Welcome to our little round up of the merry month of May and what is yet to come in June. First of all I want to have a big shout about BRITISH FLOWER week, which this year is from the 16th -20th of June. You can read all about it here over on the New Covent Garden Market website. Keep posted to our facebook page to see what some of our members are up to for it, you may even catch a little competition ! For those of you that missed our April Newsletter let me remind you that Belinda at Chez Fleur is holding a British Flower Festival this Saturday (14th June) you can read about it here
This month our Member of the Month is Lucinda at Blooms and Bees who had a brush with royalty in May. Over to Lucinda to explain.....
Member of the Month - Blooms and Bees
A couple of months ago I was contacted by an old friend – Richard Fishbourne of Bugs and Beasties (www.bugsandbeasties.co.uk). He was organising an event at the RHS Malvern Flower Festival in the ‘Get Going, Get Growing’ arena and asked me to be involved. I initially said no as I had my first wedding of the year on the Sunday of the show but no didn't seem to be an option and I found myself setting up at Malvern on Wednesday 7th May feeling slightly apprehensive! Richard had also just sprung the news on me that he would be introducing me to HRH Princess Anne on Friday and could I do her a small posy!
Realising that I couldn't do this on my own I roped in my friend Nicola to help and we had an absolutely fantastic time at the show. There was a sense of overwhelming support for the use of seasonal, British flowers and foliage. We had many warm comments about our stall and all the vintage bits and bobs that we displayed flowers and plants in – everyone seemed particularly taken with planted up cups and saucers and teapots. Wedding enquiries came in from London, Cheltenham and North Wales and we were exhausted at the end of each day from talking so much!
Meeting HRH Princess Anne was fantastic and a real honour, she immediately put us at ease and took a keen interest in what we were doing and trying to achieve. We gave her a hand tie of lilac, rosemary, Solomon’s seal, pinks and stocks. It was great to see pictures of her carrying her flowers long after she had left us.
The Sunday morning found us in Coleshill at half past nine at the gorgeous wedding venue, Shustoke barns. www.crippsshustoke.com. This converted barn is a relatively new venue and I had done one wedding there last year not long after they had opened. After dropping the bridal flowers off in the village and finally meeting the lovely bride to be Nina – who had arranged her wedding all the way from Australia we sped back to the barn and arranged 50 jam jars before driving back to Malvern (only getting slightly lost!).
We had left the stall in the capable hands of my mother Sheila and her friend Janet. Mum ended up on stage giving a flower arranging demonstration with Terry Walton. I wish that I could have been there to see it!
Nicola and I have decided to join forces and throughout the four days that we spent in Malvern we came up with loads of ideas and plans for the future – we have already tackled one major job – clearing out my shed and turning it into a dedicated flower arranging area. (Though it does mean I now need another shed for all my pots and tools!).
May with it's five weekends has been a bit of a wedding blur for me, with very little time to sit back and soak up the flora which is filling out my town garden to bursting point; so it is lovely to hear Victoria from The Flower Garden at Stokesay Court describing what has been appearing in her enviable walled garden in Shropshire......
The Flower Garden at Stokesay Court in May
All the good things of the summer begin to show themselves in the garden. Allium globes hover over drifts of catmint and lady's mantle; the young rose bushes grow fat round buds with a tantalising flush of colour; toadflax, lupins and foxgloves send up grateful spires of pink and white and purple; sweet peas offer us the first fragrant flowers to pick; late-planted dahlias (very late) show signs, and we are ever-vigilant against slug-attack. So many of the things we have never grown before. I am so excited to watch and pick the first of the pinkish Gladioli byzantium, which I have only ever seen before in a Greek olive grove. They look so elegant on our market stall in amongst the blowsy late Spring standbys. Allium bulgaricum (Nectaroscordum) looks almost alarming in the Hot border, growing against the tall south facing wall, with its spooky grey pendulous flowers looming threateningly above the smaller garden chrysanthemums and artemisia 'Powis Castle growing there. Although I'm ashamed to admit it here, I don't think I have grown sunflowers since I was a child. This year I sowed them in pots undercover, and they are now planted out in the ground. Not really knowing what they should do first, I watch them anxiously for signs of thickening stems and swelling flower buds. They look small and skinny still, with strange mops of green at the top. Nor have I ever grown Campanula medium from seed before, but these promise to be a glorious success, having formed massive plants during the last growing season, and now crammed in together in the rose garden, they squeeze out everything else. I long for the sun to come out and make them open, so that I can pick them for the delight of our first June bride.
News and Links from our Members
- Inspiration for your perfectly imperfect wedding from Pyrus and Caro Weiss onRock and Roll Bride
- In last months Newsletter I mentioned my little trip to London to take part in the 'Little Flower School'. Check out The Garden Gate Flower Company's blog and Amanda Taffinder's blog to hear about their day(s) on the course
- Rachel Petheram of Catkin still has a few places left on a few of her courses, check them out here.
- Up coming workshops from Common Farm Flowers : Posy tying and garden floristy, advanced social media for business
- Field Gate Flowers have a DIY wedding flowers workshop on the 29th of June.
- Floral Circus have an arranging wedding flowers course on the 6th of July, anarranging with garden style course on the 9th of July, as well as other workshops and floral parties.
- Green and Gorgeous have a number of Floristry courses coming up as well as aRoses Masterclass on the 6th and 9th of July
- Mayfield Flowers have cutting and arranging gardens flowers workshops in June and July
- Organic Blooms have a floristry skills workshop on the 23rd/24th June and also in July
- The Flower Hive has a hand tied bouquet workshop on the 29th of June
- Join The Garden Gate Flower Company ladies for an evening in the garden on the 18th of June as well as learn to make a seasonal hand tied bouquet on the 7th of July
Other Flower News
Flowerona is running a Social Media workshop specially for Florists along with Fiona Humberstone on the 1st of July in London. Details can be found here
Round up of flower events in June, including British Flower Week events on theFlowerona blog
The 29th of this month sees the second annual International Lonely bouquet day, although you can leave a 'lonely bouquet' any day of the year. Last year I asked Emily from Fleuropean (the brains behind The Lonely Bouquet Project) to tell us a little bit about it, you can read what she said here. Emily can explain a lot better than me so if you are new to the project then please follow some of these links and pop over toyoutube to hear all about it from Emily herself. You can follow The Lonely Bouquet onfacebook, twitter, instagram and youtube
Don't forget it is BRITISH FLOWER week 16th-20th June. Let's make sure we inundate social media with British Flower love.......
New Members this Month
we are very pleased to have three new members join the collective this month (and more waiting in the wings)....
Bride and Bloom
Green and Gorgeous
make sure you click on the links and follow them and their beautiful blooms