Back to reality!

Bye bye Summer

Summer is over. Beach days are done. The green parrots of London are flying south
to Spain. The blackberries have wilted and died on the vine. School has started and
there is an ever-present chill in the air. It’s that time again. Time to swap sandals and
sundresses for tights and woolly jumpers. Sure, I’ve already lost my tan a little but I
can hardly complain as we move into my favourite season– Autumn or what I like to
call sausage roll season.

 

Picture of a butterfly on a buttercup
Butterfly World

MUM’S THE WORD

The soft fruit of summer is gone, yet somehow my magnum chrysanthemums from
Freddie are still thriving. Three weeks on and they’re still alive. How’s that for
flowers by post?! Not only are they gorgeous to look at, but also they are extremely
hardy. The only flowers I grow that are as robust are my geraniums and my verbena.
Recently, I saw beautiful verbena in the Butterfly House at the Horniman Museum. If
you haven’t been, I recommend it. And make sure you buy a chocolate walrus biscuit
on your way out.

Picture of a biscuit and a cup of tea
Horniman biscuit and tea
Misti's home-cooked Challah bread
Round Challah

BREAD AND BUTTER

Inspired by the return of The Great British Bake Off and the upcoming Jewish
holidays, I’ve been making lots of challah. Challah is a kind of bread a bit like brioche
as it’s enriched with eggs, oil, and sugar. I also put a few tablespoons of honey in
mine. It can be plaited in many ways, but at this time of year it’s traditional to shape it
into a round. The reason for this is to remind us of the sobering notion of wholeness,
of the cyclical nature of life and death, of joy and pain. Let me tell you what a joy it is
when the whole flat smells of warm challah. It’s on par with getting weekly flowers
by post.

 

Misti's daughter getting ready to race
Swim class!

 

THOUGH SHE BE BUT LITTLE, SHE IS FIERCE

Across the summer months, my daughter shot up as fast and as much as our sweet
peas did. Which is to say a lot. We thought she’d become really tall and as woman
who is a cheater 5’3” I was happy for her. Then school started and we realised the rest
of her class had growth spurts as well. It turns out she is still diddy, as her dance
teacher put it. Her swim teacher too.

Thankfully, something wonderful has happened . My tiny girl has found her fire. She
is no longer as delicate a flower as she once was. She tears through our flat in a Bat
Girl costume, practicing her jetés and conquering imagined evil. She is learning to
speak up for herself and she is becoming fearless. I see it when her swim coach
pushes her into the water each week and I see it at the playground. Where she used to
be scared of falling from heights, she now she climbs whatever she can and I’m the
one who is left feeling a bit frightened.

A photograph of Freddie's Flowers yellow lilies
Yellow lilies

LIFE IS A GLORIOUS CYCLE OF SONG

Earlier this year, I wrote about Mary Cicely Barker’s Flower Fairies and how they are
a celebration of the cyclical. As are Freddie’s flower arrangements. I have been a
customer for almost eighteen months. Not only do I have a better knowledge of flora
and fauna than I did pre-signing- up for these weekly flowers by post, but I have
acquired a better sense of the seasonal.

Lilies are lovely, though their beauty is no longer my only thought when I look at
them. They are a signifier of the end of summer, a reminder to take one last picnic and
to gather more brambles before they’re gone. So when their petals drop and orange
pollen covers the table where they’ve been displayed, I don’t get sad. I smile because
I know larkspur is on its way, bringing with it all the flavours and festivities of fall.

Freddie's Flowers bloom arrangement
Freddie’s Flowers by post

 

 

Misti Traya fell in love with an Englishman and moved from Los Angeles to London in 2009.  After her daughter was born, she began a blog called Chagrinnamon Toast that won the writing category at the 2014 Young British Foodies. She was also named runner-up for the Shiva Naipaul Prize. She has written for Gawker, Jezebel, Look, Mslexia, The Pool, The Spectator, and Stella Magazine.

