Sunday, 22 January 2012

Cover girls

There was a lot of excitement this week when our floristry class made some arrangements for the Radio Times covers party, which was held in Claridge’s Hotel.
The day before the event, we made huge fans out of coloured sticks, beads, skeleton leaves, santini chrysanthemums and hypericum berries. We also made lots of decorative strings of beads and berries.

On the day, two groups made two arrangements that went either side of a mirror in the reception room.

Another two groups made two arrangements that went in the ballroom. This was my group’s arrangement.

And finally, there was a smaller version for the bar.

A lot of team work and some marvellous team leaders (well done Auriol and Uma!) led to a lot of satisfaction at the end of the afternoon.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Bridezillas and snowdrops

The US show Bridezillas is a guilty pleasure of mine, although I'd advise any would-be florist against watching it, as it will give you nightmares. I saw an episode today where one bride was told that her favourite flower, the gardenia, would not be in bloom for her wedding. Apart from bemusement at the diva-style tantrum that she threw, my reaction to her insistence on getting out-of-season flowers for her wedding was a) if the gardenias are so important to you, why didn't you (as many people do) get married during the flowering season of the wedding blooms that you want? And b) this is nature. You can't expect nature to fit around your wedding!

My own patience (well, mostly patience) has been rewarded - today I went to the greenhouse and saw that the first of the bulbs I planted last year has flowered. The snowdrops are beautiful - tiny and delicate and white - and although I had hoped, perhaps unrealistically, to have flowers on Christmas Day, having flowers two weeks into January is a lovely start to the new year.
I didn't want to 'force' them, but now they're flowering, I've brought them indoors so they can be seen and enjoyed all day.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

On the eighth day of Christmas... true love gave to me: eight maids-a-milking.

I mentioned early in December that I was given a milk bottle set for Christmas from a lovely fellow-student who works at Vive La Rose, which means I now have two sets and eight mini milk bottles. So I took great pleasure in going to Jane Packer, on a quiet, rainy morning, to buy a few flowers to fill the bottles for New Year's Day, the eighth day of Christmas. I saw the lady who ran the hand-tied course I did at the flower school there back in the spring, and she seemed pleased that I was pursuing a course in floristry and trying to create my own designs! As ever, I enjoyed stepping into the shop and looking through the carefully selected flowers, which are beautifully arranged by colour. I picked a stem of silver brunia, two lilac Boyfriend (aka Ocean Song) roses, one creamy-white Majolica spray rose, and two white parrot tulips. And here they are: eight milk bottles. Happy new year!