DIY table centrepieces to add wow to your garden party

 

People often ask me for ideas for decorating tables both inside and out and for me the most important ingredient for a summer party is colour – the more the merrier! 

I will be busy stocking the shelves at Applegarth Farm Shop and Holybourne Shop and Post Office with lots of beautiful pots and jam jars filled with flowers each week. But if you fancy giving it a go yourself then here is my step by step guide for creating an arrangement at home with flowers from your own garden…

Step 1 – Find a suitable container

I often use vintage terracotta pots or jam jars that I have saved and cleaned because I like to reuse and recycle wherever possible. Not only is this kinder to the environment but it also adds a wonderful rustic charm to the arrangement. 

Step 2 – Line and add water Terracotta pot lined with cellophane

If you are using terracotta pots or any vintage containers then you will need to line the pot before you put water in so that it doesn’t leak and ruin your table. You can buy florists cellophane online at a very reasonable price and a roll will last you a long time if you are doing arrangements like this. You will need to cut a square that is bigger than your container  and then push it in to the centre. Trim any excess cellophane so that you can’t see the cellophane from outside the pot and then fill it with water. If you are using jam jars or glass vases then you can simply fill these with water, there is no need to line them.

Step 3 – Pick the foliage and flowers

Enjoy picking flowers and foliage that you would like to use from your garden or forage from the hedgerows. Do this in advance of arranging your flowers because the longer you can leave them to condition in water, the longer your arrangement will last. When picking flowers and foliage it is important to use a sharp pair of scissors or secators and cut the stem at an angle to allow the most water to penetrate. As soon as you have cut them you need to put the stem in a bucket of fresh water  and leave it to stand in that for as long as possible before arranging them in to your pots.

Step 4 – ‘Green up’ your potsFrancesca arranging foliage

I always start with my foliage first because it provides the base for your flowers and holds them in place. I use a lot of foliage in my arrangements to recreate the natural look of an English country garden. Before you add the foliage to your arrangement you need to trim any low lying leaves that will fall below the water line as this will keep your arrangement looking fresher for longer.

In this arrangement I have used Alba Rugosa Roses as foliage because they are beautiful even when not in bloom and Ribes which is a flowering current that doesn’t grow fruit but produces wonderful flowers in Spring. Try not to pack it too tightly with foliage; you need enough structure to support your flowers, particularly if you are using large headed flowers like peonies, but you also need enough flexibility to fit your flowers in to the arrangement and for some air to circulate. 

Step 5 – Start to build in some colourFoliage and delicate flowers

When you are happy with the balance of your foliage you can start to build in some colour with delicate blooms such as Fever Few to fill in the gaps in the foliage, which I have added here along with Sage Flowers to bring a beautiful purple hue around the edges. 

Step 6 – Add statement flowers

In this arrangement I have used Roses as my large, statement flowers but you could chose any large flower heads such as peonies, hydrangeas, sunflowers, whatever you have in your garden right now.Francesca adding roses

If using Roses then always cut them at a node where the flower stem meets a leaf and always trim at an angle. Again trim off any low level leaves that would go in the water and look for flower buds that are just about to open and maybe one or two that are already in bloom. This will help your arrangement look beautiful for longer and you can just snip out any flowers that start to look past their best.

I don’t stick to any rules with regards to stem amounts, I go by my eye as I always try to maintain the just picked, haphazard look, so each arrangement is never the same, just natural.

Step 7 – Finish with delicate seasonal blooms

Once you have added your large statement flowers, you can start to fill in any remaining gaps with some more delicate seasonal flowers to add variation in colour. Here I have used Salvia, a wonderfully scented flower that is part of the sage family.

I have also added Everlasting Sweet Pea which is a perennial and not scented like the annual Sweet Pea varieties, but equally as beautiful. There are also some phlox which has beautifully scented small white flowers. These are both perfect for filling in any gaps in your arrangement because they have small flowers but add lovely colour. 

Step 7 – Plump up the volume

When you are happy with the balance of your arrangement and have filled in any gaps; you have almost fininshed. The final step is to lift your arrangement from underneath to plump it up and add the natural volume back in to the foliage which may have been squashed while you were arranging the flowers. Finished arrangements displayed

Now your centerpiece is ready to display on your garden table or inside if you wish to bring a sense of the outside in. If I am having a garden party then I will usually create a few arrangements of various sizes to display along the middle of the large table and maybe a few smaller pots to have on some side tables where people might rest their drinks. 

