Perhaps not surprisingly I am often asked to make bouquets for older people. This weekend a 98th Birthday...Many people retire to Southwold to enjoy the sea air and our slower pace of life. This set me thinking about what makes the ideal bouquet for a really elderly and in many cases housebound person. Flowers are a great gift for this situation, where the person needs nothing but immediate pleasure and an expression of love.
Things I think about:-
, Today has been Valentine's Day...I don't use imported Red Roses but I do make lovely natural bouquets. This year I had Narcissus from the Scilly Isles, Tulips from Lincolnshire, lots of lovely foliages, my Amaryllis, Hyacinths, Hellebores and Paperwhites. I have had to use a few imported Ranunculus this year as the grower I usually use in Cornwall has run out of supplies.
The season seems to have started earlier than usual this year..three quieter weeks at the start of January and now we seem to be in full swing. Luckily we made good progress in the autumn with planting, mulching etc. although as we move into spring there will still be plenty to do.
The real stars of the show currently are foliages with little scented flowers...Christmas Box, Winter Honeysuckle etc. I have planted more Christmas Box this year and also some White Forsythia which is new here. Hazel catkins, Dogwood, Pussy Willow....Using these natural lovelies makes for a really wild, naturally styled bouquet. This palette of materials continues into early March when my other gorgeous Narcissus start flowering. There are lots of buds and shoots in the garden, so I am really looking forward to things to come!
I am trying to document what is growing in the garden each month. These blooms were all photographed in the garden or the conservatory today 4/2/17. They include Winter Honeysuckle, Viburnum, Paperwhites, Amaryllis, Snowdrops, Hellebores....Each year is different depending on the weather. This year has seen some colder weather and frosts which is or certainly hasn't been the norm for us for a few years. That said we have had some cold March and April weather for the last two years and we can certainly do with out that! The mice have been having a nibble at a few Tulip bulbs mainly in pots, so I am putting to use some Holly clippings left from Christmas which I gather puts them off! (The picture of the seedlings in the greenhouse was taken in late January as part of a project to photograph seedling to bouquet for The Natural Wedding Company, growth is quite slow at this time of year so they don't look a great deal different this week.)
Rather amazingly I find a patriot collection of red, white and blue! British flowers!
Other jobs in the garden this week have included planting the absolute last batch of Paperwhites for this season. Preparing some new beds for this years annuals, repairing a hole in the greenhouse and ordering seeds. We have had a few glorious days and it is so therapeutic getting out and gardening.
These days we make lots of bouquets for delivery locally...a couple we have made recently...gorgeous wild scented gatherings of flowers.
My story in flowers started as a child growing a tiny patch of London Pride Saxifraga...also known as Whimsey or Look Up and Kiss Me! Fast forward to 8 years ago when I started a City and Guilds training in floristry. I qualified as a florist and then to deepen my growing knowledge and skills I trained in horticulture as well. I trained under a WRAGS scheme at Darsham Nurseries and at Somerleyton Hall. Developing a passion for both growing and designing/arranging British garden flowers, I planted a cutting garden. Having become increasingly concerned about where and how flowers are grown, coupled with a love of British grown flowers. and natural styling, I now specialise in growing and using beautiful British grown flowers to make romantic natural designs. for weddings, events, gifts and much more.