Tuesday, 28 June 2011


Many apologies, I have had to cancel next Monday's course on Planning a Cutting Garden as my mother is not well and I'm cancelling or postponing anything that is possible for me to drop at the moment. Thank heavens for brilliant helpers to keep everything else ticking along and helping me with wedding and event flowers......thanks to you all.

Friday, 24 June 2011

a well blogged wedding

I keep being sent links to the Surrey wedding two weeks ago. V,vintage. This is the one where I thought the wrist corsages didn't work but have to admit they look Ok in the pix, what I can see of them, and the bride loved them. Check it out


Thursday, 23 June 2011

the bigger picture?

I was rather tired at the beginning of this week, then realised we have been quite busy, this is how the last ten days went:
Friday, Somerset wedding (Chloe and Tim, pix already on blog). Meg prepared much for one of the next day's weddings and when I got back I set to on buttonholes, bouquets and wrist corsages. Decided I just don't do wrist corsages as my flowers didn't seem to love them so I sent spare bouquets as well just in case. (In fact the bride loved the w.cs but I didn't think they were good enough.)
Saturday, Dianne took wedding flowers to Surrey and I did a lovely wildflower style local wedding (several better pics below from the wonderful Bill Tingey, and check out the jackdaw who was living in the church when we arrived!). The bride had been to the field on Monday and chosen delicate frilly edged shirley poppies to go in her bouquet. I warned here they were a bit delicate and I couldn't pick them if it rained much. It rained on Friday, but I still picked what I could and included them, warning her that they might turn to confetti as she walked down the (very short) aisle. I'm looking forward to a bridal picture because she loved them so much she took her bouquet with her to the airport the next day, and sent me an email telling me how it was three days later sitting on their table in Cyprus in a pint pot and four more of the poppies had opened. Not so fragile after all!
Sunday, wedding in Gloucestershire at the beautiful Barnsley House. I arrived quite late, about 10am but should have been earlier as it took every minute until the ceremony! Large arrangements plus groups of different "vintage" glassware on tables, peony bouquet, lots of different touches. The rain was torrential but the bride was very chilled and they held everything indoors despite months of planning. Photos will appear. The lovely wedding organiser at BH said they thought they were the most beautiful flowers they had ever had in the restaurant so I was pleased.
Monday, photoshoot in Glos.
Tuesday, home, organising gardens and admin and lots of picking in the rain, including 10 huge buckets of ferns.
Wednesday, picking and preparing for next wedding. Finding all the necessary hurricane vases for outdoor candles, 35 white assorted sized vases, jugs, sugar bowls, teapots, then sorting the flowers..... The bouquet had been worrying me a bit as I must have had many dozens of bouquet shots for reference. Help! Lara wanted something loose and delicate, all references were of spring bouquets including things like fritillaries and snowdrops, then white clematis but even that is over. So in the evening I set to on stage one and after several attempts with different possibilities including honeysuckles and trailing clematis stems I finally plumped for different orange blossoms, deleafed, to give the delicate arching shape, some ferns and roses and asparagus fern and bupleurum. It took me ages but I think it worked well.
Thursday. Wedding again at Barnsley House. Up at 5 to check and finish the bouquet. Arrived at 8.30am and somehow had a very busy day, arriving back home at 8.30pm. Meg had spent much of the day preparing church flowers for tomorrow.
Friday. Took church flowers to Shropshire and hung garland - thanks to the son of the family for a better ladder and better balance!
Saturday. Another wedding. This time as a guest. I only took bouquet, buttonholes and jugs for tables....

