Some days it’s all about digging, planting and preparation but as Spring arrives and the blossom begins to appear in the hedgerows, it’s a sure indication to us that those in our garden will not be far behind. The Narcissus, Anemone and Ranunculus have already been flowering for a week or two now, the intricate flowers of the Hellebores have been blooming since early February and will probably see us through for a little while yet, with their subtle tones, until they turn to green forever.
This last week has seen picking start in earnest. Buckets of Anemone,Prunus blossom, tissue paper like petals of the Ranunculus and the parchment like bud cases of the Narcissus before the flowers break though.
The welcome addition of the lime green umbels that are beginning to appear from the Alexanders together with the cymes of the beautiful Euphorbia that have lent themselves brilliantly to providing that all important contrast to the other early Spring blooms. Just looking forward to these now spanning the gap between the early Spring bulbs and the wonderous Tulips and Bluebells that follow.
From now on it will be full steam ahead, the flowers will keep on coming. More planting, seed sowing and cultivating will prevail but it has been fantastic this week to grasp what has come into its own and combine them together into bunches and more, for our customers to enjoy……
Spring is slow to arrive, but using the time to reflect …..
With all the buds waiting to burst but everything held in limbo with the onslaught of this cold weather and beating winds, we wonder if Spring in earnest will ever arrive. No doubt it will as it always does, then it will be rapid, erupting everywhere, beautiful blossom and blooms seeming like a massive carcophony of noise but taking a visual form. Our senses overwhelmed with all the fantastic shapes and scents that only Spring flowers can bring after a cold bleak winter that seems to have gone on forever.
We have been planting like machines, Roses and perennials, propagating tender plants and sowing seeds for masses more. Continuing to meet with lots of prospective brides, and planning for all their schemes. Late Winter and Early Spring to us is all about preparation, then waiting to jump at the first chance of combining those amazing blooms that nature provides us.
On grim days, like today, it is also a chance to look back, take note and reflect on what went before. The beautiful flowers of last year, the Brides we met and the anticipation and excitement of doing it all again.
Katie and James had a beautiful August wedding, the Church and venue about as romantically English as you can imagine but with a contemporary twist of Tipis for their reception. Coupled with a perfect day of hazy sunshine it looked like bliss compared to what we see outside today……
The romantic essence of a wedding day, for most, is floaty, whimsical and dreamy.
We wanted to capture this with an abundance of textures- Foliage, flowers, silks, lace and our own home made ribbons dyed with everything from Elderberry and Beetroot, through to Spices and Cabbage, yes Cabbage, you read it right, the red type to be precise!!!
We’d had the overall flowing style in our minds eye from the previous Autumn when we were dabbling with alchemy, with a stove full of amazing concoctions brewing, giving us earthy rainbow tones to silks, linens, lace and other fabrics we dipped. Each one would come out different each with it’s own unique shade, the uses to us were endless.
The warm tones of the vintage lace in Kristina’s dress combined with the cooler shades of lilac, from some of the ribbons we had produced, influenced the combination of flowers chosen to accentuate the colours and textures. This time we allowed ourselves the luxury of just two types of flowers that we hadn’t been able to grow in our own plot at that time of year. A stunning lilac Rose called ‘Dolcetto’ and the very graceful Clematis Pirouette. Everything else was at its own natural growing stage from our garden, the amazing Ivy heads and the very unusual buds of the Euphorbia combined with the dusky mauve of the freckled Hellebores, the dried seedheads of the wild willowherb and hydrangeas from the summer before.
Assembling all the feature flowers on the work bench emanated in us combining them into a beautiful floral crown, the hydrangeas in this were stunning and set off by Kristina’s English Rose looks to perfection……
On our photo shoot held with Jess Soper earlier this year we were all about trying to capture the season, why? Because we try to use, as best we can, flowers of the moment.
Flowers and natural materials are truly governed by the seasons if you are wanting to use British blooms.
Inspired by the bleak grey skies of February, the barren landscape, the stark trees and only the first few emerging Snowdrops of the year we started foraging for twigs, and hunting the garden for any Snowdrops and graceful white Hellebores that we could find.
Keeping to the season and using the things on hand at the time allows you to become more creative, it opens your way of thinking. Taking inspiration from those things around you that might seem irrelavant to the conventional wedding day can set you over and above the rest, embrace everything that is out there and make your day your own.
Our ideas culminated into a Narnia-esque feel, even Jess mentioned how much she could imagine a Winter wedding theme of everyone dressed as a Narnia character, sipping Champagne around a roaring log fire.
With the cold setting in, all we could really think of come the end of the day was sitting round a log fire ourselves and we have to take our hats off to our model Ella who endured 4 degrees all afternoon in definitely not the warmest of attire!!!
A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to collaborate with Jess Soper Photography and a group of other very talented people. We wanted to explore alternative ways for wedding flowers, the theme was Winter, the idea was to think outside the box and create a look that would be so different for a wedding that it would grasp viewers and evoke their thoughts. We knew for definite though that we wanted to involve feathers somehow….
Grabbing many of our ideas from nature, we took the brainstorming session prior to consolidating the final plan everywhere, the absolute must though was to involve as many of our home grown flowers as possible. In mid February that’s no easy task but with the combination of Skimmia, Hellebores, Ivy flowers, dessicated seed heads, Eucalyptus, Ranunculus and succulents from our small greenhouse, we managed. A few imported additions of Amaranthus and Calla added to the effect and what we had created blew us away when the photos were returned.
Hayley our model has a very strong look and we wanted to emphasise this with the flowers she carried, the pheasant feather headdress enhanced this. The light, that bleak and cold February day was amazing, the venue of the ruin of Little Birch Church more so.
If you want to challenge the conventional white wedding way of thinking, take a look at the images below. It just goes to show that British seasonal flowers can be used for dramatic effect, not just frill…..
We wanted to come up with something a little different for offering our customers this Easter. After a little bit of thought and gathering together the flowers and materials of the season, we set to work. Hand weaving a beautiful Birch twig, Bracken and Moss nest we set it amongst the fresh emerging leaves and blossoms of Prunus, Ribes and the fantastic native Alexanders that we grow here at the garden. Enhancing this beautiful framework with Salix catkins, Narcissus and paper like Ranunculus really made for a stylish table centre for Easter Sunday Lunch. Not only would this be great to look at over the festive weekend but could be filled with chocolate eggs for all the family to enjoy!!!