Top Instagram Accounts I amore!

My top four flower accounts I am totally digging at the moment. I love how a photo of flowers can transport you into a world of inspiration.

All hail Instagram!

The Gram (as it’s known… according to the younger people in the office) has the awesome power of being able to transport you all over the world in a matter of minutes. One minute you’re in a sunflower field in Cornwall, next you’re staring at a cactus in the heart of the Namibian desert.

Insty pulls together a growing community of florists and flower lovers and puts more people under the floral spell every day. There are literally thousands of mind-blowing flower accounts out there. I could spend all day scrolling saying ‘ooooo and ahhhh’. And sometimes I do…

Though your Instagram is often overwhelmed with selfies and #tbt postings, it is, without doubt, an amazing source of inspiration and offers a special peek into the world of some very creative individuals. With this in mind, I thought it only fitting to indulge in one of Instagram’s most beautiful niches, that of the bloom-obsessed, flower arrangement creating, floral-foraging community. From professional florists prepping weddings, to expressive artists making us see flowers in entirely new ways.

So let’s have a look at some of my faves. Each account is wonderfully unique and I really can’t help but get that pang of #inspo when I look at what amazingness they have conjured up.

Jo Flowers

Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 10.47.45
@joflowersofficial

Inspired by the great gardeners in her family, Jo’s connection to growing began at an early age, and has never left her. She trained in the classic techniques of floristry, honing her craft and developing her skill, before bursting onto the floral design scene in 2011. Her horticultural prowess and synchronicity with nature means she is one of the most innovative designers in her field today.

There is a real sense of the shabby aristocratic in Jo’s designs and I just can’t get enough of her glorious creations.

Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 10.50.00
@joflowersofficial

Poppy Barach

Screen Shot 2018-10-18 at 15.50.42
@poppybarach

Poppy’s photography is all taken in natural light, mostly early morning, her favourite time of day apparently. Often using light to draw the viewer into the realm of darkness where she finds great beauty and mystery. Through her images, she records a brief personal moment in time. Whether she brings elements indoors, shoot on site or with a model, she’s guided by instinct and whatever she finds in nature that moves her that day. Her props are often small, subtle and seasonal. She includes only what is most essential in conveying her contemplative mood.

Screen Shot 2018-10-18 at 15.51.10
@poppybarach

Janne Ford

Screen Shot 2018-10-18 at 17.00.18
@jannelford

Janne Ford studied textiles at uni and has a real eye for creating a perfect picture. Walking her dog each day in the woods and on her local common really keeps her in tune with the day-to-day changes in nature and light as the seasons evolve. Creating and photographing a still life, using what is available naturally or foraged locally just for the sheer joy of creating is one of her favourite things to do.

Flicky Wallace

Dot and the dandelion

Dot and the Dandelion, created by Flicky, is a florist focused on designing distinctive and elegant flowers. Influenced by the rural countryside of her childhood, Flicky creates colourful and natural designs with the best selection of wholesalers and foraged, found materials. Flicky studied photography and transitioned from photographing nature to working physically with it.

Her wonderful floral creations really are one of a kind. Her arrangements remind me of a modern day, trendy Elizabeth Bennet (if she was a florist of course). They perfectly capture the English country-side don’t you think?

Dot and the dandelion 2
@dot_and_the_dandelion

My top accounts!

So there you have it. My top four flower accounts I am totally digging at the moment. I love how a photo of flowers can transport you into a world of inspiration. Down the rabbit hole to endless ideas and thoughts. Each picture has a story behind it and I love making up my own stories behind each one.

Get fresher than fresh flowers delivered to your door for £24 a pop!

My secrets to getting the most out of your flowers!

How To Make Your Flowers Last Longer. Read here to learn all about trick so of the trade.

How To Make Your Flowers Last Longer

There’s nothing like the moment your gorgeous fresh flowers all start to bloom. Suddenly, all the buds become petals and your arrangement bursts into life – we all wish this moment could last forever. At Freddie’s Flowers, we pride ourselves on how long our flowers last, but they can always do with a little bit of help. I wanted to share my top tips for keeping your flowers at their best for as long as possible. Vase, are you ready?!

It may seem obvious, but cleaning your vase is really important… yes, last week’s lilies were lovely, but this week’s Rossano Blooms don’t need to know about it! Make sure your vase is cleaned between arrangements.

Vase-web

Vase… are you ready?!

