OAS is our new collection of workwear-inspired clothing. Our shoot features four women, going about their work, wearing OAS clothes. A potter, a gardener, a gatherer and preserver and an icon painter.This week we speak to the gardener- Cali Rand.
Cali Rand grew up on her family farm and, though her adult life has been spent in London, the natural world is right there, perceptible and lovely, in her garden designs. Loose and natural is how she describes her work, the countryside in the city. This understates her skill. There is an instinctive understanding of texture and colour, of the play of light and shade on differing foliage, of how clear space works with filled space - a modern, natural sensibility, somehow conveying the harmonious essence of a wide country vista to a city garden.
What drew you to gardening?
It was something I just felt very drawn to after having my second daughter, but also something I could realistically work towards making a living from. Flowers, and all things green have always been one of my greatest loves, growing up on a family farm and being immersed in the culture of growing things onthe land, meant that gardening and creating outdoor spaces came naturally.
I also worked as a florist in Cambridge when I was 18, which instilled the feeling of how much I liked and enjoyed working with flowers and people. My boss had come back from New York doing big flower jobs over there, while being the wife of a rock guitarist. She set up a little flower shop in Cambridge, hired me and would just leave me to it pretty much. I would choose the flowers from the Dutch lorry and make up big, wild, colourful bunches for customers.
Cali Rand Garden Design - Blenheim Gardens
What most inspires you, both in your garden and in life in general?
Everything inspires me really, but especially the countryside landscape, I love arable fields in the summer just before they are harvested. People most inspire me in life. How spaces, textures, and especially colour make people feel, it's fascinating.
How do you reconcile a very nature-focused career with living in an extremely busy city?
Hampstead has some very peaceful magical woods to walk in, my daughter Kitty loves them. London parks are some of the best in the world, Chiswick House Gardens has the most fragrant rosaryand dramatic woodland, it is these things that make it possible to find quiet beauty in the busy city. My garden in London is much loved too.
What are the most important elements for a garden to have as far as you're concerned, what makes a garden sing?
For me its always colour and texture and the layering of these together.
Visit Cali Rand's website here
The Tactility of Utility is the phrase we took as the precept for our new collection of workwear-inspired clothing. We've named it OAS - three letters, appropriately, at the heart of TOAST and standing for Ordinary Attire Studio.Shop OAS here.