Wednesday 4 May 2016

Houseplant of the Month: May

Houseplants: like the perfect man... long lasting, great looking and low maintenance.  
What is not to love?  

Which is why the Flower Council of Holland are continuing their Houseplant of the Month Campaign throughout 2016.  Each month they have chosen their favourite Houseplant and given a ton of information on the history and uses of the plant, how to choose a nice healthy one, and how to take proper good care of it.

We thought we'd do you all a favour and follow their lead, condensing the info in our own monthly feature.  
In the fifth part of this year's series...

Blooming Tropical Plants

Just in time for this glorious weather, this month sees the turn of Anigozanthos, Gloriosa and Medinilla as the tropical houseplants of the month.

In fashion world, the 2016 spring / summer collections were heavy on the tropical prints, and there is a big tropical revival in the flower world too. 

So, if you’re a big fan of House of Hackney and a frozen daiquiri, you will be well up for one of these babies. 

The Anigozanthos plant hails from Down Under, and appropriately is commonly called Kangaroo Paw.  It comes in some incredible russet reds and oranges and even lime green tones.  It is also available as a long lasting cut stem, and has even appeared in the buttonholes of an Aussie One Flew Over groom!

The Gloriosa is a climber originally from India and Africa and has tendrils which can grow up to 5 metres in length and flower into delicate looking, curved petals.

The Medinilla is native to the Philippines, however its numerous species are now found as far as Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Africa.  The plant’s flowers can grown to a totally mad length of 30 metres.

Tropical houseplants generally (and unsurprisingly) aren’t too happy when the temperature drops so keep them in a warm, light spot.  The Anigozanthos can even handle full sunlight so suits a window sill right nice.

 With the Medinilla and Anigozanthos, it is best to keep them on the dry side, so water sparingly and let the soil dry out between times.  The Gloriosa can be watered more regularly but don’t let any of them stand in water.  Unless they are in a bikini with a beer in their hands.

Remove any old branches, flowers or leaves to encourage new growth and let them bloom!   

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Proper Weddings: Hannah and Dave

We've had a spate of enquiries recently for September weddings.  And although it seems a tad mad to be looking forward to the end of summer already, we bloody love September blooms so thought this would be an excellent opportunity to share Hannah and Dave's wedding from last year.

The couple's ceremony and reception took place at Trinity Buoy Wharf; an absolutely breathtaking former chainstore, with its very own lighthouse, situated on the banks of the River Thames and Bow Creek.

Hannah and Dave are big fans of greenery and nature, and therefore favoured a seasonal, foliage heavy vibe. 

The bridal flowers were to be a 'just picked' style of whites, creams and greens, with tons of texture.  

For Hannah's bouquet, and her maid's slightly smaller hand-ties, we used the most glorious white Japanese anemone, nigella, scabious and cosmos (stars of the season), astrantia and wax flower for smaller floral interest, white lisianthus for their wild buds, freesias for their creaminess and scent, and autumn eucalyptus and silver mimosa for textured foliage.

The bouquets were tied neatly with a neutral, white fabric.  No shiny ribbon here!

At the request of Dave, the buttonholes were in the style of tiny posies, including rosemary, scabious seed heads and berries, and then finished off with white and blue striped twine.

The wedding took place on a warm and bright September day. For the ceremony at Trinity Buoy Wharf, the enormous industrial doors were opened and the rows of chairs and registrar's table were set up so guests faced out over the river. 

We lined the aisles with groups of amber and clear glass bottles filled with the same ingredients as the bridal flowers, as well as  guelder rose, alchemilla, cosmos, dill, oregano and weigela.

Following the ceremony, the room lay out was rearranged for dinner into rows of wooden trestle tables, on which the aisle bottles were re-purposed. 

Hannah and David were very conscious of how large and industrial Trinity Buoy Wharf can be, so were keen to use flowers and foliage to make the venue more intimate.

We softened sparse areas of white brick with more assorted bottles,  and with branches of hanging foliage. 

We also installed a large foliage backdrop above a hire Chesterfield three piece to designate a cosy sit - down zone.

September might see summer drawing to a close, but it also sees in some lovely blooms. 

All photos taken by the excellent McKinley Rodgers Film & Photography.

