Posts filed under Workshops

Have yourself a 'natural' little Christmas!

There is no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.
— Annie Leonard, Proponent of Sustainability

 Unfortunately we are still living in an age of mass consumerism, where landfill and single use plastic are top of our conscientious minds. Over the festive period it is estimated that we in the UK generate 30% more waste than usual. Tons of wrapping paper and glittery Christmas cards will end up in landfill, around one in ten Christmas gifts are unwanted and will end up discarded. And even those thoughtful gifts that are treasured – how many are packaged in unnecessary amounts of plastic packaging?

Not good eh?

So, the theme of this years Church Park Flowers Pop Up Christmas Shop is natural, green and recyclable.

All Christmas wreaths are being made with British sourced sustainable moss and foliage – most of it local. The wreaths will be completely compostable with no plastic used.

Table, centrepiece and tree decorations are all natural and recyclable and new for this year will be recyclable Christmas wrapping paper.

Apparently last year we used enough Christmas wrapping paper to get us to the moon! (220,000 miles worth) with over 85% of it unrecyclable by local councils. The Church Park Flowers Pop Up Christmas Shop will be stocking a variety of recyclable gift wrapping and presentation ideas to make your gifts this year stand out in style whilst being kind to the environment.

To follow through on this green and recyclable theme I’ve decided to republish last years Christmas Pop Up Shop blog post. I thought it was a good one – so why waste it!!?

naturalchristmaswreaths.JPG
In the circle of life, its the wheel of fortune, its the leap of faith, its the band of hope, Till we find our place. on the path unwinding in the circle, the circle of life
— Sir Elton John

Sir Elton John knows how to write a good song. There was a poll aired recently on TV rating his best songs. I must admit I didn’t watch it or know which one won but if you ask me I would go for “Don’t let the sun go down on me”. The live duet with George Michael on Live Aid in 1985 brings me out in goosebumps every time. 

But I digress. I chose these lyrics as my opening quote as they sum up two subjects that are monopolising my life at the moment. 

It’s a leap of faith, it’s a band of hope

So once again I’m taking the plunge into high street retailing. The Church Park Flowers pop up shop is back. Now in its third year, an empty unit in Butcher Row, Barnstaple becomes my home for four weeks. I never know what is going to be available, I only get 2 weeks notice of an agreement between myself and the council to have a temporary licence to sell natural Christmas goods to the masses of North Devon. I guess being my third year means it’s not such a leap of faith as it has been. But that little voice of doubt always sits on my shoulder whispering; will people find me, will people buy my wreaths and decorations for their homes, is it the right decision. (Actually now fourth year!!)

Put my positive hat on and it’s a different story. Butchers Row is a great place to be. Full of independent businesses. Some new this year, others been there for yonks. It’s a very friendly place to be. I love being somewhere I can meet the public. Working mostly from home in a workshop in the garden can be pretty lonely at at times - so an opportunity where people can pop in just for a chat - and hopefully spend some money - is very welcome in the winter months. 

And of course it’s Christmas. I love Christmas. My little pop up shop is a tiny slice of a natural rustic Christmas. Twinkling lights and (unlit) candles. Pretty sparkly ribbons galore. And the scent - well where do I start: pine, eucalyptus, cimamon, orange slices. It’s potpourri on a massive scale!

Circle of Life

The best seller of this pop up enterprise? The natural Christmas wreath. It's circular shape represents eternity, for it has no beginning and no end. From a christian religious perspective, it represents an unending circle of life. The evergreen, most frequently used in making wreathes, symbolizes growth and everlasting life. Holly, ivy, spruce are all good winter growing evergreens. Add some eucalyptus and rosemary for scent and you have a pure “green” wreath. Fresh for the festive season, all British grown, but of course fully biodegradable afterwards. See, the circle of life manifests itself again!

A selection of wreaths in different sizes and styles will be available to buy at the Butcher Row shop. Or order something bespoke.

