0Wildabout at A Most Curious Wedding Fair – April 2014

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As part of my Wedding Wednesday blog post series, today I’m featuring photos which I took of Wildabout’s designs at A Most Curious Wedding Fair, back in April. Wildabout is a London based florist and it was lovely to catch up with Leanne from the company at the fair. On her stand, there were beautiful wedding flower arrangements in different colour palettes. I loved this elegant white and green pedestal design above featuring roses, peonies, guelder rose, spray roses, lilac, astilbe and green bell. Here’s another shot below. Isn’t it stunning?

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And here’s a bridal bouquet in similar hues.

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For brides-to-be looking thinking of have a pastel colour palette for their big day, there were these gorgeous designs.

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Flower crowns are so popular at the moment and this one featuring jasmine not only looked lovely, but smelt wonderful too!

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On-trend succulents were included in this white and blush design…

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…and greeting visitors at the entrance to the fair was this striking red, pink and burgundy urn design.

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If you’d like to find out more about Wildabout, simply pop over to their website. You can also keep up-to-date with their news on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

(Images : Rona Wheeldon for Flowerona)

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0Flower of the Month – The Rose…A guest post by Katie Spicer, in collaboration with Carolyn Dunster of Simply Roses

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I’m delighted to feature another Flower of the Month guest post by photographer Katie Spicer today.  For July, Katie takes a look at the beautiful rose, Queen of Flowers and the national emblem of England. Over to you Katie…

Carolyn Dunster of Simply Roses has created the most beautiful arrangement of roses especially for this month’s post.

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I wanted to create a large hand-tied posy that looked as if it had just been picked from an English garden or hedgerow at mid-summer, but using roses purchased at the flower market. These were David Austin’s Miranda which has the most amazing scent unlike most roses bred for the cut-flower industry, and sprays of Sweet Avalanche which I combined with tiny clippings of Rosa Ballerina picked judiciously from my own garden. Foraged cow parsley, red campion and Geranium robertianum or Herb Robert were used for an overblown blousy effect and the tight hydrangea heads repeat the form and shape of the roses and make the arrangement a lot more cost-efficient. Finally, the zinc jug which is my all-time favourite and most versatile container gives the arrangement a shabby-chic look that works well in both a traditional or contemporary interior.

The rose most commonly symbolises love and passion. As a result of this. they make up the largest proportion of the £22 million spent on Valentine’s Day. Cleopatra used them in her seduction of Mark Anthony. She knew how to woo a man! The purple sails of her ship were drenched in a rose and neroli perfume so that the fragrant air would signal her arrival, before she had even alighted the ship. She invited him back to her boudoir where the floor was carpeted with knee-deep rose petals and other scented flowers. Crushing them underfoot as he crossed the room to be with her, their love was bound forever, swoon. Her mattress and pillows were said to be stuffed with rose petals. How truly decadent!

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Cleopatra was not the only one to use roses on ships. The Romans used to adorn their war vessels with roses. They were also under the belief that wearing rose garlands at a feast would prevent drunkenness. I must try this one out sometime!

Roses are much much more than a pretty face though, as they are used as foods, medicines, cosmetics, in rituals and most well known in perfumery. There are three types of fragrances recognised: cabbage rose (R. centifolia), damask rose (R. damascena) and the tea rose (R. indica), so called not for their fragrance but because they were brought over from China in boxes along with imports of tea.

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You can make rose petal jam, vinegar, pot pourri, syrup, rosewater, rose wine, rose drop candies and even crystallize them. If they have a powerful scent, then they are even more delicious to eat. ‘Cecile Brunner’, a buttonhole rose, works well as a crystallized flower.

In the old days, honey of roses was used for sore throats and mouth ulcers. The fresh petals were crushed with a little boiling water and then filtered. The liquid was then boiled with honey.

On the continent, rose vinegar is used for heat stroke. Dried rose petals are steeped in distilled vinegar and a cloth soaked in this concoction is applied to the head.

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The essential oils can come from the flowers and leaves depending on the variety. Rose oil can reduce high cholesterol levels.

Rosewater is an antiseptic tonic and can be used to soothe dry, inflamed and sensitive skins and splashed on the eyes to ease conjunctivitis. It can reduce redness caused by enlarged capillaries as they have a tonic and astringent effect on the capillaries just below the skin surface.

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The leaf can be infused and used as a tonic and astringent tea. You can also make a tea of rose petals to soothe a sore throat, and rosehip tea is often recommended in pregnancy.