The key thing here is to NOT clean the vase with washing-up liquid. I know it is tempting, especially when it all bubbles up to the top and makes your vase look like a big fizzy cocktail. But washing up liquid leaves a residue which can contaminate your water, so we recommend a small amount of vinegar, lemon juice or bleach to clean vases. Do make sure you rinse them well afterwards.

Copy of box and vase shot-227

Feeling the Inch

Because our fresh flowers come unarranged, all stems need an inch removing from the bottom, allowing the flowers to drink properly. This is best done on a diagonal angle, stopping the stem from sitting flat. We recommend using sharp, clean secateurs rather than kitchen scissors – they’re less likely to have any gunk on them which might upset your gorgeous blooms.

PTR_0973 (2)

Leaf Life

One of my biggest tips is to make sure that no leaves can fall into your vase water. I always tell people to remove any low-hanging leaves and any leaves or branches that will sit below the neck of the vase. You don’t want leaves falling into the water and contaminating things!

Simply use a thumb and forefinger to whip off any unsightly leaves, fronds or branches that you don’t want. You’ll be amazed at how this tidies things up!

PTR_1700 (2)

Fed and Watered

All Freddie’s Flowers customers know we send out flower food in out boxes. This is best added to room-temperature water – nobody likes an ice cold bath, not even fresh flowers!

We always say that water should be changed every three days to get the best out of our flowers. Simply take the flowers out of the vase, pop them to one side, change your water, add more flower food and return the flowers to their original spot.

If you run out of flower food, never fear! We recommend using a teaspoon of sugar in the water as a replacement – you’d be amazed at how effective this is. Some people have been known to try a bit of vinegar, lemonade or vodka to keep things going. Some even swear by aspirin!

I say anything sugary should do the trick; I’d avoid brown sugar, though… it might look a bit strange!

PTR_0703 (1)

Location, Location, Location

One of the biggest factors in getting the best from your flowers is their environment – I always encourage people to be careful where they put flowers.

They might look fabulous on your mantlepiece, but too long near the fire will dry them out. Always try and keep them somewhere not too warm, away from heat sources. Don’t worry, you can move them somewhere more prominent if you’re having people over.

Likewise, no flowers like to be too cold. If they’re kept near a draught they probably won’t be looking their best – rather like my lovely pup Claude.

PTR_3339 (4)

If we’re lucky enough to be having fabulously sunny weather, it is worth moving your arrangement away from direct sunlight as this can also dry things out faster. Even if you did want to keep them by a sunny window, make sure you give them a few hours off from time to time. And, turn them every so often to ensure your flowers open at the same time.

Flowers and fruit might be the stuff of a perfect Still Life painting, but in reality, they should be kept apart. Ripening fruit can hasten the wilting of flowers, so do keep your bananas away from your brassica!

PTR_1945 (1)

Man Down!

All flowers last for different lengths of time – your stunning irises will be around a fraction of the time your lilies are. This is entirely normal, and one of the joys of having incredibly fresh flowers.

You can maintain an arrangement by removing stems that don’t last as long as soon as they’ve gone over. This prevents contamination of the vase water and fights the spread of Botrytis, a mould that will shorten your floral life.

Those are my top tips for getting the longest life out of your flowers; I hope you give them a try! Whenever I speak to customers they’re always full of fantastic new tips for keeping their own flowers going and we’d love to hear them. Do get in touch if you have any nifty hints of your own.

I like the idea of putting a little bit of vodka and lemonade in with flowers – I wonder if it helps sustain people too? I’m off to find out. Maybe I might need an aspirin as well…

Click here to get fresher than fresh flowers delivered to your door for £24 a pop!

 

 

 

 

Bigging up the Brassica!

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 vegetables in flower arranging.

Vegetable – schmegetable!

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 vegetables 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 week’s arrangement. It’s all about the weird and wonderful.

It might be only recently that cabbages have branched out of meals and into interiors, its history is extraordinary! Check out what the brassica’s edible cousin has been up to for the last 4000 years.

PTR_0694

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.

Remind me to serve lots of cabbage before a Freddie’s Flowers Party!

You almost can’t open a history book without cabbage popping up. Manuscript illuminations show the prominence of our green leafed friend in the cuisine of the High Middle Ages and its seeds feature among the 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.