 

Love flowers? Fancy being one of Freddie’s Flower People? Sign up to try our lovely flower deliveries at £24 a pop.

Photo gallery – August’s wonderful arrangements!

Nothing makes us happier than when we see photographs of our flowers in their new home. Thank you to our lovely gang of customers who have sent in and posted photographs. August starred some big hitters such as chrysanthemum blooms, sea lavender, ornithogalum and the wonderful snowberries to welcome in the Autumn,

So here is a little gallery of a few of the photos you lovely people sent in. We wish we could put them all up!

We reckon your arrangement are works of art, so they deserve their own gallery. Share your own Freddie’s Flower pics with on FacebookTwitter or Instagram, or drop us an email at freddie@freddiesflowers.com – and perhaps you’ll feature in the next one!

 

Blooms, avalanche roses, thlaspi, phlox
In pride of place @Ann-Marie Graves
A box with the welcome box and lisanthus
Welcome to a flowerful life @dustyorange3
Sea lavender arrangement on a blue cabinet
The sea lavender, the lissys, that cabinet! @ohlookapigeon
Oriental lilies, ornithogalum and eucalyptus arrangement
Oriental lilies, ornithogalum and eucalyptus to perfection @omgitsalli
Agapanthus, solidago, aster, phlox
Take me to the beach @Debbie Pointon
cat in a box
My box! @libertytuliptwo
Agapanthus, phlox, aster, solidago
Matchy, matchy. Aggie Paggies! @caleighalexandra
A little pug called monkey next to the box and arrangement
Someone’s excited @monkeythepug
Lilies, ornathogalum, eucalyptus Viktoria
Lilies hosting their own party! @lisawong
A lovely Kitchen with bunting and Freddie's Flowers arrangement
Bringing home the bunting @sarahnortoninteriors

If you haven’t already why not give us a go and you can get a lovely box of Freddie’s flowers fresh flowers delivered straight to your door!

photo of lisianthus, eringium and sea lavender
Could almost be a painting @sutty83

Misti’s flower diary; the evocative scent of summer flowers

In her latest flower diary Misti skips down olfactory memory lane, thanks to Freddie’s summer flowers, reminiscing about a beloved aunt and her wedding day…

Continue reading “Misti’s flower diary; the evocative scent of summer flowers”

Photo gallery – July’s English Summer arrangements!

Nothing makes us happier than when we see photographs of our flowers in their new home. Thank you to our lovely gang of customers who have sent in and posted photographs. July was a very sunny month with our sunflower, Wimbledon* and gladioli** arrangements and not forgetting the fab roselily makes its first cameo appearance!

So here is a little gallery of a few of the photos you lovely people sent in. We wish we could put them all up!

We reckon your arrangement are works of art, so they deserve their own gallery. Share your own Freddie’s Flower pics with on FacebookTwitter or Instagram, or drop us an email at freddie@freddiesflowers.com – and perhaps you’ll feature in the next one!

 

Freddie's Flowers Wimbledon arrangement
The perfect summer @kategowling

 

A display of gladioli and peonies with some candles
Feeling homely @nicolarichmondfood

 

Freddie's Flowers sunflowers in the box
Box ready @sophiapot

 

Lisianthus, alstroemeria, fountain grass arrangement
The Wimbledon arrangement @mr5field

 

A detail of a roselily
The fab roselily @nataliet77

 

A colourful arrangement of gladioli by Freddie's Flowers
A riot of colour in the gladioli arrangement @sarahHighfield

 

The sunflowers arrangement by Freddie's Flowers
Brightening up the room @rachelj_hearts

 

The wonderful roselily, roses, lily and solidago arrangement
The wonderful roselily, roses, lily and solidago @chrissyshorter
The freddies flowers bike with sunflowers
The Freddie’s Flowers bike with some sunny sunflowers @gallopinggardener
Lone ornithogalum's in a kitchen
When flowers last longer than others. Orinthogalum ‘s @olivedragonflybex
Photo of a french bull dog smiling next to flowers by Freddie
Indoor sunshine @mynameisboo

 

A customer photo of the sunflower arrangement
Sunflowers by @bumbleboxukhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WU3I9BLMhfc

*

**

If you haven’t already why not give us a go and you can get a lovely box of Freddie’s flowers fresh flowers delivered straight to your door! Just £24 a pop!

