Get Inspired by the Botanical Gardens of the World!

Let’s have a wonder around some other beautiful botanical gardens around the world. In the words of Aladdin ”I can show you the world (of gardens)”. There are so many beautiful gardens all around the world. Maybe you’ve been to some of them?

PTR_7445 (1)

Gardens you simply must visit

Now being an Englishman I suppose I might be biased but I think we can all agree, as a country, we know what a good garden should look like. I mean, we have gardens down to a tee. Even here in London where gardens might not be as big in the country-side we have so many wonderful parks and the best garden of them all, Kew!

I like to think with my arrangements I bring a little bit of the outside into your home.

Here are a few of my favourites:

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 15.47.43

Kew Gardens

There is nothing I like to do more than spend a day of my weekend walking around Kew Gardens. It is like swapping bodies with a bee. Meandering around so many different and wonderful plants, trees and flowers. It’s a place of real inspiration for me when thinking of new designs for my arrangements.

Founded in 1840 Kew houses more than 30,000 different plants and has over seven MILLION preserved plant specimens. It really is a marvel and it’s on our doorstep!

But I thought we would have a wonder around some other beautiful botanical gardens around the world. In the words of Aladdin ”I can show you the world (of gardens)”. There are so many beautiful gardens all around the world. Maybe you’ve been to some of them?

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 15.28.52

First stop: Rio de Janeiro. – Jardim Botânico

Christ Redeemer looks down on this botanical extraordinaire. Lucky old Christ, ay? This exotic 137-hectare garden, with more than 8000 plant species, was designed by order of the Prince Regent Dom João in 1808. It has an orchid house, a Japanese garden and has rare plants from the Amazon rainforest. Whilst wondering around you can hear the sounds of the jungle around you. Whilst at Kew you can hear the coo of pigeons, in Jardim Botânico  you’re more likely to hear the sounds of macaw’s and monkeys.

A bit closer to home:

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 14.57.14

Gardens of the Palace of Versailles

Steeped in history and splendour, the sprawling gardens of Versailles, one of the world’s most recognised landmarks, are the former stomping grounds of King Louis XVI and his queen, Marie Antoinette. In 1661 Louis XVI appointed André Le Nôtre to design the gardens, which took over 40 years to complete and include an orangerie and abundance of ornate fountains. When I went here last year I couldn’t help but have a real strut in my step as I waltzed around this truly magical wonderland.

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 14.47.22

New York Botanical Garden

NEW YORK, NEW YORKKKKKK… Dun dun dun de dun. Founded in 1891, this 250-acre botanical oasis in the Bronx supports over one million plants that thrive in a variety of climates, from the tropics to the desert. With over 50 different gardens, this National Historic Landmark receives more than one million visitors per year.

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 14.52.03

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Established to conserve South Africa’s indigenous plants, this extraordinary display of vegetation from the savanna, the karoo (a semidesert natural region of South Africa… I had to google it), and other growing regions. Its grand backdrop of Cape Town’s Table Mountain. Sugarbushes, pincushions, and heaths are some of the plants that make up the more than 7,000 species in this epic garden.

And lastly (there are so many amazing gardens and not enough blog writing time)…

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 13.47.38

Claude Monet’s Garden, Giverny

I think this is my second favourite garden in the world (Kew being numero uno of course). Founded by a nonprofit organisation committed to the preservation of the house and gardens of the amazing impressionist painter, Claude Monet. The impressive flower and water garden in Giverny attracts over 500,000 visitors a year, all eager to see the greenery that inspired the great artist. And inspired you will be.

I remember going to Monet’s garden when I was very young with my flower mad parents and I think it was the first time I really appreciated the surroundings I was in. It truly is the most incredible place (other than good old Kew). It has an air of total calmness (slightly muffled by the sound of American tourists) and you can totally understand why it was Monet’s favourite place on earth.

Screen Shot 2018-09-07 at 09.13.13

Planning ahead!

So there you have it, a little tour around some gardens around the world. I wish I could go to them all right now. How wonderful it would be to take a year off and travel the worlds gardens. I feel a retirement plan forming…

If you can’t go off on a whim and visit all these gardens then have a look at my arrangements I bring each week. Each bunch is your own mini botanical garden. Bringing the gardens of the world to you.

If you’d like to turn your living room into a beautiful garden, 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.

So what’s been in season this summer then?

Now that the temperature has dropped few degrees and jumpers are aren’t just making guest appearances after the sun goes down, it is time to have a look back to see what trends of summer 2018 got us the most excited.

Make more of your floral decor!

Now that the temperature has dropped a few degrees and jumpers aren’t just making guest appearances after the sun goes down, it is time to have a look back to see what trends of summer 2018 got us the most excited.

It is pretty safe to say that this summer has been quite possibly one of the most brilliant summers to date. The glorious heat wave that seemed to never end (until now). The World Cup… Poldark! What utterly feverish madness.