PTR_0734

Roll out the red carpet for the ‘First Lady’ Brassica

This sophisticated type is the one you will be opening up in your box this week. The fringed purple centre of the first lady gives a beautiful alluring flower centre surrounded by dark green leaves. Who knew cabbages could be so pretty!

This weird and wonderful arrangement makes me think of Alice in Wonderland. It will certainly have you grinning like a Cheshire cat! The magnificent ‘First Lady’ brassicas beautifully juxtapose with the white ‘Avalanche‘ roses, while the pale pink bouvardia pop out and the eucalyptus Cinerea gives the arrangement a wonderfully peacockish look. Not only are edible brassicas an excellent side dish they also compliment other flowers in an arrangement perfectly. I hope you agree. I believe that we should always branch out of our comfort zone and venture into the unknown. Who knows, you might just love it?!

PTR_0703

A cared for cabbage is everyone’s favourite type of cabbage

Let’s see what Brassica is about… Brassica is the Latin name for a genus of plants in the mustard family (what a tasty fam). Unlike other popular flowers, Brassicas are sturdier, less fragile and longer-lasting due to their waxy but tough stems and leaves. They also have the ability to remain fresh as cut ‘flowers’ for well over a week. Especially if you change the water and keep trimming the stems every few days.

Hey! Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. I give you a secret how to open your brassica to make it more like a full-bloom flower here:

Peel back the outer leaves of the Brassica, one leaf at a time. Work with the leaves carefully, but you can tug firmly to splay them out. If you find that some of the outer leaves are yellowing, simply pull them off and move to the next row of inner leaves. There will be plenty to work at as you open more leaves closer to its core.

And hey presto, you have a lovely fluffy brassica!

brassicas-328

Big up the brassica

So there you have it, my little lesson on why they are wonderful flowers (not cabbages) to have in your home. As much as I love eating cabbage I much prefer them when I’m looking at them alongside some roses and bouvardia. If you want to get on board the brassica train then click here to get them for yourself.

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

A complete guide to eryngium!

As the days get shorter and the jumpers get thicker we start seeing more and more of one of my favourite floral foliage, eryngium.

The ultimate guide to eryngium.

As the days get shorter and the jumpers get thicker we start seeing more and more of one of my favourite floral foliage, eryngium. Beautifully mimicking the shape that the morning frost leaves on your car’s windshield, these wonderful deep ice-blue spikey thistles really do bring a sense of excitement to the bunch. Aren’t they just the perfect autumnal and wintery flower? well, A thistle to be precise.

From the Umbelliferae family, the name eryngium derives from the Greek word for thistle. Eryngiums can have blue or white flowers depending on the variety, together with a ruff of spikey bracts on branching stems.

Screen Shot 2018-09-27 at 16.47.24

Spikey by look, spikey by nature.

Native to rocky and coastal areas, they have adapted to cope with the tough conditions on the seashore. Being battered by strong winds and baked in the suns scorching heat. This is one tough thistle and brings a strong look to any bunch.

Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 15.49.52

Just bee’ing wonderful.

Although they are unscented, eryngium seriously attracts the bees and other lovely pollinated insects. They are one of the biggest pollinated flowers around and the bees just can’t get enough. Plants rely on bees and other insects to reproduce and so they have adapted, over time, to become more attractive to them. And who could resist an eryngium?

tim-breeze-22630-unsplash

Not just for decoration

Eryngium’s roots were used as a medicine for many things but one of its main usages was to boost the libido of an ageing man. So there you go. Good to know. It was also crushed up as a herbal remedy and drunk for coughing and whooping cough. What can’t you use this spikey fleur for?!

Not just for autumn.

With Christmas just around the corner, these little blue beauties are perfect for drying and using them around the house as the perfect Xmas decoration. You can use them for the tree by tying a bit of thread or string around the stem. They will look like little blue stars of Bethlehem. Or you can add them to other arrangements or wreaths or garlands.

Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 15.41.41

The best way to dry your eryngium.

Find a dark, dry area with good circulation, such as an attic or unused closet. With unflavoured dental floss (or string will do), secure the bottom of the flowers’ stems to a hanger so that they hang upside down to dry. Leave the flowers for two to three weeks until completely dry and hey-presto! Your Christmas dried flowers are ready to go.

Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 15.44.27

The Queen of Eryngium – Ellen Willmott

I can’t write a blog about eryngium and not mention Ellen Willmott. If you haven’t heard of Ellen then luckily I am about to tell you all about her. Why? Because she is an absolute gardening legend. Born in 1858 she was a key member of the Royal Horticultural Society and even received the Victoria Medal of Honour in 1897 for her dedication to plants. She was said to have cultivated more than 100,000 species and cultivars of plants, and sponsored expeditions to discover new species

Her particular fancy was for Eryngium and wherever she went, she made sure she had a handful of seeds in the pocket of her voluminous skirts of black bombazine. Surreptitiously she would scatter a handful in every garden she visited, knowing that a year or so later – the plant is a biennial, growing one year and flowering the next – the eryngiums would flower their socks off and the garden’s owner would wonder where they had come from.

Alas, Ellen is no longer with us, but you can have her ghost in your garden if you get hold of your own handful of eryngium seeds, scatter them on to any patch of well-drained soil and rake them in. Or with slightly less effort get this weeks arrangement! 

Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 15.48.26

Too good to miss.

This lovely spikey blue thistle really is a favourite of mine. It just gives any arrangement a wonderful effortlessly aristocratic feel. So don’t miss out on their beauty and give my boxes a go and make your flowers be the talk of the street!

If you’d like to turn your home into an eryngium dream, 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.

A Guide to Flowers in art!

Flowers have featured in visual art ever since humans first daubed paint on a cave wall. It is easy to see why – flowers are beautiful, fleeting and symbolic… and far less fidgety than a human muse.

Flowers in Art

Flowers have featured in visual art ever since humans first daubed paint on a cave wall. It is easy to see why – flowers are beautiful, fleeting and symbolic… and far less fidgety than a human muse. I’m no artist myself, but I wanted to take you on a quick guided tour of some of my favourite flower-inspired art.

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 16.26.12
Renaissance Fan

Everybody loves the Renaissance painters – they’re like the Jackson 5 of art. But we tend to associate them with Cherubs or Madonnas rather than flowers. But, look a little harder at some of the most famous art of the Renaissance and you’ll see flowers everywhere.

Botticelli painted many of the most famous works of the period. His Birth of Venus alone features both a flower nymph and the goddess Flora, spilling petals. Even more impressively, his luscious Primavera depicts approximately 190 varieties of flower, with 130 identifiable. After you’ve given our boxes a try, you too will be able to identify 130 types of flower!

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 16.27.37

Dutch (Flower) Masters

The Dutch are skilled people. Not have they produced some of history’s most loved artists but they’re also the world’s best flower growers. It comes as no surprise to me that the Dutch painters turned to their national speciality for artistic inspiration.

From Van Dyck to Rubens, the Dutch Masters loved incorporating their national symbol into their paintings. In fact, Rubens’ Madonna with Wreath is giving me ideas for the Christmas season!

The Dutch are also keen painters of flower still life. Almost every Dutch painter of the 17th Century had a go – it was a bit like the Instagram of the day, with the noteable contributions from Brueghel, van Veerendael, Davidz de Heem and Frans van Dael. Honestly, stick a paintbrush in your hands and a few extra vowels in your name and you too could give it a go.

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 16.32.08

Desperate Romantics

Back on home shores, our own Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood carefully incorporated flowers into their mythical, symbolic work.

John Everett Millais’ Ophelia is a British classic, and sure enough, it contains loads of amazing floral detail. For the natural elements, Millais actually painted from nature, in the Surrey countryside. Fortunately, he didn’t make his model lie in a real river, but painted her in a bath. It still didn’t stop her getting pneumonia – that’s the price you pay for art.

The flowers in the picture are so detailed that, according to the Tate, at least one Professor of Botany took classes to study the picture, as he was unable to get them out to the country. This wouldn’t be an issue now as they could just get the flowers delivered directly to their door for £22!

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 16.33.12

First Impressions

In previous blogs, I’ve covered flowers in Impressionist art, and these can be found here.

But, I couldn’t do a post about floral art without mentioning the most recognisable flower paintings of all. No, not the ones your niece did in Reception, but Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.

Given these are an iconic classic, it is amusing that many scholars now think he was inspired to paint these pictures because they were quick and easy money-spinners.

Even if this is true, as I write this I’m looking at our very own sunflowers, from our Indian Summer box, and I can confirm that a gorgeous sunflower is all the inspiration you need.