Wednesday 13 April 2016

Houseplant of the Month: April

Houseplants: like the perfect man... long lasting, great looking and low maintenance.  
What is not to love?  

Which is why the Flower Council of Holland are continuing their Houseplant of the Month Campaign throughout 2016.  Each month they have chosen their favourite Houseplant and given a ton of information on the history and uses of the plant, how to choose a nice healthy one, and how to take proper good care of it.

We thought we'd do you all a favour and follow their lead, condensing the info in our own monthly feature.  
In the fourth part of this year's series...

April : Peperomia

So called because it supposedly resembles its pepper cousin, the Peperomia plant hails from the rainforests of Central and South America and therefore is perfect for a bit of tropical flair in the home.

There is a huge variety of Peperomia.  The most familiar variety - the Peperomia Obtusifolia - can be recognised by its rounded and fleshy leaves, while the Peperomia Caperata has ribbed leaves. 

There is even a type nicknamed 'Happy Bean' (real name: ‘Green Split’), which is said to resemble green beans.

These fellas have semi-succulent properties, which means they can store water in their juicy stems and leaves.  Perfect if you are the type to forget to water your houseplants regularly!  

But don't neglect them completely - a good watering once a week or so will do.  And maybe give them a little plant food treat once a month too.

Keep your Peperomia plant in a lovely light spot, but out of direct sunlight.  And during the summer, you can always let it have a little holiday in the garden or balcony.

These are an excellent and super fun choice for a terrarium, or little rock garden too.

Also, if anyone can track down these dead sweet dragonfly pots for us, we'll love you forever.

Thursday 31 March 2016

One Flew Over Recently...

March has been chilly but signs of Spring are emerging. 

The sweet peas we planted over winter are growing taller and stronger each day;

Our friends lucky enough to have ducks tell us the first eggs have been laid;

And after nothing much happening in the wintry garden, Oscar is suddenly glued to the promise of movement and excitement (anything small that moves and THE OTHER CAT).

At the beginning of the month we exhibited at, and were floral sponsors for, the superb A Most Curious Wedding Fair.  

(Check out last week's blog on foliage-a-plenty wedding inspiration, with photos from the various elements we decorated at A Most Curious...)

A wedding fair like no other, A Most Curious curates original and creative suppliers from London and beyond, and pops them all in a non-intimidating and super fun environment. With a bar. What's not to love?

It's possible that we got a little over excited about our pop up flower beds, cramming them full of ranunculus, anemones, lilac, mimosa, clematis, wax flower and basically anything else we could fit in! 

Plus, we got an opportunity to create an enormous, and possibly completely mad, bouquet.

Which Charlie was kind enough to model with some more bended knee bouquet shots;

Check out Helen's round up of the fair on her excellent blog The Wedding Bazaar which includes photos (rather than our terrible phone-tos!) by the bloody lovely Tasha at Ikonworks photography.

And also, Rona from the comprehensive and informative flower inspired blog Flowerona, has featured us in her Wedding Wednesday post (although PLEASE excuse how awkward we look - we genuinely cannot take a good photo. It's a serious problem...) and also featured all the florists at the fair in her Rona Reflects vlog.

Aside from the fair, we have been revelling in the delights of a new season with our weekly contracts; delicate blossom, blousy and bossy fritillaria persica, and bold pops of coloured florals.

And we even managed to squeeze in a much needed holiday each over the easter break.  

In the Lake District, THIS HAPPENED...

Oh, and finally, check out this here beauty;

Wednesday 16 March 2016

Wedding Inspiration at A Most Curious Wedding Fair

This past weekend we joined A Most Curious Wedding Fair for the third year running.

We love this fair.  

Mainly because it doesn't feel like a wedding fair, which bring to mind highly stylised stands, fake smiles and a hard sell.  

A Most Curious feels like a group of independent creative businesses who just want to make weddings beautiful and cool, and have tons of fun doing it.  

This year, we were the floral sponsors for the event, which meant dressing various spaces around the pretty enormous and industrial Truman Brewery on Brick Lane.

The theme of the fair was Bush and Wood... ahem... For us, this meant it was all about the foliage, and no flowers!  

Using our installation pieces at A Most Curious, we thought we'd give you some wedding inspiration, showing you how to use foliage for maximum impact at your wedding!