Cocktails are so floral right now!

What could be better than flowers and cocktails? Have a read to see what floral cocktails are our hot picks for this sizzling Summer.

Floral mixes and Freddie’s best picks!

What could be better than flowers and cocktails? (Other than cut flowers brightening your home)? I simply cannot think of two better things. Strictly for research purposes only of course, I have been ‘researching’ some of the delicious cocktail trends in London. I can confirm, through my vigorous testing process, that cocktails have a very strong floral theme this summer. Visually identifiable by the cut flowers that decorate them.

floral cocktails
Summer in a glass – @elledecor

So Old Fashion’ed

Move over G’n’T. Sayonara voddy lime and soda, you’re old news now. Step up, flowers. Mixologists all over London have got the flower power and are inventing these wonderful creations that taste fantastic and are also very aesthetically pleasing.

And what better timing. Cut flowers are in people!

The only downside is that they sometimes look far too pretty to drink. My love of flowers has taken me to meet some of the botanically inspired mixologists behind the blossoming cocktail creation. They’ve shared their intoxicating knowledge with me.

cut flowers cocktail
A cocktail of ingredients

I learned it’s all about ‘’less juice and more infusions’’ according to one mixologist as I sipped on my aquavit, lavender, lime juice and rose extract cocktail called ‘The birds and the bees’. It’s all about floral liqueur, essence or syrup in cocktails these days for added depth and complexity. The classics are all rather old fashioned nowadays. Lavender, violet, hibiscus and elderflower are taking the place of tonic, soda and plain sugar syrup.

Here are some of my favourites for you to try:

The Lavender Martini. Take your inner mixologist out for a spin and try this at home, folks!

  • 1 oz. crème de violette
  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 1/4 oz. Domaine de Canton
  • 1/4 oz. St. Germaine elderflower liqueur
  • 1 dash Scrappy’s Lavender Bitters
  • Lavender
Floral cocktails mixology
The Lady Rose

Or what about the Lady Rose?

  • 1/3 oz. rose syrup
  • 1/3 oz. pomegranate syrup
  • 1 1/3 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. cranberry juice
  • 3 fresh strawberries
  • Red rose
Floral cocktail flowers
The Lotus Flower cocktail – Darbaar – Liverpool Street

Perfect picks

I recently stubbled upon a wonderful pop up square called Ecclestone Yards in Victoria where I thought I would try their lovely floral cocktails (for the research, for the research) and I highly recommend going there for a taste or two.

hibiscus cut flowers
Hibiscus flower

There was a Chelsea Flower Show inspired cocktail I tried when we went to the Show called the ”Chelsea Summer Blush”. Now people, I won’t lie to you. This nearly knocked my socks off but it was so tasty I might have had two. The Chelsea blush included sloe gin, crème de violette, lemon juice, egg white and a spritz of lavender essence. I wish I could tell you the measurements but like I said, I had two.

floral cocktails flowers
”Drink me” – Disney’s Alice in Wonderland
floral cocktail mixologist
”Mixologist of tipulars”

Mixolo-history

It has only been in the last 10 years that the cocktail renaissance has really taken off. Cocktails are now an art – they’re innovative and that’s all down to the genius of the mixologists. You might think the term ‘mixology’ is a rather fancy name, like calling a florist a ‘floristronaut’ but I think its a perfect name for them. And I may just adopt ‘floristronaut’.