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 16.34.50

Vienna to Tokyo

As we head into autumn, I’m reminded of my favourite painting by Gustav Klimt: The Kiss. It is an incredibly famous image, depicting two lovers smooching on the edge of a flowery meadow. Not only are the flower details beautifully realised, but the painting uses gold leaf to give the whole thing a shimmering, autumnal feel – it reminds me of the glorious golden Solidago we’ve got in our upcoming Autumn arrangements.

Klimt’s work was heavily inspired by the techniques of Japanese art and you can see the floral link – with gorgeous cherry blossoms and wildflowers, the work of painters such as Hokusai almost makes me want to take up a paintbrush too! Just look at his Bullfinch on Weeping Cherry and you’ll see where Klimt gets his ideas.

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 17.09.26

Flowers that Pop

Now, at Freddie’s Flowers, we like to combine contemporary looks with classic blooms. One artist who did this amazingly was Andy Warhol. He might have been more famous for pictures of Soup Cans and Marilyn Monroe, but to my mind, the best of Warhol’s work was his series of flower prints.

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 17.11.45.png

They’re colourful, sharp and distinctive, like all good flower arrangements. Warhol famously used silk-screen printing to produce his hibiscus blossom designs and this means that each of his Flowers is every so slightly unique – just like our boxes of flowers there is a slight variation. I think this is a great approach to painting flowers, as no two blooms are the same. That’s the fun of a gorgeous fresh bunch!

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 17.13.11

Many other 20th Century artists also turned to flowers as a great subject for their work. Georgia O’Keeffe’s close-cropped, colourful and symbolic paintings could have been a direct inspiration for Warhol. The closeness of her work, such as the amazing Red Canna is incredibly modern, like the pictures you snap and send into me!

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 17.15.48
Jeff Koons went one further, with his cartoonish sculptures of arranged flowers. His Large Vase of Flowers is an enormous, bright realisation of a 3D bunch that looks somehow real and completely false. Made in 1991, it has looked great for 27 years… slightly longer than one of our boxes, but only just.

The Modern Weiwei

Even today, artists are still featuring flowers in their work. Conceptual artist Ai Weiwei filled the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall with clay replicas of seeds in his Sunflower Seeds, a very modern take on floral art. 

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 17.17.04

The dissident artist was unable to see his impressive work come to fruition as the Chinese government had confiscated his passport. In protest at this, Ai created another noteworthy flower piece, With Flowers. Every day, Ai would place fresh flowers in the basket of a bicycle outside his studio in Beijing – a symbol of his hope and independence. Finally, after 600 days (and 600 bunches of flowers!) Ai’s passport was returned and he was able to travel once more. Part-performance art, part-documentary piece, it is a thoroughly worthy addition to my run-down of flowers in art.

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 17.18.16
You may have heard of the brilliant American artist Kehinde Wiley – he has just painted Barack Obama’s Presidential portrait for the Smithsonian Museum. Wiley specialises in photo-realistic portraits of African-American subjects, set against luscious and distinctive florals and patterned backgrounds. Obama is backed by flowers representing his history; blue Kenyan lilies, Hawaiian jasmine and Chicagoan chrysanthemums. That fabulous mixture almost sounds like one of our boxes!

A contemporary echo of the pattern-work of the likes of William Morris, Wiley’s floral backdrops makes his portraits distinctive and fresh while giving his work a hyper-real edge. 

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 17.19.23

Both Ai Weiwei and Kehinde Wiley bring the idea of flowers in art right up to date, showing us that flowers still have a place in the gallery… or in your home.

Having a piece of conceptual art in your living room is probably not very convenient. But at Freddie’s Flowers, we can deliver the flowers that inspired the art, hassle-free directly to your door. What could be more simple – or artistic – than that?

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

On-Trend Dining!

Whether it is a classic family meal, or a sophisticated soireé the table layout is of the upmost importance.

Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 16.57.53

Table decoration ideas for the perfect party

Whether it is a classic family meal, or a sophisticated soireé the table layout is of the upmost importance. Not only do they provide the perfect ambience for the meal you are about to embark on but also a great conversational topic.

Conversation starters can pop up from almost anywhere but the table layout is the first place I go to (apart from the recent weather we’ve been having). And at some dinner parties conversation starters are essential.  I usually get put next to the, lets call them the more difficult of guests because I fall under the awful category of ”I hope you don’t mind but you’re so easy to talk to I put you next to Great Uncle Bernard”. So if I can start with ”Bernard, doesn’t the table look absolutely fabulous tonight?” I am one happy bunny.

