As I start to write this on the last (very blustery) day of March we can finally say farewell (and good riddance) to Winter! For me there is no other season as exciting as Spring, it quite literally puts the spring back into my step once I can see the garden and hedgerows coming back to life and can get my hands in the soil again. That is not to say I do not look forward to and appreciate every season. Come Autumn I am always looking forward to a little bit of a break and rest over Winter, and every year it never happens! Someone did ask me the other day, "so what do you do in Winter? ", I shall stretch the answer to 'what have our members, including me been doing over winter'.......
L-R we have The British Flower Collective Members...James from Flowers by Clowance, Toria fromFlowers from the Plot, Becca from The Garden Gate Flower Company, Amanda from Amanda Taffinder Flowers, Thomas from Thomas Broom - the Florist, Mari from Roswartha flower farm, Sarah from Simply by Arrangement, Maz from The Garden Gate Flower Company, Tammy from Wild Bunch, Kay from Martin and the Magpie, Chloe from BareBlooms, Susanne from The Blue Carrot, Jay from Jay Archer Floral design.
Image thanks to Lucy Wallace Photography.
The beginning of February saw what has become an annual pilgrimage to Cullompton in Devon for the South West Meet up of flower farmers, florists and British Flower lovers. Organised by the south west representatives of Flowers from the Farm. Above you can see a lovely image by Lucy Wallace Photography of the British Flower Collective members that I could manage to round up/persuade to have their picture taken!
After the success of last years idea to make a weekend of it in a self catering barn near by, I decided to book the barn again and invite other lovely flowery people to join me. The perfect way to make new friends.
I've been taking advantage of the lull in wedding and gardening commitments to get out and about a bit visiting Members and organising meet ups.
Left image top ) - Midlands Members meet up with Hannah from Bride and Bloom, Emily from Emily Wisher Artisan Florist, Carol from Tuckshop Flowers, Kathryn from Shelsley Herbs & Flowers, Breige from Flowers by Breige, Rachel from Catkin Flowers. We had a lovely meet up for some super delicious lunch at, the highly recommended, Fusca in Ryton on Dunsmore.
(Right image top) - Myself, Tom from Thomas Broom - the Florist and Lindsey from The White Horse Flower Company decided to drop in and visit Kay and Martin at their gorgeous shop, Martin and the Magpie in Hungerford.
(bottom images) - Kay was kind enough to then take us to have a nose aroundMartin and the Magpies enviable walled garden where the sweet rocket (pictured) was looking very healthy and Blanche (Toms dog) did a fantastic job of photo bombing.
Images Gabrielle McMillan
Jo is taking part in this years Chelsea Fringe. Chelsea Fringe is an alternative garden festival with a focus on community and inclusivity. it runs from 16th May to 6th June, spanning Chelsea Flower Show. It's billed as a funky celebration of all things horticultural where anything goes, the more creative the better.
Chelsea Fringe pop up all over the country and beyond, even Japan! This year will see the first in Henley with a Floral Flotilla launching the festival on 16th May. Juliet of Babylon Flowers and Jo are going to be creating a community art project of suspended flowers from the bandstand at Mill Meadows by the river on that day, with schools getting involved making hand made flowers to tie within the installation.
Jo will also be hosting an evening event of Floral Couture and Cocktails as part of the Chelsea Fringe.
The British Flower Collective member Susanne from The Blue Carrot escaped the gloom of the British Weather to run a workshop with The Love Affair in Tuscany. You can read about it over on their blog, depending on how good your Italian is!
image by Nadia Meli
It wouldn't be a Newsletter without our regular ditty from Victoria in Shropshire. Congratulations to Victoria and Barney who have had a busy Winter germinating more than just flowers! .......