Rose hips have approximately 20 to 60 times as much Vitamin C as oranges. This was discovered during the fruit shortages of WWII and the government highlighted their importance and told people to harvest as many as possible as a substitute source of Vitamin C. They also have antioxidant, astringent, anti-viral and diuretic properties and can be used as a mild sedative and antidepressant.

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Carolyn is not only a talented florist and garden designer, but she also produces wonderful cosmetics and creations from her delicious rose recipes. For the most successful preparations in the kitchen, it’s best to grow the sweetly scented varieties such as old fashioned variety ‘Rosa mundi’, moss rose ‘William Lobb’, bourbon rose ‘Louise Odier’. climbing rose ‘Cecile Brunner’ or David Austin’s highly scented Gertrude Jekyll. It’s best to gather them on a dry morning using only the freshest and most scented varieties.

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Flowers by Carolyn Dunster at www.simplyroses.com | info@simplyroses.com | 0207 700 5566

(Words & Images : Katie Spicer Photography)

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4Flowerona Links: With floral shoes, roses & a flower farm…

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Flowerona Links returns this week with lots of wonderful floral inspiration for you to enjoy…whether you’re sitting in bed with a cuppa, chilling in the sun or relaxing on your sofa!

General

Weddings

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Flowerona Blog Posts

Video 

Such a fabulous video from Floret.  Oh how I’d love to visit Erin’s flower farm…one day!

Floret Flowers from Erin Benzakein on Vimeo.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog post and that you have a lovely Sunday!

(Images : 1. Stephanie Cristalli Photography, 2. Corey Sleap

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2Social Media for Florists workshop – London, 1st July 2014 : Part 2 – Styling & Food

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Thank you so much everyone for your lovely comments about my blog post earlier this week, where I shared details of the content in our Social Media for Florists workshop. Today, I’m delighted to feature photos of how we styled the venue and also of the wonderful food.

Styling

My co-host Fiona Humberstone had created a mood board with styling inspiration, which you can see below. We used this during the planning process and when we were setting everything up at the venue, the day before the workshop.

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Upstairs

When we arrived at Brixton east, the upstairs was an empty shell. We set up all the tables and chairs, plus projector screen.

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I conditioned the beautiful blooms from Zest Flowers, which were in a colour palette of summery pinks, blues and purples….

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…and then put together small posies of fragrant sweet peas for the desks.

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Downstairs, we styled the tables for lunch using stunning crockery and glassware, supplied by Anthropologie. Fiona had cut flowers from her lovely garden and we used these in small bottles, down the centre of each table.

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Our chef, Maddie Hatton, had brought in her beautiful vintage cutlery…

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…which was adorned with sprigs of lavender and herbs on the individual place settings.

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Even the fridge received special treatment, with plants from Fiona’s garden!

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Food

The food by Maddie surpassed all our expectations! She had completely taken on board our brief and floral touches were in abundance. The elevenses were truly ‘out of this world’! Pistachio & Lemon Loaf with Lemon Verbena Syrup, Moroccan Honey Cake with Orange Blossom and Lemon & Lavender Bar. And they were complemented with tea and coffee in the fabulous Anthropologie Monogrammed mugs.

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I loved all the edible petals and blooms styled on top of the cakes! Almost too good to eat…

Lunch was amazing too and soooooo delicious! Delegates were treated to Herb Marinated Fillet of Local Beef, Grilled Organic Chicken with Saffron, Preserved Lemons & Pine Nuts and Sweet Potato & Goats Cheese Frittata with Roasted Red Onions & Basil Oil. Salads included Green Couscous with Herbs, Pistachios, Feta & Radish, plus Roasted Heritage Beetroot with Orange Oil, Hazelnuts & Rocket and Asian Slaw featuring Cabbage, Mango, Chilli, Mint & Coriander. There were Local Artisan Breads too….hungry?!

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Here’s the very talented Maddie, setting everything up…

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Last, but not least, the amazing puddings! Jars of Eton Mess with Local Strawberries, Home-Made Lemon Curd & Pomegranate and Valrhona Chocolate Brownies with Berries!

When the workshop had come to a close, the delegates had lots of fun making summer cocktails. A lovely way to round off such a special day!

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Thank you SO much to our generous sponsors Anthropologie and Zest Flowers. Many thanks too to Katie Spicer, for her breath-taking photographs!

New Workshop Date – Wednesday 1st October – London

Since announcing the date of our next Social Media for Florists workshop earlier this week, nearly 30% of the places have already been booked! It will be taking place at the same venue, Brixton east, and will run from 9.15am-4.30pm, with drinks afterwards. Places will be strictly limited to 22 delegates. So, if you’d like to book your place, simply click on the Buy Now button below.

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(Images : Katie Spicer Photography)

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