The term ‘mixologist’ came about when a hotel guest wrote in the 1860s about an encounter he had with a man in a hotel. A drunk hotel guest accidentally wandered into his room late at night, and when confronted, the drunk guest explained that the ‘mixologist of tipulars’ (barman) had told him his room was that way. As annoyed the guest was about the drunk intruder he rather liked the phrase ‘mixologist of tipulars’ and wrote about it in an article. It caught on.

floral cocktails
La Vie en Rose – Cocktail at The Wright Brothers, Soho

Best flowers for cocktails?

The easiest and probably the best flowers to add a bit of razzle-dazzle to your drinks are:

Elder Flower – A British summer classic and never fails to work

Lavender – Very relaxing and will ease you into your cocktail mood

Hibiscus – Spicy and dramatic with a hint of citrus

Strawberry flower – Simply perfect for a lovely sweet drink

Drinkin’ about Town

London is thriving with pop ups and new cool dives for people to come and have a tipple after work or on their day off and with this wonderful weather we’ve been having, a floral cocktail seems to be the perfect sundowner. I highly recommend going out and giving them a try this weekend or when you get a chance. There’s absolutely hundreds out there.

Of course if you don’t choose the booze then take a look at our blog on ‘How do you drink your flowers? – Floral teas and tisanes”.

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.

Misti’s Flower Diary: Of London Summer time and Freddie’s Flowers

Father’s Day was the hottest day of the year thus far. I should know. I spent several hours of it sitting in traffic in a 20 year-old Ford Focus with broken air conditioning.

Continue reading “Misti’s Flower Diary: Of London Summer time and Freddie’s Flowers”

Photo gallery: A June-full bunch of flower arranging

There’s something special about Freddie’s Flowers customers – they are great at flower arranging. And they have impeccable taste in flowers, might I add!

Here’s a gallery of some of the recent photos shared with us by Freddie’s Flower People – i.e. our lovely gang of customers. It was a month of peonies and roselilies. And what a tasteful June it was. Hats off to you!

We reckon your arrangement are works of art, so they deserve their own gallery. Share your own Freddie’s Flower pics with on FacebookTwitter or Instagram, or drop us an email at freddie@freddiesflowers.com – and perhaps you’ll feature in the next one!

Freddie's flowers in a bike
A beautiful looking bike by @tinegreenlondon

 

An unusual vase!
An unusual vase! By @lucyheaps

 

Flower garden by @dianasalamat
Flower garden by @dianasalamat

 

Peonies delivered by Freddie's Flowers
Peonies by @jannelford

 

Stocks and peonies by @jannelford
Stocks and peonies by @jannelford

 

The magnificent roselily was a bit of a hit

lilies delivered by Freddie's Flowers

A splendid collection of lilies by @mccormickcharlie

 

Roselilies delivered by Freddie's Flowers
The show stopping roseliliy by @julieelagrace

 

More peonies, anyone? More flower arranging?

Peonies, stocks and thlaspi
Peonies, stocks and thlaspi by @quiltwhileyourahead

 

A pot of peonies
A punchy pot of peonies by @sf_floral

 

A flowerful shelfie by @theycallitthediamondblog
A flowerful shelfie by @theycallitthediamondblog

 

More peonies!
More peonies! (and a pinecone) By @bricksandstitches

Freddie catches Wimbledon fever!

What happens when a London flower delivery service catches Wimbledon fever?

It’s the beginning of July and we all know what that means! Wimbledon is upon us. Pimms is permanently in the left hand of every British man and woman. Living rooms across the nation all have Sue Barker over for tea. And we’re no exception here at Freddie’s. We too have the Wimbledon bug and it is evident in our knock out arrangement this week.

Freddie's flowers weekly arrangement
The Freddie’s Flowers Wimbledon arrangement

 

What’s in the (serving) box?

Move over Andy Murray, there’s a new star in town and it comes in a box with Freddie’s Flowers written on the top. In our Wimbledon arrangement we have: Purple Agassi alstroemeria, blue Sampras static, white Perry Phox, Lleyton lisianthus and panicum Graff grass…

Put them together and you have one smashing arrangement. Have you noticed the colours of the flowers in this arrangement are the Wimbledon colours? We thought it would be nice for anyone who has these flowers to feel like they have a bit of Wimbledon in their homes. Apart from Sue constantly being in everyone’s living room.

