Monday, 22 October 2012

Magnificent Miranda

Sorry, my titles are rather uninspired today. I think the alliteration is just making them worse!

I visited the plant centre at David Austin Roses last week, to discuss wedding flowers. My wonderful supervisor, Jane, from my Valentine's work did the consultation and was surprised to see me as my partner had booked the appointment in his name. We had a long chat about the wedding flowers (and floristry in general) and I came away with lots of useful advice and some more ideas. I was sad to hear that Jane was planning to leave floristry, but I guess she's been doing it longer and is not as wide-eyed and romantic about it all as I still am!

She gave me some roses to take back with me, so I could see how they open up differently and how they smell. This was a couple of days after I got back - just look how wide the pink Miranda rose has opened. It's amazing; it's like a saucer! It has a delicate scent, the Kate and Keira roses have a stronger scent, but the heady fragrance of Patience still blows me away.

Glorious guelder rose

I made some arrangements for my little sister's birthday this week, using blue and green hydrangea, green guelder rose, and purple limonium. I also made her a little wishing tree. It's horribly dark and foggy today, so I'll add photos of these later in the week - hopefully the weather will brighten up and the photos won't look so gloomy!

There were some small stems of guelder rose and limonium and one stem of hydrangea left over, so I made up some jugs of flowers for the flat. I added some blackcurrent sage and pennyroyal mint from the balcony garden to the medium jug, to tie in with the red wild rose and to add a bit more interest. I like how the lime green guelder rose and the purple limonium are the same colours as the flowers on the Beverley Hewitt, small green and purple jug.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

The One

I didn't find a 'The One' when I was having fun trying on modern vintage-style dresses at Tobi Hannah's studio and actual vintage dresses at Fur Coat No Knickers (great name, great dresses, great service; just not the right dresses for me). But today I got to try on the dress that Tobi and her team made for me, and I absolutely loved it. Argh...I wish I could say more about it, but I can't.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Smile for the camera

When my partner and I first casually talked about getting married 'at some point', I thought about the flowers (unsurprisingly) first and then the venue. As soon as we were agreed that we were getting married early next year, we started looking for a photographer. Once we saw Binky Nixon's photos on her website and read her blog, we were sure we'd found the right person. Her style is natural and colourful, her images are full of interesting details and the emotions of her subjects. Once we met her at her studio, we were enchanted by the gorgeous wedding albums she showed us (including a 'rainy wedding', which still looked beautiful in her photos), the interest she showed in us, our relationship and our wedding, and the slide show set to 'Sweet Disposition' by The Temper Trap (it's used in the film 500 Days of Summer, which features in our wedding scrapbook). As we left, my partner said, 'We're not going to look at anyone else, are we?' and that was that. We even changed our preferred wedding date to ensure we could book Binky to do our photos. I imagine that after the post-wedding come down, viewing the wedding photos is something couples can look forward to.

The screensaver that we saw before and after the slideshow was a photo of some pretty jam jar flower arrangements. There were summery garden flowers and peachy Juliet David Austin Roses. They were from a sample that Binky's florist had made for her own wedding.

Binky got married last month, and she wrote a blog post about her wedding and her emotions around getting married, which was so touching, I wanted to share it here. I'm sure there are people who work in the wedding industry for whom their work is just a job that pays the bills. But for me when I work as a wedding florist, and for many of the professionals we have chosen for our day, weddings are something special, beautiful and heartfelt, and our work, I hope, reflects the excitement we feel at being involved in something as wonderful as a celebration of a couple's love.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Sweet charity

I recently did wedding flowers for a lovely couple who sourced their containers for their ceremony and reception flowers from charity shops. I was so thrilled to do their wedding and the containers they chose were fantastic - they had so much character and really fitted in well with the style of the wedding.

Here's a sneak peak of the arrangements before they were delivered and set up at the venue, which was a barge on the Thames.

I'm collecting tea caddies for my own flowers, so I was certainly glad to arrange flowers in this vintage tin. I like the pops of colour from the roses, pale blue ageratum and white snowberries (which you may remember means 'fate' from the wedding I did for my friends a year ago), the trails of jasmine, and the mysterious-looking pink scabious.

This beautiful glass vase was filled with Sorbet Avalanche and pink spray roses and later topped up with freesias, which were the main flowers for the bridal party. The vase was for the ceremony table, so I thought I would do an arrangement that was less rustic-looking and more romantic and pretty-pretty, with fairy-like ammi/dill (I'm not sure which - it looked like bishop's flower and the stems were tiny) and panicum 'Frosted Explosion' (which looks like a kind of fountain grass). As well as plenty of jasmine, meaning 'attachment' in flower language, and a pretty foliage to use in wedding flowers.

This cute cake vase ended up being used on the sweetie table, and it fitted right in with the pastel sweets! I love the scattering of delicate white cosmos, panicum, and nigella - it looks like a vase of pick 'n' mix!

You can barely see it in this photo, but I like this ivory and gold vase - to me it looks both simple and opulent. As it's taller, I included some bright cosmos on their long, wiry stems, curvy snapdragons, and trails of foliage.

I have to admit, I am a little bit envious of this birdcage. Look how beautiful and dramatic it is...and that's before it's in situ (on an amazing cake table). It's an incredible find, and one that was just asking to be filled with flowers! As it's a bit of a fiddly job and it uses floral foam, I mainly used stronger-stemmed pink Michaelmas daisies, pink and white snowberries, spray roses, pittosporum and senecio.

If I can find beauties like these, I think I'll spend my spare days touring charity shops!

Now, about the flowers. The bridal flowers, which I've not shown here, are mostly Sorbet Avalanche roses, pink spray roses, and white freesias. The jasmine and pittosporum is from the garden. But the rest of the flowers and foliage - nigella, ammi/dill (not sure which!), scabious, snowberries, ageratum, verbena, clary, cosmos, achillea, flowering mint, Michaelmas daisy, veronica, snapdragons, panicum, senacio and eucalyptus - were from Blooming Green Flowers near Maidstone in Kent. It's a flower farm run by two friendly and very hard-working women, Bek and Jen, who I met a few months ago when I was looking for growers. They grow all sorts of wonderful flowers and foliage for cutting, which you can either ask them to arrange, or you can pick yourself. If you have any aspirations to do flower arranging and you love seasonal, British flowers, it's well worth experiencing the pick-your-own bucket. It felt like the first time I went to a charity booksale at my old place of work, where there were tables and tables of fantastic new books being sold for 50p each, and I was like a kid in a sweet shop. I know I cut flowers from my family's garden (and that is awesome), but being in a field full of different flowers is something else!