To match this wonderful summer we’ve delivered an array of different floral variations to your door; from phlox to peonies to agapanthus to alliums. Each box representing the wonderful summer we’ve had.

box and vase shot-182 (1)

So what are my favourite things of this years summer trends?

Happi to go more Wabi-Sabi!

To start off give the Hygge a hug goodbye and say wassup to Wabi-Sabi. The new lifestyle mood to live your life by.

Wabi-Sabi is all about bringing out those homey features that make a home a home. Beauty in imperfection. Celebrate life’s flaws with crumpled throws, distressed walls and messy(ish) beds.

Of course this doesn’t mean live like Tracy Emin’s Unmade Bed but by living with your house being imperfect it will clear your conscious of the modern stereotypes you believe you have to live up to and accept yourself for who you are. Leaving you with a happier way of life. Of course it is said Freddie’s Flowers go very well with the Wabi-Sabi way of life.

Wabi-Sabi-LOTI

Jungle prints that will send you wild!

Last year it was all about bright flower and tropical prints but this year it’s all about going deep into the jungle and bringing out the darker greens for your walls.

Framed jungle prints to feel like you’re looking out the window into the depths of the Amazonian rainforest. Transport your home to a forest far far away. When you relax in the evening after a long and stressful day I like to think if you shut your eyes you can hear the sound of the jungle animals. Or maybe… that’s just sound of your kids getting ready for bath time.

rawpixel-532419-unsplash

Blurring the boundaries.

Blurred Lines maybe a song from 2013 but for 2018 it’s all about blurred boundaries. I’m not talking about squinting really hard at your living room but actually an architectural movement recreated as an interior movement.

Blurring the boundaries of your room is meant to reconnect your interior space with nature. By adding large plants or flower arrangements (like ours) in the corners of your room it is meant to break up the boundaries and make it feel like a larger more alfresco space. The indoors meets the outdoors without having any windows actually open.

Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 15.53.06

Absolutely berserk for astrantia.

We went mad for the gorgeous astrantia in our bike baskets earlier this summer. You may have noticed our lovely bikes around and about town, next time come and say hello. But if missed them I’m sure you would have certainly seen them in Meghan’s bouquet at the Royal Wedding to the lovable rogue Prince Harry earlier this year.

The name ‘astrantia’ comes from the latin ‘aster’ meaning star. And it really is a star of a flower in any arrangement with its beautifully crisp outer petals and soft pom pom inner stamens. The are discreet but certainly not missed.

shutterstock_1153926868

Traditional techniques that’ll make you go weak!

Finally all the things I have picked up from the little markets on my holidays have come into fashion. Begging my wife to take a moth eaten rug back to England has finally paid off and worth all the eye rolls I’ve got in the past.

Heavily textured and woven hangings, rugs and curtains are all the rage. It’s all about emphasis on the traditional techniques and handmade items celebrating the history and story behind each piece.

Who doesn’t love it when someone comes over to your house and says ”oh, well that is interesting… where did you get that?’ and you go ‘well, funny you should ask, Marjorie. I actually picked up this little number in a lovely little craft market in a hill village just outside of Granada”. Watch Marjorie’s face as she realises this is a one off piece and she can’t pop to Peter Jones to copy you.

We love all things rustic. Evident in our bikes across town and our boxes we deliver our flowers in. To avoid any plastic (plastic is sooooo lame) we deliver our flowers in recyclable boxes and wrap up our flowers in brown craft paper. The craft paper is also perfect to draw on or to wrap presents in.

PTR_3339 (4)

The big five.

So there you have it. My top five must have summer 2018 trends. Be more Wabi-Sabi and hang dark jungle prints on your walls to feel like your at one and happy with nature. Blur the boundaries of your room with plants and flowers to reconnect your interior space with the outside or as I like to call it your ‘exterior-interior’. And add more astrantia to your life because who doesn’t want to be like the new Duchess. I mean I know I do.

If you’d like to turn your home into the trendiest home in town, 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.

 

Flowers and the Greek myths – Five common flower names with legendary backstories.

Ever wondered why ‘ordinary’ flowers have such strange and exotic and mythical names? Discover why in this weeks blog.

Ever wondered why ‘ordinary’ flowers have such strange and exotic names? Well often it’s because they’re named after characters and stories in Greek mythology. Here are five legendary tales behind common flowers…

Flower Legends

Aren’t flower names wonderful? True, they’re quite often impossible to spell (antirrhinum, anyone?) and, as Shakespeare pointed out, by any other name they would of course smell as sweet. But the exoticism of an ‘agapanthus’ or the musical sound of an ‘amaryllis’ is all part of the joy of having loads of flowers in your life.

So where do these strange and mysterious names come from? Well, a great many come from very old stories. Flowers are closely intertwined with our shared history and culture, going back across the centuries.

In the time of the Ancient Greeks, flowers were the very essence of myth and legend, playing key roles in all sorts of dramatic incidents. It was when gathering flowers in the springtime (including the rose, crocus, iris, violet, lily and larkspur) that the goddess Persephone was abducted by the god Hades and consigned to a life in the Underworld for a portion of every year (thus also consigning the rest of us, above ground, to winter).

