Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The year in flowers













Blue Patch Christmas fair

I did another Christmas fair a few weeks into December. Jane and Julia of Blue Patch invited me to join them at their Herne Hill sustainable fair, after seeing my flowers at Diggin' Design.

It was a lovely day, but much colder - I think we had lost feeling in our fingers and toes by the end of the fair! I focused on Christmas wreaths this time - making traditional, decorated pine wreaths (all British pine, of course), and various foliage wreaths (with British moss and mostly British foliage).

I also made candle tablecentres and a few tin posies. Foliage and flowers were nearly all British, with the exception of the snowy thistles, gold-painted waxflower, and silver brunia. The marshmallowy chrysanthemum blooms were popular, as were the tulips and heather, and they were all British.

The loveliest part of the day was when a mother and daughter decided to buy a wreath made with three kinds of moss, decorated with a few snowy thistles and white heather. I don't know whether they knew that moss is the symbol of maternal love in the language of flowers.

A few details from the day - I love working with this beauty!

And finally, I got to see what two of the wreaths looked like in situ - both Julia and Jane sent photos of their beautifully-dressed front doors!

Diggin' Design: a sustainable Christmas Fair

The Diggin' Design fair at the Garden Museum bade a gentle goodbye to November, and a Christmassy welcome to December with its mince pies, wrapping paper, and woolly hats. There were so many stalls - I managed to do a quick tour before the fair got busy - with many beautiful things that you can't find on the high street.

The illustrators and designers who created cards, other stationary, and textiles were incredible. I didn't see Liz Temperley, the artist behind Blank Inside, but her friend kindly managed the stall and seemed to do a great job of selling the work! You can see her with Liz's products on the left in the photo below.

The two men at the Supermarche Studio were so friendly and enthusiastic about their work, which was so cool itself, I went back later and bought some London wildlife cards. And Sophie Richardson's pretty teapots will have made wonderful presents for some lucky people! 

There were filo mince pies being baked in the Garden Museum cafe, and carol singers entertaining us in the afternoon. They sang a song that I recognise from Love Story, when Jenny is teaching a choir of children, but I've forgotten the name of it. I had a good view of them from my stall.

I shared a stall with Annie, who works at the museum on different days from me (so we'd never met before). She chatted to me as we sat at our stalls, and she looked ever so peaceful as she knitted for most of the day. I felt like I too should have been industrious and brought work with me!

As for me, it was lovely to promote my flowers, especially as these were all British. There was a lot of surprise that all of the flowers were British, and much smelling of the rosemary, freesias and paperwhites.

I chatted to a lady with a tiny garden who would like to grow cutting flowers - I recommended two Twitter colleagues' books: Georgie Newbury's The Flower Farmer's Year and Louise Curley's The Cut Flower Patch. She bought a posy to take to a dinner she was going to and, in true sustainable style, declined a biodegradable hessian bag in favour of carrying the jar of flowers in her hand.

A little girl visited the stall with her father and shyly asked me how to make "that" (pointing at my favourite handtied). I explained the process, in simple, pidgin toddler style. I like to think she will go off and collect flowers in the spring to make a posy.

The day was made better as I had just received new business cards and stickers from Wendy Bell - the most wonderful designer (in keeping with the design theme of the fair!), who I've worked with in the past and who I can't recommend enough. She's a delight to work with, incredibly intuitive and creative, and got the essence of both my desert island flower (the forget-me-not) and me down to a tee.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Christmas British flowers

I did promise photos of my big bouquets from the Diggin' Design fair at the Garden Museum, so here are a few.

The Christmas eco fair itself was lovely - lots of wonderful designers and creative people selling their wares, and plenty of visitors who were pleased (and sometimes surprised) that my flowers were all from British growers. This jam jar posy caused a very polite and British tension when two customers wanted it...and the poor other posies sat there and thought, "What's wrong with us?"! It was nice, as this was one of a few where I'd used my foliage too - silver cineraria, physocarpus, hebe, and silvery French lavender.

That combination of white, silver and pink is magical at Christmas - I'm not surprised people like it so much.

This bouquet had blue instead of silver, and that's another combination I like: blue, white and pink. It's a bit like a pastel Union Jack!

And this one reminds me of The Lion King...not that Christmassy, but bright and scented. In fact, all of the bouquets and posies were scented.

More photos from the actual fair later...