0Flowerona Tips: Be committed to social media…and you’ll see results

Commit

To make the most out of social media, you really need to commit to using it regularly. It’s the only way that you’ll build your follower numbers, likes and page views.

Focus on the social media platforms that you enjoy using and set yourself some goals. For example, start with something manageable like posting once a day on Facebook or tweeting three times a day on Twitter. Work out what you realistically can fit into your day and then stick to it.

Building a following doesn’t happen overnight…it takes commitment. And LOTS of it!

(Image : Rona Wheeldon for Flowerona)

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0Florist Friday: My favourite floral designs at Flowers@Oxford

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This week has whizzed past! It’s quite hard to believe it’s Friday already…and it’s time for my weekly Florist Friday blog post. Today, I thought I’d share with you my favourite floral designs at Flowers@Oxford, which took place last month. Designers from all over the world had created breath-talking masterpieces. I loved Per Benjamin‘s hanging discs of interwoven blooms in various hues.

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And Dennis Kneepkens‘s structural design, created using chrysanthemums, was fabulous!

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Roselilies were in abundance in Stijn Simaeys‘s spectacular creation. The photographs really don’t do it justice.  It was such an incredibly large creation, with masses of threads leading back to a piano!

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Outdoors, designer John Warland and Indoor Garden Design had created an installation using gerberas in varying shades of pink. As well as this hanging design…

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…there were pyramids, massed with these daisy-like flowers.  If you scroll back up to the first photo, you’ll see these arrangements in place in the Front Quadrant at Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford, where the event took place.

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These final arrangements were part of a display by Lehner Wolle3. Aren’t the containers just so cute?! They’re created using wool and felt, which the company make.

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So, that’s my round-up of my favourite designs from Flowers@Oxford. Huge congratulations to the organisers Judith Blacklock and Lieven Hemschoote for such a wonderful floral extravaganza!

P.S. Here’s a link to florist Claire Cowling’s bridal bouquet demo at the event. (I’ve got two more to share with you over the coming weeks.)

(Images : Rona Wheeldon for Flowerona)

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0Flower of the Month – The Dahlia…A guest post by Katie Spicer, in collaboration with Vanessa Birley

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I’m delighted today to feature photographer Katie Spicer‘s beautiful images of this month’s Flower of the Month. Thank you so much to both Katie and Vanessa Birley for collaborating on this post.

September’s flower had to be the delightful dahlia. Named after the botanist Dr. Anders Dahl, a student of Linnaeus and correctly pronounced dah – lia as opposed to day – lia, as they are commonly known.

Florist Vanessa Birley has continued the tradition well of creating the most beautiful arrangements with dahlias for us. Absolutely gorgeous work.

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“I chose the dahlia as the garden I grew up in had a plentiful supply of these gorgeous blooms during summer months. I would watch my dad, an avid gardener, lovingly remove the tubers each year only to replant in the spring. I appreciate the versatility and range of colours and numerous shapes dahlias grow in. I have represented only a minimal selection, and love to be continually surprised with discovering the vast number of varieties.”

The varieties of dahlias used for the designs are: Jowey Linda, Karma Chic, New Baby, Preference, Cafe Au Lait, Evelyn, Orange Fox, New Baby & Sebastian.

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The flowers chosen to accompany the dahlia are:

For the large arrangement: a seasonal blend of tuberose, love-lies-bleeding, cosmos, trumpet flower, gooseneck, ice plant, crab apple & fern.

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For the wreath: astilbe, cosmos, pittosporum, ivy.

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For the vase arrangement: cosmos, astilbe, jasmine, grapes.

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Originating in Mexico, the dahlia comes in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from the small 2” wide blooms to the vast, dinner plate sized 12” flowers. They are classified into 16 different groups based on their flower shape.

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The tubers are edible and were grown as a root crop for food and also because of the antibiotic compounds in the skin of the tuber. The Aztecs used the roots and also the petals to treat skin complaints, such as rashes, grazes, insect bites and stings.

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The gorgeous array of colours can also be used to brighten up a salad, as the petals are edible. The petals when used in the bath are said to promote a strong sense of dignity. It is a very dignified flower, the way it holds its blooms upright and stands tall and proud.

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You won’t find a blue dahlia in existence. Every shade of purple and lilac but not true blue. The Caledonian Horticultural Society in Edinburgh offered £2,000 in 1846 to the first person to produce a blue variety. Still to this day nobody has managed it. I wonder if they would take the rate of inflation into consideration if somebody managed it today!

As well as being the national flower of Mexico, it is the official flower of San Francisco. Golden Gate Park have a Dahlia Dell especially to celebrate the flower.

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(Images : Katie Spicer Photography)

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0Wedding Wednesday: Florists to follow on Instagram – Philippa Craddock

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Instagram certainly seems to be the florists’ social media of choice at the moment! And it’s such a great place to get inspiration for your wedding flowers. So, today, I thought I’d start a new ‘sub-series’ as part of my Wedding Wednesday blog posts and share with you florists who I recommend that you follow, especially if you’re planning your big day. We’ll start off with the super talented Philippa Craddock!  Here’s just a small selection of images from Philippa’s beautiful Instagram feed…

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Hasn’t she created some absolutely sensational wedding flower designs?! To follow Philippa on Instagram, simply click here.

(Images : Philippa Craddock)

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0On the Roof with Q…a secret rooftop restaurant in the heart of London

Q-on-the-roof-selfridges-August-2014_5 Here in the UK, the weather’s been so lovely and warm recently, with above average temperatures for this time of year. If you’re in London over the next few weeks and would like to make the most of the sunshine, I highly recommend visiting On the Roof with Q, an alfresco restaurant which serves late breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Located on the roof of Selfridges in Oxford Street, it really is a little oasis of calm in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of city life. And florist McQueens has styled the venue beautifully with lush herbaceous borders and dense foliage… Q-on-the-roof-selfridges-August-2014_1 Q-on-the-roof-selfridges-August-2014_4 Q-on-the-roof-selfridges-August-2014_2 Q-on-the-roof-selfridges-August-2014_8 Q-on-the-roof-selfridges-August-2014_9 If you’d like to visit the restaurant, it’s very easy to find as there’s a special express lift in the Fragrance Hall on the ground floor of Selfridges. For more information, simply visit the On the Roof with Q website. But be quick, as the restaurant closes on October 11th…! (Images : Duncan McCabe / McQueens)

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