 

Persephone is snatched by Hades - painting by Simone Pignoni
Persephone is snatched by Hades – painting by Simone Pignoni, circa 1650

 

And many of our flower names today stem directly from particular legends. Iris, for example, means ‘eye of heaven’, and is named after the Greek goddess of the rainbow, who was said to carry messages between Earth and the gods.

Here are five more of the most evocative flower name origins – some you probably know, others may surprise you…

 

1. Narcissus

John William Waterhouse - Echo and Narcissus
John William Waterhouse – Echo and Narcissus (1903)

 

Narcissus was a young hunter famed for his ravishing good looks – and nobody admired those looks quite as much he did himself. Indeed, he disdained all those around him, including the mountain nymph Echo, who fell deeply in love with him but was cruelly rejected.

But in the end the beautiful young man’s choosiness turns out to be his downfall, when he comes across a pool of water on Mount Helicon. Seeing his face reflected in the waters, Narcissus instantly falls in love with his own image and, becoming completely entranced, is unable to leave. He eventually wastes away to nothing, and in the spot where he dies a narcissus flower springs up.

You could say he’s his own worst anemone.

The story has inspired many works of art and literature over the centuries, notably the Italian baroque master Caravaggio and the Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali.

Narcissus painted by Caravaggio
Caravaggio – Narcissus (1597-99)

 

The legend of Narcissus also had an influence on the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, who took up the theme when he wrote about ‘narcissistic tendencies’.

So two thousand years later and the myth of Narcissus lives on, both in our word narcissism for excessive self-love, and of course through the narcissus genus of flower, from which our lovely, yellow-trumpeted and quite unpretentious modern daffodil springs.

 

2. Hyacinth

 The_Death_of_Hyacinthos
Jean Broc, The Death of Hyacinthos (1801)

 

Hyacinthus was another doomed, handsome youth. The Spartan was a great pal of the god Apollo, and they frequently enjoyed a game of discus (Ancient Greek version of frisbee) together.

Unfortunately during one of these games the discus whacks Hyacinthus on the head, killing him. Beset by grief, Apollo refuses to allow the passage of Hyacinthus to Hades, and instead forms a flower from the bloodstained earth. And thus appears the hyacinth – the petals of which, according to one version of the legend, are stained by Apollo’s tears.

A three-day Hyakinthia festival dedicated was held in Sparta once a year thereafter, at Apollo’s command. It’s worth noting that the hyacinth as we know it today is not the same as the Greek hyakinthos, which was more akin to the lily or larkspur.

 

3. Peony

Paeon of Amathus

Paeon was a healer, working under the instruction of Asclepius, the god of medicine. He was pretty good at it too, healing the wounds of gods Hades and Ares, among others.

However, Ascelpius (above) become jealous of his student and threatened to kill him – at which point Zeus, the king of the gods, stepped in with an act of divine intervention, saving Paeon by transforming him into a peony flower.

The myth of Paeon may actually have some basis in reality, since the peony was used for a variety of medicinal and health purposes in ancient times, including for pregnant women.

(Read our complete guide to peonies here.)

 

4. Sunflower

Sir Frederick Leighton - Clytie
Sir Frederick Leighton – Clytie (1895)

 

Funnily enough, the Greek myth of the sunflower is anything but sunny. It tells the story of the nymph Clytie who is consumed love for the sun god Helios.

Unfortunately, Helios is more interested in her sister, Leucothoe. In a jealous rage, Clytie tells their father about her sister’s affair with the god, who responds by burying poor Leucothoe alive.

Strangely, this does little to help Clytie win Helios’ affections. He continues to spurn her and in her despair she strips naked and sits on a rock for nine days doing nothing but staring at the sun.

Without food or water she gradually wastes away and turns into the heliotrope (aka turnsole, aka sunflower), which according to long-standing but wrong belief, turns its head to follow the sun’s passage across the sky every day.

(Read our complete guide to sunflowers here.)

 

5) Hellebore

William-Adolphe Bouguereau The Youth of Bacchus
William-Adolphe Bouguereau – The Youth of Bacchus (Dionysius) (1884)

The hellebore – or Christmas rose – was used by the ancients for a variety of medicinal purposes, including treating paralysis, gout and even insanity. In one particular legend it was used to cure the madness of the daughters of the King of Argos.

Cursed by Dionysus, the god of wine, the poor women of Argos are rampaging naked through the streets, crying and screaming – much like on a Saturday night in many of our town centres.

Fortunately a renowned soothsayer and animal-talker called Melampus of Pylos turns up bearing a good supply of hellebores, which he uses to help cure the women of their malaise. At last, a happy ending for our heroes of Greek legend.

For his payment Malampus is allowed to take a third of the goods of the city of Argos (presumably filling in the correct catalogue numbers on a little form and taking it to the counter first).

