Flora Domestica is a set of 3 handmade books. They chart a time span through spring and summer of 2020, documenting the flowers and plants that grow in a domestic garden. Shortly before Lockdown we bought a bungalow on the coast of Suffolk with the aim of building the house we had always dreamed of on this space. However, Covid changed the plan and we found ourselves rapidly renovating it and living in it as it was. Throughout that eerie time of unknown futures, birdsong and extraordinary super moons I was able to observe and photograph what flowers emerged in that garden, capturing them where they grew and re-photographing them in the manner of a botanical record or a still life. These flowers were planted by the former owner so to watch them emerge was to learn a bit about her, the type of flowers that she chose and what design she had envisioned. It was as if the ghost of the plantsman was present throughout that time, manifested by the sequence of flowers that flowered one after the other.
Alongside the images is a succession of narrative notes on the roles these plants have played in history and in art, who discovered them, what medicinal uses they could be put to and some recipes for their preparation. It is an incomplete but personal meditation on this particular set of plants which meanders through the seasons in the three books.
Each of the 3 volumes is made up of three sections sewn into a single cover. The book is printed on soft Japanese Kozo paper and the images of flowers and vegetables are printed on sheets of translucent Unryu paper in which you can see the traces of plant fibres.
It is a narrative of a particular place at a particular time and yet it also reached back in time to the ghost of a former plantswoman from whom I learnt much about the garden I had inherited and forward in time as we made plans for the garden to develop.