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. Bringing Autumn firmly in the forefront of our minds September showed some cosy collections such as sweet williams, brassicas, lisanthus and the and the sophisticated sedum.
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!
Autumn is well and truly here. The colour outside is changing, t-shirts have been swapped for jumpers and the demand for the heating to be put on echoes around the office every 5 minutes. The answer is still ”put another jumper on”. So to celebrate the colder winds and darker mornings we thought we would brighten it all up with this weeks firey, autumnal arrangement. Fitting, seeing as bonfire night is round the corner.
In this weeks arrangement we have:
Alstro is also known as the Peruvian or Inca Lily as it is native to South America. It grows in lots of different colours but for this week I have chosen a lovely red to suit the season. Interesting fact! The alstroemeria was named by the famous botanist, Carl Linnaeus, after one of his pupils, Baron Clas Alstromer who sent him seeds in 1753.
This fabulous foliage becomes extra special in the autumn, as its dark leaves slowly turn redder. Known as the ‘smoke tree’ its deep colour acts as a moody backdrop for the other flowers to shine against. I have always loved it outside and it’s not often used in flower arranging. So I thought why not bring the outdoors into my arrangement this week.
Introducing the fireiest of all the flowers:
El Fuego Blooms
This firey, sassy flower arrives with nets on to keep their sass in – till you unleash it in your home!!! When you put them in water they’ll steam off and cool down and then start to unfurl.
So hot right now – LA Lily
For this bunch I have chosen two varieties, a pale peach called ‘Menorca’ and a more vibrant amber colour. They work fabulously together and both sensational against the cotinus background.
How to style this autumn flowers
Start with your blooms, creating an even triangle around the edge of your vase. Almost as if you were building a bonfire. Get your practice in before Guy Fawkes night.
Next so the same with the lilies, in the gaps left by the blooms.
This creates a structural grid, giving the support to the other stems.
Now carefully place your continus inside the lilies and the blooms. They will sit a little higher in the arrangement, giving the bunch a wildly elegant look.
Finish with the alstroemeria sitting inside the continus, adding some serious colour to the centre. They’ll open out over the next couple of days.
It’s a living, changing work of art. So sit back and revel in the autumnal glory.
Now lets talk vases!
I chose a hurricane shape vase for this bunch, giving it loads of room to spread out, and the lilies room to open up like fireworks. Choose a vase about half the height of your lilies.
Using sharp, clean secateurs, trim each stem by one inch. (That’s uno incho when trimming the fuego blooms).
Use the Freddie’s Flowerful Food and stir.
Change the water every 3 days.
Keep away from draughts, direct sunlight and those pesky fruit bowls.
It’s time to stop hanging onto Summer people. Embrace the cold, whack on your jumpers and light the fire because who doesn’t love feeling snugly and cosy? And what goes with snugly and cosy? Flowers! And with this arrangement being so hot you wont even need to light the fire. (Maybe).
Autumn’s on the mind and in the hues and shades of the leaves on the trees. So it’s our late bloomer, freshly cut pink sedum, who gets pride of place this time of year.
Maybe you’ve stopped to wonder what that pretty, waxy leafed shrub-like plant is that pours out onto the pavements, brushing your ankles on the street? It’s an unusual choice for a cut flower, but boy does it work. Let me introduce you to pink sedum our ‘Autumn Joy’!
Here’s why we think pink sedum’s more than deserving of it’s position as flower of the week.
Sky high succulents
For any ecologists or inhabitants of super eco-friendly housing out there, you may have gone as far as having green roofs. I don’t mean mossy slates or ivy strewn thatch (as lovely as that is). I mean full on plants-and-grasses-covering-the-roof-for-insulation-and biodiversity kind of set ups.
Surprising as it may seem, a mighty popular green roof plant is the super succulent, pink sedum.
Why? Maybe the clue is in the etymology. Sedum is Latin for ‘houseleek’. How glamourous. Little did those Romans know green roofs would become a thing. They spelt it wrong though. These little houseleeks will make sure your house leaks are kept at bay!