Create a smaller potted arrangement

If you are making some smaller pots to go alongside your large arrangement then you will need to follow exactly the same steps but using smaller varieties and single stems of foliage and flowers to ensure the balance is right. 

Rebis and Rosemary in potsHere I have used small pieces of Ribes foliage. If you cut at a node, the point above where a leaf joins the stem, then you can get several pieces from one large stem of foliage and make it go further in your small arrangements. I have also used sprigs of Rosemary for scent, texture and also for structure as it stands upright and is quite firm so can support the flowers for longer. 

Fennel is lovely in smaller arrangements thanks to its zingy bright yellow colour. I have used it here as it has a lovely texture and helps to add variation in the green tones of the foliage. 

a small terracotta pot arrangeementOrlaya are delicate white annual flowers that I grow from seed each year, they look so beautiful in small arrangements as do sweet peas because their small flowers always have such vibrant colours and the scent is unmistakable. Cornflowers also work wonderfully in small arrangements, the bright blue flowers add a shot of colour and the great thing about cornflowers is that the more you cut them, the more they grow! 

Use your eye to ensure the arrangement is balanced, and try to use co-ordinating colours if you are displaying them alongside the larger centrepiece arrangement so that the whole look is tied together. 

Come along to a flower arranging workshop

Throughout the year I run seasonal flower arranging workshops from my home in Wishanger near Farnham, Surry. The next dates will be 13th and 14th September when you can create a beautiful Autumn arrangement to take home. If you would like to find out more then visit the workshops page or contact me on francesca@fsflowers.co.uk or call 07710 914420.

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Design your perfect wedding bouquet

Wedding season is in full swing and every weekend over the summer for me will be filled with a wonderful variety of weddings with all different themes, colour schemes and venues. No matter what type of wedding my couples are having though, there is one item that is always on the wish list for brides and that is a beautiful, eye catching bouquet. 

Wedding bouquets in the church

Photo by Sarah Ann Wright

How to choose the perfect bouquet style

When thinking about your bouquet and your bridesmaids flowers it is important to consider how they will fit in to your overall wedding scheme. What style will your wedding be? Is it boho, vintage, modern, country, classic, pretty or something entirely different? The look and feel that you are trying to create with your wedding venue, decorations and other floral arrangements will often be reflected in the bridal parties bouquets so that the whole wedding flows seamlessly and creates a wonderful effect. 

Choose your brides bouquet to match your dress

Photo by Charlotte Razell Photography 

The style of your dress may also play a part in deciding how your bouquet will look. Traditionally, brides would stick to quite a regimented format when choosing a bouquet based on their dress, so a large princess gown with billowing skirts would be matched with a cascading arrangement that would flow down the dress echoing its style. Whereas a structured fishtail or A-line dress would be matched with a smaller posy arrangement. However in recent years brides have chosen to steer away from tradition and almost all of my brides now choose a hand tied arrangement regardless of the style of their dress. 

Of course one of the most important design considerations will be your personal taste and what you would prefer to carry on the day. Your bouquet will feature in almost every photograph and is perhaps your most important accessory so it deserves a lot of thought. Some brides do not like the thought of carrying a large bouquet and decide to choose a pommander  which is held by a ribbon, or a corsage which is worn on the wrist instead. Others may choose a basket of flowers that can be looped over the arm or you may choose a single stem which may be easier to hold. 

The season in which you plan to marry will also help to determine your bouquet because this will dictate the flowers that are available at that time. I always use British seasonal flowers in my arrangements so this will begin to shape the style of bouquet from the start. 

