Discover the best seasonal flowers to use for your Autumn wedding
When I was a little girl I was a very eager, but very average, pupil at the Brenda Stevens School of Dance. Twice a week I would skip happily along to classes in tap, ballet and modern theatre dance. I, along with millions of other little girls (and boys!) would dream of being a ballerina and twirling in a beautiful pink tutu on stage.
Now, every four years the dance school would put on a full school recital at a local theatre. There would be months of rehearsals and mounting excitement. I would have been around seven years old when our tap class number was to be the “sing a rainbow” song. There was seven of us in the class and we were arranged in a line in descending height order. Now, not only was I average in dance ability but I was also average in height so I was right in the middle of the line. Our costumes were home made little dresses from satin lining material (oh so flammable!!) Starting from red on the left - I was to be ........ green!
Suzanne, tall, leggy and blonde, was in striking red (coz she needed to be noticed that little bit more) Then sunshine yellow - all happy and shiny, Pink - every girls dream and envy (I had to stand next to her whilst looking like an offspring of Shrek! - actually Shrek hadn’t been invented then so it was more like kermit!) Vibrant purple - just like the Brazil nut in Quality Street, Orange (maybe not my second choice but at least it’s cheery!) and then cute little Melanie with her curls in a baby blue dress. Being average is not what it’s cracked up to be - it’s obviously stayed on my mind all this time!
Green as a colour in the natural world is everywhere. Trees, grass, leaves and stems. But it’s the other colours in nature that stand out and provoke memories:
Red rose petals - symbolic with love and romance. The cheery and vibrant yellow marigolds. Soft pinks of the elegant larkspur. Heritage sweet peas with hues of mauve and purple. The stand out orange candulas and the ever blue of the most popular cornflower. These are the flowers that make the real floral rainbow and all were growing in profusion this summer in my cutting patch
The long hot summer put most of the flowering plants into overdrive. Bloom after bloom kept coming but they would also start to go over so quickly in the heat that it was sad to see them come and go without realising their full potential! So why not capture that beauty in an everlasting way by drying the petals to make natural confetti?
Home grown and hand picked, the petals were dried either in racks in the greenhouse or in a dehydrater to fully dry without losing the natural colour.
Each colour way is stored separately so that they can be mixed to create different combinations. Custom mixed to match your wedding themes and colours. But the best thing about this confetti is not it’s colours but the fact it is totally 100% “green” and with no guilty conscience of the pretty littering they will leave behind.
If only my seven year old self knew the true value of “green”
So don’t let your wedding be average - instead throw a rainbow of colour into the air like you just don’t care and sing that rainbow loud! ***
(***whilst being green and proud!)
Flower crowns - I love them! They are so pretty, so delicate, so individual. Don't think of them as purely for flowergirls, they look equally stunning on a bride.
There is a real trend currently growing for the bridal crown. This has been taken from the custom of wearing them at festivals where they are worn to symbolise the carefree nature of the countryside, the music, the relaxed vibe. And why shouldn't you take this relaxed - some may say bohemian - look into your wedding.
Of course flower crowns are not a new thing. Julius Caesar rocked a pretty good laurel crown back in the day. The Chinese had their own version using orange blossom which, as it blossoms and fruits at the same time, symbolises fertility. Queen Victoria borrowed this idea and wore an orange blossom flower crown for her wedding to the hunky Prince Albert. But I guess it's the hippy 60's we most associate with the flower crown and it's from there it transferred to mainstream fashion and weddings of today.
So wear your crown with pride. Whether small and dainty or bold and beautiful, you can wear flowers in your hair and celebrate being 'you'
Now I'm not one for actually even listening to Donald Trump but I was rather surprised to come across this quote and find myself, heaven a bid, agreeing. But I'm pretty sure he was not referring to the oversized wedding bouquet.
Sometimes, just sometimes, big is better and I for one am loving the trend for these bold and beautiful oversized wedding bouquets.
With a wild asymmetrical structure of flowing foliage and statement flowers they truly make a wow factor as you walk down that aisle.
Now you don't need to go too mad - after all you will be holding it for quite a while during the day and you don't want a sprained wrist by the end of it. But actually stem wise they are not a lot heavier than a standard bouquet and also won't break the bank either!
Of course it's not for everyone, you need the confidence to carry it off so you still 'own' the look rather than the bouquet taking over. Wear a simple fitted dress and this beauty will finish the look.
So, let's say it together, big is beautiful!
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......
So they are a Star Wars nerd. You've accepted that, you find it kind of endearing. Well it's better than being into fly fishing - right? But what happens when they want a Star Wars wedding?
Not quite what you had in mind eh? But worry not as "fear is the path to the dark side" as Yoda once said. You can include the Star Wars world into your big day without dressing like Darth Vader or wearingbagels in your hair (remember that episode of Friends!)
Some subtle inclusions of galactical fun could actually make your big day truly unique and be a real reflection of your personalities. I've put a little Pinterest board together of some ideas I came across that are actually quite sweet. But how far you go to include the trilogy and beyond is up to you - and your obsessed partner. With Hans and Leia, Luke and Mara and even R2-D2 and C-3PO showing us how it is done there is always room for love and romance what ever Galaxy you live in.