As Fred Perry once said ‘’Wimbledon has been a leader in bringing about change and improvement in the sport’’. Well we would like to think that Fred would agree that we are doing the same with the London flower delivery service.

 

Why did Wimbledon choose its colours

The present colours, dark green and purple were introduced in 1909 following the discovery that the previous Club colours of blue, yellow, red and green were almost identical to those of the Royal Marines. There is no explanation of the green and purple for Wimbledon but we suspect the green is the grass and the purple may be for the tournament’s long association with British royalty. Interestingly you might realise that the same colours are also the colours of the suffragette movement which were chosen as green, white and violet – GWV as an acronym for “Give Women Votes”. Interesting huh?

google image of wimbledon in 1937
An image from when Wimbledon was first televised in 1937

History of Wimbledon

  • The Championships started on 9 July 1877 and the Gentlemen’s Singles was the only event held.
  • Luckily they saw sense and in 1884 and the club added Ladies’ Singles as an event.
  • Until 1922, the reigning champion had to play only in the final, against whomever had won through to challenge him/her. 
  • In 1908 the tennis for the Olympics was held at Wimbledon
  • 1926: The King plays at Wimbledon
  • 1936: Fred Perry’s third title – The last time a Brit won The Championship until Andy Murray in 2013
  • 1937: The first television coverage
  • During the war in 1940 Centre Court was bombed during the blitz
  • 1977: Brit Virginia Wade wins the Ladies’ Singles
  • 1995: Tim Henman is disqualified after the ball girl incident
  • 1996 Sir Cliff Richard entertains the crowd when play has been put on hold by singing
  • 2012: The Olympics return to Wimbledon and Andy Murray wins a gold medal
  • 2013: Andy Murray does it! He wins Wimbledon – The first Brit since Fred Perry won in 1936
  • 2016: Andy does it again!

 

Tennis in an English garden

The Wimbledon gardeners put a hell of a lot of effort into keeping Wimbledon the most well kept and beautiful tennis grand slam in the world. The outstanding hydrangeas and hanging baskets and of course the creeper is the most iconic especially on the front of centre court building. Its beautiful and it’s green. And we like green! There are six full-time gardeners, with six more seasonally, looking after the famous Wimbledon ivy and hydrangeas. It takes a lot of man (and woman) power for Wimbledon to look as good as it does and I take my hat off to them.

 

Wimbledon image of foxgloves and sign
Do not sit on the plants photo @wimbledon

 

A little Brit special

This week I pootled down to Wimbledon with my tennis whites to arrange my Wimbledon themed bunch to the lovely people in the queue. What could be more British than arranging flowers in a queue? Answer – unless someone in the queue is also eating a marmite crumpet then there is nothing more British. It was just a bit of fun to show the queue-goers what my London flower delivery service was all about and after a few concerned stares the crowd went wild. Well… they smiled. 

 

Keeping your fresh flowers looking champion

  • Firstly remove any lisianthus  and alstroemeria leaves that might have contact with the vase water
  • Cut the stems on an angle and put into clean water
  • Add flower food – 1 sachet per litre
  • Change the water every two days
  • They will last longer in cool conditions, so keep out of direct heat and sunlight
  • Our flowers are so incredibly fresh that some of the are still closed when they arrive. This is unusual but it means you have the joy of watching then unfurl over the next few days
  • If any of your flowers arrive looking a bit droopy, don’t worry. Put them in water straight away and they’ll soon perk up

 

Freddie showing his delivery service in london
Freddie wowing the crowd goers at Wimbledon
Sue Barker the nations favourite
Sue Barker – The nation’s favourite
Murray winning the title
Murray winning the title in 2013

