Most of my flower designs have been rows of flowers. I have many individual flowers I've charted over time but I hadn't figured out how to put them into a sampler design.
At the same time my new patio had was finished. The soil here is not ideal for gardening so I was out shopping for pots so I could set them on the patio and do some container gardening. It is amazing how many pots there are available - they come in all colors, sizes and shapes.
Finally, I managed to connect the two. I could put my cross-stitch flowers into pots. Taking a queue from antique samplers, I don't need to get the scale right or even have the flowers look realistic.
Actually, the middle flower is quite realistic. It is a called a Kashmir Sage (phlomis cashmeriana) and does rather well in my small real garden. It grows several feet tall. The design is the top few inches of the plant and I put it in the equivalent of a shot glass. It almost looks like an alien plant and is right at home on a sampler.
The other two flowers are highly stylized versions of a wallflower and a skyrocket gilia. They are so stylized they no longer resemble the individual flower, but they look good with the Kashmir Sage. They look so different, I didn't even feel obligated to retain their normal coloring.
All I had to do was make some funky containers for the flowers, add words and I was ready to start stitching. As I stitched I was able to imagine many other "gardens".