A garden inspired bridal bouquet

A country inspired bridal bouquet. Photo shoot at Cornish Tippi

Really can’t believe that October is here already. The month has started with some of my wedding bouquets being featured in Pure Weddings Magazine with Cornwall Life. Copies came out on the shelves ready to buy at the beginning of October. This is from the shoot that took place back in July with a very talented team of Cornwall’s wedding suppliers. I have made an album on my Facebook page if you would like to see all of the photos; unless of course you have purchased a copy of the magazine.

Although key dates for weddings next year are getting booked up already. I have attended the wedding fayre at the Alverton Hotel, Truro and the wedding open day at the Headland Hotel, Newquay. Two very beautiful wedding venues. I still have two weddings left to deliver to the Alverton Hotel this year. One later in October and my last wedding for this year will be there on 29th December.

This weekend see me off to Fleurex which is a big BFA (British Florist Association) event being held for two day at the NEC. I do have some really love to news to tell all of my readers, but I will make the announcement after this weekend. Therefore I will leave this blog quite short.

A month for beautiful wedding flowers

The start of July saw me delivering my large urn and filling it full of various flowers to celebrate the marriage of Lisa and Kevin at Llanhydrock

I was delighted to work with Pure Weddings magazine and a fantastic team of industry specialists for their new edition of the magazine due out in Autumn. Unfortunately you’ll have to wait until then to see the bridal bouquets. The photo shoot took place at the beautiful venue Cornish Tippi, with some wonderful photos on the lake.

The wedding of Mary and Colin saw us traveling to Lands End, where they had their wedding in the Lands End Hotel. It was an absolutely, stunning day with the weather. Of course I had to get a photo of the signpost.

Can’t believe how quickly the year has past, as I was back at Charlestown for their annual Flower Festival. This year’s festival was music related and my title was line dancing, and I was given the pulpit area to decorate. Every year there are amazing flower designs so if you didn’t get to see it this year, you must go next year.

Still some weddings to design bridal flowers for later this month. I will be back to St Ives Harbour Hotel for Emma & Kieran’s wedding. I’d love to tell you what flowers will be in her bridal bouquet but I can’t, so you’ll just have to wait until I post some photos.

Large urn of flowers for a centrepiece for Lisa & Kevin’s evening reception.

Sun & Rain in June

Menheniot Church, Liskeard

‘Flaming June’ as the old saying is for this month. It’s been quite a mixture of weather. Hot sunny spells bring on the flowers in the garden then torrential downpours with brides and grooms under umbrellas.

I was able to make some lovely floral pedestals and pew ends in Menheniot church for Tessa & Richard’s wedding. Unfortunately, at the time of the wedding the weather was totally against them but cleared up beautiful in the afternoon. Tessa had a wild and free-form bouquet with Ivory roses; blue delphiniums; lime green hypericum berries; viburnum and hydrangea. They had a marquee set up in private grounds and their table centres were themed with flowers giving a woodland feel. When dressing a marquee with flower designs it is team work and a big thank you to my team in helping me create the vision that Tessa and Richard had.

However, it was good to us for Royal Cornwall show this year. Did any of my readers manage to visit the flower tent and see all the wonderful displays on show. I entered three pieces for the floral art competition which was very competitive. No high awards this year but it’s the pleasure of taking part and making flower designs to theme within a title.

The day the Liz & Danny got married at St Ives Harbour Hotel was blue skies and sun. Liz had a wedding bouquet with Ivory roses and gypsophila. Table centres were lanterns set on a base of Ivory roses and gypsophila. Both mums received a brightly, coloured flower bouquet.

I took a little ‘me time’ out as my Christmas present from my sons was to go and see Robbie Williams. He certainly is a showman and I enjoyed every minute of watching him. Erasure was his support group and I’d forgotten how good they were.

 

May

I so love the month of May. Longer days, more sun and two bank holidays. Peonies just starting to appear in bridal designs. Sketches for designs underway for my entries in the Floral Art competition at Royal Cornwall next month.