So lets have a look at a few table decors I’ve noticed around and about that I think are rather great to have a go at.

Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 15.38.08

The first rule of dinner partying

First of all, the first of the commandments of a good table layout is to embrace flowers wherever possible. A dinner party without flowers is like going shopping without your bag-for-life and having to get a plastic bag. AKA so not cool. So flaunt flowers in all their glory with a fresh arrangement in the centre and dotted about through out le table as much as you can. Of course the best flowers to have on the table are of course my flowers.

A lovely way of doing this is by getting tiny cups with fresh cut blooms and place at each setting for some sweet-sweet smelling ambience.

Of course if you don’t have lots of tiny cups, (I mean unless you’re part Sylvanian why would you?) another way (and maybe easier) of bringing more floral flair to your place settings is by placing or tucking stems and sprigs on or into the napkin. Et Voilà! La fête est un triomphe!

Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 15.37.00

Innovation invitation at its best!

I recently went to a D.P where they had chalkboard paper place mats. CHALKBOARD PAPER! Have you ever heard of such a superb revelation. Not only can they double up as place mats AND name places but also for the after dinner entertainment. Provide your guests with a bit of chalk and watch their face as they realise they’ve been eating off their own pictionary board all night!

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 13.14.13

Seed them away with something to take home

Being a man of flowers this is an idea I could wait to do for my own soireé at home. Using seed packets as name places. Slot them into a bit of wood and staple or glue a bit of paper with the persons name on and not only does it give the table a little je ne sais quoi but it is also a little treat for the guest to take home at the end. And when they grow what ever seed it is at home they will always think of the wonderful time they had at your amazing party.

Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 17.22.29

Flowers make the world go round.

So there you have a few of my top tips for a lovely-jubly table layout. Dinner parties and lunches are my most favourite times and I always look back on each one with such fond memories so it is so important to make it look great. Flowers are integral. Do not forget it!

If you’d like your dinner party table the trendiest table 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.

 

 

 

 

Behind the scenes at the latest Freddie’s Flower arranging event…

Flower Arranging with Freddie’s Flowers at The Garden Museum!
Yup, that’s right folks. We’ve started doing flower arranging workshops!
Read all about our evening event at the Garden Museum. And find out how you can come join us for any future events too!

New Beginnings and flower arranging!

It’s September and that means Back to School! The excitement, the anticipation, the nerves… I still have nightmares about forgetting my P.E. kit and doing it in my vest and pants. Fortunately these days, September makes me think of new beginnings rather than old gym shorts. 

So – in the spirit of new beginnings – I figured that just because we’re no longer at school doesn’t mean we can’t get together and learn a thing or two, right? So, in the past few weeks some of my brilliant mates have been running our first Flower Arranging Workshops to sharpen up your flower styling skills. 

Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 15.30.48

What a perfect place to start… The Garden Museum!

The sessions are a completely new thing for us, and we thought long and hard about where to launch them. Then it struck us: where better than the Garden Museum in South London, where we’re currently sponsoring their fabulous Flower Fairies exhibition?! It was a no-brianer; swing by the exhibition, learn some flower arranging skills and leave feeling florally enriched and ready for the new year ahead. 

box and vase shot-182 (1)

Here we go…

So, armed with 24 boxes of our freshly-cut flowers, 24 of our fab vases and a wealth of knowledge, some of my team hot-footed it across London (in our vans, we didn’t make them walk) ready to share our know-how. 

We set up our session in Lambeth’s wonderfully renovated Garden Museum; transformed in 2017, it is surely one of London’s best-kept secrets. Their main space is the perfect backdrop for our flowers, and we couldn’t wait to welcome our first class. Our vases were filled, our secateurs sharpened and our first participants welcomed into the fantastic museum space, excited to get going. 

And what a great couple of evenings we had, talking about different flower varieties, arranging methods and flower-care pointers. It was fantastic to meet both customers and non-customers, and to explain how to get the most out of our wonderful £24 regular arrangements. 

Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 15.30.32

A few of my favourite things…

We put together a wonderful box to arrange, including plenty of my favourites. Athena Roses – bread to be scentless and thornless – formed our stem-grid, accompanied by Snapdragons and Solidago. Next up were Irises, the gorgeous inspiration for the famous Fleur-de-Lis. The final element was fabulous Mohawk Aliums, a member of the chive family, but the one that inherited all the good-looks. Once the arrangement was complete, we wrapped them in the brown paper and string that come in all our boxes, ready to take home for further practice. It wouldn’t be school without some homework, now would it?