Flowerful highlights from Chelsea Flower Show

A humongous green teddy bear, a moroccan quarry and a bevvy of giraffes; the RHS Chelsea Flower Show was rammed full of flowerful discoveries this year. There were 28 show gardens in total, 157,000 visitors, approximately 30 million flowers (that’s an educated guess) and the tickets sold out 2 weeks in advance. Continue reading “Flowerful highlights from Chelsea Flower Show”

Misti’s Flower Diary: ‘The song of the spring flowers’

Misti welcomes spring and dreams of the beautiful country she likes to call ‘Sprance’…

In her latest flower diary, Freddie’s customer Misti listens to the song of the spring flowers and dreams of the beautiful country she likes to call ‘Sprance’…

Each spring I’m amazed at how quickly the world moves out of winter darkness and into summer light. It’s always just after the clocks change. Suddenly the sun rises much earlier and sets a lot later. We have to put up an extra curtain in our daughter’s room otherwise she wakes up too early. Little songbirds start trilling at indecent hours and every street you walk down seems to be in full bloom.

The song of the spring flowers is cyclical. I take comfort in this. I know which blossoms will be on the table for the annual celebrations in my life. For instance, I associate Easter not just with lilies like Freddie’s has been sending out (above), but with the pink camellias (below) and pale purple rosemary flowers that grow in my in-laws’ garden…

camellias

 

I love that the walks to and from school with my daughter smell of lilacs in the morning and stocks in the afternoon. And I adore how she tries to talk to robins and collects flowers for me on the playground that inevitably get smashed in her dress pockets before giving them to me.

 

***
But as much as I love spring flowers and spring in South East London, my favourite place to be at this time of year is within the confines of France and Spain. There a magical region exists where two countries bleed into one. I see it as a venn diagram of deliciousness. Most people call this place Catalonia. I call it Sprance.

If you’re on the Spanish side, local graffiti will tell you “Catalonia is not Spain.” And if you’re on the French side, don’t expect the residents to want to parlez vous. They won’t. They have got their own language and pronounce Xs as CHs probably just because it sounds quite cool.

Sprance is a spicy pocket of the world where pork and small salty fish dominate on the dinner table and Cathar blood is still visible on ancient citadel walls. It’s a place where even babies drink Banyuls and residents are blessed with a minimum of 300 sunny days a year.

1024px-Céret_-_Couvent_des_Capucins_et_cerisiers
Couvent des Capucins and cherry trees in Céret. Image: Fabricio Cardenas

 

The light in the Pyrénées-Orientales is so beautiful, that artists have always flocked there to paint the dusty hillside and the sparkling sea. Picasso, Soutine, and Chagall all called the tiny medieval market town of Céret (above) their home. Matisse and Modigliani visited. Sure the light is beautiful, but I think the real reason they settled there was because of the food.

Céret is a major fruit producer and it’s famous for its cherries. Traditionally, every season’s first pick are sent to Le Président. May marks the end of this stone fruit’s harvest and in my opinion this is when Céret is at its most picturesque and certainly when I like to go.

So if you need me in the next few weeks, you know where you can find me. In Céret, listening to Charles Trenet under the shade of a 250 year old Corsican pine, enjoying a bowl full of cherries while my daughter runs amongst the irises and my husband sips Bandol rosé in the pool. (At least in my head!)

For me, this peace is as perennial a pleasure as the flowers that let me know the cherries are on their way.

 


 

at Coworth Park

Misti Traya fell in love with an Englishman and moved from Los Angeles to London in 2009.  After her daughter was born, she began a blog called Chagrinnamon Toast that won the writing category at the 2014 Young British Foodies. She was also named runner-up for the Shiva Naipaul Prize. She has written for Gawker, Jezebel, Look, Mslexia, The Pool, The Spectator, and Stella Magazine.

 

Love flowers? Fancy being one of Freddie’s Flower People? Sign up to try our lovely flower deliveries at £24 a pop.