 

Freddie's Flowers arrangement
A classical arrangement from Freddie’s Flowers!

 

So there you have it. Whether it’s pretty heroes turning into floral versions of themselves, tragic stories of unrequited love, or using a bit of Christmas magic to stop madwomen from running rampage in Argos (we’ve all been there), for the Greeks flowers were, literally, legendary – and played a central role in how they viewed the world and understood the ordinary things of life.

We reckon that seeing the world through flowers is a pretty good philosophy. If you do too, why not sign up for our naturally lovely weekly deliveries at £24 a pop and transform your home into a floral Elysium (that’s the Greek version of heaven)…

Four magical forests you need to know about

There are some things in life you just need to know about; flowers, foliage and magical forests.

There are some things in life you just need to know about; flowers, foliage and magical forests.

As a self proclaimed flower lover I can’t get enough of forest pictures. But what makes forests of the world so down right enchanting that you’re unanimously humbled, terrified and enamoured as soon as you walk into one? I suppose no one really knows and that’s the beauty of it.

In the mean time, it’s metaphorical hiking boots on, everyone. We’re all going on a forest holiday into some simply astounding forests that nature has to offer.

Be warned; they’re brain-bogglingly beautiful!

 

Meandering through the most magical forests in the world

 

‘Pando’ in Fishlake National Forest, Utah

Have you ever thought about self cloning trees? I certainly hadn’t. Before Pando, that is.

Pando is Latin for ‘I spread’. The ‘I’ might seem a little bizarre when referring to a forest but they were right in making it personal.

One of our favourite magical forests
Pando at the start of Autumn

Experts suggest that, between 80,000 and a million years ago, one quaking aspen tree produced saplings from it’s own roots. Today we’re left with 100 acres of naturally occuring, genetically identical aspens; each new aspen physically connected to the last.

 

That puts Pando up there as the world’s both oldest and largest living organism. Sorry, blue whale, you’ve been pipped by the woody wonders of Utah’s cloning trees.

Impressive, right? What a fitting first contender for my magical forests.

 

Mossy Forest, Malaysia

This is one forest holiday to keep your eyes up, down and all around. The Mossy forest, nestled in the Cameron Highlands, boasts a blanket of eerie fog that will always set the scene for adventure. Think Labyrinth (1986) with David Bowie and you’ll be on the right track.

The mossy forest is perfect for forest holidays!
Moss everywhere!

Let the misty surroundings slowly unveil wild orchids and moss laden mounds every which way you look. All the while you’ll be up to your ankles in a mossy carpet of squelch.

 

It’s probably the first time you’ve considered taking wellies to Malaysia!

 

The Crooked Forest, Poland

The Crooked Forest is 400 metres and 22 rows of total bewilderment.

Poland's magical crooked forest
The magnificent Crooked Forest

The inexplicable has remained just so despite Poland and the rest of the world’s attempts to rationalise these wonky trunks with historical suggestions.

 

Still no one really knows either how or why the forest is this way so let your imagination can go as crooked as the trees themselves.

 

The Arve Forest, Tasmania

The Arve Forest is home to Centurion; the largest eucalyptus tree measuring a whopping 99.6 metres high. Rather ironically named when it’s 40cm off truly deserving its name, don’t you think?

Freddie's Flowers love Eucalyptus trees more than anything!
One high and mighty tall tree

(Nearly) Centurion’s height makes it the world’s tallest flowering plant, too. An added bonus for a flower lover like me!

Just imagine standing at the foot of such a magnanimous thing! And think of the tree house potential … You’d be bigger than Big Ben himself.

 

Eucalyptus is my absolute favourite foliage. I adore using it in my weekly flower deliveries to bring smell, style and texture into any curation. That greeny blue hue makes me weak at the knees … 

An arrangement by Freddie's Flowers

Have your own forest of flowers 

So there you have it! A whistle stop visit to magical forests that make your imagination run, Forest, run.

Forest holiday ideas sorted now, are they?

If you’re not quite ready to go globe trotting but want to have a home full of forest flora and fauna, then give us a go for only £24 a pop.

No need for wet weather gear and hiking boots, either. You just stay right where you are and have beautifully fresh flowers delivered right to your doorstep. As if by magic.


Featured photo by Lukasz Szmigiel

Misti’s flower diary; Cocktails, confessions and a professional ice cream eater.

I never thought I’d say it but I like espresso martinis. Wait, that’s not true. I love them.

I HAVE A CONFESSION

I never thought I’d say it but I like espresso martinis. Wait, that’s not true. I love them. Until a few weeks ago, I steered clear of them. I had always lumped them in with tartinis and cosmopolitans and other such cocktails synonymous with Sex & The City. In my mind they were clichéd and dated and consumed only by women of a certain age. Well I guess I’ve reached that age! Because recently I had my first one and it was terrifyingly delicious.