Copy of gails13

A big thank you!

The attendees of these first sessions have been brilliant, and your questions have really kept us all on our toes. We’ve loved hearing about how you arrange your Freddie’s Flowers, and teaching you a few things we’ve picked up along the way. From mums and daughters on birthday outings, to friends having a catch up (and even one couple on a hot date!), we’re thrilled that people have jumped at the chance to get green-fingered.

Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 15.34.09

Stay tuned and have a go.

And the floral fun doesn’t stop there! Since the sessions at the Garden Museum, we’ve also held classes at the stunning Hayman’s Gin Distillery in Balham and our wonderful local Gail’s Bakery. We love doing the classes, and are planning loads more. If it sounds like your thing, make sure you are on our mailing list so we can let you know when we’re running a class in your neck of the woods. Flowers and a good laugh – sounds better than double Maths, right?

Or, even better, give our boxes a try – they’re £24 a pop and include arranging instructions. Once you’ve had a go, come to a class and we can sharpen your skills! 

Copy of gails9

A floral education!

As I always say to my little pup Claude: you can teach an old dog new tricks. Even though I’m no longer at school, and nobody is nicking my lunch money, it doesn’t mean I can’t get together with a group of people and learn something new. So, next time we’re running a class, I’d love to see you there!

If you’d like to have a go at flower arranging, 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.

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”

Affirming a friendship through flowers

People say how they feel in such different ways these days; a text, an email, a bunch of alternative flowers, maybe even a messenger pigeon.

People say how they feel in such different ways these days; a text, an email, a bunch of alternative flowers, maybe even a messenger pigeon.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to bang on about Valentine’s day – it’s too early for even me, a flower enthusiast, to talk the language of lurve with flowers quite yet. I simply love that there’s a day dedicated to friendship! Calligraphy pens at the ready, people, today is the official ‘send a card to a friend day’. Totally void of gushy love stuff; just pure appreciation.

So January had January blues whilst February gets friendship, that’s more like it! But what’s even better? Discovering that there’s a language that goes above and beyond the epistolary gesture. And, knowing me, it comes in the form of flowers, of course …

 

The proof is in the post

That feeling of knowing that someone’s thinking of you is, as Tina Turner would say, simply the best.

These days, a card can say more to us than a bunch of flowers can. Just think how many different sections there are in a card shop! Flowers tend to mean love, thanks, apologies, condolences, that sort of thing. Back in the day, a single flower, varying in colour or form, could hold real depth of meaning.

Freddie's flowers send alternative flowers instead of alternative cards
A card for every occasion. Image credit

Seeing as the first penny postage stamp wasn’t introduced until 1840, greeting cards weren’t exactly popular for a fair old while. But for the middle class Victorians, there was an ever increasing popular way of communicating a little bit of love and appreciation. Or hatred. Ooh!

 

When you can’t send a card, what’s your alternative?

Alternative flowers, of course!

The Victorians were big flora and fauna enthusiasts. I’ve heard that even seaweed collecting and fern sampling were up there with their favourite pastimes. What a joyous day out; pootling along, petticoats pulled up, keeping an eye out for a new seaweed species.

A seaweed collection sample. Image credit

But when they’re not out collecting fauna? They were deciphering floral code. Sounds way more MI5 than it is but floriography was a big deal. 

To the untrained eye, a bouquet was a bouquet but boy oh boy are the meanings deeper than that. When a bouquet was hand delivered to the doorstep (not in big brown boxes, yet), the blooms held a mountain of meaning.

The meaning lies within the pages and the petals. Image credit

Flower dictionaries in hand, let’s have a little look at what subliminal floral messages we’ve been sending out recently:

 

Amaryllis

Meaning: ‘splendid beauty and pride’.

Amaryllis as alternative flowers

Remember when we plonked a boxful of splendidly beautiful red amaryllis on your doorstep just in time for Christmas? They were certainly something to be proud of, don’t you think? Just you wait for the white ones coming up!

 

White tulips, alstroemeria, aster, white roses

Meaning: ‘I am worthy of you; your charm, innocence and daintiness. I offer devotion and fortune’.