Favourite bouquet flowers for each season

The most important criteria for bouquet flowers is that they are strong enough to withstand being held for a long time. Your bouquet will play an important role throughout your wedding day; from that first walk down the aisle, through the photos, to being thrown to the single ladies at the end of the night; it needs to be able to withstand quite a lot! These are my favourite flowers for a bouquet that will look beautiful all day…

Summer – Summer wedding bouquet

  • Gypsophila
  • Roses
  • Hydrangea
  • Peonies
  • Stocks
  • Phlox
  • Scabious
  • Sweet Peas

 

Autumn 

  • Sunflowers
  • Dahlias
  • Snapdragons
  • Roses
  • Gypsophila
  • Thistles
  • Hydrangea

 

 

Winter 

  • Roses
  • Narcissi
  • Hyacinths
  • Gypsophila
  • Berries

 

 

 

Spring Spring wedding bouquet

  • Hyacinths
  • Anenomes
  • Fritillaria
  • Tulips
  • Lily of the valley
  • Roses

 

 

 

Foliage is also very important in a bouquet, especially if you are having a countryside, vintage or boho theme to your wedding. The following foliage can be used all year round; Rosemary, Lavender Foliage, Weeping Pear, Jasmine, Clematis and Periwinkle. 

More delicate flowers and foliage can be wired for extra support in a bouquet but using stronger, long lasting blooms will help your bouquet look beautiful for longer. 

Bridesmaids bouquets 

Bridesmaids and bride with bouquets

Photo by Sarah Ann Wright

Often, the colour of your bridesmaids dresses will impact on your flower choices across your wedding but nowhere is this more important than in your bridesmaids bouquets.

Some brides choose to have the same bouquets for all of their bridesmaids, perhaps identical to the brides bouquet or a smaller version of it. Others choose to give the maid of honour a bouquet and then something different for the other bridesmaids. You might choose corsages for their wrists or pommanders for them to hold or perhaps a flower garland for their hair instead so that their hands are kept free. 

Flower girl ideasIf you are having young bridesmaids or flower girls then you will need to consider how easy it is for them to hold whatever floral arrangement you are giving them. A very young child may find it too tempting to pick at a hand tied bouquet whereas a basket filled with fresh flower petals for them to scatter down the aisle may be just perfect. 

If you do decide to choose bouquets for your bridesmaids then these can be repurposed after the ceremony and used to decorate the top table for example so you get more for your flower budget. 

A unique design

The most important thing is not to be swayed too much by current wedding trends, choose the style of bouquet and flowers that you really like. Your wedding after all should be about you and your partner and a celebration of your unique style.

To speak to me about your wedding flowers and design your perfect wedding bouquet call 01252 790840 or 07710 914420. You can also email me at francesca@fsflowers.co.uk to book an appointment.

I also offer workshops for brides who wish to do your own wedding flowers, come along with your bridesmaids and friends and spend a day learning how to create beautiful wedding arrangements yourself. I can even supply your flowers for the big day ready for you to arrange. Contact me to find out more.

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The Top Wedding Flower Trends for 2018

Wedding Season is upon us! It all kicked off with the Royal Wedding in May which set the tone for the key trends we are likely to see in 2018. So if you are looking for inspiration for your wedding flowers then look no further, here are the top trends I expect to see this year…

1. Foraged, home grown flowers 

The trend for boho, English garden inspired wedding flowers has been going strong for almost a decade now but this year it has evolved in to a far more relaxed, homegrown and foraged look that reflects the foliage found in local hedgerows and flowers you may find in your own garden.

This trend was cemented by the choice of flowers at the royal wedding where almost all of the flowers and foliage were foraged from the royal gardens and the parkland on the Crown Estate surrounding the venue. The large, striking displays included Solomons Seal, lots of garden roses, cow parsley, stocks, phlox and love in a mist. The bouquets were far more delicate and understated and included astilbes, sweet peas, lily of the valley and myrtle.  

2. Foliage is king

I am seeing lots of brides choosing to decorate with foliage alone or with very few flowers and a greater influence on foliage as a decoration in its own right.

White or ivory flowers and green are set to be key colours for weddings in 2018, especially given the flower choices of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

I personally love foliage and you can create absolutely stunning displays with all the different shapes, colours and scents found in the vast array of foliage available locally in Britain. It is also a far more cost effective way to cover a large expanse of space and foliage tends to be hardier so can be moved easily from the service to the reception venue.  

My favourite foliage this year includes Alchemilla Mollis which has a fantastically vibrant citrus green colour and dog rose which is currently covered in the most beautiful delicate pink blooms. I also use a lot of euphorbia, rue, rosemary, fennel, ribes, hebe, beech, hornbeam, clematis and jasmine, all of which I grow myself in my Surrey garden.