The main entrance window was inspired by a Kinfolk Dinner vibe - a laid back and simple installation of sprigs of foliage pegged to draping lengths of twine.  

This is a really easy way of dressing a window and would look particularly effective against a large, white wall space in industrial venues.  It could also be built onto a frame and used as a a table plan, with luggage labels tied around the foliage sprigs.

For the main staircase, we went for a wild and wispy textured foliage garland.  This is one of our absolute favourite ways to decorate a venue.  Omitting flowers in favour of foliage means this is a cost-effective choice for your staircases, pillars, balconies, archways, basically anywhere! And by using seasonal foliage, garlanding can be appropriate all year round, not just for winter weddings. 

The Style and the Bride catwalk was the epicentre of the fair.

The back walls were built with a Gas & Air Studios pallet backdrop, which we topped with long, tumbling pieces of eucalyptus, ruscus, and asparagus fern so that they crept through the slats of the pallets.  This idea would look great atop wooden beams in a barn venue setting, or even suspended on a swing in a marquee.

We also suspended a fig branch draped with ivy and asparagus fern above the start of the catwalk.  A fuller version of this makes a unique ceremony backdrop, or this idea can be used to demarcate certain areas of your wedding, such as the bar or a quiet zone, in a big open warehouse space.

A pop-up foliage bed of berried ivy, leather leaf, asparagus fern, salal and eucalyptus lined the end of the catwalk.

Pop-up flower or foliage beds can be used as aisle runners or path markers, to line window sills, to brighten up unused church benches or pews, or as long centre pieces for trestle tables - we love them, as they are a super fun way of decorating any space! 

For all those in East Anglia and the surrounding areas, A Most Curious Wedding Fair is coming to Norwich this weekend, so be sure to get down there for more wedding inspiration!

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Proper Weddings: Sarah and Simon

We first met Sarah and Simon at A Most Curious Wedding Fair in March 2015.  They were getting married in September; the venue was planned and they were on the hunt for flowers and a photographer.

The ceremony was held in a beautiful countryside church in South Weald in Essex (we didn't do any flowers in the church but Jess put the wrong post code in the sat nav so we ended up there anyway...)

The reception was held in a marquee erected in the grounds of Great and Little Warley Cricket Club - a clearing in a woody area that has amazing views over London.

A country church and a woodland reception calls for a certain type of flowers - relaxed, with a touch of whimsy.  Sarah loved the English garden look, with a rustic and natural feel, incorporating trailing greenery and 'fluffy' foliage.

The bridal bouquet had a hand-picked, loose and unstructured feel - more of a gathered bunch than arranged bouquet.

We used David Austin Juliette roses for a muted apricot tone, quicksand roses for a washed out pink, scabious and clematis for the pops of blue and purple, white lisianthus for a bit of bud-dy height, pink heather and wax flower for texture, a variety of mint and white freesia for scent, and then mimosa and asparagus fern for a touch of wild and whimsical greenery. The bouquet was then tied off with raffia, for that country vibe.

Sarah's maid of honour had a smaller version of her our bouquet, but without of the Juliette roses.  This is an good way of setting the bridal bouquet apart from the bridesmaids', while still giving them a lovely, substantial bouquet to hold.

Sarah and her bridesmaids all had flower crowns for the day.  
We'd like to take the credit for the beauty below,  but it's really down to Sarah and her babeing hair.

 Sarah's crown was full and full of texture - scabious buds, berried euc, wax flower and heather, silver mimosa, pink and white lizzies, spray roses, hydrangea, clematis...

And tied at the back with a soft pink ribbon.

The bridesmaids had slightly less full versions, filled instead with more of the small, budded stems.

Following the ceremony, it was off to the cricket club where we had installed enormously long, textured foliage garlanding down lengths of the marque poles, and Sarah and Simon and their friends had meticulously suspended pastel coloured paper pom poms.

Sarah and Simon had opted for neutral table runners topped with tree trunk blocks and pine cones, where we placed a variety of different height and shaped clear bottles filled with flowers and foliage.  In addition to the flowers used for the bridal party, we used pink snowberries, alchemilla mollis and purple freesias.

The couple also hired a number of old-fashioned wooden ladders, which held more bottles and some lanterns for the night time (party) atmosphere!

Thanks to the wonderful photographer Ellie Gillard for these smashing snaps!