Flowers across the world

Outside the French Embassy in LondonI wanted to start with this picture – the display is not one of mine, but one of the floral tributes laid outside the French Embassy in London last week.

This beautiful arrangement of white lilies with the red, white and blue tricolor ribbon, simply placed on the stone steps against the backdrop of all the terrible news and commentary, says so much about those recent tragic events. It reminds me that although context and timing are everything, a floral gift is such a strong but gentle way of sending a message.

A good florist is called upon to bring skills and imagination to all occasions, good or bad. Our abilities to create stunning displays for important moments, such as world faith festivals, like Christmas and Hannukah, are another example, and like any professional, we love to gain industry standard recognition for the gentle arts of our trade. So last weekend I was excited to follow the fortunes of some my florist friends competing for the title of Chelsea Florist of the Year 2017. Tina Parkes and Caroline Crabb did especially well with very high scores.

The first heat was in the South West in Bath and there will be further heats with another held in Birmingham next month, and a couple more more in the New Year. Another category of competition that has just taken place was called ‘World Skills’ and this month, the title for the theme was ‘The Festival of Lights’, or Diwali.

November has been a busy month so far, following up on booked consultations from the season’s wedding fayres as next year’s brides start planning their Big Day for 2016. The last fayre this year is on the 29th November at Carnglaze Caverns, Liskeard so if you’re a b2b (bride-to-be) and want some inspiration to keep you going over the winter quarter, do come along, these events have a lovely buzz, free samples, and they’re great for ideas and contacts.

On my own networking front, I attended The Cornwall Wed Meet Up at Alverton Manor in Truro, recently. Not only did this showcase a beautiful wedding venue, two of the key note speeches were just up my street, ‘Becoming Self-Employed & Staying Sane!’ by Kirsten Butler, and ‘Digital trends affecting the wedding industry’ by Tina Reading. Plenty of food for thought, thank you, both.

Upcoming, watch this space. I’ve just heard that some of the photos of my floral work from a wedding shoot earlier in November will be appearing in Vintage Life magazine next week. I can’t wait to see which ones they’ve chosen. Vintage Life has everything for the followers of this fashionable trend, from vintage-style 1950’s themed day trips, to whole weddings decked out in Downton Abbey style  clothes and accessories. The photo shoots are hard work, but they always result in some fantastic marketing materials. The professional photographers I’ve worked with are so talented at showing wedding flowers (and cars and clothes and hair!) to their best advantage, they give new brides a truly glamorous glimpse of what can be done on the day.