Misiti and Helena
Mini me

One of the perks of being married to a drinks writer is that you often have to taste things. Have to. It’s research. And as the book he is presently writing is about home cocktails, we had to make some. Had to. Did you know that when you shake the ingredients for an espresso martini then pour it into a glass, there is a foamy cream on top just like on a regular espresso? It’s magical. Perhaps not quite as magical as Spain, but nearly.

Helena and Henry laughing
Havin’ a laugh

THE RAIN IN SPAIN

Right after Easter Monday, my family hopped on a plane and travelled to where sherry rendezvouses with shellfish. There in the Andalusian province of Cadiz, in the seaside city of Sanlucar de Barrameda, we sunned ourselves like lizards and swilled sherry like Shakespeare. At least Henry and I did–once again for work. Helena just ate ice cream like it was her job.

Helena on the beach
Running around

Spring flowers were in full effect everywhere you looked. Red hibiscus bushes lined the streets while the heavenly scents of orange blossoms and jasmine commingled and lingered in the air. It was divine. The balmy weather guaranteed you could smell the fragrant flowers before you saw them. In the gardens at Palacio de Orleans-Borbón, Helena ran loops through the shady lilacs and miles along the citrus scented walls.

Oranges
Los Naranjos

One evening, we watched the sunset from the top of the Guadalquivir Hotel. Over the course of an hour, we listened to birdsong while the sky turned from blue to pink to peach. We sipped cold drinks as the waiters brought us bar snacks with fruit jellies para la nina on the same plate. Then we ambled back through the old town to our favourite bodega where the jamon iberico was plentiful and perfectly sliced and a copita of sherry cost only €1.20.

Sunset in Spain
Sun downers in Spain

HOME AGAIN HOME AGAIN JIGGITY JIG

Exiting the plane at Heathrow was a rude awakening. The queues at border patrol were unbelievably long just as they were for the loos in the baggage claim area. Outside the weather was wet and cold. Of course, I was in sandals and there was traffic the whole drive home. In the kitchen there was nothing to eat and in the garden all the spring flowers lay sad and sodden on the earth.

La Belle Rose
La Belle Rose

Monday couldn’t come fast enough. By which I mean, my Freddie’s delivery. Like a good cup of tea, Freddie’s flowers always set me right. Last week’s white roses, double daffodils, and strong gold tulips bright as the Spanish sun definitely cheered me. After arranging them, I felt inspired to see even more spring flowers. So I walked to Greenwich Park where the cherry blossoms were showing off. Ditto the wildflowers and the squirrels. And you know what? I felt happy to be back in London even if the sherry is more expensive.   

Architecture


Featured photo by Jenny Smith

What wonderful interior trends are so hot right now?

Since the beginning of floral time flowers and interiors have gone together like bread and butter or cheese and wine. So I thought I would take you through a few of my favourite trends of 2018.

They go together like birds of a feather

Since the beginning of floral time flowers and interiors have gone together like bread and butter or cheese and wine. So I thought I would take you through a few of my favourite trends of 2018. You know me, I’m all about the latest fashion.

 

So what are these innovative ideas?

Keen for green?

Green interiors
Keen for green

Not only am I talking about keeping the Earth safe but also keeping the colours on trend in your house from all those style gurus out there. Forest/cactus and jungle are the greens we must have in our homes according to 2018’s mantra. As a lover of all things green Freddie’s Flowers are all over this.

Doors that make a statement

Doors that make a statement
Hello door

Show stopping doors are popping up all over London at the moment. It’s hard to walk down the street without thinking you could be on the set of Teletubbies with the colour palettes flying around. But my lord am I a fan. It certainly brightens up rainy London makes you feel like you’re walking on the set of a musical, ‘Singing in the Rain’ maybe?!

Gelato Hell(at)o

ice cream colours
Ice cream colours

Walls that make you want to lick them. No, I’m not talking about Willy Wonker’s guided tour around his factory, but the fact that ice-cream colours are all the rage for your home. Who wouldn’t want a room that looked so good you could eat it?

Foliage is a go-liage

Jungle interiors
Jungle is massive

Not only is green apparently the perfect backdrop colour for your home but so is masses of foliage stylishly designed all around the room. Cascading leaves, tumbling down to give the perfect rainforesty feel. Enjoyed The Jungle Book? Well you now can live it in your home.

Mediterranean inspiration
Marvellous Med

Magnificent Mediterranean

Geometric shapes are the latest must have in terms of light fittings, tiles and shelving it turns out it’s inspiration behind it is the Mediterranean. The colour palette draws from the bold colours and easy styles of the Mediterranean villages. And bring in the flowers! Brilliant tones of orange, blue and gold to pop against hues of beige and cream. Bright sunflowers, blue agapanthus and orange dahlias burst against Sahara roses. That is a room i’d like to be in.

Botanical prints
Botanical style

Botanical prints

While botanical prints have always been in style and will always be in style, what makes this seasons must have so fresh and so high in demand is hand-drawn or painted prints. Sketches on fabric. What’s not to love?!