Want to make your own? Then the shop is the place to come to buy all your materials: copper rings, moss, foliage, reel wire, cones, dried citrus fruits, ribbons and plenty more beside. All the sundries and natural supplies you need to make your home truly Christmassy  

So it may be a small temporary space but again in the words of Sir Elton John:

There's more to be seen than can ever be seen. More to do than can ever be done

Christmaswreath.JPG








Circle of Life

In the circle of life, its the wheel of fortune, its the leap of faith, its the band of hope, Till we find our place. on the path unwinding in the circle, the circle of life
— Sir Elton John

Sir Elton John knows how to write a good song. There was a poll aired recently on TV rating his best songs. I must admit I didn’t watch it or know which one won but if you ask me I would go for “Don’t let the sun go down on me”. The live duet with George Michael on Live Aid in 1985 brings me out in goosebumps every time. 

But I digress. I chose these lyrics as my opening quote as they sum up two subjects that are monopolising my life at the moment. 

It’s a leap of faith, it’s a band of hope

So once again I’m taking the plunge into high street retailing. The Church Park Flowers pop up shop is back. Now in its third year, an empty unit in Butcher Row, Barnstaple becomes my home for four weeks. I never know what is going to be available, I only get 2 weeks notice of an agreement between myself and the council to have a temporary licence to sell natural Christmas goods to the masses of North Devon. I guess being my third year means it’s not such a leap of faith as it has been. But that little voice of doubt always sits on my shoulder whispering; will people find me, will people buy my wreaths and decorations for their homes, is it the right decision. 

Put my positive hat on and it’s a different story. Butchers Row is a great place to be. Full of independent businesses. Some new this year, others been there for yonks. It’s a very friendly place to be. I love being somewhere I can meet the public. Working mostly from home in a workshop in the garden can be pretty lonely at at times - so an opportunity where people can pop in just for a chat - and hopefully spend some money - is very welcome in the winter months. 

And of course it’s Christmas. I love Christmas. My little pop up shop is a tiny slice of a natural rustic Christmas. Twinkling lights and (unlit) candles. Pretty sparkly ribbons galore. And the scent - well where do I start: pine, eucalyptus, cimamon, orange slices. It’s potpourri on a massive scale!

Circle of Life

The best seller of this pop up enterprise? The natural Christmas wreath. It's circular shape represents eternity, for it has no beginning and no end. From a christian religious perspective, it represents an unending circle of life. The evergreen, most frequently used in making wreathes, symbolizes growth and everlasting life. Holly, ivy, spruce are all good winter growing evergreens. Add some eucalyptus and rosemary for scent and you have a pure “green” wreath. Fresh for the festive season, all British grown, but of course fully biodegradable afterwards. See, the circle of life manifests itself again!

A selection of wreaths in different sizes and styles will be available to buy at the Butcher Row shop. Or order something bespoke.

Want to make your own? Then the shop is the place to come to buy all your materials: copper rings, moss, foliage, reel wire, cones, dried citrus fruits, ribbons and plenty more beside. All the sundries and natural supplies you need to make your home truly Christmassy  

So it may be a small temporary space but again in the words of Sir Elton John:

There's more to be seen than can ever be seen. More to do than can ever be done

Come say “hi”, came have a nose and have yourself a natural little Christmas. 

Church Park Flowers will be at 16 Butchers Row, Barnstaple EX31 1BW from 27 November until 23 December. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10ame til 4pm

naturalchristmaswreath.jpeg
Posted on November 25, 2017 and filed under Christmas, Workshops.

and the winner is........

I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and you are prepared for it
— Denzel Washington

I never enter competitions, I never buy lotto tickets - I always feel the odds are always too highly stacked against me for it to be worth the effort. So why I went against this habit for the Tallulah Rose competition must demonstrate the appeal of the prize. I mean, three days in an amazing location, being taught by one of the best in the business surrounded by beautiful flowers - that would be the jackpot for me! Sparkford Hall Wedding Flower Course Retreat?  This Cinderella was up for it! 

So 200 words or less on why it should be me? Let's see...........

I'm a flower grower and florist.

I spend time with dirt filled fingernails willing seedlings to grow, cursing slugs and rabbits and celebrating when I get the blooms. 

I spend time tweeting, facebooking, instagramming - spreading the word of British flowers.