It was lovely to return to @AcademyofFloral last week to keep up with my CPD and attend a workshop with @gilles.didier a renowned French floral designer and trainer. I picked up many new tips and made two very trendy creations. It was great catching up with my florist friends from Devon. On Sunday I attended my local flower club workshop with Lucy Smith from Branching Out Floral Design and so lovely just to have a “play with flowers” and create a handbag. Again new tips and tricks learnt.

Although only a couple of weeks in to May, it has been busy with finalising wedding details. A final visit to Menheniot Church, Liskeard for fixing and positioning of flower designs for a wedding in June.

Towards the end of the month I will be delivering wedding designs to @thegreencornwall Upton Cross, Liskeard. A small private wedding @BedruthanHotel with a celebratory reception @theScarletHotel and St Johns Church, St Austell with the reception at St Austell Golf Club.

There has been quite a bit of ‘behind the scenes’ work here at Floral Creations. A new logo designed by @MedlinDesign and a new looking website with thanks to talea.co.uk

Although the weather is a little against us at the minute, the gardens needed the rain for our flowers to grow. It will soon blow up country and we’ll be basking in sunshine enjoying our Cornish climate with all our views, sea and sand.

April News

What a lovely month we are in. Spring flowers in full bloom and the gardens are now coming to life

with green shoots appearing in the ground and hedgerows. During the period of Lent no flowers are seen in any church. At Easter when Lent has passed the churches will be filled with yellow and white flowers.

The Spring Garden Show 2017 @BoconnocEstate was full of life. Lots of stalls and so many people visiting. With my love of competition work I entered three classes and I was given two commended awards.

It was a busy start to the month with a wedding @knightorwinery St Austell. The bride having a garden inspired shower bouquet. This I created from when I met her for her wedding consultation finding out her love of white scented roses.

I found myself back to @Polhawnfort Rame, meeting with a lovely bride and groom, planning their wedding for later this year. This wedding has such an exciting theme to it but obviously I can’t say anymore so you’ll have to wait a few months.

In the middle of April I was in Mevagissey on different days; delivering two very different styles of wedding flowers for two lovely couples getting married @Polpeir_Penpol One of the couples had a sea theme and hand made sea shells in the wedding designs (see photo). The other couple’s theme was hot and tropical. The weather was good so they had lovely views over the harbour and it has been whispered that they danced the night away.

Towards the end of this month – 27th April – Holland celebrates the Kings birthday and South Africa celebrates Freedom Day. Both being public holidays and I hope they have a great time in their celebrations. Whilst we in the U.K. enjoy the lighter evenings and look forward to good weather arriving

March Events

How quickly March has come around. A busy start to the month with the wedding fayre @HeadlandHotel Newquay with the beautiful views out to sea. Even if it was a little blustery outside; inside was buzzing with brides and grooms planning their weddings. I spoke to many couple about their wedding day flowers and designs. My diary is filling up fast for next year with key dates being taken.

March also saw International Women’s Day, where all different floral designs around the world were given as gifts to women as appreciation.

I was back at @AlvertonHotel Truro for the Regional meeting of the @The_BFA British Florist Association. It was lovely meeting up with regular florist friends and meeting new florists too. So nice to share ideas and talk flowers all evening.

Keeping up with trends and learning tricks of the trade was spent @YarlingtonHouse Somerset as part of @SabineDarrall team decorating the wedding marquee and tipi supplied by @AbbasMarquees1. A sneaky photo of #behindthescenes in the tipi. I will post professional photos as soon as I receive them.

It was a privilege to meet a bride and groom for a private tour of @Polpeir_Penpol Mevagissey, deciding on where floral designs would be positioned. Such a beautiful house with spectacular grounds. I am so lucky to be delivering to two weddings and both so different next month.

On an overcast Sunday I met a lovely bride and groom at Pendennis Castle, Falmouth talking through all their wedding designs. I am looking forward to decorating the keep next year with a floral arch design.

Towards the end of the month is our British Mothering Sunday (- don’t forget to order your flowers) as well as the clocks changing to British summertime.

 

Springing into 2017

pure bright white bridal bouquet

Here’s a pure, bright white rose bridal display from my fabulous busy day yesterday at The Art of Weddings Bridal Show at Wadebridge Pavilions.

