I'm back into full swing at uni, and enjoying working at the Garden Museum and my counselling placement, so blogging has been neglected a bit. Sorry!
I couldn't let today go by without a post though. I've mentioned before that I never really cared for Halloween until I became a florist. Now I can't wait to fill pumpkins and gourds with flowers!
These are a couple from last year, when I used lots of foliage from the garden, and the odd rose, but also used lots of imported/unlikely to be British flowers. There's also gorgeous viburnum from the garden, which makes me feel a bit sad now, because this year it got some sort of disease in the roots (possibly from the wet weather, I'm told) and died.
This year I did a couple of gourds for the Garden Museum. The gourds were from a farm shop in Sidcup, Kent, called Kelsey's. They had such a stunning display of pumpkins and gourds of different shapes, sizes, and colours, and I could see people harvesting even more in their field.
I cut lots of beautiful brown and orange foliage from the garden (Physocarpus 'Diablo', maybe?), which doesn't last that long in water, but looks incredible.
I snapped off some red foliage with berries that was hanging off a wall in an alleyway (you wouldn't want to meet a florist in an alleyway around here!), trailing ivy that seems to creep in everywhere in the garden, and some sedum which is now dark red. From the museum's cutting garden, I cut lots of euonymus, rosemary, sage, persicaria, and a beautiful foliage with berries that I don't know the name of. My local florist gave me some alstromeria that had opened, and I bought some solidago from her. I used the colourful bottom leaves of physocarpus as a bed for the gourd.
One of loveliest things about making these was the visitors to the museum who sometimes watch, ask questions, and comment on my work. It's a nice change from working alone as a freelancer in the garage!
And here are the gourdy flowers.
The last arrangement above was very pretty, but I made a mistake by leaving it on the counter of the cafe - all that warmth and ethylene from fruit and veg meant the design didn't last that long and had to be thrown out in less than a week.
But the big arrangement in the porch of the museum lasted well, and the following week I just took out a few of the going-over alstro, persicaria and foliage, and added a few stems of new foliage, chrysanthemums and limonium.