3. Wreaths are not just for Christmas 

Wedding hoops and wreaths have long been a trend in American weddings but the trend has made its way across the pond and is becoming increasingly popular with British brides. I have done a few weddings now where brides have decorated with wreaths of foliage interspersed with their favourite flowers.

They are perfect if you plan to move your displays from your service to your reception to get more from your flower budget because they are far more sturdy than a hand tied arrangement and can be hung from almost anywhere. Some brides choose to have wreaths or hoops as pew ends and then hang them on the walls behind the top table or use them as table centrepieces with a church candle in the middle. It is a very cost effective way to decorate your tables and looks incredible with all the candles lit, particularly for an evening reception.

4. Choose potted plants for lasting memories Potted wedding centrepiece

Potted house plants or potted perennials, are moving from the garden in to weddings with ease as many brides choose to opt for more sustainable, eco friendly wedding decorations. I often use pots in my flower arranging but am increasingly being asked by brides to create potted arrangements for their weddings that can then be kept long term to remind them of their special day.

I recently revisited a mother of the bride who was the proud recipient of the potted perennial plants that adorned the marquee for her daughters wedding. After the big day I planted them in her garden and they are still going strong today, filling her with happy memories every time she sees them from the window. 

Particularly popular with Spring brides who choose to feature narcissi, hyacinths and other bulbs in their table arrangements, but there is a potted solution for every season so its worth considering this trend if you would like to enjoy your wedding flowers for longer.

5. Statement designs that enhance the venue 

Over the last few years it has been popular for couples to choose one or two large ‘showcase’ arrangements such as a flower wall behind the top table or a large flower arch over the entrance to the church.

In 2018 the trend seems to be moving towards statement designs that enhance the wedding venue or help to create an experience for guests. Wedding magazines are full of pictures of venues decorated in huge swathes of flowers trailing staircases and overflowing from every corner.

Some brides are choosing to create a garden feel for guests to walk through on arrival with trees and large floral arrangements and I have even seen an aisle of flowers.  Unfortunately the downside of this trend is that it can get very pricey very quickly but there are ways to recreate the feel of these statement designs on a smaller budget.

I always talk to a bride about their flower budget during our initial discussions because this will dictate how we achieve the look and feel that the couple desires. Using more foliage or flowers that are in season and available locally for example can make a significant difference to the cost of large displays and arrangements and there is almost always a way to create the look and feel that you are after within your budget.

Get in touch to discuss your wedding flower ideas at francesca@fsflowers.co.uk   

Photos courtesy of wedding photographer Charlotte Razell Photography 
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Hello Sunshine!

What a glorious day to wake up to this morning! It is such a relief to finally see the sunshine and as I opened my curtains the Spring flowers smiled back at me as they reached upwards to soak up the early morning rays.

The flower beds are starting to come to life and are full of the promise of the wonderful season to come. My diary has been full of wedding planning over the last few weeks and I have met lots of lovely couples that are planning their big day this year.

The rustic country wedding look is still proving very popular with brides and my head is buzzing with images of hand tied bouquets filled with favourite flowers such as peonies, roses, lavender and fresh herbs to evoke the sense of an English country garden. 

I have also been planning my Spring displays at Applegarth Farm Shop and Holybourne Shop and Post Office now that all the bulbs have come in to bloom.

I have a bumper crop of narcissi that are looking beautiful this year. I am mixing these with other seasonal blooms and herbs to create some beautiful table centrepieces in traditional terracotta pots alongside some smaller arrangements in jam jars. Combined on a mantlepiece or on a Spring dining table  these look absolutely stunning and are proving very popular as gifts this year. 

If your garden is starting to fill with flowers and you would like to know how to make the most of them and create beautiful bouquets of your own then why not join me for my Spring flower arranging workshop on 26th and 27th April. I will be running both workshops from my garden if the weather is kind to us and in the kitchen if it is not!

Come along from 10am to 12:30pm and learn how to cut, condition and arrange your flowers to make a unique display to take home with you. The cost is just £40 each and includes all of your materials and flowers as well as some delicious cakes and tea and coffee to keep you refreshed during your creative morning.

Bring some friends or just come along for some ‘me’ time after the busy Easter period, there is nothing more relaxing than a morning filled with flowers and the sounds and scent of Spring.