This week was meant to be rather quiet and peaceful with only a tiny wedding this weekend but still seems to have been quite busy. Sadly my mum has had a stroke and it has been hard not being able to dash straight down to Dorset to look after her but I have no wedding helpers around this week so just must do Saturday morning then I will be away for a few days. It's wonderful having Dianne and super part time helpers here so things keep going, though mail order will be an unknown quantity next week.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

more snaps from last weekend

A bit of a contrast to the medievally pre-raphaelitey one last weekend, these were two days earlier. A small bouquet shot from a lovely Indian bride who wanted purples and creams. I always worry slightly about mail order wedding bouquets although probably unnecessarily as we do tend to get lovely comments back....And some shots from the rather lovely Chloe and Tim's wedding the same day. We are getting quite adaptable I think! Plus 

one end may wedding

Pix just in from a happy bride who wanted a country wedding in town.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Monday june 13th

Busy few days. Thursday preparing for a wedding in North Yorks which a friend took up and delivered  and preparing or a wedding in Somerset, Friday arranging in Somerset, Meg preparing for a Surrey wedding which Dianne took up on Saturday while I did a local wedding at the most beautiful tiny church on the Black Mountains, complete with roosting jackdaws, Sunday a wedding at Barnsley House in the absolutely pouring rain so all inside and somehow it just takes so much longer when it's pouring and I was preparing in a separate building, but I'm looking forward to the pics as it was all rather lovely. Monday photoshoot. 

A few pics of a wonderful joyous wedding where the bride and groom were accompanied by their 7 children and 5 grandchildren, madly pre Raphaelite and hedgerow flowers (mainly because it had been pouring with rain the preceding days so I picked wild flowers that morning)

and a few other snaps from other weddings this weekend but as usual I took scarcely any and none of some as was just too busy....

Monday, 6 June 2011

full days

Since last hitting the blog button it's been fairly busy. Huberta and Ursula saved my life when they stayed for two weeks as volunteers, we had a great time too and by complete lucky chance fulfilled Ursula's greatest dream to go to Chelsea.... I enjoyed putting some flowers together for the GI Chelsea lecture at the RGS, decided at the last minute to go for form rather than flower as the lecture space meant the flowers would scarcely be seen but the shadows would be prominent. For the lecture theatre I borrowed amazing huge cobalt blue jars which were the stars of the show and filled them with single types of widish flowers - sweet rocket, ox-eyes, aquilegias, iris, and Oriental poppies. Elsewhere it was urns on RGS fantastic pedestals. Sadly it took me almost seven hours to get into London as an accident on the M4 meant it was closed for hours. So it was a longish day, leaving at 6am and getting back home at 2.30am! Two days later it was up to town again for weddings in Fulham and Holland Park. No pictures yet, apart from a single globe, but they will appear.
We dressed a reception at Fulham Palace and have to say it was not a well organised venue, we arrived at the allotted time (11am) to find there was no-one to speak to us, the woman who'd arranged it all was away and her deputy wasn't in, no-one knew what was going on or even where we should go! But all worked out fine. Meg of course was wonderful as always and thanks so much to Ali Harvie who took a day off from her real work to help, along with my wonderful daughter Rowan. And on the Saturday we even released Rowan's wonderful partner Dan's hidden flower arranging skills!

 And this week was boxes of loose flowers flying over the country for diy weddings, bunches and bouquets for a wedding in Pembrokeshire which the bride very helpfully collected, a church and marquee wedding locally, and peony and wild bouquets and jam jars for two more weddings. Rather full on. Photos from the church and marquee wedding will hopefully appear as the flowers were beautiful and the bouquets very pretty but there was a bit of a glitsch at this one. Threequarters of the way through arranging everything the bride's father and sister appeared to tell Meg and I that we were using the wrong flowers. Hmm. Largely to do with an interpretation of what colour alchemilla is. Note to remember that some people apparently believe that alchemilla is bright yellow. And then queries about the bouquets and all else, assuming that I was perhaps colour blind I fear. So it was a bit of a process. Very luckily Meg is not only the best church flower arranger around, she is also an excellent peacemaker. I'm afraid the church heard some rather anglo saxon language from me once the said father and sister had left the building. I apologised to the vicar, she said god would be amused not perturbed. Anyway, the upshot was that when Meg went to drop off the rest of the flowers at the bride's venue, sister, father and all assembled had by then decided the flowers were just perfect and it was exactly what they wanted. Well thank heavens for that! (I decided to keep rather a low profile as I realised I was rather tired and not in the mood for controversy).

And Saturday ended with me as a guest at a truly lovely wedding at the amazing Kinnersley Castle nearby. Many musicians, wonderful food, fabulous company and many jam jars.