Jemma & Lindsay 17 Aug 2015

All the sunny weather this week has me dreaming of summer weddings. So it was perfect timing when a message from Jemma, a bride from August last year popped into my inbox. She was sharing some of her beautiful professional photos taken by the very talented Chris Semple Photography.

I LOVED this wedding as Jemma wanted a ‘just picked’ garden style bouquet with toning shades of blue. I was able to use garden grown hydrangea, nigella and cornflowers with beautiful Blue Boy Delphiniums from my local flower market.

If any of my bride’s are interested in my Seasonal Garden package then these bouquets are the perfect example of what you can expect from the Seasonal Garden package.

The church doors were decorated with the bride’s own vintage bike and an over spilling basket of blooms on one side and rustic crates with jam jar posies and wooden slices on the other side. The venue décor continued the blue theme with lots of vintage styling touches. Congratulations to the new Mr & Mrs Watson.

Floral Trends | Wedding Flowers | 2015

If you’re planning your 2015 wedding then you need to know my top floral trends!

We seen the vintage, rustic and handmade trends recently and I want to move onto new styles and designs.  It seems that America often initiates many new floral movements and we quickly see them spread over to the UK.  Across the pond, bespoke design­ers in Canada and the United States are embrac­ing the local flow­ers and green­ery trend. More and more designs are fea­tur­ing lots of green­ery and gar­den flowers such as roses, peonies, hydrangea and dahlias. Flo­ral designs take on a less tra­di­tional shape with a decid­edly asym­met­ri­cal feel.

In the UK this trend has been labelled the ‘just-picked-from-the-garden’ look, it was just starting to be popular with brides in 2014 and it looks like this gorgeous trend is definitely staying for 2015 weddings.  Judith Blacklock of The Judith Blacklock Flower School is quoted saying:

“This summer, brides will choose softly-coloured blooms that reflect the gentle tones of the English garden.”  

So, instead of having a massed rose bouquet or other bouquet of one single flower, choose mixed flowers that look like they could come from the garden. If you’re having an autumn wedding, then why not choose flowers inspired by the woodland. Think ferns, foxgloves, trailing ivy and blowsy roses.  The look you’re going for is unstructured and wild. You could even use acorns, oak leaves and moss in your centrepieces to really reflect the season.

Early Summer Wildflower Bouquet
Early Summer Wildflower Bouquet

Annu­ally the Pan­tone Color Insti­tute declares a par­tic­u­lar hue to be the ‘Colour of the Year’.  For 2015 it’s ‘Marsala’.  Sen­sual and bold, deli­cious Marsala is a dar­ingly invit­ing tone that nur­tures; exud­ing con­fi­dence and sta­bil­ity while feed­ing the body, mind and soul. Much like the for­ti­fied wine that gives Marsala its name, this robust shade incor­po­rates the warmth and rich­ness of a taste­fully ful­fill­ing meal, while its ground­ing red-brown roots point to a sophis­ti­cated, nat­ural earth­i­ness.

Look for dusty reds and light bur­gundy flow­ers to find col­ors that will match a 2015 Marsala flower design palette. Pic­tured below are clock­wise from top left: Bur­gundy Baby Arti­choke, Brown Lisianthus, Blaz­ing Fury Cym­bid­ium Orchid, Black Prince Echev­e­ria, Choco­late Cos­mos, Dark Pink Astran­tia, Sumathi Maroon Vanda Orchid and Leu­ca­den­dron Tereti­fo­lia.

2015 Pantone Marsala Flowers
2015 Pantone Marsala Flowers

Marsala fits the new ‘Bohemian’ trend for weddings – rich jewel like tones of red, cerise, purple and emerald used in free flowing, natural style bouquets.  Buttonholes which feature seed heads and textured foliages rather than a focal flower make a ‘manly’ floral statement for the groom.

Scabious Seedhead buttonhole
Scabious Seedhead buttonhole

And once reserved for Pinterest, more and more brides are now embracing the ‘Flower Crown‘. However, I’ve yet to encounter a bride brave enough to order one for herself but the trend is definitely being manifested in flower girls and junior bridesmaids.  Maybe this year as I can’t wait to create my first bridal crown!

