0Flowerona Links: With cherry blossom, tulips & a vintage door…


I hope you’re having a lovely Easter weekend.  Here’s my round-up of this week’s flowery links for you to enjoy…




Flowerona Blog Posts


Breath-taking ‘behind the scenes’ video by Kirsty Mitchell Photography…simply stunning! Here’s a link to the accompanying blog post.

Hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

(Images : 1. Georgianna Lane, 2. a guy + a girl photography)

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0Hillier Gardens…two new books & details about their RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014 exhibit


Last week, I attended a Double Press Launch at Hillier Gardens in Hampshire.  It was the official launch of two books…the new edition of The Hillier Manual of Trees & Shrubs in association with the RHS and also Hillier: The Plants, The People, The Passion. Held at Jermyn’s House, which is pictured below, it was wonderful to hear the process involved in revising the manual and the history of the gardens themselves.



Below is the front cover of the 8th edition of The Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs which is extensively revised, updated and enhanced by John Hillier, Roy Lancaster and the RHS Botanists led by James Armitage .


Hillier: The Plants, The People, The Passion was written by Jean Hillier (the wife of Hillier Chairman, Robert Hillier) in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Hillier Nurseries & Garden Centres. It’s a wonderful account of five generations of a horticultural family, from its roots among 18thcentury agricultural labourers to its present-day status as one of the world’s leading nurseries. And here is the front cover plus a selection of pages from the book…





At the Press Launch, Andy McIndoe (Managing Director of Hillier Nurseries and Garden Centres) also told us of his plans for the Hillier stand at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Hoping to secure a 69th consecutive Gold Medal, the design will reference some of the most significant elements of Hillier’s 150 year history…Hillier’s favourite plants, trees and previous award-winning Chelsea planting schemes and famous plant introductions. Andy hinted at Japanese Maples, Azaleas, Rhododendrons and a water feature.

If you’re looking for a place to visit this Easter weekend, I highly recommend going to Hillier Gardens. It’s perfect for all age groups! Simply visit the Hillier Gardens website for opening times.

(Images : Rona Wheeldon for Flowerona & Hillier Gardens)

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0Florist Friday: Interview with Emma Newson Smith of Arcade Flowers


This week in my Florist Friday blog post series, I’m delighted to feature a florist who is involved in creating wedding flowers for beach weddings in the UK (!)…Emma Newson Smith of Arcade Flowers.

How long have you been a recommended supplier for Beach Weddings Bournemouth?

We’ve been a recommended supplier since Beach Weddings Bournemouth started in 2011. The first ever beach wedding in the UK was televised live on Daybreak.

Which months of the year & what days of the week do beach weddings generally take place?

The beach wedding season starts in April and ends in September.  Weddings can take place any day of the week, but Saturdays are the most popular.




Could you tell us about the set-up with regards to floral designs for a typical beach wedding ? 

A typical set-up would include decorating the gorgeous driftwood arch, an arrangement for the registrar’s table in the beach hut, lovely bucket pew ends to hang along the aisle often incorporating a seaside theme, pedestals either side of the beach hut entrance and tablecentres for the reception in the marquee. Every wedding has different requirements and working together with the lovely ladies at Beach Weddings Bournemouth, we love to make every one special for the bride and groom.

Are there any particular types of flowers and foliage that brides-to-be at beach weddings favour?

Every wedding at the beach has been different but hydrangeas, peonies, roses and astilbe and other flowers that create a loose ‘beachy’ feel have been popular. Soft peaches, pinks and corals seem to be the trend for this year. We’re really looking forward to all of our diverse weddings this season. Let’s hope the sun shines!






Could you tell us about Arcade Flowers? 

Arcade Flowers is based in Ringwood in the beautiful New Forest.  I own the shop and have been trading for 6 years. The Arcade team consists of full and part-time staff members, plus our shop dog! We all come from different backgrounds in floristry, with different previous lives.  But one thing we all have in common is that we’re madly deeply in love with flowers!

Emma – Trained as a florist after a career in marketing and events, constantly having ideas and never stop working! I love getting creative and mooching around charity shops.

Emzie – A florist through and through, she has been with Emma since the start. Emzie loves the first lilac of the season and Radio 2.

Jo – Trained as a florist after many years as a mental health practitioner…any problems ask Jo! Jo loves designing events and a good cleaning session.

Sue – Trained as a florist after a career in design, she now works part-time with Arcade and spends the rest of her week training budding florists at a local horticultural college. Sue loves weddings and dancing in the shop.

Alice  – Our newbie member of staff, after a false start as a fine artist, has found her true passion…floristry. Alice loves all flowers and coffee mochas.

Butler – The dog.  He thinks he’s a florist and often joins in with the wedding consultations. Butler loves lunch leftovers and Boneo.



Thank you so much to Emma and Sue for all their help in compiling today’s blog post. To see more of their beautiful work, please do visit the Arcade Flowers website.

Social Media

To keep up-to-date with news from Arcade Flowers, here’s where you can find them on social media:

Facebook: Arcade Flowers
Twitter: Arcade Flowers
Pinterest: Arcade Flowers

(Images : 2. Fiona Moorey Photography,  3. & 4. Ian H Photography, 5. Murakami Photography, 7., 8. & 9. Anna Morgan Photography)

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0Transforming a space with houseplants…#ChangingPlants from The Joy Of Plants

You may remember that recently I was involved in some filming for The Joy of Plants? Well, I’m delighted to say that the video is now online.  Similar to the TV show ‘Changing Rooms’ concept, they took an empty space and showed how it can be transformed with plants. Garden designer, Alex Froggatt was the presenter and here’s the #ChangingPlants video below:

Isn’t it amazing how just a few houseplants can really make a big difference to a room? For me, it’s like bringing a touch of the outdoors, inside. And there are health benefits too.  The Phalaenopsis orchid and Kentia palm from the show are now growing very happily in our kitchen.  They really do add something to the room, which before was looking quite bare. And I’m taking good care of them too! I’ve put them in positions which they like growing in and I’m watering them regularly.

If you’re not familiar with The Joy of Plants, it’s an initiative of the Flower Council of Holland, and they’re on Facebook and Twitter. Here’s a link to the first episode of #ChangingPlants, which shows how an office was transformed with plants.

So, maybe when you’re out and about this Easter weekend, you may like to think about buying some houseplants for your home?

P.S. Due to filming logistics, we used a friend’s flat in central London.

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0Selina Lake’s Outdoor Living Book Tour at The White Orchid


Isn’t it a small world? Ten years ago, I started working as a Saturday girl in The White Orchid, a florist shop in Esher. Now based in Weybridge, it was the venue for the first leg of Selina Lake’s Outdoor Living Book Tour, which started last weekend. I went along on Saturday afternoon and had such a lovely time, making a flower pom-pom in a workshop led by Selina and catching up with Nicole.  The White Orchid, as well as selling flowers and plants, also sell wonderful home and garden accessories. Plus there’s a cafe. Here are some photos from my visit…










The next stop on Selina’s Book Tour is The Decorative Living Fair at Eridge Park in Kent on Thursday 8th May. And if you’re ever in the Weybridge area, I highly recommend visiting The White Orchid. Nicole always has a fabulous selection of flowers and she offers a nationwide delivery service for her beautiful floral designs.

(Images : Rona Wheeldon for Flowerona)

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