In The Hothouse With Caroline Kent

In The Hothouse With Caroline Kent

Previously a curator of contemporary art, Caroline now uses a traditional dip pen and Andy Warhol’s favourite brightly coloured inks to create her distinctive designs which have featured on the pages of Vogue and The World of Interiors among many others.

In East Sussex, Caroline Kent derives inspiration for her hand-drawn stationary brand, Scribble & Daub from the exuberant meadow just outside her window.

Caroline in her studio, photographed by David Fernandez

Do you have a favourite flower and why?

That’s like asking me to choose my favourite child. If I really have to say just one, then it would be sweet peas; neighbours in my village grew trellis-loads of them for us one summer for our wedding and we filled vases to overflowing on every table, the tent was full of their scent.

What do flowers mean to you?

Everything. What would be the point of life without them?! Flowers are one of my favourite things to draw, it’s very calming and absorbing, I could never tire of it. We have temporarily moved to a house without a garden while we renovate our own and I’m missing it so much – just to be able to nip out and snip a few stems for the house, or to draw from, or to put together a bunch for a friend’s birthday, these are life’s little luxuries.

“Flowers are one of my favourite things to draw, it’s very calming and absorbing.”


How do you like to display flowers around the home? Do you have a favourite vase or place for them?

In the house as in the garden, I like my flowers a bit wild. Eight years ago we made a meadow behind the cottage and I like to bring a bit of that inside, unceremoniously shoved into a large glass apothecary vase that sits on the kitchen table, or in an assortment of small vases. I seem to be much better at growing wildflowers than any flowers in my actual garden, but I also love to salvage what I can from there and make little arrangements to put in all the spots you spend time in a day – the sink where you clean your teeth, beside the bed, the loo, on the hallway table to welcome you or any visitors.

Flora Bespoke Christening Cards photographed by Caroline Kent.

What kind of flowers do you like to receive as a gift?

The thing I love most is when someone gives me flowers from their own garden. I don’t really mind what, it’s just so interesting to see what other people grow, and what colours and flowers they put together, it’s always a touching gesture. That said, an enormous bunch of devastating roses and other beautiful blooms I couldn’t possibly hope to grow myself would guarantee you my endless devotion.

“Flowers would be my desert island drawing subject; they are the thing I always come back to and where I feel most free. They are what I’m always drawn to in museums or exhibitions.”


What’s the connection between flowers and your creative process?

Flowers would be my desert island drawing subject; they are the thing I always come back to and where I feel most free. They are what I’m always drawn to in museums or exhibitions – be it a 17th century Dutch Vanitas painting, or Ellsworth Kelly’s plant lithographs. I could look at flowers and the myriad different representations of them forever.

The Charleston Nasturtium greeting card photographed Kim Lightbody

Describe a favourite piece from your collection or a particularly memorable collection that you have designed and tell us why it stands out?

I’ve been fortunate to collaborate on collections with two of Britain’s most famous and beautiful gardens, Charleston House & Great Dixter. The former invited me to take inspiration from their archives and the flowers that were grown and painted by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant when they lived at Charleston. From these we made a series of notecards. With Great Dixter, I spent a year drawing every flower that grew in my meadow – which was created with cuttings from their own – and then edited those drawings into a collection of 12 wildflower cards.

What are your top tips for choosing stationery for weddings and events?

Do something different! It amazes me how many people still opt for very traditional invitations and conventional designs when they wouldn’t give house space to such a conservative piece of furniture or item of clothing. Find an artist or illustrator whose style you love and see if they will accept commission, or consider making your own. We sell blank sets of the finest Italian cards and envelopes so people can do just that.

A Menu for DeBeers at Amazonico, London.
A Wedding Invitation designed by Caroline.

What exciting things do you have in the pipeline that you can share with us?

On a floral theme, I’ve been invited to host a summer evening workshop at Tillingham vineyard just outside Rye on 8 September – guests will be guided through making a set of notecards using a dip pen and inks, inspired by flowers from the estate gardens and fuelled by a glass of Tillingham’s own fizz – find tickets & more information here. Also in the works is a collaboration with The Courtauld, adding some more flower prints to my collection, and a little something new for Christmas…

“Sign up to Caroline’s newsletter via her website to find out more…”

Caroline in her meadowed garden in East Sussex, photographed by David Fernandez.

Quick-fire questions:

Neutral or colourful flowers?


Neat or wild arrangements?


Pretty, dainty flowers or big, showy blooms?

Pretty & Dainty

Top Scribble & Daub product recommendation right now?

Our new Helter Skelter birthday card

Favourite design from the Paul Thomas Summer Collection or British Flowers?

Can I have one of each please?! The Dahl and the Dolly Mixture – both the most exquisite arrangements, and also much loved things of my childhood

The Dolly Mixture Garden Flowers from the British Flowers Collection.
The Dahl from the Summer Collection

Leave a comment


Already have an account?

Checkout as a guest user or log into
your existing account.

As A Guest Login