7Flowerona travels…to Sardinia


Hello Flowerona readers! I hope you’re all well? If you’re wondering why there haven’t been any blog posts over the last week, it’s because I’ve been away. My husband Matt and I returned yesterday afternoon from a wonderful holiday on the beautiful island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea. Today, I thought I’d share with you some photos of our time there, including (of course!) photos of the flora which I spotted.

Kokka Beach, near Baia Sardinia in the north of the island, is where we spent the majority of our stay. This was our first beach holiday abroad in over five years and we really wanted to simply chill, relax and ‘recharge our batteries’. We were so lucky with the weather…every day there was wall-to-wall sunshine and 80-85°F temperatures.




I had a complete digital detox…no emails and no social media. For the first two days, I just read books and magazines, whilst catching some sun rays. But then, once I’d had chance to unwind, I couldn’t resist making the most of my clear headspace to think about my plans for Flowerona over the coming months and even drafted some blog posts too. One evening, we went to nearby Porto Cervo in the Costa Smeralda.


The main pedestrian areas were adorned with lots of colourful flowering plants and succulents.








I did look out for florist shops but unfortunately didn’t discover any. The flowers in the public areas in our hotel though were either roses, chrysanthemums or delphiniums, massed on their own with leather leaf as foliage.

A biennial sailing regatta called The Rolex Swan Cup was taking place whilst we were in Sardinia. We’d seen the magnificent yachts sailing by our beach and here are some of them in one of the marinas in Porto Cervo, together with a plethora of glamorous super yachts.


And here are a couple of general shots of Porto Cervo…


This photo below was taken at the start of the holiday, whilst I was enjoying a pre-dinner Prosecco at our hotel. We’d booked just B&B, so that every evening we could try a different restaurant. And by far our favourite was Il Guscio in Baia Sardinia…delicious, freshly cooked and simple Italian cuisine.


One of the best parts of each day was watching the sun set, from our hotel and from the nearby Phi Beach…both pictured below.


Our holiday was the perfect tonic and I’ve come back completely revitalised! I look forward to sharing with you shortly the results of all my planning and my new blog posts.

P.S. There’s something else that I’d like to share with you…I used to LOVE flying and in the late 1980s after I’d finished university, I worked for a year for tour operator Thomson in Mallorca and Fuerteventura. Back then, I wouldn’t bat an eyelid about jumping on a flight. But since I had labyrinthitis and BPPV (ear disorders) over 10 years ago, I’ve really not enjoyed flying…at all! The cabin pressure meant that I sometimes felt extremely dizzy and had ear pain. Plus, not surprisingly, I’d be a little anxious (slight understatement!). To be honest, I’ve actively avoided flying. I realised though that I needed to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’! So, here are my remedies, which I hope help you if you experience similar symptoms: Bach Rescue Remedy Spray (to calm your nerves), FlyFit Ear Plugs (to rid yourself of ear pain…they are amazing!) and Travel Bands. It may seem a bit excessive, but it works for me. And I’m very pleased to say that I’m starting to (gingerly) fall back in love with flying again…

(Images : Rona Wheeldon for Flowerona)


0Flowerona Links: With corsages, teepees & a demo…


I hope you’re having a lovely weekend. Here are this week’s floral links for you to enjoy and be inspired by.




Flowerona Blog Posts

  • Wedding Wednesday: Wonderful floral headpieces by Amy Swann
  • A visit to the wonderful gardens at Glyndebourne
  • Flowers@Oxford : Bridal Bouquet Demo by Claire Cowling – Part 1
  • Flowerona Tips: Upload photos with your tweets on Twitter


Captivating video featuring artist Dana Tanamachi’s floral-inspired work.

FLOURISH from Dana Tanamachi on Vimeo.

So, that’s my round-up for this Sunday. I hope you have a lovely day. Just to let you know…I won’t be around this week, but will be back the following week. Look forward to seeing you then!

