A Midsummer Night’s Dream!

Midsummer is one of the longest-standing celebrations in human history. Although it passes us by in the UK, for many cultures it is as significant as Christmas.

Midsummer is one of the longest-standing celebrations in human history. Although it passes us by in the UK, for many cultures it is as significant as Christmas. Just like Christmas, it has its roots in Paganism, with one marking the longest days of the year and the other marking the shortest. Also like Christmas, it combined with a Christian festival (in this case St. John’s Day on June 24th) to become a kind of bumper party – and who doesn’t love a party?

In this country the word Midsummer makes people think of a murderous village or Shakespeare’s fairies and Mechanicals. As we approach the longest days of the year, I thought it would be fun to showcase some of the most interesting Midsummer celebrations from across Europe. 

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Latvia 

They take Midsummer very seriously in Latvia. They also do it brilliantly: think bonfires, beer and cheese (what more do you need?). Like most European countries with pagan traditions, the festival also includes plenty of mandatory dancing and songs. Men called Janis (John) are made to wear crowns of oak leaves. Obviously. 

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Austria 

In Austria, it is traditional to mark the Summer Solstice with the lighting of beacons across the mountains. These fires are said to be an offering to the earth. These days you can use cable-cars, drones or Google Images to get a good snapshot of the tradition, which does produce a rather magical effect. 

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Portugal 

In Portugal, they celebrate Midsummer (St. John’s Day) as part of a succession of Saint’s days. The festival is most prevalent in Porto. Among the more bizarre rituals, participants can carry flowering garlic and hit each other with them… on the head. This is supposed to represent the chastising of the rebellious young St. John. 

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Russia 

In Russia there is a Midsummer tradition whereby couples jump over bonfires holding hands. If they let go as they jump the relationship is doomed to fail. Cheery. 

There is also a tradition of making flower garlands – now you’re talking my language – and floating them in water. Their movements are interpreted as predictions of the future. 

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UK 

Aside from popping to see a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream we don’t have many widespread Midsummer traditions in the UK. Well, apart from if you’re a Druid, of curse. Druids and Pagans traditionally head to Stonehenge to see the perfectly aligned sunrise on the Summer Solstice, linking them with revellers across thousands of years who have done exactly the same. 

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Sweden and Scandinavia

Nobody does Midsummer like the Scandinavians. In Sweden, the festival is the second most important holiday of the year. The iconic symbol of Midsummer (Midsommar) is is the  Maypole, which is covered in flowers and foliage and placed in a public place. Traditional foods and drink are consumed (in great quantities, of course) and often traditional clothes can be worn. The party lasts all day and all night, as long as the schnapps keeps flowing.

Traditionally, children must collect seven flowers and sleep with them under their pillow – this will help them to dream about the love of their lives. 

In Norway and Finland they celebrate in very similar ways. In addition, they light bonfires as is traditional all over the continent. In Norway plants and herbs are thought to have magical properties. 

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These are just a few of the most fun and strange Midsummer celebrations from across the continent. Reading about the partying makes me wish I’d booked a trip to Scandinavia to take part! For all of us who are stuck here over Midsummer (and hopefully enjoying lovely weather…) we can always bring a little summery magic into our own homes. If you’re missing some Midsummer madness then be sure to get a delivery of Freddie’s Flowers to brighten the place up! 

If you’d like to turn your home into the best flowery midsummer spot, why not sign up and have some Freddie’s Flowers delivered to your place? It’s only £24 a pop and I think you’ll be quite delighted.

How to make a Flower Crown!

How to make a flower headband…
First things first, what do you need to make this wonderful DIY flower crown?

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How to make a flower headband…

First things first, what do you need to make this wonderful DIY flower crown?

  • Well flowers of course and some thin wire.
  • Start by trimming your flowers so the stems are 1-2 inches long.
  • Measure your head with your chosen wire – any bendable, thin wire will do.
  • Now trim your wire to the rough lengths of your noggin.
  • The twists help it keep its shape!

Are you ready? Let’s start crown making!

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Take your first flower and place it along the circle.

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With a new piece of wire, wrap one end gentle around the stem a few times.

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Take your next flower and line it up with the last wire loop. Oh hello flower crown!

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REPEAT…

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In no time at all your crown will start to look a lot like this!

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And then this!

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Well done you! You’ve made yourself the perfect flower crown. Perfect for festival season or summer garden party vibes. Now you know how to do it you can show your friends and family how to make a flower hair garland.

If you’d like to turn your home into the best flowery spot, why not sign up and have some Freddie’s Flowers delivered to your place? It’s only £24 a pop and I think you’ll be quite delighted.