 

A Freddie's Flowers arrangement
A Freddie’s Flowers arrangement

Get that flowery feelin’

Now what goes so well with the latest interior fashion fads? Flowers of course! Top up your homey haven with a fresh weekly delivery of Freddie’s Flowers. Our arrangements will make any room in your house pop.

 

If you’d like to turn your home into the best on trend flower 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.

 


Featured photo by Liana Mikah

My favourite easy-to-do Easter table looks

As the weather changes and England shakes off its winter coat, Easter arrives to remind us

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 hear 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
Choccy woccy do dah

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 incase 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?

Easter displays @lovegrowswild
The flower bunny @lovegrowswild

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

Egg vases
lifebyrosie

Wondering what to do with your left over eggs after breakfast. Here is a lovely idea to spice up the table to make it as Eastery as possible.

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

Egg basket
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.

Just hanging around

image by www.sarahkaye.com
Stick to something special

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.

Tulips
Ring a ring a tulips @percol_coffee

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!

 

Misti’s flower diary; Spring in my step.

Friday afternoon, I went for a walk on the heath and couldn’t recall the last time the weather had been so glorious.

SPRING IN MY STEP

Friday afternoon, I went for a walk on the heath and couldn’t recall the last time the weather had been so glorious. Spring flowers of every colour were everywhere. I thought the weekend would be the perfect time to pack away my woolly jumpers and plant bulbs for summer lilies. Then Saturday morning came and winter returned like an ex-lover who refuses to let you break up with them.

My heart broke for the camellias and the daffodils that were once again covered with snow. This year the poor flowers can’t seem to catch a break. I learned that even on my balcony, it’s not safe. My geranium sadly met its end.

My six-year-old, however, thinks the snow is brilliant. For her, it means snowwomen and snowball fights and going out for spicy Vietnamese pho–my favourite cure for a cold. For me, it means getting stuck in Portsmouth. I’ll explain.

Picture of a snowman
Snowwoman!

THE BEAST FROM THE EAST

I had been asked by the Portsmouth Literary Hub to come teach an evening about food writing while a local supper club catered the event. As I waited at Waterloo Station, I wondered whether or not I’d make the event. It turned out that getting there was easy. Getting back was where I ran into difficulty. For over an hour, I stood on the platform in the blowing snow. Luckily, I had two of the evening’s hosts keeping me company. When I finally left, what should have been a two and half hour-long journey became four.

At each stop, a man in a high visibility vest would take a hatchet and knock off the ice had that frozen the train doors shut. It was like Dr. Zhivago out there, a total white out. Then the heating went off. I desperately tried to think of other things.  

So I thought about my evening. Mostly about one of the guests, Ms. S. Forget the snowstorm outside. A blizzard couldn’t keep her away. She entered the building with her cane and ALL the animal prints. Years ago, she was a broadcast journalist in Benghazi and confided “Young Gaddafi was a dreamboat.” That evening she wrote a poem about me that she gave to me to keep and I will forever.

Misti with books
All the books.

HOME IS WHERE THE TART IS

When I finally got home, everything was lovely and warm. The scent of the garlic and sautéed vegetables and grilled turkey lingered in the air. Hours later it still tasted nice. So did the rice my husband left on the stovetop. On the living room floor, there was a notepad that he used to score his Qwirkle game with Helena. She won. Upstairs, she was snuggled in her bed covered with stuffed friends. I put lip balm on her, brushed my teeth, washed my face, and finally crawled into bed.

The next morning I was so tired I felt jet-lagged. I was also unbelievably happy to be home. It was my husband’s birthday and we had a lunch reservation for two. Actually, it became a reservation for three once we received word that school had been cancelled due to the snow.

Upon our arrival at Winemakers in Deptford, Gallant Galahad greeted us. He was the restaurant’s dog. Lunch was perfect except there a slight sadness that hung in the air as the restaurant would be closing its doors after that weekend.

My husband doesn’t get excited about cakes the way I do. So I made a treacle tart for his birthday instead. I had never made one before. It was extremely easy to do and ridiculously good. The recipe I used was Tamasin Day-Lewis’s from her book Smart Tart.

Picture of a homemade pie
Home is where the tart is.

ONCE MORE WITH FEELING

Recently I’ve been doing lots of yoga in the hopes that it will somehow counteract all the baked goods I’ve been making to keep out the cold. Unfortunately I can’t say it has, but I do feel my flexibility improving. Just like the spring flowers Freddie’s been delivering, I feel myself unfurling after a long winter.

Today the sun is shining and the sky is bright. I have just made lemon curd and I can’t help but have Eastery thoughts. Especially as this Saturday, I’m taking my daughter to Fortnum & Mason to make an Easter Bonnet. I hope it will be festooned with spring flowers—daffodils, lilies, primroses, and the like—and I hope she’ll wear it with aplomb like Judy Garland in Easter Parade.

This weeks Freddie's Flowers arrangement
All the colours.

