Introducing our new Meadowsweet Stencils..
With its lofty clumps of sweet smelling, frothy flowers, above full foliage on long stems – beautiful Meadowsweet makes the perfect design addition to our Wild Botanicals of the Brecon Beacons Range. Meadowsweet Theme Pack Stencil and Small Meadowsweet Stencil.
The charm of each growing season..
Every year I watch the progress of meadowsweet growing along lanes, banks and meadows, through spring and summer. And as the soft green leaves appear in early spring, I love to pluck a handful when out walking with the dogs – these early leaves make a wonderful tea, fresh and floral. A freshly picked bunch of early meadowsweet leaves smells like melons – fresh and light! And the tea is light, delicious and invigorating!
And as spring progresses into summer, Meadowsweet can be found in abundant swathes amidst Brecon Beacons hedgerows and beside rivers, streams and canal banks. And growing profusely in meadows and full and sweet in the surrounding marshland of Llangorse Lake (above).
Amazing herbal history
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria), also known as queen of the meadow or mead wort, displays frothy clusters of cream flowers, standing tall above verdant foliage. It is a perennial herb in the family Rosaceae and has been used throughout the centuries for herbal remedies and as a medicinal plant. Salicylic acid from Meadowsweet was first synthesised into acetylsalicylic acid in the 1890s, which was later known as aspirin.
Meadowsweet’s sweet fragrance has caused it to be used as potpourri and in Elizabethan times as a strewing herb inside and outside, and it has been popular at weddings and in bridal garlands.
In amongst the flowers..
I was caught by its beauty, charm and sweet smell as a child, and it has held my interest over the years for sketches and plant studies. Frequently sketching its form and shape outdoors and building up reference drawings as I went.
Form and feeling
Caught by the shape of the flower heads, made of hundreds of tiny florets and its wonderful leaves, I knew this would be a brilliant subject for a beautiful botanical stencil – and so the meadowsweet stencils came about as part of our stencil range the ‘Wild Botanical Stencils of the Brecon Beacons’.
Colourwash and pencil work
Sketches in pencil and watercolour lead to being able to work out the best way to design the stencil so that it captures its nature and charm.
Line and shape
Giving rise to linear studies for stencil designs and getting into the detail of the bridgework needed to create a life like and detailed stencil.
And so, the tall lofty stems of the Meadowsweet Theme Pack Stencil are born, with their masses of frothy flowers on top! The theme pack comprising three beautiful stems of meadowsweet, with additional leaves and stalk extensions, is a wonderfully versatile design. And Small Meadowsweet Stencil for those sweet, smaller projects.
Small Meadowsweet Stencil
The Small Meadowsweet Stencil is a wonderful small design for adding wild botanical flourishes to clothes and accessories. Here, beautiful, in our washable Fabric Paints on a linen Japanese style cross-back apron and on our Square Brown Craft Cards and envelopes. Creativity and style come together!
Monochrome tone on tone or naturalised hues…
The Small Meadowsweet Stencil works well in both naturalised creams and greens or simple silhouette colours, light on dark backgrounds, or dark on light backgrounds.
The Small Meadowsweet Stencil in monochromatic colour themes – simple and extremely effective. This way of working looks good in chalky tones of grey, blue and greens.
Wild botanical garden design!
A couple of years ago I moved a few small clumps of meadowsweet growing by the stream outside my gate and planted them in the flower beds next to the hedge – in essence moving them about 5 feet! Now I have this wonderful tall swaying crop of meadowsweet, which as well as being the perfect artist’s models, form a great support for the tall Crocosmia growing there too!
Meadowsweet at the lake and otter sitings!
The marshlands of Llangorse Lake at dusk, where swathes of meadowsweet give way to reeds in the water – with a little of the Meadowsweet Theme Pack Stencil added!! During lockdown we saw otters bobbing, swimming and catching their fish dinner and eating it at the water’s edge. Quite amazing!