My aquatic faves from ChelSEA in Bloom!

Over 90 shops, restaurants, hotels (and even one dental practice) up and down Sloane Street, Duke of York Square, Pavilion road and the Kings Road jazzed up their shop fronts and windows this week to be crowned the winner of the Cadogen Chelsea in Bloom festival.

Chelsea in Bloom

If you managed to get past all the Instagram influencers who seem to swarm the area of Chelsea more than usual this time of year, you would have got a glimpse of the latest Chelsea in Bloom installations. And this year, the florists have gone all out!

Over 90 shops, restaurants, hotels (and even one dental practice) up and down Sloane Street, Duke of York Square, Pavilion road and the Kings Road jazzed up their shop fronts and windows this week to be crowned the winner of the Cadogen Chelsea in Bloom festival. Even the local rickshaws were dressed up.

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The theme this year was ‘Under the Sea’ which transformed Chelsea to Chel-SEA! Highlighting the importance of conserving and protecting the fascinating underwater world that is the sea, and all living things that call it home.

Once you get past the shoals of people taking selfies in front of the displays then watch out for floral octopus tentacles, allium, sea anemones and sea horses made from hydrangeas.

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So why the under the water theme this year?

They have partnered with charity Plastic Oceans UK, whose aim is to stop plastic pollution reaching the oceans within a generation. WHAT A GREAT CAUSE! With our boxes being nearly completely plastic-free I could walk around with a clear conscience. However, with single-use plastic being such a horrific problem I thought it was the best theme to raise awareness and money that Chelsea in Bloom has ever done!

Amazing London florists and flower companies from all over team up with the Chelsea shops and get their creative on! And they really don’t do it half-heartedly either!

Here are a few of my faves:

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Free people – Free people’s design by Worm London hit the nail on the head with this beautifully understated yet effective design of a washed up seascape. They used fishermen’s nets and an exposed floral coral reef vibe. Earthy pinks and browns with a lot of reeds and blooms. Although it was simply beautiful it was meant to represent the dying reefs all over the world.

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The Marshall Wace – Their installation for this year’s Chelsea In Bloom is a collaboration with ‘Surfers Against Sewage’. They highlighted the damage of single-use plastic and other waste materials are doing to our oceans and marine wildlife. The installation includes rubbish collected from “The Big Beach Clean”; an annual event organised by ‘Surfers Against Sewage’. The sea has been made with fresh hydrangeas, gypsophila and limonium. Personally, I thought this was the best! It hit home on how we really need to clean up our single-use plastic act!

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Club Monaco – This was a hybrid, mixed-media installation combining sculpture, painting and floristry. Fabric covered rock formations in warm pinks, coral and light sand was used inside and outside of the windows. Large commissioned paintings sat in each of the windows providing the backdrop; an abstract oceanic landscape of pinkish hues. Clusters of freshly cut florals and plants create coral-like arrangements across the seabed rockery.

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Hackett- Their display this year was following the inspiration of twenty thousand leagues under the sea, with the Hackett window featuring a full giant octopus with large tentacles sprawling through the sea windows inside and outside of the building, featuring a yellow submarine and deep-sea divers. Alongside fish, starfish and all other deep-sea creatures and plants, visitors also had the opportunity to have their picture taken amongst the scheme and become part of the scene themselves, wrapped in the tentacle of the octopus. Fun and actually kind of scary!

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It’s really worth the trip!

There were so many each one better than the last. If you’ve never been to Chelsea in Bloom I suggest you whack it in your diary for next year because it really is incredible. Seeing how innovative florist can get with their flowers blows your mind and also with this years theme being such a hot and serious topic at the moment! Stop that single-use plastic people!

If you’d like to turn your home into the best flowery spot, why not sign up and have some Freddie’s Flowers delivered to your place? It’s only £24 a pop and I think you’ll be quite delighted.

 

Chelsea Flower Show, Darling!

Freshly cut grass fills the air and the smell of flowers stops you in your tracks. This can only mean one thing… Chelsea Flower Show is here!

London in bloom!

It’s that wonderful time of your year again where mother nature has cranked it up a couple of gears and everywhere you look is prettier than the last. Freshly cut grass fills the air and the smell of flowers stops you in your tracks. This can only mean one thing… Chelsea Flower Show is here!

Chelsea Flower Show aka Mecca to all flower lovers. And guess what? We’re going to be there this year!

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So why is Chelsea Flower Show such a big deal to budding horticulturists?