Send me an email at francesca@fsflowers.co.uk to secure your place.

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Spring has finally sprung!

After what has felt like a long and often bleak winter we finally have some sunshine in our garden and the spring bulbs are pushing their heads up through the frost hardened soil to hint at the bright things to come. Spring has always been a favourite season for me, the colours and scent of bluebells, narcissi and hyacinth as I prepare my traditional, homegrown arrangements is always welcome and it inspires my work for the lead up to Mothers Day. 

Save the date!

The year seems to be flashing past already and we suddenly find ourselves in Lent and the countdown to Easter has begun. Before you rush to get your eggs though we must not forget that Mothers Day is on the horizon; Sunday 11th March is the date for your diary. To ensure you don’t get caught out I will have a wonderful selection of homegrown and hand crafted British bouquets so you can be sure your Mum knows just how much she means to you this year. 

Locally these flower arrangements will be available to buy from Applegarth Farm Shop in Grayshott and the Holybourne Village Shop but you can also order direct if you want to ensure you don’t miss out. Simply email me at Francesca@fsflowers.co.uk or call me on 01252 790840 or 07710 914420 to arrange delivery. 

An alternative gift idea for Mothers Day is to book your Mum a place on one of my popular flower arranging workshops. You could come together for some quality time to catch up and create something beautiful or you could book a place for your Mum to have some quiet time to herself, I am sure that both would be equally appreciated by any Mummy or Grandmother. 

Spring Flower Arranging Workshops

This Spring I am excited to announce new dates for my flower arranging workshops, the first is to be held at my home in Wishanger near Farnham in Surrey on Thursday 26th April 2018. I always enjoy welcoming people in to my home and my cutting gardens and sharing the knowledge and techniques that I have gathered during my career.

We start in the garden to choose flowers, foliage and herbs that I have grown to make quintessentially english bouquets and arrangements. I teach guests how to cut and condition flowers from the garden so that they can continue to create new and exciting arrangements from the flowers found in their own gardens. If the weather is kind then we will sit outside to design and make the flower arrangements using traditional techniques but if April showers appear then we will retreat to the dry comfort of the kitchen to work and enjoy homemade cakes washed down with plenty of tea and coffee. Guests can choose to create a hand tied arrangement or a table decoration in a terracotta pot according to individual tastes and then take home what they have made to display proudly or often to give as a gift to a loved one. 

I am also very lucky to be able to host a second date in the beautiful surroundings of Applegarth Farm Shop on Friday 27th April 2018. I have been designing floral arrangements for Applegarth to sell amongst their organic farm produce and gifts for many years and so enjoy having the opportunity to make use of their craft cabin for my workshops. If you would like to sign up for a Spring flower arranging workshop then please contact me via email at francesca@fsflowers.co.uk to book your place. On both dates, the morning will run from 10:00am to 12:30pm and is priced at £40 per person to include all materials, flowers and homemade cake with teas and coffees. 

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Save your garden from the ‘Beast from the East’

Beast from the east

Instagram and Facebook are full of photos of snow laden scenes from across the country but whilst the aptly named ‘Beast from the East’ causes havoc on our roads and public transport, it needn’t cause you too many issues in your garden. Here, Francesca Sharp shares her top tips for protecting your new growth and what you can be doing in your garden this week…

Protect tender new growth

If you have tender new shoots poking out of the soil following our first taste of the Spring sunshine last week, then you can protect them from the harsh cold of this sudden turn in the weather by covering them with envirofleece at night. Alternatively if you have pots you could also fleece them or move them in to the potting shed temporarily or even in to the house!

The same applies to annuals that you have sown as seed ready to plant out when the weather brightens. If you have sown Sweet Peas or Antirrhinums in your potting shed then these may be just starting to peek out of the soil. You will need to protect these at night time with fleece or by sitting the pots on heated matting as even the potting shed will be too cold. This is particularly important for fussy tubers like Ranunculus who will find the potting shed unbearable in these sub zero temperatures. I currently have a row of  Ranunculus on my office windowsill and they are growing quite happily on there ready to be put out in the potting shed when the ‘Beast from the East’ has left us. 