Not to be confused with our old pal allium. But you also don’t want to be muddling any of these up with the other leek ‘flower’ out there either;
Sedum are notoriously easy to grow and maintain, partial to malnourished soil and tolerant of most climates. As a result, they are perfect for thinly spread soil on roofs with minimal nutrients and love basking in the heighty heat of an eco-roof.
The late summer sunbathers
To top off their brilliance, flowering sedum provide nectar nests for bees and butterflies to bathe in during the waning autumn sunshine.
So pop some sedum either amongst the skylights or let them line your flower beds to help our pollinator pals.
Lady lisianthus of leisure
Oh the lovely lizzies are back! And you can count on us to bring you the double stemmed variety for two times the grace. These lucky buds were our flower of the week back in July.
Our lofty lizzies will lift your home to the height of elegance, as their long stems tower out and above the canopy of freshly cut pink sedum.
Baby blue, that’s my kind of hue!
I’ve mentioned before how much I love eucalyptus. It’s a natural triumph and its oil has a long list of health benefits. And, surprise surprise, Eucalyptus Cinerea (commonly known as ‘baby blue’) smells delightful.
Cinerea looks a bit like an antennae and has an orbital feel to it thanks to the little disc shaped leaves that climb the stem. Let it stand tall and proud right in the centre of your arrangement with its gorgeous bluey-green colourings and you’ll fall in love with it just as I have done. Need an hand arranging?
Roses are forever
Did you know that roses are officially the nation’s favourite flower? Purely because we’re patriots? I don’t think so. I reckon it’s because they’re simply lovely. And when they’re as big as these white avalanche beauties, I’m sure you’ll remember why we as a nation adore them.
(We always use top quality roses – the clue is in the petals and stem length. If the petals are thick and waxy, not thin and papery – you’ve got a good quality rose. The amount of petals is another indicator and we’re sending you roses with petal after petal).
Freshly cut pink sedum for all the senses
Put the secateurs and balaclava down. No need to knick your neighbours succulent sedum. We’ll do all the hard work for you (without stealing anything!). Instead, I suggest you sit back, stay warm and dry, and await your first box of Freddie’s Flowers.
Welcome to the magical history tour of the wonderful brassica. Over the last few years brassicas have become increasingly popular in flower arrangements. I love ornamental brassicas in flower arranging. We love the bohemian idea of having a veg in with flowers so that is exactly what we have done in this weeks arrangement. We’re all about the weird and wonderful.
It might be only recently that cabbages have branched out of meals and into interiors though the history of the cabbage is extraordinary! Check out what the brassica’s edible cousin the cabbage has been up to for the last 4000 years.
Brassicas in flower arranging
This is how we use brassicas in flower arranging.
Our arrangement video to arrange your brassicas to perfection
Trending for millenniums
Cabbages have been cooked and eaten for more than 4,000 years. Other than its culinary prowess the cabbage is said to have medicinal properties. For example, the Ancient Greeks recommended consuming the veg as a laxative and it was used an antidote for mushroom poisoning. The Roman philosopher Pliny The Elder recommended cabbages as a hangover cure! Similarly, the Ancient Egyptians ate cooked cabbage at the beginning of meals to reduce the intoxicating effects of wine.
You almost can’t open a history book without cabbage popping up. Manuscript illuminations show the prominence of cabbage in the cuisine of the High Middle Ages and cabbage seeds feature among the seed list of purchases for the use of King John II of France when captive in England in 1360. What was he going to do, dig a tunnel with them? Cabbage has been trending for yonks! The instagram of the 1300s wouldn’t be awash with avocados and rainbow lattes, it’d be brassica, brassica, brassica.
Kung Fu crane
Our brassicas in this weeks flower deliveries are ‘white crane’ brassicas and with so many stories about the beauty of the cranes I thought it seems apt to tell you some. According to Japanese tradition, anyone with the patience and commitment to fold 1,000 paper cranes will be granted their most desired wish, because they have exhibited the cranes’ loyalty and recreated their beauty. I better get started on my brassica origami.
