Sunday, 15 December 2013

Christmas wreaths

We are nearly at the end of our Christmas wreath making courses, and over sixty beautiful wreaths are now adorning doors all over Hampshire and Surrey.
The variation and creativity was amazing, with each wreath unique and often reflecting the personality of its maker here is just a small selection of the wonderful wreaths to leave our workshop over the last couple of weeks....

Friday, 22 November 2013

Decorating your home for Christmas. Garlands

With just over a month to go, and Christmas fairs popping up in barns and village halls across the country, light bedecking the high streets and the John Lewis ad in full flow, it is hard not to start feeling a little Christmassy.
So over the next couple of weeks I thought I would dedicate my blog to some of the ideas we have been exploring in our Christmas workshops.
All the ideas are easy and hopefully involve materials found in your home and garden, or failing that the local shop.
In a time when it is so easy to buy almost anything from the comfort of your sofa I think people really appreciate it when a little time and effort has gone into making something, whether it be Christmas decorations or presents, in the first blog I wanted to showcase garlands.
I love garlands, if nothing else for their versatility, whether wrapped around bannister's and beams, hung from a mantelpiece, as chair backs,as a table centre, they can be used in some many ways.

The first type of garland is the traditional one. While being the most time consuming, there is something very therapeutic about sitting down with a piece of string, some wire and a heap of foliage and creating something beautiful.

Step 1.
Measure a piece of string the lenght of your mantelpiece or table and tie a loop at the end. This will make it easier to hang when you have finished it.

Step 2.
Start by cutting lots of different types of foliage to about 4"or 5". To my mind the more different varieties you can find the better. All types of fir work well, blue spruce, pine, copressus, also berried ivy, eucalyptus, rosemary, lauristinus and bay are lovely and small wonderful.

Step 3.
Using a fine reel wire start by wrapping a bunch of foliage around the top of the string.

Step 4.
Continue twisting your garland and adding foliage as you go, making sure you cover the wire and keep moving down the string.

Step 5.
Once your garland is of the length you require, finish off by wrapping a bunch of foliage in the opposite direction to cover the end of the string. If you have a join you can always cover this with a bow or pine cone.

Step 6.
Which brings me to the last step. You may wish to leave your garland 'au natural', however if you wish you can add wired pine cones, satsumas, ribbons, dried apple slices, in fact anything that takes your fancy!

In America it is very popular to make pop corn garlands, simple to make, just thread pop corn and if you wish beads or berries onto a fine reel wire. They look lovely on a tree, or hung with baubles, or sprayed gold and silver.

  Lastly, inspiration taken from natures own garland, old mans beard.

Take a piece of fine ribbon and wrap a pretty gold or silver wire down the lenght of it adding berries, old man's beard, hydrangeas and spindle berry to create a beautiful delicate garland that will last for ages.
                                          For the next blog candles and candlelight.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Star of theshow!

In every season there is always one flower that stands out, peonies in summer, amaryllis in winter, and in autumn comes the beautiful hydrangea, gone are the solid colours of the summer  and in come the flecked dusky hues of autumn hydrangeas, soft muted tones of pinks, blues, lilacs and greens with all their subtle variations, to me it is one of the most beautiful flowers!


In the last couple of weeks I have used every excuse to use hydrangeas as often as I can!

In Ceremony flowers

In feature arrangements

As pew ends
And of course grouped in table centre's

And subtlely in bridal flowers.....

Any which way, it is a time to celebrate a beautiful and often underrated flower.

Monday, 5 August 2013

English Beauty

Tabitha and Mickey currently live abroad, but when it came to getting married they wanted to come back to their homeland and celebrate in true English (with a bit of Scottish!) style.

Choosing very natural English seasonal flowers, tied with raffia, hessian and jute twine the effect was charming, quirky, and just so pretty at the beautiful Bury Court Barn in Surrey.

Yellows and greys on a summers day.

Trends in weddings are always evolving and changing, new ideas filter through from so many sources which is an element of my job I love, it makes each one different and exciting.
 However after doing over 2,000 weddings you would think there was no colour way on a painters pallet that at some point I hadn't encountered.
So before Jodieeven  came to see me saying her colours were yellow and grey, I was so excited I had started creating a board on Pintrest even before she had arrived for our intital meeting, a colour combination I had never had the chance to play with.

And it works so well. The vibrancy of the sunshine yellows, especially at this time of year, complimented with soft, muted greys work so well. I loved every bit of Jodie and John's wedding, held at the beautiful Bury Court this weekend. 

Using lots of seasonal flowers such as achliea, chamomile, succulents, dusty miller, daises, seniceo and dahlias and keeping the props simple I think the overall effect was quite dramatic.

I hope you agree.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Wedding Bouquet

The star of the show or an accessory to your dress?

Well as a florist of course I am going to say your wedding bouquet is the star of the show.  But in reality, the answer is that both bouquet and wedding dress take centre stage.

Your wedding bouquet is the most important part of your wedding flowers.
 It should encapsulate all the elements of your flowers, but most importantly it should be something you love.  After all, it will feature in all your wedding photos, and it may be the first thing your guests see.
So, don't comprise.  Choose flowers you love and adore.

When you start planning your wedding flowers one of the best ways to discover what you like is to collect  pictures of bouquets to create a picture board.  If you haven't discovered Pintrest yet, do try it - it contains thousands of beautiful pictures for you to collect.  You'll be attracted to some pictures because of the shape of the bouquet.  For others, it will be colours or the mix of flowers.  Don't worry about the final outcome - just keep collecting those pictures and slowly you will discover certain things reoccur.
And it's this that will help you decide on your flowers.

Once you have decided the elements you want to include, think about the shape. And this is where your dress comes in. Hand tied bouquets have been very popular over the last few years, and for good reason.
They are easy to hold, look good at any angle, but if your dress is fitted with alot of detail around the waist or bodice then this could be hidden by a hand tied bouquet.  If that's the case you may feel that a trailing bouquet would be more suitable.

One of the great floral trends in recent years has focused on keeping it seasona.  Or, in other words, make the most of the time of year you get married.  If it's spring think of lilac, bluebells, hellebores and narcissi.  In autumn, use blackberries, hydrangeas and scabious.  On a personal note, I got married in June purely because I love summer flowers.  I could think of nothing I would love more than to walk down the aisle with a bunch of peonies, sweet peas and roses.

Whatever you decide, as a florist, I want every bride to love the flowers she carries.  That's why it's so important for you to collect lots of pictures, examples and ideas.  that way  you will a wonderful bouquet for you to cherish as you take a big breath and walk up the aisle to meet the man you will spend the rest of your life with.