"Drip drip drip little April showers".....luckily we have seen some glorious sunshine too, all a winning combination for new growth and our green and pleasant land looks very green and very pleasant again.
This months 'member of the month' is Belinda at Chez Fleur who was inspired by the BBC Great British Garden Revival series, screened earlier this year, to orgainse a totally British Flower festival. Over to Belinda to tell us all about it ......
Member of the Month - Chez Fleur
The Flower Festival is being held for charity at Hurstpierpoint College Chapel in West Sussex and will be open to the public on Saturday 14th June from 10-5pm.
The Chapel. Some of the money raised will go to the 'Font fund'.
The festival is titled ‘In England’s Green & Pleasant Land’ and all the designs will be themed around Songs & Music…..think Vivaldi 4 Seasons, Sunny Side of the Street etc. Parents, children and staff at the school will be helping to make the arrangements using only British flowers & foliage. Another feature of the festival is that no floral foam will be used with the majority of vases and containers being recycled.
This event will be a fantastic showcase for British flowers and comes the weekend before Covent Garden Market’s week long British Flowers event. I am delighted at the support I have got so far but would be very pleased to hear from any growers who may like to sponsor the event by donating whatever they feel they can. In return, all businesses supporting the event will be given a FREE advertisement in the Festival programme which will be sold for £2.50. I am hoping that if a LOT are able to give a LITTLE then costs can be kept to a minimum, we will raise funds for two very worthy charities (motor neurone disease association and sussex cancer fund), whilst at the same time flying the flag for #BRITISH FLOWERS
One of the British Flower Collective members, Georgie Newbery ofCommon Farm Flowers in Somerset, has already agreed to sponsor one of the designs and I have also received support for the venture from Shane Connolly and Paula Pryke.
If you would like to get involved, contact Belinda at email@example.com or telephone 07811 892644
Thank you so much!
Belinda (Chez Fleur)
I am very pleased to hear that floral foam has been 'banned' and I hope some Members are able to help Belinda in her quest for British Flowers.
This month we managed to trial a little British Flower Collective workshop idea with some of the 'local to me' ladies. Victoria from the Flower Garden at Stokesay Court offered to tell us all about it....
Sabina and her Magic Camera
We Welsh Marches growers were in luck this month, as the ballerina-perfect and photographically gifted Sabina Rüber treated four of us to a lesson in flower photography.
We all brought along buckets of flowers to the lovely farmy headquarters of Tammy Hall (Wild Bunch), where we first spent a good hour marvelling at Tammy's luscious field of Tulips, all wishing we could just lie down in them.
Then Sabina took us inside and explained a few 'basic' techniques that she thought would be useful to us, briefly comprising light, focus and the importance of getting what you want in the picture. This last sounds obvious, but it's amazing how big a difference a little less laziness can make to a picture; moving the crisp packet out of the way...pointing the camera so that the 'No Smoking' sign does not shout out in the background...moving our scruffy car away from the lovely flower arch....
Sabina recommends taking this principle to further extremes and making the camera focus on only one part of the picture - say, the most glorious flower in a bouquet - with the rest of the picture a little swimmy and out of focus. She showed us this on her own camera, and it does certainly add an element of atmosphere and mystery to the pictures. This Magic Photographer does however have a Magic Camera to do her photographic skills justice, and the effects achieved by her machine are perhaps beyond the possibilities available to most of us.
Next, light. We sat in different positions relative to the big window in Tammy's flower studio, and noticed the differing effects on our features. Sitting in direct sun was harsh; sitting to the side of the window, in a well- lit position but with no sun shining on our faces, was more flattering. The same goes for where to position flowers. Sabina also showed us how the background in a photograph can strongly influence the success of a photograph. A light bunch of flowers, for instance, which is positioned very closely to a light-coloured background, simply vanishes into the photograph.
For a clearer picture, we learnt move the flowers so that there was a bigger gap between them and the thing behind. Plain backgrounds are the most effective. A very dark or black background gives a startling, Dutch master effect. We all loved this, and cannot believe how good the photographs are which Sabina took of our floral efforts, with her magic camera, against the backdrop of a dark grey table. Did we pick and arrange those flowers? Are they even real ? ...
Victoria (The Flower Garden at Stokesay Court)
New Members this month
- Babylon Flowers
- Flowers by Breige
- The Garden Gate - Southwold
Do pop by and make them feel part of the British Flower gang...
Last but not least, this months Newsletter is late due to a fleeting trip to London to take part in the 'Little Flower School' course.
It was lovely to catch up with a few of you and a shame to miss those of you that were on the two day course. There is so much loveliness to share that it would be great if those of you who took part would be willing to help me put together a Collective blog on our experience. Cathy and I have been meaning to set up a 'The British Flower Collective' blog for ages and now seems as good a time as any, especially with so many gorgeous arrangements to share, even if they are not 100% British grown. If you are interested than please drop me an email. I'd love images of your work and any text would be welcome, especially from the two day course girls.
We all had such a fantastic time (trying not to rub it in to those that weren't there) and I think we all agreed that we need to organise a big 'The British Flower Collective' meet up when the season has calmed down.
Talking of blogs, I have been approached by the Fennel and Fern blog asking if our members would like to contribute. It would be nice to feature a different member each time. Obviously this is not compulsory, but if you are interested than drop me a line.
The British Flower Collective members from the Monday course. L- R : Amanda Taffinder from Amanda Taffinder flowers, Susanne from The Blue Carrot, Chloe from BareBlooms, Thomas from Thomas Broom - The Florist, Fiona from Pyrus and Natalya from Pyrus.
Our glamorous teachers for the afternoon. Nicolette from Nicolette Camille and Sarah from Saipua.
p.s. as mentioned in last months Newsletter if you would like to submit an image of your work (100% home grown only) to possibly be featured in the TBFC interview by Rona of Flowerona than please email it over asap. Make sure to include the name of the photographer if applicable (please send via we transfer)