Bulbs that are starting to appear should be hardy enough to withstand the cold and will ride out the storm ready to flower in all their glory when the Spring sunshine finally decides to stay. 

Finding beauty in the stormPerriwinkle border

There are some hardy little flowers that are already happily appearing and will be here to stay for the next few months. Periwinkle are particularly beautiful against the snow and you can use the shorter stems to add to lovely arrangements of spring flowers in jam jars to brighten up your kitchen table or a windowsill. I use the longer, trailing stems of the Periwinkle in garlands for early Spring weddings and they are a common feature in many of my Mothers Day arrangements. 

Another favourite for Mothers Day are Tete a Tete bulbs which are wonderful in pots in the garden or to bring inside to conjure up some sunshine on even the coldest, gloomiest day. These will feature in my newly expanded display of flowers for sale at Applegarth Farm Shop next week, in readiness for the Mothers Day rush. I am very excited to be taking on more space in this fantastic local farm shop that I have been supplying for many years, why not pop in and see the new display for yourself.

If you don’t want to risk missing out on a handcrafted, locally grown flower arrangement for your Mum then you can order in advance by emailing francesca@fsflowers.co.uk. I will deliver your unique arrangement to Applegarth for you to collect on Friday 9th March or Saturday 10th March so you are ready for the big day. You can also collect from Holybourne Shop near Alton if that is more convenient for you as I have a lovely selection of arrangements available to buy there. If your Mum has a favourite flower that you would like included or if you have a specific arrangement in mind then please email me and I will try my best to accommodate your wishes.

Make the most of the cold snap

This week it will be difficult to do anything outside in the garden other than build snowmen as the ground will be far too hard to plant anything new. Instead, make use of this time to plan your garden for the season ahead. I enjoy nothing more than sitting by the fire with a warm cup of tea and my seed catalogues, pouring over all of the beautiful cut flower seeds and planning what I will sow in April and May to prepare my borders for the summer wedding season. If you would like to grow some flowers for cutting and making in to your own unique flower arrangements this year, then here are some of my favourites:

Antirrhinums (Snapdragons), Cornflowers, Cosmos in all the colours, Calendula’s, Nigella (love-in-a-mist), Orlaya grandiflora, Larkspur, Salvia viridis ‘Blue’, Scabious and Sweet Peas. With annual foliages including Euphorbia oblongata, Bupleurum, Ammi visnaga & majus, Dill, Molucella laevis (Bells of Ireland) and Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’. I also love biennials and always sow additional Hesperis matronalis (sweet rocket), Lunar (honesty), Foxgloves, Anchusa’s and Wallflowers to top up the existing plants I have. Cutting garden

Whilst many of the gardening books and magazines encourage you to sow under cover in March and April, if you have limited potting space you can just sow direct in to flower beds in May. As long as there isn’t one of those late frosts that is good at catching us out and as long as the soil has warmed up sufficiently, you will still get a good crop of cut flowers. If you would like to sow under cover but don’t have a potting shed then simply use a windowsill to start your seeds off and then you can plant them out when the weather brightens. If a windowsill or a balcony is all you have then you can still produce some beautiful cut flowers for your home, don’t be discouraged if space is tight, simply make the most of what you have and you will be amazed at what you can grow.

If you dream of a cutting garden of your own but don’t have the time to dedicate to it then I offer a gardening service in my local area and have created a wide range of cutting gardens for my clients, each one unique to them and their tastes. Get in touch via francesca@fsflowers.co.uk to find out more.

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Christmas Workshops

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It is that time again, it sneaks up through the summer and as soon as the children go back to school and the garden starts to be put to bed the inevitable is on it’s way ! September flies along and all the plans to be more organised with setting dates and posting them during the summer have flown out of the window …. next year I will be more organised !

The dates are set for workshops at home, for the end of November (Thursday 26th & Friday 27th) and the first week of December (Thursday 3rd & Friday 4th), I have started looking out for foliage sources, there are huge amounts of red berries on the holly this year but there is enough time for the birds to beat me ! Lovely mistletoe and eucalyptus will be available from Cornwall along with scented narcissi to decorate fresh flower wreaths.

