It has been a busy week at Garden Gate Flowers. I have been helping Bethany at her shop in Saxmundham with a woodland style wedding and then Valentine's Day is coming! Delivering my bouquets, flowers for holiday homes, making up bunches for Wow Vintage and at the start of the week joining 500 nationwide flower growers and artisan florists at our national conference in Birmingham. I love collaborating with others and so enjoy getting new ideas from all the other wonderful generous souls in Flowers from the Farm.
So this weeks bunches at Wow include Smith and Munson Tulips from Spalding and little Narcissus ....some from Scilly and some Paperwhites grown by me. The subscription bunches also contain little green Iris from Cornwall. I hope you have saved your greenery from last week as this will fill out this weeks vase. This week I have taken two bunches and split them. Below you can see the tulips on the left simply as they come but on the right with five stems of additional garden foliage which makes a much bigger arrangement.
If you have kept your twigs in water they will gradually come into tiny leaf which is so pretty. I have cut the Narcissus short and added a few little twigs and an Anemone that is braving the cold in the garden! The twigs and green Iris look so unusual together. Then I cut the Narcissus short and with the Hellebore from last week and a little garden Viola I filled a shell vase I found this week. I am always on the look out for unusual containers.
Next week is Valentine's Day....I have some fresh Tulip bunches going to Wow and have a few imported Ranunculus and Magnolia to create some gorgeous Spring confections for those that have ordered bouquets for delivery.
I am really really excited by the projects I have planned for this year. I am helping Flowers from the Farm with our display at The Chelsea Flower Show, our local branch are exhibiting at The Sandringham Flower Show again. I am running a series of workshops at Darsham Nurseries, talking at the annual East Anglian NAFAS conference...and that is without my florist workshops, and creative collaborations with a couple of fabulous photographers. The year is starting to take shape!
My bunches of seasonal flowers are available at WOW Vintage in the Market Place Southwold. I thought you might like a few thoughts about how to arrange these bunches of flowers. There are bunches for £8 and smaller shorter posies at £3.50. They are available all year and I usually deliver on a Friday so there are fresh flowers for the weekend.
The larger bunches fill a small/medium vase and the posies fill a little jar or smaller vase.
They all contain some greenery. The number of stems varies depending on the types of flowers but this week they contain about 15 stems of flowers in the larger bunches and 10 stems in the posies.
This week the bunches contain Narcissus from Scilly and in some my Paperwhite Narcissus, Tulips from Lincolnshire, Hellebores from some new plants I have bought and the posies contain Snowdrops from Cornwall.
It is good to condition your flowers before you arrange them. Firstly cut the bottom of the stems and give them a good drink in clean cold water. Narcissus should be conditioned separately so that the sap is washed off and not " drunk" by the other flowers as this may shorten the vase life of the other flowers. Once this has happened I find it is ok to put the Narcissus in the vase with the other flowers.
The pictures above show the two bunch sizes in vases. It is important to consider the size of vase you use. It is not a good idea to use an over large vase with a small number of blooms as they can look lost. I always arrange the greenery first as this gives the arrangement shape.
The blooms will last longer if you re cut the stems every few days and refresh the water. You may even find the greenery lasts until the following week and you can use it to make a larger arrangement with next weeks flowers. Flowers last much longer if they are kept cool. They don't generally like hot centrally heated rooms.
The pictures above shows a larger vase containing two of this weeks £8 bunches ( plus a picture of the bucket of bunches on their way to WOW!). You may have noticed I have reflexed the petals of one of the Tulips to create a different look.
It is very important to act responsibly, keep the flowers away from children and pets...never eat any of the plant material supplied and always wash your hands after handling as plant material can be toxic/poisonous and or irritant.
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.