Floral Crown by Chic Vintage Brides
Floral Crown by Chic Vintage Brides

Finally, ‘Jam Jars‘ are here to stay – especially if you are having a barn wedding or rustic theme. Nothing compares for cost effective cuteness.  They can be decorated to suit your theme and are perfect posy size.  Use as cost effective table centres or gifts for the Mothers.  Think about hanging them from pews in the Church or from a distinctive tree if you are having an outside ceremony.

Wildflower Posy Jar by Ditsy Floral Design
Wildflower Posy Jar by Ditsy Floral Design

On the blog: Reflecting and Evaluating

#Natural #Rustic #Vintage #bouquet with Café au Lait dahlia
#Natural #Rustic #Vintage #bouquet with Café au Lait dahlia

I sit here at my laptop looking to the year ahead and reflecting on the one past. My resolution last year was to start this blog; to create an online presence for my (at that time) hobby floristry and flower farming business #DitsyFloralDesign. The last twelve months have been a whirlwind; the delight of #homegrown flowers, nurturing from seed to seedling and productive flower cropper; joining #NIFFA the Northern Ireland Flower and Foliage Association; helping to establish the Banbridge Wedding Network and a whirlwind of creative floral design from weddings and events to seasonal jam jar posies and my first corporate client.

I’ve reaffirmed my love of the natural world, the seasons, the plants, the gifts of the garden and the wilder places in County Down where I live. I know I’m inspired by the natural beauty of flowers and an appreciation of wildflowers and seasonal, local and sustainable flowers to create #rustic #natural #country and #cottagegarden style wedding flowers. I strive to create my own individual floristry style to reflect this.

I started the year wondering how I would achieve all the business goals I had set myself. I was working full time in an office job in Belfast and living in a small terraced house with no garage and limited space for my floral design. I was spending my weekends in my (off-site) polytunnel sowing seeds and planning what annuals to grow but wondering when I would actually have time to care for them nevermind get the raised beds sorted outside!

In February, I persuaded my hubby we needed a bigger house and we were lucky enough to move to a larger house with the all-important garage space in the lovely village of Loughbrickland, also a step closer to my cut flower plot and my dream of country living.

Building strong relationships with local wedding suppliers such as the Belmont Hotel and Bannville Hotel and attending their Wedding Fayres helped me secure some wedding bookings in 2014 and meet other local suppliers. A meeting with local photographer Kevin Carter and James Barton of Prestige Wedding Cars established the Banbridge Wedding Network.

My biggest opportunity of 2014 came when in early summer I was granted part time hours by my employer. Allowing me to spend more time with my gorgeous toddler boy and spend time on the plot.  My work week now consists of Mon to Wed in the office and Thurs, Fri and Saturdays a combination of; cutting and conditioning flowers, floral design, bridal consultations and weddings.

I finished the year on a high with two weddings, numerous orders for Christmas wreaths and table arrangements and taking on the post of treasurer within NIFFA.

I’m so lucky and privileged to be starting this year with 18 weddings on the books, amazing considering I only started promoting myself as a wedding florist last year. I’m elbow deep in planning already and my first wedding is next week! It’s promising to be an exciting year for Ditsy Floral.

I have loved this first step into #blogging and hope to continue to post in 2015. My resolution this year is to get to grips with Instragram, Twitter and Pinterest!

Click on the link below for a gallery of my favourite bouquets from 2014.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.985558174791612.1073741843.616213875059379&type=3

Elaine x

The last splash of Autumn colour

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.

Thanks for reading x

Vintage bike with a basket of seasonal blooms www.ditsyfloraldesign.co.uk
Vintage bike with a basket of seasonal blooms http://www.ditsyfloraldesign.co.uk
Bright and cheerful handtied bouquet www.ditsyfloraldesign.co.uk
Bright and cheerful handtied bouquet http://www.ditsyfloraldesign.co.uk
Seasonal Autumn basket www.ditsyfloraldesign.co.uk
Seasonal Autumn basket http://www.ditsyfloraldesign.co.uk
Halloween Pumpkin Flowers #locallygrown www.ditsyfloraldesign.co.uk
Halloween Pumpkin Flowers #locallygrown http://www.ditsyfloraldesign.co.uk

Bringing in the Flower Harvest #artisanflorist #flowergrower

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.

Home Grown Hydrangea
Home Grown Hydrangea

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.

