The most recent wedding by Ditsy Floral Design in early June was a little bit different. A quirky bride who had very clear styling ideas to complement her 50s style wedding dress and bright red accessories. I had fun working on this brief and created this mood board on Pinterest to inspire my creative thoughts. http://www.pinterest.com/elainegroves1/rockin-50s-style-wedding/
The final bridal design is a handtied posy with locally grown red charm peonies from Moorfield Flowers, white Avalanche roses, white freesia, tanacetum and home grown ammi majus from the Ditsy Floral cut flower patch.
I’m currently devouring all flower related blog content and I love the flower inspired blog flowerona by Rona Wheeldon. I came across her concept of Florist Friday and that’s certainly suits me as I only ever seem to have time to write my blog on a Friday!!
I must apologise for the delay in my posts this month. I have been very busy #tiredflorist. Firstly, a house move at the start of the month set the pace. More space for the toddler and the bouncy dog – but most importantly, a garage that has been very quickly adopted as a floral studio!!
Surrounded by a sea of boxes and jam jars and only two days into the new house I found myself working on a bouquet for my first bridal photo shoot with Grace & Saviour for Rock the Frock Wedding Fair!! I’m very excited! The styling brief was pastel pinks, peach and silvery green tones in a natural and wild hand tie. I haven’t seen the official shots yet, but here is a taster…
My style is very natural and a lot of my inspiration is drawn from nature and the countryside around me…nothing too formal. My work is more organic than that of a traditional florist. Working in this way gives my designs a variety in texture, form, colour and scent.Here I’ve used locally grown Eucalyptus from Barbara Erwin of Foliage Works and foraged ivy from the garden with Spring flowers Tulips and Ranunculus. My mum has always been a keen gardener and growing up in the countryside a love of plants and flowers was instilled in me from a very young age. I love working with material from my own cutting garden and seasonal locally grown flowers whenever possible.
Next, I was lucky enough to secure a slot at the Belmont Hotel Bridal Fayre, my local in Banbridge! I was the only florist in attendance and totally delighted with the response from brides-to-be. Here are some pics from the night…
Rustic Spring Hand Tied Bouquet
Wild and Romantic Rose, Lisanthus and Ivy Trailing Bouquet
Vintage Tea Cup Posy
Mini floral topiary tree with Carnations and Chrysanthemums – perfect for table centres or larger versions for entrance doors!
The tail end of the month has been busy with enquires and consultations for 2014 and 2015…so lots more exciting and beautiful weddings are in the pipeline. Ditsy Floral is really taking off!
This week, I have been deciding on the cut flower crops that I want to grow this Summer. I have already planted an Autumn sowing of seedlings in the tunnel, all these seeds were all purchased from Higgledy Garden . These seedlings are doing well and I hope they will bloom earlier than the winter/spring sowings. I also need to sow more of these seeds in March he as it is useful to stagger the sowing and planting out to get the longest possible growing season from each crop.
The first seeds I’m going to sow this year are Sweet Peas. I sourced my Sweet Pea seeds from Sarah Raven, picking a spectrum of pink colours. Perfect for weddings and in old-fashioned, highly scented varieties – ‘Painted Lady’, ‘Mrs Collier’, ‘Anniversary’, ‘Matucana’, ‘Lord Nelson’ and ‘Prince Edward of York’.
Sweet Peas don’t like root disruption, so I’m going to make seedling tubes from old newspaper that once the seedlings are big enough can be planted straight into the ground. You can also use toilet roll inners or even cut up egg boxes, although the egg boxes don’t allow the seedlings much growth. Basically the paper or cardboard will degrade in the soil allowing the root ball to break through and continue growing.
Zinnia Giant Mix – I trialled growing Zinnias in window boxes last year with great success and at the moment they are my favourite cut flower – they have a long cutting season and excellent vase life, you will easily get 3 weeks from a freshly cut Zinnia. The flowers of the giant variety are spectacular, huge and long-lasting. For a florist used to more traditional flowers, Zinnias can replace Gerbera very easily, but will need to be wired as a Gerbera for extra support. Some of the varieties also resemble Dahlias and others Chrysants, so they are very versatile. They can be a little tricky to grow as they are prone to botrytis, but I didn’t have a problem last year. I’ve also ordered Zinnia Elegans Envy an acid green variety that will add a pop of colour to a bouquet or work really well in an achromatic colour scheme.
Most florists will be familiar with Moluccella laevis or Bells of Ireland – these tall spikes of fresh apple-green bells are stunning in a simple vase arrangement. You need to put the seed in the freezer for a week before you sow it to guarantee good germination. So, this one could prove a little tricky and they will definitely need staking when they grow!
Cosmos are pretty and bright, and give you plenty of color for a small investment. I haven’t grown them before but apparently they are very easy to grow from seed and make beautiful cut flowers. Most cosmos are annuals, but there are perennial varieties. Popular tall choices include Bright Lights, Cosmic Orange and Cosmic Yellow; dwarf plants include Sunny Red, Sunny Gold and Lady Bird. Cosmos bloom all summer, and you can usually get a second bloom from them by cutting back the early blooms. When they go to seed, I hope to collect and save seeds for next year, who knows I might even have surplus to sell!
I have also ordered Eryngium, a funky decorative thistle that adds texture and last well into Autumn for seasonal designs.
I’ve also ordered some Dahlia tubers from Peter Nyssen who sell a wide range of bulbs online. Dahlias are a must in the cutting garden as they provide colour well into the Autumn and long after other summer flowers have died away. The more they cut the more they flower which is exactly what a grower florist desires. The Karma range have been bred specially as a cut flower variety as they have strong stems and a good vase life.
While I wait for my seeds and Dahlia tubers to be delivered, I need to turn my attention to preparing the ground. I have a lot of new beds to dig; I’m going to need lots of free labour (retired dad – tick), lots of strong tea (Punjana – tick) and some chocolate biccies (tick). Now for a baby sitter…
The start of the year is always a busy time for wedding planning. I’ve had a number of enquiries from brides-to-be in recent weeks (so pleased, big grin). I thought I would prepare some buttonhole designs for inspiration – and to show off lol! I’m also studying my Level 3 in floristry and I have a portfolio to prepare for my final assessment in May – a few extra buttonhole and corsage designs will be appreciated.
Mini Cymbidium Orchids with Aparagus Fern, Ivy and berries/decorative wire #buttonholes
Perfect for the Groom and Groomsmen #buttonholes
Orchid Corsage with decorative wire framework, wax flower and foliage. This is a good option for Mother of the Bride/Groom or a handbag corsage if you are a guest. #corsage
Wrist corsages are a good option for bridesmaids or flowergirls and they can be very decorative. This design features a Phaleanopsis Orchid and wax flower. #wristcorsage