I spend time talking 'jam-jar weddings' to brides and juggling quotes because they're on a 'budget'

I spend time studying Pinterest pictures, deciphering how to deliver bride's dream weddings

I spend silly-o'clock mornings in all weathers cutting and conditioning flowers

I spend time marketing my business - on my own tight budget

I spend time convincing my husband its a viable business

I spend time doing this with two preschool boys

I spend time doing all of this because I absolutely love flowers with a passion.

What I do not spend time doing, what I've never spent time doing, is learning how to arrange show-stopping flowers in a spectacular house by one of the best and having portfolio pictures to show for it.

For the experience, the confidence, the reassurance from fellow florists and, honestly, for the reward and touch of glamour the course would give me - I would love to 'spend time' at Sparkford Hall.

 

and guess what? I only went and won it!!!

Sparkford Hall here I come......

 

 

Posted on May 13, 2016 and filed under Bridal, Weddings, Workshops.

Making a Christmas Wreath

Ho, Ho, Ho!
— Santa Claus

This the season to be jolly, and as the flower beds become dormant for the winter it is time to bring the outdoors in (or at least as far as the front door ) with the making of a Christmas wreath.

Pine, holly, ivy, eucalyptus, poppy heads, daucus heads, berries, rose hips - all can be gathered in and wired together to make a natural, seasonal door adornment.

Start with your wreath ring. Buy a metal one or fashion your own from straw or willow. Cover in moss - and there you have your starting base. Make small bundles of your foliage of choice and wire them onto the wreath ring, slightly overlapping each bundle as you go. Continue all the way round until the base ring is covered. 

Leave as is or add cones, dried orange slices, seed heads by wiring them in. Add a fabulous bow and your door will be perfectly dressed for the festive season.

Need a helping hand or some more inspiration? Then come along to Church Park Flowers pop up Christmas shop and discover our world of wreaths. Ready made noble fir wreaths, fully dressed or all the sundries and natural supplies you need to make your own. Your can also stay for a drop in workshop to learn the tips and tricks for making your own wreath or door swag.

Have yourself a natural Christmas at Church Park Flowers pop up Christmas shop, Butchers Row, Barnstaple. EX31 1BW. 


Posted on November 28, 2015 and filed under Workshops, Christmas.

Blogs, Blogging, Bloggers?

Of course I knew about these things, maybe had actually read a few in my (free?) time but actually never really understood what they were about. So when Loveland Farm in Hartland approached me to run a workshop for a group of 24 ‘professional bloggers’ you can imagine my trepidation. It was to be known as ‘Sisterhood Camp’

wildflowers at Lovelands

I ‘stalked’ these people via social media and found a group of confident, knowledgeable, articulate and strong women that were coming from all over the country to stay at Lovelands in order to promote their message and they wanted little old me to show them how to make a flower crown? Yikes!!

So I arm myself with buckets and buckets of foliage, florist tape, wire and ribbon and turn up at the spectacular Lovelands with their crazy glamping pods.

Wow! The location is awesome, the pods are out of this world and ‘Sisterhood’? They really were the most inspiring, uplifting and beautiful group of ladies. I wanted to stay all day, I wanted to stay all evening, dam it, I want to be one of the ‘Sisterhood’ gang. I just need to learn how to blog. I showed them how to create foliage crowns and in return I picked up snippets about the blogging world. So truly fascinating – who knew that this form of communication could be so powerful, far reaching and motivating. From subsequent 'stalking' I can see how they each share in their own way their own loves, passions and experiences – how they want to tell everyone all about it and how they want to include everyone and encourage everyone to join in.

True to their word the message of Church Park Flowers has now been spread amongst their thousands of followers through some amazing ‘blogs’. I know I’ve not stumbled across them all but when you have a few minutes please take a look at those I have discovered:

Little Green Shed 

Lobster and Swan  

Decorators Notebook 

So it may seem a bit ‘geeky’ or ‘nerdy’ to be a blogger – but really the Sisterhood are a normal group of friends who have the gift of sharing and the skill of writing. Now, where is that thesaurus, oh and some spare time……

Posted on June 30, 2015 and filed under Workshops.