Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Review of the year: Autumn 2016

Autumn was full of bright, late summer flowers, huge dahlias, sunflowers and other cheerful yellows. There were also gorgeous scents and classic colours, trips to David Austin Roses (another post is needed for that trip) and Blooming Green.

A trip to Blooming Green to pick a bucket or two of flowers deserves a separate post...but given my track record of late, it's probably best to include a few photos here in case the other post doesn't materialise. I also bought dahlias from a local allotment that had an open day. If you're curious about the wellies, they were a celebratory purchase from Joules the day before - I'd gone shopping with another bereavement counsellor after we had both passed our counselling courses, and he persuades me to buy the bright floral wellies I obviously preferred (rather than the more subdued print that I thought I *ought* to buy).

I had a few new, second-hand containers that I'd bought from Eliza Wade (a local florist shop), and this was a perfect excuse to trial them. Along with milk bottles, a milk churn from Mayfield Lavender, and my chicken vase!

As it was the end of the summer flowering season, I wanted to get more Rosebie Morton scented, British roses while I still could.

The antique pink roses were set off by sedum from the garden, flowering mint, British pinks in white and raspberry pink, and stunning blue oxypetalum.

I am so lucky to live near New Covent Garden Market - I get to buy beautiful and scented flowers like these. Rosebie Morton in Hampshire sells a range of scented roses to Zest in the late spring to early autumn. When I take them back on the train, the scent fills the carriage. The pinks have that wonderful clove scent that supermarket carnations are sadly lacking. The flowering mint and oxypetalum (aka tweedia) are imported - the mint smells incredible and the oxypetalum is such a beautiful and delicate flower. But if you've sensitive skin like me, wear gloves when using it, as the beautiful blue flower releases a horrible sap when stems and leaves are cut. When I asked Luke at Zest what the blue flower was called, at first I thought he said, "Ozymandias", the character out of Watchmen. He didn't.

I also did flowers for a pure white wedding - not my usual style, but Laura's idea of fluffy clouds made of hydrangeas and gypsophila was so beautiful and made for a striking monochomatic theme at her wedding reception. She also wanted white, blue and yellow bouquets for the mothers of the bride and groom.

As an aside, I have been in serious denial about the flower market's upcoming move, but as the date draws closer, I am going to have to say a little goodbye soon. (When I was buying scented roses at Dennis Edwards yesterday, I bumped into Lauren, one of the lovely students from my floristry diploma. It's funny that it's taken so many years for me to bump into another ex-student there...and soon "there" will be someone else.) Followed by a hello, of course, as the market is just moving further up the road. You can read about the new market here.