For gardeners and garden designers, Chelsea has several attractions. First and foremost, it is an absolute spectacle! Here the finest, most inspirational designers flaunt their knowledge and verve. The most extravagant, the most beautiful gardens are on view at Chelsea rather than the Hampton Court or the RHS Cardiff shows. Green-fingered suburbanites can marvel, and return to their gardens filled with excitement and wonderment. As well as providing ideas, the show offers practical help. One hundred and six exhibitors sell everything from seeds to sit-on lawnmowers. It really is the show of all shows!

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Fun facts about the Chelsea Flower Show:

The first ever Chelsea flower show was in 1862 and was originally called the Royal Horticultural Society’s Great Spring Show… Boy, what a mouthful!

It started out as a single tent and made a whopping profit of £88. It wasn’t until 1913 that it moved to its current turf in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

In 1932 the rain at the Show was so severe that a summer house display fell to pieces. Sounds more like the Chelsea Flower Flow!

In the 1950s, the Duke of Windsor – formerly King Edward VIII, was taken with a fashionable rockery and had the whole exhibit relocated to his private estate. He was so enthused that he even helped to move it himself.

The Great Pavilion is roughly 11,775 square metres or 2.90 acres, enough room to park 500 London buses.

Of the firms that exhibited at the first Show in 1913, three can still be seen at the Show today: McBean’s Orchids, Blackmore & Langdon and Kelways Plants.

Despite the First World War, the show still went ahead between 1914 and 1916. It was however cancelled during the Second World War because the War Office needed the land for an anti-aircraft site. Many people were unsure whether the show would be resumed, but it eventually returned in 1947.

One of the most controversial gardens in the show’s history was Paul Cooper’s ‘Cool and Sexy’ garden in 1994, which featured a grille which blew jets of air up the skirts of unsuspecting women. Good luck trying to do that in 2019, Paul!

Each year the show welcomes 157,000 visitors over the five days.

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Have you got your ticket? What green-fingered questions have you got lined up to ask? I can’t wait to have a look at all the incredible creations. It’s the best inspiration for my boxes!

If you’d like to turn your home into the best flowery spot, why not sign up and have some Freddie’s Flowers delivered to your place? It’s only £24 a pop and I think you’ll be quite delighted.

 

Sweet William(s)

Oh sweet, sweet william

To prepare you for one of my favourite flowers featuring in my boxes soon I thought I would tell you a little bit about them first. They really are as lovely as their name and last a long old time too. The exact origin of its common English name is unknown but it first appeared in 1596 in botanist John Gerad’s garden catalogue. Starting the long discussion of who they are named after!

A close up of sweet williams from our box
Sweet William from our box

Who is this is William and is he actually as sweet as the rumours?

There are many possibilities of who ‘sweet william’ took its name from. One is that the flower is called sweet william after Gerad’s contemporary William Shakespeare.

Another idea is that they are named after the 18thC Prince William, Duke of Cumberland to honour the Duke’s victory at the Battle of Culloden and his general brutal treatment of the king’s enemies.

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Not so sweet William – Duke of Cumberland @wordpress.com

Now if you ask me, I think that they are named after the Duke. Why? Well i’ll tell you why. The Battle of Culloden was a battle in Scotland between the Duke, son of George II and Charles Edward Stewart, The Young Pretender. On the Young Pretenders side were the Scots. The Scots were on the losing side and their name for the flower ‘sweet william’ is ‘stinking billy’. Probably after the Prince who trounced them in the Battle. To me that makes more sense!

Our own sweet Williams

The Victorians with their love of the language of flowers, Sweet Williams signified gallantry. And we have a few favourite William’s of our own.

  • At the wedding of our Prince William and Kate Middleton, Kate had sweet williams in her wedding bouquet to symbolise her love for her bridegroom. Good choice Kate!
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Sweet Williams for her William
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William Wilberforce @regencyhistory
  • William Wilberforce was a pretty sweet William indeed. He was the leader of the movement to stop the slave trade which led to the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 which abolished slavery in most of the British Empire. Well done Will, you sweet man!
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The man of many talents, William Shakespeare @woolf.cam.ac.uk

Playwright, poet, botanist and all round genius!

Who would we be if we didn’t mention the most famous sweet William of them all? Apparently, Shakespeare was not content with just being the greatest playwright ever in the English language but he was also an expert amateur botanist. With a deep knowledge of homegrown and exotic plants showing in his work.

”Shakespeare’s botanical references are not mere literary devices; they take us to the very heart of social life in Elizabethan and Jacobean England” Mary Willes

According to Mary Willes (Author of ‘A Shakespearean Botanical’), Shakespeare mentions 49 specific flowers, veg, fruit and herbs in his plays.