There was such a lively atmosphere with something to suit the full range of budgets and styles and so many lovely couples browsing the show offers. I do enjoy these events, but I have to say, I was pretty much talked out by the time I got home. It was worth it though, and all part of the fun, as I scooped another batch of interesting bridal flower consultations for my 2017/2018 diary.

In fact, I should probably let you know that there are only a few limited dates left for this year and next year is filling up fast, so if you would like Floral Creations to help create bouquets and displays for your dream wedding (2017/2018), do come along and see me at the two events coming up this weekend to ensure you reserve your key dates:

Saturday 25th February: 11am – 3pm: The Knightor Winery Wedding Fayre (with a complimentary glass of Knightor’s own bubbly)

Sunday 26th February: 11am – 3pm: The The Alverton Hotel in Truro

P.S. These will be my last bridal fayres for a while as we’re expecting, after these two shows, to be all booked out. 

On the subject of weddings – which, after all, is the core of my work! – I couldn’t help but be touched by that lovely story of the 150 year old vintage lace wedding dress which went missing from a dry cleaner’s in Scotland.

The dress had belonged to her great-great grandmother, and the bride was so distraught she shared a plea for help in tracking it down on Facebook. Like many, I saw her post and shared it, and before long there were over 20,000 shares across social media. Eventually, a young man (the landlord’s nephew) was spurred into action by the social media buzz. He went in person to the premises of the closed dry cleaning business where the heirloom dress had last been seen and had a thorough search through all the abandoned items. Miraculously, the dress was located, folded away with a pile of old lace in a corner of the work room! Without all that pressure and attention it might never have been found.

Aw. I do love a happy ending!

A new year begins

floral tribute funeral flowers

Happy New Year to my customers, let’s hope 2017 brings health and happiness to all.

In this second week of January, when we get up in the dark and return home from work in the dark, when nature seems asleep, as if nothing will ever grow again, all we need to do is take a closer look to see those first small signs of spring. Already, peeking through the dark blanket of last year’s fallen leaves, are the first green shoots of 2017’s crop of snowdrops and daffodils. As always, the cycle of life begins again.

In the floristry services sector, it is this cycle which sets the rhythm of our year, with each new round of births, baby showers, birthdays, engagements, milestone celebrations, and marriages, with colours and flowers-in-season changing with the weather along the way. Often on these pages, the weddings are the focus, as large events are the mainstay of my business, but funeral services are as much a part of life, and so quietly in the background, throughout the year, come the orders for  floral tributes (like the one at the top of this page), commissioned to mark the passing of loved ones.

Thank you, Karen, for the beautiful design – thoughtful winter whites in the roses and lisianthus, with a splash of yellow through, her favourite colour, to mark her passing and celebrate her life – the sheaf was exactly how I imagined it when we spoke and looks lovely in the memorial garden.”

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My first key business diary date for 2017 is the Art of Weddings Bridal Show at St Austell Conference Centre (11am-3pm) on Sunday January 22nd and so begins again the cycle of wedding plans…

With free admission and free parking, this the perfect friendly venue for engaged couples and brides-and-grooms-to-be to take a stroll past local wedding suppliers, browse their wares, ask some questions, and arrange consultation appointments. I will be there, with a special display, so do come along and see what sorts of effects might be possible for your event.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas

christmasring

Pine cones, ponsettia, Christmas roses, Nordic spruce, cinnamon, oranges, stars, and spice, these are a few of my favourite things (and just a small selection of the ingredients which can be added to a Christmas wreath).

After my holiday in November, and a really interesting visit to Flora Holland (the Dutch flower auction house) it’s been a busy month leading up to Christmas, and as you might expect, I’ve been mostly making Christmas rings (or wreaths) for local customers to adorn their front doors for the festive season. Just a short trip wandering around your local town and you’ll see such a huge variety of these traditional ‘welcome’ rings decorating most front doors in the neighbourhood: some shop-bought, of course, some home-made – and there are some excellent home-crafted examples out there – and others with that extra special something, no doubt deftly assembled by a skilful artisan florist…

I’m still taking orders, by the way, until Wednesday 21st December  🙂

I love it when my customers give me free reign to incorporate unusual plant materials and make the most of my creativity. This season, so far, I’ve been able to include many things, from the traditional, like apple rings, limes, acorns, star anise, holly, berries, to the more unusual, like dewy spider-web strands or shiny buttons to add a pop of colour.

