Tat & Tattie its clearly meant to be; sadly Tattie has a bit more glamour than a bit of Tat. You will see what I mean when you start to follow @tattieroseflowers. You think you know flower arranging, and then you see what this lady does. She makes dreams come true and magical worlds appear in front of your eyes. You think I exaggerate, but wait, you too will be completely taken by her creations. So I was so excited to see the world behind the flowers and Tattie was kind enough to oblige; it is just as charming and beautiful as one might expect.
I have dreamt of our Dorset farm cottage for about the last 15 years, when I saw it for the first time in real life I felt like I had been there before although I certainly never had. It felt both familiar and safe as well as exciting. It is nestled in the rolling gentle hills of West Dorset, surrounded by a network of ancient tracks and byways that tempt and distract me daily. Each morning I walk them and I feel I am going back In time and half expect to meet Bathsheba Everdeen one day. Our house sits on of these said tracks and means our three sons, Alfie, Wilf and Sholto can ride bicycles for miles with no roads, this was the top point on our list when Fred and I started looking for a house.
Fred has lived in London for most of his adult life but aside from a short stint in Edinburgh and London I couldn’t settle in a city, happiness to me is being surrounded by animals and trees. I love the excitement of the city when I visit
and work takes me up weekly but I am always pleased to be a stranger. Our work takes us far and wide, it sometimes feels like being in the circus- setting up in different locations week after week to put on our ‘flower show’, packing up and travelling to the next, and so we need the quiet in between. I feel so strongly that a person’s little piece of the earth, however big or small is vital for one’s mental health and for recuperation from the noise and wonderful hecticness of life. Our work is heavily influenced and inspired by the land around us, we react to it and feel incredibly privileged to be immersed and surrounded by such incredible scenery.
Our house is two farm cottages made into one home with a small annex at the end which is also our office. It is thatched and built around 1770. It sits on a plot of just under two acres and there are bantam hens and white peacocks parading. It has been beautifully looked after by its keepers over the years, and whilst there is a life time of things that could be done it is was also pretty much perfect when we first opened the door. There are parts of the house where the bones are still exposed, beams and creaking floorboards, the annexe walls are exposed stone, I look forward to uncovering more over the years. The walls are longing for gentle colour but we have only lived here for 5 months and I feel I need to have seen all 12 months in the house to see the light change, to know the rooms and their character and to work out what I what them to say. I love to bring the outside in with my work and I like to do the same with my home, using the colours of the landscape and the changing skies as my first reference point.
The only room we have painted so far is the boot room, out of necessity. It is a room used for so much, at the moment it has an incubator full of bantam eggs ready to hatch and a box of week-old quail on the windowsill. It is a rich emerald green, like that of a waxy camellia leaf and I have started to paint insects on the walls.
The kitchen is wonderful and the room we live in. I don’t really like the feel of a fitted kitchen myself so I am undoing parts of it at the moment. We commissioned a wonderful carpenter called Alan Tait to make our first piece of furniture for the cottage almost the moment we arrived. A large high workbench for the kitchen is just so beautiful and useful and it doubles up as a pirate ship, a stage, a desk as well as it’s intended use.
We have a playroom devoted to chaos and colour and rocking horses and paint, and then our beautiful sitting room which has a huge inglenook fireplace and an old bread oven. This room is quiet and gentle and I am most excited about finding the right colour for it’s old walls.
Our bedroom is vaulted and I am partway through the initial drawings for a large mural on the wall behind the bed.
Along with a deep never ending love of flora and fauna I have a passion for fabric and pattern. I have collected pieces from my years in India, my travels and scraps from old dresses. My mother who is a skilled upholsterer is cleverly converting them into curtains and at the moment is making something incredible from a mustard yellow antique Indian wall hanging. Our furniture is a collection over the years of auction house finds and key investment pieces, but without a bottomless pit of funds to spend we have had to be clever and thrifty, and I wouldn’t have it another way, as each piece we buy we treasure.
I have included many photos of the outside and the garden and the animals because this is so much a part of the place. Many years ago the house belonged to someone who cared very much about the structure of an outdoor space and we have been lucky enough to inherit the fruits of his foresight. A tunnel of wisteria and roses sits in the centre of the plot, there are incredible fruit and crabapple trees of interesting varieties, old yew hedges and stone steps. Wild strawberries grow through all the cracks and there is a copse of silver birch which has become a camp with a wigwam made from branches.
The greenhouse is a room we use so often, I like very much to set a scene and it is wonderful that you can make something special from something ordinary.
The studio is being worked on at the moment and will become a flower school where, in the future we will hold classes to connect people with flowers, greenery and plants. Our main large workshop is a few miles away and we have an open barn at home which allows me to make some things from home.
Although I would love to grow all my own flowers, the scale of our events means we would need many more acres than we have but we do plan to grow hydrangeas and Rosa rugosa on mass that can be used in our designs (two things I love and find hard to buy).