What is so genius about old Will is that he used his botanical knowledge to perfectly describe his characters. For example – he describes Falstaff (an overweight Knight in The Merry Wives of Windsor) as a ‘gross, watery pumpkin’. Have that Falstaff!

 

Wonderful William

We hope you enjoyed the sweet williams as much as we have and have a think of all the wonderful William’s in your life!

Here’s flowers for you;
Hot lavender, mints, savoury, marjoram;
The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ the sun
And with him rises weeping: these are flowers
Of middle summer, and I think they are given
To men of middle age.
The Winter’s Tale (4.4.122-7)

If you’d like to turn your home into the best flowery spot, why not sign up and have some Freddie’s Flowers delivered to your place? It’s only £24 a pop and I think you’ll be quite delighted.

The flora and fauna that inspired Shakespeare!

As we approach his Birthday (April 23rd), I find myself thumbing over some Shakespeare for my literary floral hit. Sure, he might have tried to “compare thee to a summer’s day” but spring’s his season

“These flowers are like the pleasures of the world” – Cymbeline

We all love combining our passions: cheese and wine; bed and breakfast; Netflix and relaxing. I’m always looking for ways to combine my love of flowers with other interests. Flowers and Literature? Sounds perfect, doesn’t it. 

As we approach his Birthday (April 23rd), I find myself thumbing over some Shakespeare for my literary floral hit. Sure, he might have tried to “compare thee to a summer’s day” but spring’s his season, and there’s no better time to look at the many, many references to English flora and fauna in the plays and poetry of our National Bard. 

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A few favourite quotes by Bill.

“That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” – Romeo and Juliet 

Shakespeare’s most famous Tragedy is awash with romance and with flowers – it goes to show that in the Elizabethan period flowers were as much a part of the dating scene as they are now. The line above is often quoted, pointing out that, just because Romeo is a rival Montague, it doesn’t mean she’s any less lovely to Juliet Capulet.  By using a rose – the finest of all romantic flowers – Shakespeare really does let us know this is a timeless love for the ages. “He wears the rose of youth upon him” is how Shakespeare puts it in Anthony and Cleopatra – our national flower being an emblem of vitality and youthful passion. This is hot-headed, energetic romance. “Of all the flowers, me thinks a rose is best.” He writes in Two Noble Kinsmen. Swoon. 

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“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, 

Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,

Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, 

With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream 

The riotous woodland comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream is another play that is stuffed-full of floral life. From the distilled flower-juice love potion to the names of the Faries, flowers crop up everywhere. But, this description of Fairy Queen Titania’s sleeping place really does use flowers to create a picture of luscious beauty and serenity. Given the fact there were limited sets and props back in the 16th and 17th Century, Shakespeare has to paint a picture with words, brilliantly creating the impression of a forest carpeted with fabulous flowers. 

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“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance: 

pray you, love, remember: and there is pansies, 

that’s for thoughts. 

There’s a daisy: I would give you some violets, 

but they withered all when my father died.” – Hamlet 

Flowers aren’t just used to denote love or rich forestry. Hamlet’s sometime admirer Ophelia hands flowers out during the scene in which she is said to go ‘mad’, each one representing a different part of her emotional turmoil. Rosemary to remember the dead, pansies represent thoughts. Fennel and columbine (not mentioned here) are said to denote infidelity and falseness. Daisies here represent innocence and violets are supposed to represent faithfulness (which is why they have withered away!). Shakespeare gives us a glimpse into the countless meanings and symbolisms these different flowers had at the time – and some even still carry today! 

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“When daffodils begin to peer, 

With heigh! The doxy over the dale, 

Why, then comes in the sweet o’ the year; 

For the red blood reigns in the Winter’s pale” – A Winter’s Tale 

Nobody was better at associating the passing of the seasons with our rich floral life than Shakespeare. “At Christmas I no more desire a rose, than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth” as how he put in in Love’s Labour’s Lost. Each season has its particular pleasures, but in A Winter’s Tale the sight of spring is chief among these. We’ve had daffodils in our boxes recently and I can certainly confirm that the sight of these yellow beauties as they “begin to peer” does indeed pep you up! “Sweet o’ the year” indeed. 

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“To gild refined gold, to paint the lily

To throw perfume on the violet…

Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.” – King John 

 Forgive me if I am gilding the lily (to use the misquote..!) but there’s room for one or two more. Shakespeare recognises the fantastic richness and luxury of flowers, seen here in King John. Lilies don’t need to be painted, they’re bright enough. Violets don’t need perfume. Just put them in your house and enjoy… and we at Freddie’s Flowers can certainly help with that side of things. 