It would rude not to mention ‘white crane style’ while we’re on the subject. White crane style is a southern Chinese martial art that originated in Fijian province. It is the most recognisable by the way the fighter intimidates a birds pecking or flapping of wings. It is one of the six known schools of Shaolin Boxing. The others are based on Tiger, Monkey, Leopard, Snake and Dragon. Hmmmm… suddenly Kung Fu Panda makes a lot more sense!
In Japan, the crane is one of the mystical or holy creatures (others include the dragon and the tortoise) and symbolises good fortune and longevity because of its fabled life span of 1000 years.
Throughout Asia – the crane is a symbol of happiness and eternal youth. So technically we are bringing the fountain of youth into your homes with this arrangement. You are welcome.
Just as you may enjoy inspirational-motivational-sentimental phrases when you spot them, I’m a sucker for good flower quotes. They’re confirmation that there are people out there who love flowers as much as I do!
So, with the onset of Autumn, I reckon it’s time to wrap up and dive into some thought-provoking flower quotes from some very influential individuals.
Defy this September gloom with the sunniest freshly cut flowers you can get your green fingered mitts on. Yes you guessed it. It’s time for sunflowers. Not just your average sunflowers though; 3 different types all with something to sing about it. Let’s hear it then.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
Snowberries… In Summer! What madness! Well I suppose we are a bit mad here at Freddie’s Flowers. And don’t they look beautiful. Doesn’t it make the whole arrangement a bit… Va va Voom!
Snowberries also known as Symphoricarpos, a Greek expression meaning “fruits joined together,” from the clustered pairs of berries. To look at they remind me of the berry version of ornithogalums… Maybe?
A berry nice mix
Snowberries are originally from North America where it grows everywhere from forest to beaches, rocky slopes and thickets. It will also grow in many conditions including full sun to full shade. In the sun it will grow all dense and compact. In the shade it does the opposite, sparse and rather leggy. Hardcore or what?!
Despite not favoured by the Native Americans, snowberries were used in many ways such as hair soap, to soothe cuts and sores and the stems were made into arrow shafts and pipe stems. It was also planted to combat soil erosion on river beds.
It has a variety of wildlife values. It is great at providing shelter and cover for animals and also is used by them to nest. It also attracts beneficial insects. It is deer resistant and the flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.
A plant with that many uses and benefits certainly seems to be a first rate shrub to me!
A little history
The snowberry has a rather good bit of history too!
Seeds and cuttings were saved and sent to President Thomas Jefferson from the Lewis and Clark exhibition in 1804 who planted them in his garden. The cuttings thrived and Jefferson said they had ”some of the most beautiful berries I have ever seen” who then sent them over to Europe. And that is how we have them today.
From Mammoths to berries…
Going back to the Lewis and Clark exhibition. You should really have a read about it as its very interesting indeed. In 1803 Thomas Jefferson (then president of America) sent Merriweather Lewis and William Clark on an exhibition to find a water route to the Pacific and explore the unchartered West. He believed woolly mammoths, erupting volcanoes, and a mountain of pure salt awaited them. What they found was no less mind-boggling. They discovered 300 species unknown to science, nearly 50 Indian tribes and the Rockies. That’s what I call a successful trip!
Born in the U.S.A
It seems like w’ve got a bit of a Native American theme going on in our arrangements at the moment. You might have seen our Mohican alliums in the other arrangement which get their name from their funky style that makes them look like they have a mohawk. The Mohicans were a Native American tribe from the North East America. Lewis and Clark wouldn’t have come across them on their travels however from many of the tribes they did come across they learnt from them about how plants could help for medicinal and eating purposes.
Thanks to having a wonderful mum who was a florist for 30 years, I was lucky enough to learn how to arrange flowers at a young age. And with Garland for a surname I can’t help but conclude that flowers were my calling. To put it simply, I love flowers.
So, what’s so great about flower arranging? It’s a creative outlet. Good for the house, good for the soul and good for the mind. And, given the right hints and tips, I hope you can take real enjoyment out of the activity too.
Whether you’re a Freddie’s customer or not, here’s the lowdown on how to arrange to flowers better than my mum can (shhhh)!