Last week we decorated a gorgeous wedding at Hintlesham Hall. Stunning Ranunculus, Anemones, Tulips, Narcissus, Hellebores, Amaryllis, Freesias.....softly filled Rose bowls. By using mainly whites with a few subtle shades and tones around this it created a very sophisticated look with spring flowers. Colour and containers make a huge difference to the overall style....a jumble of flower colours and simple style containers e.g. jam jars create a more informal look....but a single colour or limited palette and more sophisticated containers create a more luxurious look. Depending on your choice of venue the style of your arrangements needs to reflect the decor of your venue. Here the more formal setting of Hintlesham Hall showed these beautiful arrangements off perfectly. I was so thrilled with the Anemones which came from Julie's glasshouses at Lingwood. The Ranunculus were from Cornwall and Tulips from Jo Munson in Lincolnshire...The arrangements also included my Hellebores and Amaryillis plus some of my Narcissus and some from Cornwall.
The bride had a lovely trailing cascade bouquet but as usual my photographs were not fabulous. Hopefully the professional photographer will share some and I can show you what we have been up to!!
It is a few weeks since I have written a wedding blog post. Meantime I have done lots of consultations and planning for this years weddings...there are a few dates still available so please do contact me if you would like me to design the flowers for your wedding.
We are moving into early spring, whilst it still feels very much like winter. This time of year, white and green make a beautiful and seasonal combination. It is interesting that different colour combinations seem particularly suited or evocative of different seasons.
Spring:-Bright green, white, pale yellow, soft pinks, soft blue...Fresh.
Summer:-Soft pinks, lilac, blue, white, peaches...Sunny.
Autumn:-Oranges, peaches, coral, burgundy...Warm.
Winter:-White and greens. Cool and pure.
British flowers available white this month include Tulips from Lincolnshire, Ranunculus from Cornwall and Hyacinths, Narcissus and Snowdrops all grown here. White Narcissus also available from the Scilly Isles and Freesias from Guernsey.
Yesterday I went to a purveyor of gorgeous ribbons in London...V V Rouleaux, to source my ribbons for the 2017 season. They sell the most stunning velvet ribbons which are a new addition to the sumptuous ribbons I offer for my bouquets and Bridal designs. There is a particularly special double sided velvet ribbon which comes in white, ivory and cream shades as well as lots of other beautiful colours. These offer an alternative to the fabulous naturally dyed silk ribbons that come from Heirloom Silk Ribbons in the Scottish Borders which I have been using in 2016.
I have sample cards for both of these styles of ribbons so when you come to your consultation you can see the colours and feel the textures.
In what is officially our quiet time, I am planning for our 2017 weddings. Last year was our busiest yet with weddings. Just some of the venues we decorated included:-
The Swan Southwold
The Sail Loft Southwold
The Randolph Reydon
Anteros Art Centre Norwich
The Westleton Crown Westleton Suffolk
Henham Estate ( Latitude) Henham Suffolk
Benacre Estate Wood Farm Barn Benacre Suffolk
Thorpeness Country Club
Lots of beautiful Suffolk Churches
With new and different venues being added to the list for 2017.
Styles this year were definately natural with urn arrangements being very popular along with foliage which featured prominently including some all foliage bouquets, hanging foliage hoops, garlands and larger outdoor pieces especially arches. Another trend included succulents both on the tables or included in the bouquets. Head crowns have remaind popular along with country buttonholes and wrist corsages. Colours this year included very popular peach/coral combinations in the summer and white and green in the winter although each wedding was totally different and unquie. Bride bouquets have varied from wild handtieds to more formal wired trailing bouquets, I have loved them all. Some brides have opted for Buckets and Bouquets weddings where they have arranged their own table flowers from buckets of my blooms and I have made the more complex pieces but most have had fully bespoke wedding flowers where we make everything and set it up on site.
My Top Flowers included:-
I used a lot of Scented Garden Roses from The Real Flower Company grown in Hampshire, Norfolk Peonies
My Sweet Peas
Freesias from Guernsey
My Paperwhite Narcissus
Hydrangeas from Cornwall
My Tulips and some from Lincolnshire
My Grape Hyacinths
Creme Brulee Phlox from Norfolk
Cornish White Phlox
Where to stop!!
Even in Winter I use British flowers for weddings. last week a wonderful winter wedding where the bride asked for " no imported flowers" So we used Hydrangeas from Somerleyton Hall, Paperwhite Narcissus from my cutting garden, Freesias from Guernsey and Delphiniums, Anemones and Ranunculus from Cornwall We made mossed heart shaped wreaths and a moss and foliage garland. It is such a pleasure to decorate a wedding in a truly natural style.
I am writing this post in conjuction with hosting the Flowers from the Farm Instagram account for the week.....so British Flower Weddings in general. I have been growing and using British grown flowers in my wedding and event work for several years now. The situation has changed in that to start with I didn't think anyone else was doing this except me...but now there are lots of florists who work in this way and more growers to buy from. However it is important to realise that it isn't the case you can have the same flowers ( just cheaper) if they are British grown. They are different varieties and you need to work with them differently. Many don't cope well with floral foam and so work much better in looser more natural styling. There are however huge benefits...scent being a big one. The stems tend not to be dead straight which I love. It is a whole new way of working....not least it takes much longer to source the materials especially for the things we don't grow and may result in multiple delivery charges as the flowers come from several different growers. Colours can also be an issue as florists have to work harder to meet colour briefs and Brides sometimes need to be more flexible. Is difficult to be certain of particular flowers being available as the growers are more weather dependant than large scale under cover factory style growing elsewhere. For the last two years I have run workshops for growers and florists wanting to find out about using british grown flowers for weddings and next year I will be expanding this so keep in touch if you are interested to learn more. ( Below a few examples from this year).