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One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” – Troilus and Cressida 

Well, we can all agree on that. Adding a bit of flower-power to your life – through a spot of Shakespeare or a Freddie’s Flowers delivery – really does soothe the soul. So this April 23rd I heartily recommend you raise a glass to our national writer and his fantastic, flowery work. 

Love flowers? Love Shakespeare? So do we! Make your home naturally lovely all year round by signing up for a delivery box for just £24 a pop here.

Fun ideas for your Easter table!

Fun, floral ideas on how to decorate your Easter table this Easter!

The flower bunny

As the weather changes and England shakes off its winter coat, Easter arrives to remind us of the new life that is growing in all the beautiful plants around us.

Are you starting to lose sleep over the idea of Easter? How much food to get? Is cousin Bill bringing his latest squeeze? Is there enough room? Flowers! What flowers shall I get?

Well take your panic hat off and throw it away because I am here to hold your hand and guide you through this Easter. Well, on the flower front. I can’t help if cousin Bill brings his date or not.

Easter eggs

With our arrangements this week I thought I would show you some fun ideas to spice up your Easter table or your Easter day. Not that there is anything wrong with the old classic of flowers in a vase, but just in case you wanted to add a bit of panache with your Easter.

Here are a few ideas that maybe you’ll want to try out.

Garland by name, garland by nature

Your very own Freddie’s Flower crown. With my last name being Garland I know I’ll be wearing one throughout Easter. And if you make your own please send pictures to us. We would love to see your own flower crowns. Simply made with Pink Floyd alstroemeria, Le Belle roses and pink lisianthus. Bringing a little bit of Woodstock 69 to the table.

Where is Peter Rabbit?

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Why not try this rather unique table display? Be warned, Peter Rabbit might try to gatecrash your lunch. But it would be worth it for this winning look.

Eggsellent

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Wondering what to do with your leftover eggs after breakfast? Here is a lovely idea to spice up the table to make it as Eastery as possible. Empty your old eggs, add water, make a little string nest so they don’t topple over and then hey presto! You’ve got mini egg vases. Perfect for the Easter table.

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Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Or actually, in this case, do.

Egg basket

Go out and find yourself a hen or if that’s too much faff buy some eggs. Give them a paint and add them in with some of our flowers. They will bring out your inner funky chicken when the kitchen turns into a dance floor after lunch.

Stick to something special.

image by www.sarahkaye.com

Whenever I am around and about walking Claude I always pick up things along my way. Sticks and twigs are absolutely perfect for making displays out of. A few coloured eggs, a couple of ribbons and hey-presto you have yourself a wonderful mini Easter egg tree.

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Over to you

So at the risk of sounding like a Blue Peter (rabbit) presenter, why not try it out at home and come up with Easter ideas for your table. If you do try any of these out or your own ideas then please do send us a picture as we would love to see our flowers being all clever and brightening up your home this Easter.

For your Easter floral look why not Sign up to a weekly box of Freddie’s Flowers for just £24 a pop. We deliver a different selection each week for you to arrange. They’re fresh from the grower, too!

Dizzy for Daffodils!

If I had to pick a favourite flower, I think it would be the daffodil. Does that make me a narcissus?

So without any doubt, my favourite flower is the daffodil. The bringer of spring, the start of a new season… the daffodil. I always think the daffodil is a very happy, excited flower. It looks more comfortable and relaxed in the garden or in a little jar on the kitchen table than any other flower like it feels completely at ease. As a finishing touch, it has bright, happy, sunny colours.

You wouldn’t think that daffodils would be so diverse. After all, they only come in a limited palette of yellow, orange, and white, and are under pretty much any tree or patch of grass anywhere at the moment.

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So let’s explore the different types:

February Gold

This is usually the first daffodil to bloom that I know of. There are probably others that are earlier, but this is the most common extra-early daff, and to me, it signals the beginning of spring, no matter what the calendar says. With this warm weather we’ve had they’ve popped out a tad early this year. And who says there is no such thing as Global warming…

Tete-a-Tete

This little cutie only grows6 inches tall. It gets along well without much special care. It’s small its fun and is the absolute perfect type of daff to put in a jar on the kitchen table or on a bedside table. Who doesn’t like waking up next to the smiling faces of yellow daffodils?

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Yellow Trumpet

These are the ones you see in every perimeter of your vision at the moment. They say you are always within a metre of a rat in London. Well at the moment you are always within a metre of at least 20 daffodils in London.

Ice Follies

After the classic, big yellow trumpet daffodils, Ice Follies is the most popular variety worldwide. The flowers are big and pearly white with a large, flat yellow cup. Like most daffs they make wonderful cut flowers, and most have a light, sweet fragrance that embodies the essence of spring.

