Friday, 20 February 2009

And so farewell

For winter's rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,

And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.

- Algernon Charles Swinburne
Doing funeral flowers is always a tremendous honour. If ever there was a time to turn your back on sombre, formal flowers I really think a funeral is it. The flowers should be as natural, cheerful, scented and lovely as possible. Just breathing in the smell of all the narcissi above was enough to remind me that, no matter how bleak things are, Spring is just around the corner.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Thanks a bunch

Many thanks to the lovely Lorrainne who was kind enough to send me some of the professional photos taken of the flowers I did for her wedding. My photographic skills are pretty minimal, so it's always lovely to have photos that are in focus and don't have half my finger over the lens...

Saturday, 14 February 2009

There's snow business like snow business

Ahhhhhhhh Valentine's day. What an excellent idea to have it in the middle of February. How thoughtful of St Valentine to have had his funeral on the 14th of February, when the joys of Christmas are over, the joys of Spring are still a long way off and the rigours of Lent are bearing down upon us. How convenient that we should have a day of love and chocolates and presents and flowers in the deep mid winter. And how nice for florists to have such a surge in customers at such a lean time! How jolly for florists who try to grow their own flowers to have such a massive selection of home grown delights to offer to the....oh no wait. I've got confused. I'm thinking of July. How terrifically un-jolly for those of us trying to grow things to have Valentine's Day thrust upon us when the snow is deep and crisp and even, and all I have to offer is a selection of sticks and twigs. My garden looks like Narnia, not a romantic Eden. Please see our our old roller below for proof...

I KNOW! It would be great if I made greetings cards and could whip out the old camera and take some lovely snowy photos before turning them into arty cards, but alas, flowers are my business, and apart from one lovely accidental pot of narcissus (I found them hiding at the back of the greenhouse, where the bulbs had been forgotten in an old plastic pot) and a few forced hyacinths, I aint got zip! I thought about doing pretty little pots of delicate bulbs, but the problem is you need to plant about 289473 to make sure you have at least some ready on the right date, and then there is no certainty that people will want them. It's not an excercise in low maintenance profit making.

Let's be honest, the majority of flower buyers on Valentine's day are men, and it's the only time of year when they Know What Flowers They Want, and they want them to be RED. It's red or nothing, so for me, it's nothing. Now of course I am a business woman as well as a gardener, so yes, I bought in some red roses. That's right, come get me eco-warriors, for truly I am one of THEM, I have gone over to the dark side, I...well, anyway, to cut a long story short sometimes in life you have to give people what they want, so that you have enough money to pay your bills, and there's no point in being a one trick pony. I added some scarlet anemones too, and wrapped them in black tissue, and you know what? They looked really sexy. If you're going to harm the environment, you might as well do it saucily, that's what I say.

I overheard two chaps outside a flower shop in town yesterday. One was looking into the florist's window, and his friend said "I wouldn't get her anything mate, she'll think you're up to something!" to which his friend replied, "That's true, and I don't like her that much anyway". I wish them every happiness.

Of course, the main problem with being a florist is that no one ever sends you flowers! "Oh but why would you want flowers?" they say. This is outrageous. Are postmen not allowed to receive post? Can milkmen not drink milk? Does Father Christmas not get any Christmas presents? Exactly.

Monday, 9 February 2009


A Mass of stunning white delphiniums.

A lovely bouquet of early autumn foliage and herbs, not a flower in sight!

A bridesmaid's posy from the garden.