March in The Flower Garden at Stokesay Court
We went to the garden one Sunday afternoon in late March to pick a posy of flowers to take to a friend's for tea. There was an open garden day at Stokesay Court, and the grounds were scattered with groups of happy people pottering about amidst the green and yellow clouds of wild daffodils. We opened the door to the walled garden and sneaked inside, locking it behind us. Everywhere were signs of life and loveliness to come – fat promising leaf buds on rose bushes and unfurling columbine leaves in the borders – but not many flowers yet for picking. We gathered a posy of speckly pink and white hellebores, starry cherry plum blossom, three stems of fragrant peachy stocks that had got ahead of themselves in the polytunnel, and a fistful of narcissi 'Thalia', still in bud. We've learned through experience that it is better not to mix narcissi with other flowers in the vase, as the leaky sap from the stems will kill the other flowers. However, blossom and hellebores have such a short vase life once cut that we thought it would make little difference; and Rosie would have the lovely scented, airy creamy white flowers of 'Thalia' to look forward to when the blossom was over. We wrapped the posy with torn sari silk and took it to tea. Rosie had made a magnificent Victoria sponge cake, and decorated it with primroses.
Victoria - The Flower garden at Stokesay Court
'Herbs and handties' with Rachel from Catkin - 21st April, 10am - 4pm.
'Arranging Flowers' with Jo from Floral Circus - 22nd April,
'The Joy of Spring' Flowers Workshop' 02, with Tammy from Wild Bunch - 28th April, 10.30am -2.30pm.
'Flower farming for beginners' with Georgie from Common Farm Flowers - 29th April, 10am-4pm.
'Arranging with garden style' with Jo from Floral Circus - 29th April, 10am-3pm
'Growing your own cutting garden from seeds and bulbs' with Claire fromPlantpassion - 29th April, 10am - 1pm.
'Posy tying and silver flower necklace workshop' with Common Farm Flowers - 5th May, 10am-3pm.
'Bloom Brigade' Flower Club with Jo from Floral Circus, next one 6th May, 6.30pm
'Flower Crowns' with Claire from Garden & Wild - 31st May, 11am-3pm.
'Floral Couture and Cocktails' with Floral Circus - 3rd June, 7.30-10pm (part of the Chelsea Fringe).
'Hand tied Bouquet' with Claire from Garden & Wild - 6th June, 11am-3pm
'Posy tying workshop' with Common Farm Flowers - 9th June, 10am-2pm.
'Pick your own Posy' with Claire from Plantpassion - 10th June, 9.30am - 12.30 pm.
'DIY wedding flowers' with Common Farm Flowers - 10th June, 10am-2pm.
'DIY wedding flowers' with Claire from Garden & Wild -14th June, 10.30am - 4.30pm
'Rose day' with Rachel from Catkin - 16th June, 10am -3.30pm
'Make your own bouquet, table arrangement, buttonhole, crown...workshops' withSimply by Arrangement - 24th April, 15th May, 25th June, full day
Many of our Members, including The Garden gate flower company also offer bespoke 1:1 classes on request.
You can also keep an eye on our Workshops page for details/links of Workshops/courses from our Members
As we near the end of the Hellebore season I am amazed that the hashtag#helleboreappreciationsociety that was started in winter 2014 on Instagram byThomas Broom and Lindsey Kitchin with myself quickly becoming honorary member followed swiftly by The garden gate flower company, etc,etc...... has snowballed this year and gone global with Erin from Floret even naming a blog post after it ! Isn't social media a funny, amazing thing!
Other Flower News/Links/Dates for the diary
You can find out what the Garden Gate Flower Company girls get up to in the winter by reading their 'behind the scene' guest blog on Flowerona
Carole from Tuckshop flowers will be part of the Flowers from the Farm stand at Gardeners World live this year at the NEC (11th-14th June). You can read about it over on her blog.
Don't forget it is British Flowers Week on the 15-20th June. This year New Covent Garden Flower Market have set up a dedicated website with all the details.
Watch this space for a new website from Thomas Broom - the Florist or is that Thomas Bloom ?!!
Jay Archer launches the Jay Archer Floral Design flower school.
We are very pleased to round up this Newsletter with a big welcome to our New Members
Shelsley Herbs and Flowers
Branch-Out MK CIC
Florist in the Forest
Fox and Cat Flowers
Frances & Rose
The Garden Room
I hope you have all had a restful Easter break and are enjoying the sound, smell and sights of Spring.
If you are interested in becoming a member than please take a look at our websitefor details and a contact form.