DIY inspiration, Flowers, Pretty Things, Some little thoughts

In the Shop Today – Spring Flowers

Always so cheery- spring flowers rarely fail to make me smile. With Valentines days seeming like a distant memory- who needs Roses when you’ve Ranunculus and Tulips!

There’s nothing I love more than Ranunculus! (other half, parents and siblings aside)

Note to self- I must try and grow these beauties! I heard said the other day that the Ranunculus is one of the few flowers that gets better by the day until it falls apart! I love love love them! Their layers and layers of papery thin vibrant petals and quite reminiscent of Peonies which are yet a distant summer dream!

I sent my boyfriend flowers once – a Kilner jar full of bright yellow Ranunculus (to match his car) and I remember careful attaching a cardboard tag with some gardening string and in black marker pen scrawling ‘incredibly thirsty! top me up with water every day but don’t put me in the pond!’. The latter a nod to his not so ideal approach to disguarding dead flowers! Also known as  a Persian Buttercup- I was sweetly amused to discover that the gift had prompted much research on the subject.

I love the quirks that the individual flowers present- as mentioned above, Ranunculus can happily drink their way through a vase of water. Tulips – to use the scientific terminology have a ‘positive photo-tropism’ in simple terms they grow towards the light and in fact they continue to grow despite being a cut stem. I love to watch them creep up through a bouquet after several days, as if they are vying for attention!

And such beautiful colours too! We had Tulips in at the weekend which I can only describe as Apricots on stems – not the dried variety that you might find lurking in a Morrocan Tagine but fresh, plump, and inexpressibly beautiful! Its funny actually that as I refer to the invoice to share with you the variety that the actual  name is ‘Mango Charm’. They got the charm bit right- but someone should check out the fruit aisle in their nearest Waitrose because they’re definitely Apricots – not Mango’s!


Flowers, Pretty Things, Some little thoughts

In the Shop Today

Stealing ten minutes with a coffee – a much needed aid to post-Valentine’s Day recovery, and I thought I’d share a little snap shot to remind us what lies ahead… yes I mean Summer! I know, we’ve Spring to come in between but I’m an optimist!

In the midst of the busy-ness that engulfs Green Parlour on v-day as we refer to it ‘in the trade’ we had some pretty Pinks dotted throughout the shop lodged in these lovely zinc containers. I love them and just looking at them makes me happy!

Updating the chalk boards is on our ‘to do’ list today! Valentine’s is so last season, it’s Mother’s Day next don’t you know! Peeping it’s head around the corner – Mothering Sunday falls on the 10th March this year- three weeks away tomorrow! Ahh… where does the time go!

As a treat for all my hard work this week, tomorrow I will assign the day to be spent in garden. There’s nothing quite like the first day you spend in the garden. It looked positively pretty in the snow until it melted! And I feel quite inspired with all our new ‘Burgeon and Ball’ goodies we had delivered in to the shop, I might even buy myself some new Gardening Gloves for the occasion. …Something about a new broom sweeping clean – does that translate into new gloves – greener fingers?? I do hope so!

Mapledurham House, Wedding Flowers

Wedding Flowers, English Tea, Kissing Balls and an Aeroplane

Sometimes you get the opportunity to meet a bride who wants something a little different for her wedding day, and is willing to put in the time to make it happen.

It was such a joy to meet Alice (the Bride) and Penny (Alice’s Mum who just happens to be handy with a needle and thread and growing flowers amongst other things!) way back at our first meeting in deepest darkest depths of February. As soon as they started describing the theme for their wedding, relaxed elegant English country garden with a fete, party feel in the afternoon. Perfect! Its exactly how I’d have my wedding.

Alice’s dress sounded perfect – lace with an elegant vintage feel and was having a birdcage hat specially made, their ideas for the marquee they were erecting in Mapledurham Estate just outside of Reading, Berkshire were getting more elaborate and ornate by the day.

I always have images of Penny sitting there surrounded by mounds of pastel coloured triangles ready to be made into the pretty bunting that adorned the interior of the marquee and definitely will never forget the amount of jam jars they collected ready to house the pretty table flowers that ran the entire length of the marquee. I think if you flashed a jar in front of them, to this day they would be able to identify exact content of the containers. Filling them with small hand tied arrangements was an absolute joy and I love the en mass look they create effortlessly. Less is definitely more.

At one of our first meetings Penny informed me of the plan to decorate the church, St Celement in Ashampstead, Berkshire, themselves. So a few weeks before the wedding I was invited up to Penny’s house in the blazing summer sun to take a look at all the flowers she has been growing ready to be cut and arranged by her and her sister on the Thursday before the wedding. I was greeted with a garden full of lovely goodies including Ammi Majus (one of my all time favourite flowers) as well as Molucella with their lime green zest bringing the garden alive!  At this stage, been in complete awe of her talents I decided that I want Penny to plan my wedding!

We set to work on creating the bespoke flower decorations for the big day, using all the wonderfully shaped jam jars and filling them with an abundance of seasonal flowers. Each jam jar was individual and so the flowers reflected this too, really adding to the mismatched relaxed look that the day was all about. I really think spreading the arrangements across the entire length of the table, scattered between cutlery, cake stands and, later on, storm lanterns created a pretty, country tone to the marquee, and I always think its lovely when your guests can leave with a little floral gift. The flowers reflected the time of year with some of my personal favourites including Peonies, Roses, Eycalyptus, Scabious, Ammi Majus, Molucella, Sweet Peas and Guelder Rose.

My favourite item however had to be the large kissing ball that hung from the central point of the marquee. Filled to the brim with a whole host of Eucalyptus, Ammi Majus, Avalanche and Deep Water Roses and Guelder Rose, it suited the theme and venue perfectly! I love having an unexpected twist in marquees and the kissing ball fits the bill perfectly.

They also hired an aeroplane stunt man to draw a heart in the sky.