One of my romantic summer weddings has been featured on "Love My Dress" Blog. Do have a look and see the gorgeous pictures of this lovely seaside wedding.
Love My Dress is a lovely blog to read and get inspirational ideas for your wedding.
Here are some examples of wedding arches I have made this year. The most important thing for me as the florist is to have something sturdy to attach the arch to. This could be a bespoke frame...nails in the wall or a garden or marquee frame. They are made either as garlands or in floral foam, depending on what the materials are....many flowers need the floral foam to stop them wilting but foliages work beautifully just as garlands. There is no question they really look fabulous in photographs and create a romantic centre piece to the whole wedding. In this country outside ceremonies can be problematic due to weather conditions. Bride's sometimes show me pictures of outdoorceremonies with arches usually from warmer climates.....they look gorgeous but I always suggest they have a plan B! Arches on bespoke frames can sometimes be moved but this needs to be considered in advance and may not be possible at the last minute. Arches framing doorways to churches etc are great photo situations for before and after the ceremony. If you are interested in an arch for your wedding please get in touch so I can talk with you about how this might be acheived.
This weekend has been big for British Flower Weddings. I started to gather flowers from other growers on Thursday, plus cutting of my own blooms. All the flowers need conditioning. Then It is on with the church flowers at Lound Church on the Somerleyton Estate, Friday commences with the delivery of buckets of flowers to Rookery Meadow and a quick tutorial in the field. Making of 54 jam posies for the tables at Somerleyton Hall.. Finally I make Bride and Bridesmaid's bouquets and buttonholes. Saturday I delivered all the flowers, setting up the tables, checking the church flowers and last of all delivering the Bride bouquet etc. It is non stop from Thursday morning to Saturday lunchtime.
This week I had flowers and foliages from 5 different growers plus my own blooms. I like to buy in from people I really trust. Lots of my flowers come from Julie who gows near Acle. I buy Roses from Hampshire and other things from growers in Cornwall plus Lilies from a grower near Kings Lynn and for the weddings at Somerleyton Hall I use some flowers from the gardens there. This is all on top of the flowers I cut from my own garden. This weekend I have used lots of my own Dahlias. Some growers I have to collect from, some deliver. The result was really special. Particular favourite flowers included Scabious, Phlox, old fashioned Roses and Dahlias. This weekend was made more difficult because of the heat. The flowers all had to be checked at the last minute and shattering flowers removed and replaced.
I think people don't always realise how much work is involved at each stage, planning, ordering, conditioning, making, delivering .....
I am so thrilled to have been sent these gorgeous pictures of a wonderful joyful wedding I created florals for in June. It was beautifully styled by the couple. The Bride chose a whole garden bouquet of pastel coloured Roses, Peonies, Delphiniums and other summer flowers dressed with naturally dyed silk ribbon. She also had a flower crown and the groom and each usher had a buttonhole to match his outfit. The Bride wanted to be very involved in her flower choices and she created mood boards, with inspirations she had collected to help me interpret her look. The whole look suggested an English summer garden in full bloom.
The venue, a beautiful Suffolk barn on the Benacre Estate, was decorated with vintage pieces selected by the couple and summer flowers. With garlands of Kent Hops decorating the bar. They developed a seaside theme very much in keeping with our local area. It was a truly creative wedding and the photographs taken by Eliza Claire Photography are stunning. I am hugely grateful that the couple and their photographer have allowed me to publish some of their photos on my website. Eliza Specialises in photographing vintage style weddings and produced stylish black and white images as well as the coloured images shown here.
Summer is finally here and I have been busy with weddings ....resulting in fewer postings....I have been using lots of Margaret Merrill Roses, Sweet Peas and Herbs in my recent Bridal Bouquets and the scent has been fabulous. The end of July marks a transition to Dahlia bouquets. Over the coming weeks they will come into full production and I have more varieties than ever this year. I have a lot of Cafe au Lait which is a stunning muted colour for weddings but also vibrant plum and purple shades which are also proving popular.
There are always show stoppers each season, be they Ranunculus, Tulips, Peonies, Roses or Dahlias. I think seasonality in the Bridal Bouquet helps to place your wedding in a particular season and when you look at the pictures later all will be in keeping with the time of year your wedding took place. I am a huge fan of seasonality in my work and this makes my bouquets very different from those made with imported blooms which are available in many cases all year round.
At the end of the year I hope to have enough pictures of my seasonal bouquets to produce a collage to show the transition through the year. Each season and therefore bouquet is unique....what grows well each year is always different, but there are themes....Narcissus in the Spring....Dahlias in late Summer etc. This is of course dependent on my remembering to take the photographs!!
After a career in the Health Service and then time bringing up my family, I qualified as a florist and trained in horticulture. Developing a passion for growing and arranging British garden flowers, I planted a Suffolk cutting garden. Having become increasingly concerned about where and how flowers are grown coupled with a love of British flowers. I now specialise in growing and using beautiful British grown flowers to make artistic designs. for weddings, events and gifts.