Now you will notice in this weeks box a little yellow surprise. Yup, you’ve guessed it. I’ve given you a bunch of daffs. This variety is called ‘Great Leap Double Daffs’. They have more than one flower on each stem and are a little present from you to welcome you into the glorious season that is Spring.

I had the pleasure last week of actually going up to Lincolnshire to meet the wonderful flower grower, Tim Clay. Fields and fields of beautiful yellow daffodils everywhere. As you can see in this photo of me having the time of my life up there. Being surrounded by one of my favourite flowers is a real tick off the 2019 bucket list. Utter heaven.

Here’s a lovely video of me talking to Tim all about being a UK Flower Grower. I hope you enjoy?

Enjoy the daffodil season. It’s over quickly but it’s a beautiful one. It certainly puts a spring in my step.

For your Easter floral look why not Sign up to a weekly box of Freddie’s Flowers for just £24 a pop. We deliver a different selection each week for you to arrange. They’re fresh from the grower, too!

Getting wild about wildflowers this Spring!

It might only be March, but with the weather we’ve been having it feels like Spring is in full force!

It might only be March, but with the weather we’ve been having it feels like Spring is in full force, just ask any hayfever sufferer and they’ll confirm it! But as a non-sufferer, I am just loving it. I even did an arrangement video in a t-shirt the other day! 

With the temperature rising and the sun beginning to peep out from the clouds, it is the perfect time to tear yourself away from your flower arranging and to get outside. And what better excuse to take in some of the floral delights of the British countryside. 

At this time of year, we are blessed with an abundance of fantastic wildflowers right on our doorstep. Here’s a guide a few of my favourites to look out for when you’re out and about. 

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Snowdrops 

One of the first flowers of the year to bloom, the adorable little snowdrop can be seen from early January. If it has been very mild you might even see a few in December. They are famous for their attractive little white buds and for carpeting forest floors, looking just like snow… perfect when the weather is getting a little warm!

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Primrose

The sweet yellow Primrose is a real sign that Spring is coming. Like the Snowdrop, they can be seen from January, but they tend to hang around a little longer and can be spotted in fields and forests right up until the early Summer. Seeing them never fails to lift the mood! 

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Daffodil 

Nowadays we think of Daffodils in little vases at home, but they are of course a wildflower that is native to the UK. Wild daffodils are a glorious sight, making me think of Easter and getting us all in the mood for roast lamb, Easter egg hunts and fighting your siblings over the last slice of cake. I love daffs, they are such a sunny flower and always put a big smile on my face.

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Bluebells 

The most iconic of all the British springtime wildflowers, the fabulous Bluebell is a national favourite. There is nothing better than stumbling across an untouched patch of Bluebells, silently carpeting the ground like a foresty sea. And they really do mean Spring is upon us, they tend to be around during April and May, leading us wonderfully into the Summer months. 

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Easy Purple Orchid 

These wonderful, deep purple flowers are seen towards the end of Spring. They’re recognisable for their interesting shape, striking colour and the fact their leaves are spotted. This purple flower is often found growing near Primroses so you might get a double spot! 

There are plenty of wonderful wildflowers to spot at this time of the year; these are just a select few. Do let me know if I have missed your favourite – I’m always on the lookout for more. 

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We’re wild for them

Even better, please do get in touch with pictures of wildflower spots, or of your own Freddie’s Flowers. In fact, if you pick a few wildflowers perhaps you could add them to your weekly arrangement, giving it a seasonal twist! 

You will find a little wildflower surprise in your box this week. I met the lovely Emily from a great new company called Seedball. Seedball are all about helping the butterflies and bees in our gardens and balconies. It’s a really simple way of planting wildflowers without too much knowledge. In each box, there are six seed balls, each containing about 40 wildflower seeds. I hope you enjoy and spread the wildflower love and plant your own!

 

Happy rambling, enjoy the weather and enjoy my Seedball video! 

Love flowers? So do we! Make your home naturally lovely all year round by signing up for a delivery box for just £24 a pop here.

What really goes on behind the scenes at Freddie’s Flowers…

o what really goes on behind the scenes here at my Freddie’s Flowers HQ? There’s always a hustle and bustle in the Freddie’s Flowers office.

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So what really goes on behind the scenes here at my Freddie’s Flowers HQ? There’s always a hustle and bustle in the Freddie’s Flowers office. Whether it’s the sound of the phones going off or all the office dogs running around in total madness, there’s never a silent moment. I thought it was about time I shared with you what really goes on behind the scenes…

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Flower fights

Starting off the week with the Monday morning fight over who gets to arrange the boxes of flowers delivered to be displayed around the office. All the customer service team huddle around the boxes shouting orders ”Maddie, get the scissors. Dan, where’s the flower food! Alice, you haven’t followed the leaflet!” It’s nice to see that even though they are talking about flowers all day they still love the concept of the company and love what we sell. And with all the hustle and bustle that brings we start the week as we mean to go on.

