where we wiled away our days reading on the day bed and exploring the volcano by scooter. The grounds were so lush as with everything here. All the sun and water makes for an incredibly green and healthy landscape. After Sideman we headed to Nusa Lembongan to snorkel and chill by beach. A perfect little holiday.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset    All photographs by Sophia Kaplan.

Hey guys, check out the invitation for FLEURT (from curator Amber Creswell Bell), a group show I’m flowering for from this coming weekend. If you’re in Sydney, please come on down and check it out!


‘FLEURT’ is the sequel show to the hugely popular ‘ART/VERT’ exhibition held at Paddington’s Saint Cloche gallery in January/February of this year (if you missed it – you can read all about ART/VERT here Broadsheet Sydney, and here The Design Files).

Where ART/VERT was a group show celebrating botanica as central theme and muse – FLEURT is strictly an ode to the humble flower!

FLEURT represents a diverse line up of nine popular artists, photographers and a ceramicist that I have personally curated – with each artist contributing a collection of pieces to this abundant and fanciful group show.  We think this is the perfect antidote to the faded days of late autumn.

With a champagne launch and artist meet & greet from 10am SATURDAY 23rd MAY and running daily to SUNDAY 7th JUNE 2015, FLEURT features the work of:

Samantha Dennison
Nicola Higgins
Matilda Julian
Helen McCullagh
Pip Spiro
Alexandra Standen
Ameli Tanchitsa
Jill White
Ali Wood

Sought-after floral designer ‘Sophia Kaplan Plants & Flowers’ will beautifully adorn the gallery with large whimsical floral arrangements. Additionally “pockets full of posies” will be available to purchase, all lovingly arranged by Sophia – each with a note detailing the meaning of the flowers in that arrangement as per the magical “Secret Language of Flowers”.

For further information, imagery, price list or interstate sales – please contact:
Amber Creswell Bell
(Read me: The Design FilesThe Planthunter)


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