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.

Our favourite British wildflower walks this Spring

Begone, Winter! Spring forwards into the world of wildflower walks like a little lamb on a crisp March morning.

Begone, Winter! Spring forwards into the world of wildflower walks like a little lamb on a crisp March morning.

As a dog lover and flower enthusiast, wildflower walks are up there with my favourite Spring pastimes. Continue reading “Our favourite British wildflower walks this Spring”

Most common mistakes people make when flower arranging

Do you adore cut flowers but worry you won’t give them the flow-wow-erful factor when it comes to the flower arranging bit?

Do you adore cut flowers but worry you won’t give them the flow-wow-erful factor when it comes to the flower arranging bit?

Fear not! I’m here to help.

I’ve got a posey of simple flower arranging pointers. 

First things first; you need flowers to arrange. (You could get them delivered right to your door by us. Click here to sign up to a weekly box off gloriously fresh cut Freddie’s Flowers.)

“Flowers always arrive beautifully and carefully packaged, stunning flowers and I love the instructions and ideas. Flowers really last two weeks every time, so have constant flow of beautiful blooms.”

Anne J

Here are my five top guidelines:

 

   1. Choose the right vase

Step well away from that tall, skinny, pringle pot vase. It’s close to useless, unless you’ve got 3 stems of amaryllis.

Believe it or not, almost all tall flower arrangements (as most Freddie’s Flowers arrangements are) work in one type of vase.

the perfect vase for flower arranging

I love a bell jar; 10cm in diameter at the neck and 20cm at the base.

This gives your flowers space to fan, whilst accommodating their long legs.

Secondly, as our flowers last for ages, you can trim them and break them out into small pots and jars in week 2, 3… sometimes 4!

2. Necessary accessories for long lasting flowers

A bad craftsperson blames his tools but having the right tools certainly helps!

  • Don’t use scissors – do invest in secateurs and keep them squeaky clean

  • Do always use a clean vase; your flowers will love you for it
  • Do add a sachet of flower food when you first arrange them, and every time you change the water

 

     3. Cut and water pronto

Our flowers are grown and cut to order and so fresh that we deliver them out of water.

  • Do pop your cut flowers into water as soon as humanly possible
  • Do trim them on a sharp angle to maximise water intake
  • Do snip a good inch off the ends to let them drink
  • Don’t let any leaves or foliage below the waterline as this reduces the life of your flowers

4. Find the right home for your flowers

Don’t put your flowers …

  • near a radiator
  • on a sun soaked windowsill
  • near fruit bowls

It may be a beautiful looking spot but it’s a total flower arranging no-no.

  • Do put your flowers somewhere reasonably cool with maybe an hour of natural morning sunlight. Flower heaven.

Top tip: need your flowers to open a little quicker? Do leave them under a lamp overnight in a warm room and the results are fantabulous!

           

9pm with central light on                                7am the next morning!

 

5. Remember to refresh regularly

  • Do treat your arrangement to fresh water every 3 days.
  • Do add a sachet of Freddie’s flower food to every litre of water.
  • Do retrim your stems by a few millimetres each time.
  • Do clean your vase each time you refresh to avoid bacteria build up.
  • Don’t use fairy liquid to clean your vase! The bubbles hang around and damage your flowers.
  • Do use a little bit of bleach and lots of water. Bye bye bubbles, hello healthy fresh flowers.

 

You’ll flourish at flower arranging

So there you have it! If you do the do’s, you’ll have stunning, long lasting cut flowers brightening your home all year round.

Time, patience and practice are your three best flower friends. 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!

 

Misti’s flower diary; Flying kites and tasty bites

February, you festive, lovely, short, breezy month! You are everything January is not and I love you for it.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

February, you festive, lovely, short, breezy month! You are everything January is not and I love you for it. I can’t believe how fast the days are flying by. At this rate, March and all her spring flowers will be here in no time. Have the strong winds helped? If so, I am willing to overlook the fact that my favourite pot of red geraniums blew over and broke.

 

Flying kites
The flying koala

Let’s go fly a kite!

Honestly, nothing cheers me quite like a crisp, bright, beautiful, blue day– especially a windy one. This month has been full of them. Which is why my daughter has gone kite crazy. Her uncle in Australia sent her kite with a koala on it for her birthday more than a year ago. For this reason or that, we never got it up in the sky until this month. All I can say is that we are making up for lost time. Anytime my daughter looks out the window and sees the tree branches swaying she says “To the heath, Mummy!” and out we go.

 

Flowers to decorate
Decoration sensation

Social Butterfly

This February it feels as though we’ve been going out a lot and not just for postprandial walks in the park. Really the family social register has been rather full. At the top of the month, we had a friend’s birthday party to attend. I baked a chocolate cake and, luckily thanks to Freddie, had waxflower on hand to decorate.

