Friday, 31 October 2014

Oh my gourd! It's Halloween again.

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.

Happy Halloween!

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