Misti’s Flower Diary: The Endurance of Roses

Misti fights back against the tyranny of Disney Princesses and finds an unexpected inspiration in red roses…

This month, Misti fights back against the tyranny of Disney Princesses and encourages her daughter to follow a different kind of female role model. Luckily, roses provide an unexpected inspiration…

This World Book Day, my daughter’s school got genre specific. The children were told to dress up as historical figures. The examples given were Cleopatra and Erik the Red. We chose Jeanne d’Arc – or ‘John Dark’ as Helena pronounced it.

Before leaving the flat, she asked if she could tuck some of the limonium that had come with Freddie’s lilies that week into her belt. I obliged. She was so full of self-confidence and had such bounce in her step as I kissed her goodbye.

I asked her one last time, who are you today?

I am Joan of Arc and she led the French against the English. And she said this: I am not afraid. I was born to do this.”

Joan of Arc and Freddie's Flowers

 

My husband said that once at school Helena went all quiet. Most of the girls in her class were dressed as princesses – exclusively Disney. Weeks later, I still can’t believe there wasn’t a Romanov, a Nefertiti, or a Grace Kelly among them.

I expected her to be in a mood when I picked her up at 3:15 so had planned a trip to the bakery for morale boosting cinnamon buns. Lo, when I entered the school gate she wasn’t sulky or sad but playing swords with another John Dark! On the walk home, she told me that she had a great day and that the teacher found a book about Joan of Arc that she read to the class.

***

We all know forbidden fruit’s the sweetest. This is why I haven’t outlawed princess paraphernalia in our home. That said, I did put a moratorium on Disney dresses last year. I had to.

Something strange happened at the playground, more than once. The moment Helena would slip into a princess dress, she’d slip out of herself and into a completely helpless persona. It was as distressing to me as it was for Rapunzel to be locked in that tower.

At home I told her she could wear whatever she wanted but only if her bravery remained in tact. First she threw a wobbly then she threw her dresses in the bin. Whilst recovering and refolding them, she said she understood and admitted that gowns weren’t very good for going up ladders. She even agreed that there is a time and place for costumes.

Like going to see Beauty and The Beast last weekend.

IMG_20170319_163827_407

 

***

The following day, the most perfect red roses and limonium rode into our flat on a wave of eucalyptus (see picture, top).

Helena was convinced Freddie knew we’d seen the film, probably via enchanted mirror just like the Beast’s. She rubbed a velvety petal between her fingers. “When the last one falls, it dies. Right, mummy?”

I shook my head and took her to the windowsill in the living room where I’ve been trying to propagate the roses Freddie sent last September. After the blooms dropped off, I cut the stems and put them in water. Months later, new leaves have sprouted and roots that look like little hairs are starting to form. Helena looked at me like I was full of magic.

20170320_100733 Roses

 

So I told her about the Rose of Hildesheim in Germany that’s been growing up a cathedral wall for more than 1,200 years. During World War II it was bombed heavily by the allies, and though every bit of the plant above ground was destroyed, the root managed to thrive. The bush still flowers today.

This is why I love roses so much–not only for their beauty but also their ability to endure.

IMG_20170323_134546_895

 

Recently when Helena told me that she and her friends played princesses at school, I started poncing around and making helpless noises. She laughed and said “No! Not that kind of princess. Princess BUILDERS. We wear the dresses because they’re pretty but then we build things.”

Finally, a robust royal roleplay I can get behind.

 


 

at Coworth Park

Misti Traya fell in love with an Englishman and moved from Los Angeles to London in 2009.  After her daughter was born, she began a blog called Chagrinnamon Toast that won the writing category at the 2014 Young British Foodies. She was also named runner-up for the Shiva Naipaul Prize. She has written for Gawker, Jezebel, Look, Mslexia, The Pool, The Spectator, and Stella Magazine.

 

Love flowers? Fancy being one of Freddie’s Flower People? Sign up to try our lovely flower deliveries at £24 a pop.