Tuesday, 26 October 2010

things go on just fine without me!

Lovely pictures of the wedding bouquets last weekend. The brief was for wild but soft, hedgerowy rather than formal, The bride was Rosie, hence roses in the bouquets, and one had basil in in honour of a bridesmaid's nickname..... It's fab to know how things can go on in my absence just the same, a stage I've been looking forward to. I've a horrid feeling I was rather bossy about it all before I left, and probably gave too many instructions that were quite unnecessary as Meg does flowers beautifully, now the only thing is to persuade her that she doesn't need to worry so much..... She also did 14 beautiful table centres but sadly I have no pix of them.

Monday, 25 October 2010

on being away

Surprisingly wonderful to take a week away, knowing all would be well on my return. I was actually rather excited about Meg doing a delightful small wedding while I was away, a first, knowing she had good help from Emma. They produced beautiful flowers that the bride and family were completely delighted with, as I knew they would as Meg has a wonderful touch and Emma really enjoys doing fiddly bits. What I didn't anticipate was how very many long long hours it would take them, how there was more than a small degree of panic, and how it was not quite the pleasure for Meg that I had anticipated it being, especially as she was just off for a few days holiday too and really didn't need to be putting in double overtime here ...... Thanks Meg, you really are a star and I can't wait to see the photos of what you created plus E's buttonholes and corsages.

Frosts had ripped in with a vengeance the past nights before I got back. But I hadn't worried, knowing all was in safe hands and house dogs ducks and gardens were being happily looked after. Then went out into the gardens this morning to find the tunnel was open at both ends. Just a bit one end, and the window fully open the other, and a night of well below freezing.... Suffice to say I was not thrilled. I only have one tunnel and have been trying to experiment to see just how late in the season I can get annuals such as stocks and cleome and moluccella plus cosmos, cornflowers etc to keep on flowering, plus get lots of other annuals off to a very early spring push by getting them established now (thinking Chelsea as much as anything as I have flowers to do then). Some things may survive, others are looking brownleaved and deflated. Can't really blame anyone else except myself thinking it was ok to go off for a week.....

Any advance on "Bother"?

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Four funerals and a wedding and a possible mechanical funeral

Funny old week lining up, I've been asked to do flowers for four funerals this week but can only do two as I'll be away attending one of them. Then I'm away for a week and Meg is doing what sounds to be a delightful rustic wedding in my absence. I actually really like doing funeral flowers, I think they can make a difference.

Started rotavating new tulip patch this morning, thrilled to have the old Titan running again. Until it stopped. Oh bugger.

Has anyone got a sturdy old rotavator tucked away in a shed somewhere looking for a new billet?

Monday, 11 October 2010


Great to be in London this w/end - I thought I'd been promised a place on the main drag at Broadway market but no I was off in the schoolyard, but it was still fun though I didn't sell quite as much as I'd hoped, and I'm sure next time will be better as everyone who passed by loved our flowery offerings. Lovely to see another spectrum, but rather worrying that the 70s and 80s are so popular again, I'm really not sure about that particular "vintage" trend  as I don't think fashions looked that great first time around, though at least they're worn with a certain cliched panache these days. Whoops I'm sounding really vintage myself, and not in a good way either.....

On vintage - I just purchased a load of lovely metal mesh bottomed dutch bulb trays. The guy I bought them from imagined I'd be reselling them somewhere but they are now all in use for their original purpose, trays and trays of bulbs in waiting. I don't want to plant for another month but wanted to be sure I got the varieties I wanted so orderer earlier than usual. So it was fab to find exactly the right method of storage. Half of the remaining space in the tin barn is filled with buckets and buckets of foliage as I'm experimenting with preserving different forms. Fingers crossed that many of them will work as I've a wedding next month in a substantial venue that is crying out for huge autumnal arrangements, but all autumn leaves will have fallen by then so I'm trying to get the same effect. I always find it hard to predict exactly what I will use for any event, and do tend to take inspiration from what's around in the week leading up to the date, but I do need to plan a bit more for winter weddings as bad weather can mean little to inspire. So I'm filling up with lots of old man's beard and trailing berries too. and will see how they keep, they may look lovely against coloured twigs and preserved foliages. And I've been experimenting to see how late things can flower in the tunnel once the light dims. Stocks and cleome are looking as though they may get to do their thing, but they may just stop on the point of flowering in which case they'll have to be ripped out as they won't overwinter at that stage.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

See us in the smoke

It's the first time at Broadway market this Saturday. An odd time to start as it's the end of the season, but I'm taking lots of late flowers plus arrangements with berries and foliage and we'll see how it goes. The plan is to do four or five before christmas, moving from fresh flowers to lovely pots of paperwhites and suchlike and christmas decorative hoops and arrangements - but definitely no holly and ivy wreaths as I just don't do them. And no conventional dried flower arrangements although my helpers keep trying to persuade me to go down that line. I'm afraid I lived through the 70s and have deeply unpleasant memories of hideous decaying dusty dried flowers and bowls of potpourri and it is not an era I wish to revisit! However, I do have some gorgeous flowers drying at the moment for some purpose or other, just nothing 70s style...... It's rather lovely to be making up autumnal country bunches as I don't get to do that normally except for October weddings and occasional events. Do call by if you're vaguely in the area.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

still blooming - and that cauliflower sheep

Rain more rain and then some torrents after the first frosty nip. The good news is that some of the dahlias came back from the brink for a last flourish, and cosmos and scabious seem positively ecstatic after a nip of frost. Delivered wedding flowers on Friday through torrential rain and floods to worried bride who feared rain might have stopped play, but all was well, especially as she had no colour preferences but dahlias are her favourite flowers and we still had some wildly bright survivors.

Meanwhile the husband was in Bridgend making a 10 foot cauliflower sheep - picture of it's birth on a very wet Friday. Sadly it just reached it's full magnificence on Saturday when it could cope no longer and the combined weight of rainsodden base plus 600 cauliflowers and aubergines proved just too much and it sank to its knees and disintegrated into its component veg..... http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=106998829353904&v=photos