The workshops will involve creating a foliage base which can then be decorated  with different types of foliage – berries, mistletoe, eucalyptus, Rosemary, sage, headed ivy to name a few. To then be topped with dried fruit, chilli’s, fir cones, larch twigs or however you wish. I will have homemade mince pies, cakes and coffee/tea to keep you going. So call to book your place 07710 914420.

I will also be running wreath making workshops at Applegarth on Saturday 28th November and Tuesday 1st December, contact MakeUk 07887 381303. Plus workshops at the Packhouse on Saturday 5th and Wednesday 9th, contact Made in Farnham, 07721 770969.

 

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Weddings are go !

I have been very lucky to have the opportunity to arrange wedding flowers locally starting in the depths of winter when there was a frost on the ground at Old Thorns to compliment the winter sparkle theme of the wedding. Flowers included hyacinths, paperwhites, tulips and avalanche roses all with petals that shimmered and scented the air. The baby’s breath represented the snowflakes that threatened to fall !

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The latter part of January saw bright spring flowers in a wild and natural bouquets, narcissi, hyacinths, muscari with foliage of lavender, winter honeysuckle, sage and rosemary adding to the scent. The Bride left from Frensham for the wedding in Lower Bourne and reception at Farnham Castle which the Brides very creative Mum decorated !

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photo 4             Vanessa&Tim_0174

Other weddings in February and March but not so hot on the photography from point of view. Then the spring starts to spring and a lovely wedding towards the end of April with pale colours with a vibrant pink splashed through. All of the narcissi and tulips in the bouquets were from the garden and the small pots that decorated the reception at Applegarth were all garden flowers and smelt divine !

IMG_0051              IMG_0050

 

Now looking forward to the late spring and summer weddings and using the beautiful flowers that grow here to make the weddings even more personal.

 

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Spring Workshops

I have at last got organised to put some dates in the diary to run some workshops from home kicking off with a Mother’s Day Flower arranging morning on Friday 13th March from 10.00 am – 12.30pm. The morning will involve a demonstration on how to make a hand tied bunch of flowers the natural way, which you then get to do yourself and take home to either give as a gift or to keep for yourself !

The cost is £40 and includes flowers, materials, coffee and treats and invaluable knowledge

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There will be more workshops on Flower Arranging, learning how to source, cut and condition flowers and foliage before creating your own arrangement. You will also learn how easy it is to grow your own flowers for cutting and how to create your own cutting area. Dates are Thursday 14th May, Thursday 18th June, Thursday 17th September. Cost £40 which includes all flower and materials along with coffee and cake.

DIY Wedding Flower workshop details to follow, dates will be Friday 8th May and Thursday 4th June. Watch this blog !!

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Autumn beckons

The time just flies, well over a year since I last updated the blog, but I am back in the thick of it now. Having left the area this time last year for seven months, returning in April this year, I am still trying to haul the garden back into some form of semblance ! There were  some advantages to being away as the garden had no chickens scraping up seedlings or geese munching their way through the climbers. So I have had stunning rose covered arches and an abundance of seedlings including – borage, red orache, burpleurum, anchusas, aquilegias, fennel, dill, feverfew, valerian and many more which are now being moved slowly but surely into the new or extended borders.

 

 

The chickens are now back in the garden, but the geese have been banished to the field and their favourite delicacy – my perennial sweet peas, have had a brilliant summer for once ! they are so strong and resilient, I have just sown a whole load more for next year, such a shame they have no scent. The “proper” summer has provided an abundance of berries and my arrangements at the moment include blackberries, elderberries, guelder rose berries and rose hips from the rugosas and the dog roses that I have running through the hornbeam hedge. Its funny how some plants fair better that others in the different weather conditions, my aconitums have really got going this year but my sedums have not liked the dry summer at all and are sulking on the back border !

 

 

Flowers are still going strong at Frensham Village Shop and I now supply arrangements at Applegarth Farmshop in Grayshott. I am in the process of setting some dates up for workshops at Applegarth through MakeUK, aiming at some Christmas door wreath days and then a bit later on Christmas arrangements. That time already ! lots of Christmas Fayres coming up too,  so the wiring and creating will begin soon, along with the bulb planting, mulching, seed sowing, potting shed painting (which I have probably left a bit too late ) and more borders being dug, it is a good job I don’t need much sleep – I have a cap fitted with a torch for the outside work, so I had better get cracking…….

 

 

 

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