It’s nearly the end of the growing season for #britishflowers 2014. We’ve enjoyed a great early summer, a mild and humid mid summer and the most amazing extended Indian summer through Sep and Oct. I still had some sweet peas flowering on the plot at Hallowe’en!! A little bit uncharacteristic, but this is the thing with #flowerfarming, each year and season is different and it’s almost impossible to predict exactly when things will be in flower. It’s much better to guarantee brides and other customers specific colours rather than specific flower types.
Now, it’s time to clear the beds, sow the last of the autumn seeds and get ready for the madness of Christmas!! The work never ends #busyflorist #artisanflorist #flowerfarmer – love it!
Here’s some bright #seasonalflower photos to celebrate the last splash of Autumn colour from the #DitsyFloral #CuttingGarden.
This past weekend I have been concentrating on harvesting the hydrangea heads in my garden before the wet and windy weather ruins them all. I am delighted with the armfuls of blooms that I cut from one single shrub! These will now hang in the garage for drying. The trick to drying hydrangea is not how you actually dry them but the timing of when you cut them, so try to leave them as long as possible on the plant before cutting.
I plan to use the dried hydrangea through out the leaner winter months for floral arrangements and Christmas Wreaths, such as this gorgeous #natural #christmaswreath.
I’ve also been foraging around the garden for other ‘filler’ materials for drying – the furry seed heads of clematis, nigella and scabious seed heads, as well as apples that will be sliced into rings and dried slowly in a low oven for approx. 90 mins. I’m looking forward to experimenting with lots of dried ‘natural’ materials to my wreaths this Christmas.
I also collected the last of the sweet pea pods from my very brave sweet peas still showing a bloom or two in mid October, in Ireland…crazy!! #flowerfarmeryear
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 couldn’t let #Britishflowersweek pass by without a post. This is the second year of the celebration of British grown flowers, an idea devised by the New Covent Garden Flower Market, the main hub of flower trading in the UK. The idea is to raise awareness about the choice and availability of home-grown blooms and foliage in a market dominated by imports.
My own cut flower patch is starting to be quite productive. There’s love-in-a-mist, cornflowers, larkspur, cosmos, scabiosa, sweetpea, sweet william, candytuft and ammi. At home there aren’t many surfaces left which don’t have vases on them! Even so my scale of production, a polytunnel and a few raised beds, is tiny compared to the new breed of artisan flower farmers springing up across the water in GB. There seems to be a renewed interest in locally grown flowers, particularly with couples planning their wedding, so here’s my top reasons for choosing locally grown seasonal flowers for your wedding:
Why buy Locally Grown Seasonal Flowers for your wedding?
Flowers are grown, not flown! Nearly 90% of the flowers sold in the UK are imported and many travel over 3000 miles. The average flower miles of my bouquets are much less, as well as the plant material I supply from my own garden, I source from NI flower farmers and British growers as much as possible.
Flowers are hand picked the day before your wedding, ensuring they are at their freshest, most scented and will last longer in your vase.
Seasonal, locally grown flowers are very much ‘on trend’ at the moment with a move to supporting the local economy, local producers, as well as a shift back to more traditional native flowers such as Sweet Pea, Nigella and Cornflowers, flowers that would have been used by florists in years gone by, therefore a genuine nod to Vintage styling.
Seasonal flowers can be more cost effective for the budget conscious bride.
Local or home grown flowers help biodiversity, providing food and habitat to a variety of butterflies, bugs and bees.
Happy wedding planning and remember, you can also support local flower farmers and growers when you buy flowers from the supermarket or florist, always check for an origin sticker on supermarket flowers or ask your florist!
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!