Bacon rush

Now, this is equal to the end of the week fight, the Friday morning bacon rush. The bacon gets delivered on a Monday and one person each week is put in charge to be the ‘keeper of the bacon’. This usually consists of one of us standing watch over the fridge so no one takes any sneaky slices of bacon. No one is to touch the bacon until we can all enjoy it on a Friday morning. Munching on our bacon sandwiches over a cup of tea and a chat we are then all ready to start the working day.

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Va-Va Bloom

There is no time for a sit-down cuppa for the Events Team however, they are all go-go-go! Creating the beautiful displays you see around about London in our bikes or pop-ups. They whip together the most beautiful baskets of flowers all week long, this is usually done with Bruce Springsteen blaring and a lot of laughter. But my gosh, do these guys know their flowers. Then off they go in the vans all over England to spread the word of what we do. You may have seen them around? Next time do come and see hello. They are a really friendly bunch!

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For the Gram

Behind every Instagram post is a story of hard labour that doesn’t always go to plan. They do always say ‘a picture says a thousand words’ and those words can sometimes be words of joy and sometimes words that shouldn’t be repeated. We recently went to Hampstead to shoot some images of my flowers for the Gram. What you don’t see in the snap (see below) is two people squatting just below the shot in case the wind blows the vase off the ledge into the pond (it happened many times) and all the time getting honked and snapped at by the aggressive swans circling them like Great White sharks.

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All our lovely images are taken by our world famous photographer, Harry. He used to work in our Customer Service team but found out he was rather good at taking pictures of flowers. So, boom! One day we suddenly found ourselves with a flower photographer. And what a great job he does.

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And that’s just a snippet of a few things that happen around and about the office during the week. Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the dogs!

At the top of the hound hierarchy is my French Bulldog Claude. She’s Queen Bee of the Freddie’s Flowers HQ and is usually seen barking orders at most people here. Especially me. Then we have Malt, Betty, Solo, Yoko and Toby. So if you hear any loud barks in the background of your phone call it’s the dogs, not because we’re barking mad.

I hope you’ve enjoyed being a fly on the wall in my HQ, there will be lots more behind the scene snippets to come.

Love flowers? So do we! Make your home naturally lovely all year round by signing up for a delivery box for just £24 a pop here.

 

 

 

 

Flower Pressing

Fun things to do with your flowers after their vase life ends. Make your flowers everlasting!

At this time of year, it’s still a little bit too cold to stay outside too long to enjoy the great outdoors. But, just because I’m in the house rather than outside doesn’t mean I don’t want to have beautiful flowers around me at all times. Now, my Freddie’s Flowers deliveries are a great way to keep nature close at hand in the colder months, brightening the darker days. However, if you want another way of bringing them into your life, I thoroughly recommend pressing flowers.

It might seem a bit Victorian but everything comes back into fashion (maybe not mullets…). I love pressing flowers and it is a really wonderful way of preserving gorgeous florals to enjoy when there’s less greenery around outside. It’s also ridiculously easy.

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First, select your flowers. Why not use some from your Freddie’s box! Maybe when they are just on the cusp so you can enjoy them as much as possible in the vase. As the flower will be pressed to remove moisture you don’t want anything too chunky and flatter flowers work better. If you did want to press a rose or a bloom you can always cut the flower in half with a sharp knife or scissors.

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Once you’ve chosen your flowers you need to prepare them. I recommend giving them a drink for a few hours in some fresh water with flower food (FF customers, you know the drill!). If you’re taking the flowers from an arrangement that is already in a vase, you can skip this bit!

After giving them a drink make sure you dry them off with a paper towel. Take an A4 sheet of good quality paper and fold it in half. Place the flower carefully inside the paper, making sure it is flat and secure.

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For the pressing itself, you will need a good, heavy book. As the pages might get a bit damp, don’t use that priceless first addition you have on the shelf! Slip the folded paper inside the centre of the book and place on a table. Stack a few more heavy books or other objects (paperweights, bricks, children, dogs…) on top of the first book and make sure everything is balanced securely.

Believe it or not, when you’ve done this you’ve done the hard bit. Simply leave the flowers pressing for two to three weeks, changing the blotting paper every few days. You can use tweezers to pick up the flowers if they’re very small or delicate. After a few weeks pressing, the flowers will be fully dried and preserved.

