The painting features a beautifully dressed young woman out in her garden, carefully arranging a variety of flowers. She appears to be taking some from what is growing outside and then taking them into her own possession, perhaps for the purposes of gifting them to others or displaying them indoors. This activity brings a sense of calm to the whole painting and this is how Waterhouse liked to work in the majority of his creations. She is joined by some carefully chosen details across the artwork, including some stone steps which leads up to another part of this private garden. There is also some pottery with which she interacts as well as a fairly bare wall which provides a vertical balance to the left hand side of the painting. The model herself is entirely typical of this artist's entire career, with a slim, tall frame and delicate, light toned skin. This look was popular throughout the Victorian era and this artist made use of it in almost all of his portrait paintings. His favourite models could, therefore, be re-used on multiple occasions.
This artist would arrive late to the Pre-Raphaelite movement and so was never truly a part of any particular movement. He worked in a similar method to several different approaches that were common during the Victorian era but was able to distance himself from them and worked fairly independently throughout his career. It was the success of some of his major artworks which helped to keep his name relevant and he regularly featured within major British exhibitions during his own lifetime which also helped him to build up a solid list of wealthy patrons who he could tempt in with a variety of different portraits to suit different tastes.
Frederic Leighton was another highly significant British artist from around the same period as Waterhouse and he worked with historical content as well. Both went through the academic route of training and therefore were highly accomplished technically. It was rare at this time to find anyone who did not go along the same journey to success, and few working class artists would ever get the opportunity to succeed, sadly. Some of this artists highlights would include famous works such as Winding the Skein, Captive Andromache and Hercules Wrestling with Death for the Body of Alcestis though it is fair to claim that his oeuvre was somewhat more varied than that of Waterhouse, which would have been very much a positive at that time. Today, the modern art public will simply judge each work as they see it, without necessarily placing it within the context of the artist's overall career, as well as the time in which it was produced.