The traditional designs have been especially popular this year, so it’s worth pondering what it all means. The word ‘wreath’ stems from the Middle English word “wrethe” meaning a twisted band or a garland of leaves or flowers, so, like most of our modern Christmas traditions, the Christmas ring is a ‘weaving together’ of ideas and traditions from pagan, Roman, and modern Christian times.

In the pagan tradition, these winter decorations brought natural living evergreen materials into the home at a bleak time of year to show the promise of spring to come. Historians report that the Romans gave each other holly wreaths as gifts, and British Romans often displayed them on doors as a sign of status or victory. By Christian times, weaving evergreens together comes to represent eternal growth and the everlasting circle of life brought through the birth of Jesus, and the circular shape signifies God, a being without beginning or end.

Put it all together and you have a tradition which goes back centuries, one which blends past cultures and diverse religious ideas into one symbolic design. How better to sum up the spirit of Christmas than to pin to your front door a decoration which smells lovely, looks pretty, and remains as charming and popular as ever today?

On which note, I must get back to making some more – and sign off until the New Year. Meanwhile, I would like to wish all my customers and friends,

‘Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!’

Professional development

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The U.S election result has been a stark reminder of how rapidly change can happen, bringing with it knock-on effects for all of us. So, as early winter can be one of my more quiet times, I’ve been thinking this month about my business in the wider context. Whatever line of work you do these days, a rapidly changing and competitive world means it really does pay to try to stay ahead of your game. The best way I’ve found to do that is through continuing professional development. This has been CPD month.

Technically, it all started at the end of October when I went to a workshop which explored ways of working with ribbon, following on with attendance at Fleurex, The Annual Floral Fair for today’s Professional Florist at the Chesford Grange Hotel, Kenilworth. I was particularly interested in watching two outstanding demonstrations, one by Laura Leong (who I have mentioned here before) and the other by Annette von Eimen. Wonderful work. The British Florist Association, who organised the event, has posted one of Annette’s displays on Facebook, so if you would like to see a florist working really fast with flowers, have a look here. 

If someone had told me when I left school how many more qualifications, workshops and CPD events lay ahead of me in my lifetime, I wouldn’t have believed them. But I’ve been lucky enough to have had a varied and interesting career path so I’ve taken part in plenty of fascinating, enriching, challenging, difficult, frustrating, and fabulous professional development events, which have all added up to bring me to the point I’m at today – running my own floral design business and loving it.

When you’re working for yourself the demand to create fresh business and meet orders is always there, on the calendar, right in front of you, and it might seem tempting to put CPD on ‘the back burner’, especially when you are building the business, but I’ve found that CPD activity goes hand in hand with those other vital parts of the business cycle.

Attending courses and professional events away from the hub of your SME cave can feel like a luxury but as much as technology is altering the way we do business (yes, even in floristry) it can also help save on costs by bringing CPD to your desktop. The growth of online forums, social media, webinars and e-newsletters all make it easier to take part in training, even from home.

That said, I do like to get out and about, so my final CPD for 2016 was a trip to a special workshop on floral ‘mechanics’ with Laura Leong. I returned with a box of interesting structural items in autumn and winter colours to inspire a variety of glittery, light-reflecting creations perfect for winter work.

As to be expected in November, there are fewer weddings at this time of year, but I will mention one commission from last month I particularly enjoyed. The bouquet for the couple is featured at the top of the page. As you can see, the bride and I settled on an arrangement suited both to the season and to the couple’s choice of venue, Knightor Winery, with its wild winter garden and Cornish granite outbuildings and barns. That combination allowed me to use those freshly honed CPD skills and draw on recent inspiration for ways of mixing beautiful winter textures and colours.

Lastly, before we start to prepare for Christmas, I’d like to say thank you to all the brides and grooms who voted for me in the Simply Wedding awards. I didn’t win, but I really appreciate all the support that made me a finalist. Thank you!