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The rest is up to you! You can use your dried flowers in a variety of ways. Display them, frame them, stick them on cards – you’re really only limited by your imagination and how many heavy books you can get your hands on.

You know me, I’m all about regular fresh flowers. But our boxes are always stuffed, and a few buds could easily be snipped off and pressed. The fresher the flowers the better they will be preserved once pressed. In fact, our deliveries are perfect for the job!

I’d love to see pictures of any flower pressings that people get up to. Or even better, stick them to a card and send it to us in the office! It really will make us happy here in Freddie’s Flowers HQ.

It’s the perfect way to make flowers last forever!

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Love flowers? So do we! Make your home naturally lovely all year round by signing up for a delivery box for just £24 a pop here.

Why flowers are not just for Valentines Day!

Have a read to see why flowers aren’t just for Valentines day. That way every day is Valentine’s day!

 

Why is giving flowers considered romantic?

Over the course of history, especially throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, there was a huge fad known as ‘floriography’, which officially solidified the start of floral wooing. Victorians used bouquets to deliver a message to their love interests to let them know they fancied them.

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Shocking Victorians!

Victorians established the enduring link between romance and flowers (especially red roses) as we think of it today. The Victorians were obsessed with the language of flowers, or floriography, developing distinct meanings for every shade of flower imaginable and using this language to send flowers to friends, lovers, and more. Think of it as the Victorian version of emojis. Professing feelings publicly was not considered acceptable at the time, so the language of flowers and the gifting of a red rose was a subtle way to express affection in this rather restricted era. How scandalous those Victorians were!

Have a look to see what some of the flowers meant:

Red rose                     romantic love

Narcissus                   unrequited love

Pansy                          you occupy my thoughts

Periwinkle                   fond memories

Ranunculus                 you are rich in attractions

Violet                           faithfulness

Lily                               purity

Thrift                            sympathy

Daisy                           innocence

Tulips                          I declare war against you!

Blimey, poor people that got tulips. Don’t take it this personally when I send you tulips. I just like them. I don’t want to declare war on you. I don’t think Freddie’s Flowers would do very well back in the Victorian era if people took each flower in my box this literally. I would be sending a lot of mixed messages!

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Getting with the floral times!

But in recent times flowers have moved away from just a romantic gesture. People are realising that rather than waiting for someone to send you flowers one must take control of the reins and realise we’re in 2019 and no one has to wait for anyone to do anything anymore. Secret courting flowers are a thing of the past. ‘Tis the era of having your own flowers. Which is why my deliveries are such a lovely weekly gift to yourself.

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Gosh, flowers really are good for your soul!

I want you to enjoy getting flowers weekly, because looking at a bunch of flowers you can’t help but feel anything but happiness. The fifteen minutes it takes for you to arrange your flowers is relaxing, it will take you to your happy place and relieve stress. Goodbye life anxiety (for 15-20 minutes). It is the perfect way to just switch off and concentrate on something solely for you.

It is scientifically proven that flowers actually do make you happy (whether you like it or not), looking at pretty flowers triggers your happy chemicals in your brain like serotonin for example. You automatically feel a sense of pride and excitement that releases serotonin. It is actually probably best for you to sign up straight away if you haven’t already for the happy endorphins we guarantee with each delivery.

Flowers give us a connection to nature too. Something to disconnect us from our fast past hectic lives. Bringing the outdoors in is what 2019 is all about, especially until it’s warm enough to actually go outside.

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Colour really does make a difference.

And the colour of them… let’s talk about what the colour does for us!

Chromotherapy is a theory invented by Edwin Dwight Babbitt that connects colours with a sense of feeling. There are seven colours that we connect with when we look at them.

Red – makes us feel grounded and instinct of survival

Orange – brings out emotions, creativity and sexuality.

Yellow – a sense of power, a sense of self and confidence

Green – unconditional love, sense of responsibility

Blue – Physical  and spiritual communication

Indigo – intuition, forgiveness, compassion and understanding

Violet – connection with universal energies, transmission of ideas and information.

So you might have noticed last week when I sent out the lovely yellow arrangement (lilies, Good Time roses, forsythia, waxflower and Solidago) you were feeling particularly empowered and self-confident.

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Surround yourself with floral fabulousness

So there you have it, flowers are not just for Valentine’s day no more than a puppy is not just for Christmas. Flowers increase nothing but positivity in your life and it is simply imperative that everyone must constantly surround themselves with them at all times. Think of the serotonin levels!

Love flowers? So do we! Make your home naturally lovely all year round by signing up for a delivery box for just £24 a pop here.