My flower arranging skills are non-existent. So, I was surprised to be asked to take part in our village flower festival, “A Celebration of Village Life”, last October. It was to be held in our tiny village church, mentioned in the Doomsday Book!
The brief – I was to celebrate my crime-novel writing with flowers. But how to keep it respectful, representative, and avoid using poisonous plants and seeds a child might eat or touch on passing? Moreover, I had been allocated the church font for my display; a location associated with joy, celebration, new life. It was indeed a challenge for a crime writer.
Then I asked myself, What would my characters from The Utterly Crime Series have done?
Chrissie would have depicted poisonous flowers by using wood shavings for petals and leaves, and turned wooden, flower heads, and bulbs on a lathe.
Matt would have asked his friend Rosie, the librarian, and researched flowers and flower colours representing hidden meaning when sent in a bouquet, such as beware, betrayal, doom, anger, goodbye.
Nick would have visited the local florist. For the purposes of the plot line, the florist would have been really helpful and a lovely young lady!
So, what did I do?
I created mystery shoe tracks – the Chrissie in me walked shoes across wet plaster of Paris and painted it the colour of soil when dry.
The Matt in me asked a friend, who suggested orange lilies for hatred, yellow roses for jealousy, begonias for beware, black dahlias for betrayal and doom. My talented cover designer, Rebecca Moss Guyver (https://www.rebeccaguyverart.com) mocked up a fictitious book cover, The Language of Flowers, in an orange, yellow and dark red colour palate – to include in the display.
The Nick in me asked my lovely, helpful, local florist, Khloris (https://www.khloris.co.uk) to help with the floral design which, because of seasonal availability, followed the colour theme rather than specific flowers with meaning.
Chrissie’s advice for what to do when in a jam – eat chocolate, phone a friend, and make a plan – pretty much worked.
What do you think – photos were difficult!