Luxury Christmas Wreath with Hydrangea
Luxury Christmas Wreath with Hydrangea

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

Thanks for reading

@ElaineGrows

 

Fairs, Fayres and Celebrations

September has been a hectic month for #DitsyFloralDesign from Wedding Fayres or Bridal Fairs to my own Wedding Anniversary celebrations – five years whoa! The traditional five-year wedding anniversary gift is wood 😦 and the traditional flower of this year is the daisy…now that’s more my style! However, a pamper trip to the fabulous Slieve Russell Hotel is also very much my style!

Some pics to recap my flowery creativity and adventures doing the local wedding fair circuit this month…

Belmont Hotel, Banbridge, Sun 7th September 2014
The Belmont is definitely my local, being the closest wedding venue to my house in Loughbrickland and I was so excited to showcase my #vintagebike for the first time. Laden with a basket of #seasonalflowers it created quite a spin!! Lots of interest in #seasonalweddingflowers and #vintagewedding styling, great day for #DitsyFloral!

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Bannville House Hotel, Banbridge, Tue 23rd September 2014
The Bannville House Hotel, is situated just outside Banbridge and is really moving into the wedding market with a newly refurbished function room. My new Creamery can had its first outing at the Bannville and I loved creating the large, loose and natural style flower arrangement to sit on top #milkchurnflowers #countrystyleweddingflowers. Again lots of interest in #seasonalweddingflowers and #somethingdifferent from #DitsyFloral.

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Edenmore Golf & Country Club, Sun 28th September 2014
Then last but certainly not least was the beautiful Edenmore, set in themo most picturesque grounds imaginable and on a beautiful sunny autumn afternoon it was perfect for all the prospective brides and grooms. Creamery can crates and chalk boards were my design inspiration this time as well as a beautiful #homegrown Café au Lait dahlia which took centre stage in my sample bouquet! Lots of interest in #justpickedfromthegarden #weddingflowers 🙂

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Thanks for reading x

My Contribution to the Revolution #BritishFlowers #Homegrown #Seasonalflowers #DitsyFloralDesign

Earlier this year my second post on this blog was all about ‘The Home Grown Floral Revolution’, check it out here:
https://ditsyfloral.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/the-home-grown-floral-revolution/

I thought it was time to update you on some of my progress and my commitment to seasonal #justpicked flowers.

Spring sown sweet pea coming on well in the tunnel 3rd March 2014
Spring sown sweet pea coming on well in the tunnel 3rd March 2014
Autumn sown Ammi Majus plants in abundance 3rd March 2014
Autumn sown Ammi Majus plants in abundance 3rd March 2014
First sweet peas blooming 29th May 2014
First sweet peas blooming 29th May 2014
Sweet love, first bunch of heavenly scented sweet peas from the Ditsy Floral Cutting Patch #sweetpea #posyjar #homegrown
Sweet love, first bunch of heavenly scented sweet peas from the Ditsy Floral Cutting Patch #sweetpea #posyjar #homegrown
The first bunch of mixed blooms from the Ditsy Floral Cutting Patch, mainly grown from @higgledygarden seeds! #wildflowers #soproud #happyflorist
The first bunch of mixed blooms from the Ditsy Floral Cutting Patch, mainly grown from @higgledygarden seeds! #wildflowers #soproud #happyflorist
The dahlias and zinnias are just starting to bloom and will keep the cutting patch going right through to Autumn.
The dahlias and zinnias are just starting to bloom and will keep the cutting patch going right through to Autumn.
Posy Jar #justpicked from the garden
Posy Jar #justpicked from the garden

I have been using my floral abundance to create beautiful Posy Jars, perfect for a small gift, so next time you visit friends bring a Ditsy Floral Posy Jar rather than a bottle of wine or box of sweets. Something different! Love flowers, love Ditsy Floral Design.

x

 

#BritishFlowerWeek and Locally Grown Seasonal Flowers for your Wedding

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.

Wildflower Posy Jar
Wildflower Posy Jar by Ditsy Floral Design

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.
Peony Bouquet, peonies locally grown by Moorfield Flowers and arranged by Ditsy Floral Design
Peony Bouquet, peonies locally grown by Moorfield Flowers and arranged by Ditsy Floral Design

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!

Thanks for reading xx