Photo by Tim Lamerton
I have a long list of blogs to write. Some are just ideas, some for future use, some are drafted out and others as good as completed just waiting for the right time to post. But scheduling is something I have yet to master and I am acutely aware that this blog page seems a little neglected - a little forgotten - and it needs some attention, some content, some interest. So I have set myself a little challenge. A blog series called 'The Friday Photograph'
This will 'challenge' me on a number of levels and serve several purposes;
1) it ensures more regular and up to date posts.
This is good for me and you. Hopefully for you it will give a greater insight into the world of Church Park Flowers. In return I hope to see what posts are popular, find out what people like and what people like to know.
2) it will help give me more confidence in my writing
Writing does not come naturally to me, by making myself regular pen something - albeit short - I hope to become more comfortable with the written prose
3) it will chart my planned improvement in photography
Good images are essential on a website, and more so when illustrating a creative art such as floristry. I am determined to improve my photographic record of behind the scenes and 'front of house' images of Church Park Flowers. By putting them under a series heading it will be easier to map any progress made
So the First One is a picture I took last week of a spring arrangement I made for a couple of wedding fairs.
I really like how this arrangement turned out. The container is a copper footed urn found in a charity shop. Asymmetrical arrangements are on trend right now and I think they work so well with natural and seasonal flowers. The shape mirrors so well how these flowers and foliage would be found in the garden and hedgerows in early spring.
Narcissi, primroses tulips and ranunculus nestle in with foliage, twigs and even feathers to create a tableau of spring.
The photo is taken on my iPhone against the battered door of the workshop. The door may be 'distressed' but I like the rustic look it gives to the image.
So.... The gauntlet is down, I have started the Friday Photograph blog series. Let's see where it takes us.
As summer draws to a close (sorry!) it’s time to say good bye to last year’s annuals. These have been my floral stewards over the last five months and it is a bittersweet exercise when pulling them up.
They have faithfully provided colour, scent and beautiful blooms for all manner of requests over the summer. The birthday bouquets, the thank you bouquets, the blue cornflowers and nigella for the nautical themed weddings, the brighter bolder zinnias for the mid summer buttonholes and the scented sweetpeas nestled in bridal bouquets.
As they are pulled from their spots I make mental notes for next year plantings. Definitely yes to more larkspur - Long lasting stems in mauves, purples, whites and pinks. Save space for the ever favourite cornflowers – the blues win hand down on popularity and vibrancy. Need to include more colours for the antirrhinums. (Only had deep crimson and a few white ‘snapdragons’ this year) Jury still out on the zinnias. They win ‘most colourful annual’ award hands down – but not popular for brides unless the Caribbean them takes off in 2016. Dill flowers will appear again as I love the zingy yellow that works so well with other colour palates and adds a spicy scent to bunches of blooms. Cleome?? What were they thinking when they recommend it as a cut flower? Yes it looks impressive but those thorns?! Really? They are killers on your hands. Don’t want the dry-cleaning bill as they prick the finger of a bride in pure white! Escholias, again look great in the beds – but no real staying power for the vase. Must remember to pinch out cosmos next year as picking from 6 foot high plants is no easy task! The sunflowers are still giving so can stay put for now. As can my years favourite – the daucus. The colour, the shape and the generosity of this annual makes it my current favourite. Still producing well in the outside beds it pairs perfectly with dusky pink hydrangeas that are still looking good. (If anyone is looking for a gift in the next few weeks this would make a fabulous long lasting floral arrangement or bouquet – hint hint).
The nice part about clearing the annuals is that it is not a hard task. No deep roots to dig out you can literally just tug them up and chop them into the compost heaps. So at least they are not wasted on any level. You can then clear some beds in super quick time and get them dug and raked over ready for the next ‘guests’. ………to be continued
"When April blows his horn, Tis good for both hay and corn" Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady.
I've not seen the film (or even actually read the book!) but I'm sure that Bracken House would be the perfect location for the book. A gorgeous former Edwardian rectory, Bracken House offers the perfect venue for an intimate country house wedding. The ever fab Blue Fizz Events leapt into action to perfectly encapsulate the look, vibe and aspirations of this edge of Exmoor setting.
Honoured to be invited to do the flowers, I got the chance to be featured with some true bridal style from Lily and Louie and Lottie the dog!
Matt Stockman (of Photo Booth fame!) perfectly captured this quintessential Edwardian era style wedding. I'm sure you'll agree his photos are exquisite. And of course guest star my flowers!
Ahoy my hearties! Had a fabulous day out at the Clovelly Nautical and Vintage Wedding Fair. Superbly organised by Blue Fizz Events it was a totally stylish occasion. Two stunning marquees filled with all manner of vintage inspiration for the bride to be! Cakes, dresses, photo booths, headdresses and porta loos! Everything a bride desires!
Made my little space work hard for me with nautical floral inspired creations. Bouquet of sea holly, cream lizzies, thlapsi green bell (As used in Kate Moss’s wedding bouquet!) and little seashells wired in. Loosely arranged in a natural look tied with a jaunty blue and white striped ribbon – looked great with Lily and Louie’s vintage dressed bride in the ‘pop up’ catwalk show. Mirrored these flowers in a simple hand tied posy presented in a kilner jar – again tied with the stripped ribbon. Simple, effective and great for DIY budget brides!
Met some lovely people – with some wonderful positive feedback. Fingers crossed for some bridal enquiries as would love to recreate these ship-shape seaside stunners!