English country wedding flowers
There is a great fashion for putting fresh flowers on cakes. And what an attractive fashion it is!
However, there are a few things to think about before arranging flowers directly on cakes which you're going to eat.
- Make sure the flowers are edible. If I see one more picture of larkspur or delphiniums with their stems pushed into cakes I'll have a fit! Sooner or later someone's going to be really ill from eating something seriously inedible. Off the top of my head I can list larkspur, delphinium, sweet peas and monks hood, daffodils, buttercup, hyacinth and foxglove as flowers never to have any where near a cake. This list is but the tip of the poisonous flower compost heap. So if you want to dress your cake with flowers please make sure the flowers are edible first.
- If you're growing flowers you've checked are edible yourself for your cake, then you can be sure they haven't been sprayed with anything which might not suit your digestion. Flower
In the same way that there's no point in trying to make a small room look larger by paining it a light colour, there's no point in trying to compete with a massive empty space by stuffing it with flowers. A massive empty space is a massive empty space. However, an intimate ceremony happening inside a massive empty space can be framed carefully with flowers - though I still say don't fight with the space, don't compete with it. Make lovely flowers to frame the ceremony and let the space be what it is.
And so it is with the Radic Pavillion in the Piet Oudolf garden at Hauser and Wirth just outside Bruton in somerset. The Radic Pavillion is like a giant, empty dinosoar egg at the top of the garden, a huge, hollowed out space with nothing in it but rows of chairs for your wedding ceremony, and maybe a table if you ask for one. The view faces through trees and over hedges towards the little Somerset town of Bruton, and the sun sets in the view, as wedding ceremonies always...
Here's a beautiful pedestal arrangement made for a June wedding at East Pennard House (a stunning wedding and event's venue near Shepton mallet in Somerset.)
I love creating wedding flowers with the gorgeous blooms we grow here on our flower farm between Bruton and Wincanton in Somerset, and I love best that no two schemes are ever the same. Because we grow most of the stock we use in our wedding flowers, no matter what the colour scheme, the look, while always classic English country wedding flowers, does change from week to week. In June, when these flowers were created, the tree foliage is still very fresh and green and makes a great background to the flowers. We create herbaceous border style arrangements, and so the look is always quite luxurious and rich, and in June the roses are at their best, and because we grow our own, we can have these long, bendy stems with more than one head of rose on them for our focal arrangements.
The bride had a largely blue bouq...
I've been meaning to post about the royal wedding flowers ever since the big day, but we have been busy ourselves (ahem!) and so this at last is my first slow Friday for months and I'm playing catch up. I thought Philippa Craddock and her team did the most incredible job creating flowers for Megham and Harry's wedding - they were stunning! AND the most important thing about them, I think, was that they were done without using flower foam.
When booking your wedding flowers do have a think about how the designs are created, and if your florist suggests working without flower foam do go with them. Flower foam is made out of the same material as plastic bags and takes as long to biodegrade (practically an eternity!) Creating flower installations without flower foam makes a much lighter look, and allows a much more country feel as you can use flowers which wouldn't last a minute in foam. This, of course, is great for country flower growers like us as we delight in creating with f...
Wedding flowers preparation here at Common Farm Flowers near Bruton in Somerset is the equivalent of our rubbing our creative hands with glee each Monday morning through the season.
Whether the wedding be a dinky little intimate number, like the one illustrated here, or, buckets of mixed flowers for the couple to arrange themselves, or a full Fragonard (which is the description we use for a huge, extravagant installation,) on Monday morning Sharon and I get out the orders. We then walk around the garden, making sure we have what we need for each event growing happily in the borders. We earmark this lilac or blossom or tulip or forget me not for each event, making a cutting list as we go so that we have an idea of what we'll be cutting for each event on Thursday.
Then, back in the studio we check ribbon, vases, jars, candles, making sure there'll be no last minute panics when it comes to creating the flowers on Friday.
We grow most of the flowers we use in...
Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle! I love a Royal Wedding, especially one announced in late November when we still have the winter to get through. Here are the top considerations I'll bet they'll be thinking about when it comes to deciding on their wedding flowers.
With so many good family gardens to pick from, I'll bet the look is to be classic English country garden flowers. Prince William and Katherine had a gorgeous pure white scheme at their spring wedding, and I loved the way they lined the aisle of Westminster Abbey with trees. I'll bet Meghan and Harry have an equally bringing-the-outside-in look, though I'll bet good money that the colours won't be the same.
So far our wedding flowers bookings for the 2018 season have been the absolute oposite of this year: I'm planting a lot more colour for 2018, especially a wonderful mix of hot reds, pinks and oranges. I think red is going...
October 23, 2017
It seems to me that a question brides seldom consider is how they're going to carry their bouquet on their wedding day. The look of the bouquet, the flowers used and so on, are usually carefully thought out, but how the bouquet will actually be carried, the weight of it, the look of it against the dress, is not a question brides ever ask me.
Hot tip: make a posy and stand with it in front of the mirror. Do you feel comfortable holding it two handed right in front of you as is often shown in photographs? Will you be able to carry it like that when you're being taken down the aisle by whoever is giving you away? And when you imagine your photographs being taken will you still stand straight-on to the camera, holding the bouquet two-handed? Or will you face your new husband and hold the bouquet down by your skirts, with a straightish arm?
How will the bouquet, which, for good reason, will cost you a fair amount of money,...
October 02, 2017
I'm a big fan of using lots of foliage with all my flower designs. Why? Because the foliage gives the flowers something to show up against, but also, foliage is luxurious, and gives a real herbaceous border feel to the flowers you choose. Often we do flowers for weddings which are set in real gardens, either private, or in the gardens of hotels or gorgeous venues which have lush outside spaces. Using lots of foliage in our wedding flowers mixes seems to really bring the garden into the event. I'm no fan of flowers looking stiff and too arranged, and giving them a good bed of foliage to nestle in, stops any possibility of their looking like bedding in a municipal planting scheme.
Foliage doesn't have to be dull, or green. We grow quite a lot of dark, moody foliage, which goes with other things like ivy beautifully, giving a greater depth of field to a look, and framing flowers with a bit of dark glow, and we grow a great many green...
August 25, 2017
Questions to ask before deciding to do your own wedding flowers.
It's undeniably fun to do your own wedding flowers, and an achievement which you can be proud of for the rest of your life.
But before you decide to grow or order buckets of flowers for you to arrange for your big day, there are a good few points I recommend you think about.
- Have you done any floristry before? If not then do just pop out into your garden and cut enough flowers that you think will make up one of your table centres. Put them into water, give them a good long drink, and then arrange them in the kind of container you had in mind for your flowers. As you make your table centre, count the stems you're using, and keep an eye on how many 'hero' flowers (roses/dahlias/tulips) you're using, how much filler, and how much foliage. Time this whole process. This will give you an idea of how much time you'll need for doing your own table centres.
From our little flower farm and floristry studio between Bruton and Wincanton in Somerset, we grow and supply English country flowers for about sixty weddings a year, and a great many of them are sent by courier. This picture is from one such. We sent ten buckets of flowers to be made into everything except the bride's bouquet and the buttonholes, and then we made the buttonholes and the bridal flowers and sent them over to Oxfordshire too as flower delivery bouquets.
I never met the bride as she lived on the West Coast of the USA, so we corresponded by email and spoke a few times on the phone. We talked about the feel and look of the flowers she was looking for, and she trusted me to be able to put together a mix of flowers which would work well with her scheme, and to make her bouquet for her. She loved the fact we grow all the flowers, or use locally grown flowers in our bouquets, never using imported flowers, always grown not flown, and that our look...