(Images: 1. Studio Choo/Floret, 2. Wild at Heart)

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0Flowerona Tips: Upload photos with your tweets on Twitter to increase engagement

How often do you upload a photo to your tweets when you’re on Twitter?  It’s very easy to do. You just click on the camera icon when you’re typing, as shown below, and select a photo from your computer.


When you see the photo in your Twitter feed, there will be a preview of the image:


And when you click on the photo, it’ll open up in full as seen below:


Many commenters on social media feel that adding images to your tweets increases engagement and in particular the number of retweets, which I’ve definitely found. So, why not try it out and see for yourself?

(Images : Rona Wheeldon for Flowerona)

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3Flowers@Oxford : Bridal Bouquet Demo by Claire Cowling – Part 1


Last Friday, I went to Flowers@Oxford, an international floral extravaganza organised by Judith Blacklock and Lieven Hemschoote. And today, I thought I’d share with you my first post from the event…a bridal bouquet demo by Claire Cowling from Thrive Floristry. It took place in the British Flowers Wedding Marquee and Claire used a selection of beautiful flowers supplied by The Garden Gate in Suffolk. In advance, she had prepared a bouquet, which included dahlias, scabious, Verbena bonariensis, senecio and rosemary, which you can see immediately below.



Then she showed us how to add a variety of adornments to make the bouquet more distinctive. She had made a frame using long stub wires, covered in brown stem tape. And she inserted it into the design, before securing the ends.



Different lengths of lavender stems and individual hydrangea florets were attached using cold glue.


And then she secured lengths of gold bullion wire with berries attached to the design.


Finally, she added two delicate contrasting ribbons.


Here’s the finished bouquet, modelled by Claire herself. Isn’t it lovely?


And here’s a close-up, so that you can see the detail.


Based near Bury St Edmunds, Claire runs a flower school. If you’d like to find out about her courses, simply pop over to the Thrive Floristry website. And look out on Flowerona over the coming weeks, as I’ll be featuring the other two bouquets, which Claire made at Flowers@Oxford.

P.S. You may also like to see this blog post on Flowerona from 2011, where Claire did a demo at New Covent Garden Flower Market. (Oh my…hasn’t the time flown by!)

(Images : Rona Wheeldon for Flowerona)


2A visit to the wonderful gardens at Glyndebourne


Earlier this month, I was delighted to be invited to a Garden Bloggers Event at Glyndebourne in East Sussex. Garden Adviser John Hoyland, together with gardeners Kevin, Steve and Dawn gave us a guided tour of the beautiful gardens, which surround the opera house. Then, we were fortunate enough to watch a dress rehearsal of Rinaldo. (Pictured below left to right: Steve, Kevin, Dawn & John)


Yes…there is an opera house there. I’m not sure where I’d got the idea into my head, but I’d always thought the opera actually took place outside! Here’s a picture I took of inside, from back stage.


The reason that the gardens at Glyndebourne are so well-known is because they are where opera-goers are able to picnic during the interval. And what an amazing setting! As well as picnic rugs, people also bring along tables, chairs and even champagne buckets!




What a wonderful name this plant below has, with its delicate pink flowers.  It’s called ‘Kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate’.







The highlight of the garden tour for me was the breath-taking wild flower meadow, featuring an abundance of Coreopsis.




Isn’t it stunning?! Kevin, the Head Gardener at Glyndebourne, who’s pictured below, regularly creates flower arrangements, using blooms from the borders and cutting garden.



And here’s a video showing him making an arrangement.

How to make a Glyndebourne bouquet from Glyndebourne on Vimeo.

This year, Glyndebourne are celebrating 80 years of the Glyndebourne Festival and 20 years in their new opera house. The Festival runs until August 30th, but then there’s the Glyndebourne Tour, which takes place from October 4th until December 10th. The tour will be visiting Brighton, Plymouth and Norwich, plus several other towns. For full details, simply visit the Glyndebourne website.

And if you’d like to visit the gardens at Glyndebourne, there is special Family Day on October 11th, where non-ticket holders can come and explore, both the gardens and backstage.

(Images : Rona Wheeldon for Flowerona)

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