Hitchens painted a number of flower still lifes throughout his career, from the more figurative pieces of the 1930s to the heightened abstraction demonstrated in the later works. Indeed, this is unsurprising given that the artist's home in Sussex was set in the midst of a large thicket of rhododendrons.
Hitchens remarked in conversation with the writer T.G. Rosenthal, 'I love flowers. I love flowers for painting. It's only that life's too short - one can't always do flower paintings - not a carefully arranged bunch such as people ought not to do - but doing a mixed bunch in a natural way. One can read into a good flower picture the same problems that one faces with a landscape, near and far, meanings and movements of shapes and brush strokes. You keep playing with the object'. (I. Hitchens quoted in A. Bowness (ed.), Ivon Hitchens, London, 1973, p. 13).