 

The Ivy Café, Blackheath
The Ivy Café, Blackheath

Southern Charm

I had the best buttermilk fried chicken and whiskey of my life on a friend’s boat in the Old Ferry Wharf. It was so good that I shall forever refer to his end of Cheyne Walk as Charleston Upon Thames. Before walking home, I stopped to marvel at the view. Was there ever a prettier sight than the Albert Bridge at night? She is so beautiful she looks like she’s wearing pearls.

Speaking of pearls, there were plenty about at the opening of the new Ivy Café in Blackheath. Le Tout Blackheath was there. Seriously, Le Tout. How else do you think I got invited? The art deco décor is stunning, particularly around the bar which was full of vases holding spring flowers like lilies—my personal favourite. I kept thinking I’d see Bertie Wooster coming round the corner. He never did, but the wait staff did and with plenty of champagne.

 

Bad romance
Bad romance by Emily Hill

Bad Romance

In the run up to Valentine’s Day, I attended the launch party for a brilliant new book by the wildly talented, Emily Hill. The title? Bad Romance. The book is full of short stories, “tales from the happily never after,” that are deliciously dark and wickedly funny. I love it so much I’m getting copies for all my girlfriends and you should too. Yes, I baked biscuits for the occasion. They were my take on Necco’s Conversation Hearts.

As fun as this month has been, it’s also been exhausting. Thankfully, Freddie has taken it upon himself to deliver a visual Vitamin C. His yellow lilies, roses, solidago, and forsythia from a few weeks back were as satisfying and energising as any supplement I could have taken. They were so inspiring that we booked a trip to Spain this April. I can’t wait to see what the spring flowers are like there. I also can’t wait for proper sunshine and lots of seafood. Roll on, spring!

 

Author of Bad Romance
With the lovely Emily Hill

Featured photo by Joanna Kosinska

Year of the dog; Freddie’s flowerful four-legged friends

I’m a firm lover of a few things; alternative flowers, four-legged friends and festivities.

I’m a firm lover of a few things; alternative flowers, four-legged friends and festivities. And with Chinese New Year right on our hind legs, I get to indulge in all three.

But it’s not about me! On February 16th 2018, we enter into the year of the Claude. I mean, dog. I can tell you one thing for sure. Claude is over the moon. Long live her doggy reign.

Alternative flowers for the year of the dog
All hail Queen Claude

So here goes an exploration of the fluffy, flowerful fun to be had thanks to the onset of the Chinese year of the dog.

 

What’s the deal with the date?

The official date for Chinese New Year is ever changing, just like the tide. It’s more tide-tied than you may realise; Chinese New Year is under the influence of the moon.

Little lady Luna

The date for Chinese New Year falls on the second new moon after the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. And who better to be the face of the lunar calendar than the moon dog herself, Luna!

 

Thank god for the year of the dog

For us dog-lovers, year of the furry friends has simply got to be a good ‘un. Most of us know a dog’s attributes. Providing we treat them right, they’ll treat us right, too. They’re loving, compassionate, loyal, a little smelly at times but all round lovely, really.

Respect and companionship amongst others is the key to success

Doesn’t it warm your heart to think that 2018 will be fore-fronted by those who embody such characteristics? Minus the wet dog smell, of course.

 

Every dog has its day, its year and its flower

We all know our zodiac signs, maybe even what our lucky numbers are. But did you know that every zodiac has a lucky flower too?

The dog’s almost too good to be true; the dog’s flower of fortune is the rose. Lucky in love are you, doggos?

Claude and a bucket load of lucky flowers

Having talked about floriography recently (fancy word for the language of flowers) a rose is a symbol of enduring and undivided love and affection. Just like a dog!

 

Freddie’s flower-loving four-legged friends

I think there’s almost nothing better than dogs and flowers. Here are a couple Freddie’s Flowers HQ adorable doggy exclusives. If anyone knows how to style our flowers, it’s the poochies.

Betty hunting foxes in a Freddie’s Flowers jungle
Otis soaking up those rays from our sunshine arrangement
Malty taking a selfie with the snapdragons
Doodle doggy modelling this arrangement blooming well
Majestic Arthur setting the scene in the packhouse
Sisters Bandit and Nel working the office flower bucket (they wanted their own photo shoots though)

Has your dog got what it takes to style a Freddie’s bunch like this little lot? Show us! Just tag Freddie’s Flowers on instagram and use the hashtag #flowerboxdogs to prove your poochie’s poochiness! 

 

Alternative flowers and their mythical powers

No occasion can be a celebration without flowers, in my (puppy dog) eyes. And those celebrating Chinese New Year clearly agree! Apparently, having blooms in the home is the best part of essential. They symbolise rebirth and growth.

Claude’s guarding these mythical peonies. Paws off!

Oh peony, lovely peony! Of course peonies are at the top of the list for such a joyous celebration. They’re the floral epitome of richness and peace – just what you need for a prosperous year, eh? Now you know, you’ll spot decorative peonies everywhere.

Make sure you’re ready for yet another festive season and deck your house out with prosperous petals for only £24 a pop!