Wowie! If you’re a Freddie’s Flowers customer you’ll be getting tulips this week and the next three weeks (tis the season) so now you know my intentions!

 

Pink blooms, irises, pink snapdragons, waxflower

Meaning: ‘a rich, faithful and wonderful friendship towards a gracious lady’

alternative flowers

Irises are the top alternative flowers when it comes to friendship. How fitting on ‘send a card to a friend day’.

 

Rhododendrons

Meaning: danger, beware, I am dangerous

Beautiful put packed with foreboding. Image credit

Now, I’m not one to dwell on what alternative flowers you might send to an enemy. Always fun to know though, eh? There’s simply no confusion when it comes to a rhododendron. Thank god we don’t pop them our flower deliveries!

 

Alternative flowers for an alternate message

So, when sending a card to a friend, why not try hiding the message in a Freddie’s box? And a cute little pressed flower in the card that they can keep until next year, too? Be sure to pop a flower dictionary in there so there’s no misunderstanding!

Ollie and Harry know friendships are better when flowers are involved

Go on then, start deciphering the messages embedded in your blooms by giving us a go for only £24 a pop!

 

Ode to Scotland

Did you know Scotland’s national animal is a unicorn?

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,

That’s newly sprung in June;

O my Luve’s like the melodie

That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

  A red, red rose – Robert Burns

Robert Burns
Robert Burns

Did you know Scotland’s national animal is a unicorn?

It’s Burn’s Night and did you know, I have a bit of Scot in me. The name Garland lived among the Pictish people of Ancient Scotland. Garland means ‘triangle land’. I feel my inner William Wallace thundering about. ”FRRRREEEEEEEEEEEE-flowers when you sign up a friend using your code”.

Bagpipes, whisky, tartan and the kilt are just a few things that come to mind when thinking of Scotland but for me it’s all about fauna and flora. The thistle, the heather, the good old bog myrtle.

Picture of heather in Scottish landscape
Scottish perfection

History of Burns Night

On the 5th anniversary of Robert Burn’s death in 1801, Burn’s mates decided to throw a dinner party to honour him. Like most good dinner parties it was a raucous, drunken affair. It was so fun they decided to make it a tradition.

Bringing in the haggis
Bringing in the haggis

The order of the night

Burn’s Night starts with ‘piping in the guests’. It usually involves someone playing the bagpipes looking like they’re near about to explode. Then there is the ‘brining in the haggis’ (the bagpipes start up again). The haggis, resembling a giant brain on a platter, comes charging in with its host in tow and everyone ‘ooooo’s’ and ‘ahhhhh’s’. Finally the ‘Ode to a Haggis’ by Burns is recited many more toasts and speeches. During all of this it is only respectable to down a generous dram of whisky every couple of seconds.

A thistle, symbol of Scotland
The Flower of Scotland

Legend of the thistle

Ever why wondered why Scotland chose the Thistle to be their symbol? There is no historical evidence why it was chosen, but there is a legend of how it came about…

During Alexander III reign from 1249 to 1286 an army of Vikings being led by King Haakon intended to conquer a party of sleeping Scottish warriors on the coast of Largs in Ayrshire. In order to be more stealthy and get nearer to the Scotsmen the Vikings removed their footwear. Unfortunately, one of King Haakon’s men stood on a prickly plant and yelled in pain. This woke up and alerted the Scottish clansmen of invaders. Needless to say it was the Scots who won that day. From that moment the prickly purple thistle became the Guardian Thistle and was adopted as the symbol of Scotland.

White heather
Magical white heather

More myths and legends

When you think of heather you think of the lovely purple haze and not maybe white heather. Legend has it that in the 3rd Century AD, Malvina (daughter of the legendary Scottish poet, Ossian), was betrothed to a Celtic warrior named Oscar. Poor old Oscar died in battle, and when Malvina heard the news she was heartbroken. The messenger who delivered the bad news also delivered a spray of purple heather that Oscar had sent as a final token of his undying love for her. It’s said that when Malvina’s tears fell onto the flowers in her hand, they immediately turned white, This magical transformation prompted her to say:

‘although it is the symbol of my sorrow, may the white heather bring good fortune to all who find it.’

Today white heather is considered to be very lucky for a bride who adds it to her bouquet.

Scotland's national animal
Scotland’s national animal

And finally back to why the unicorn

A fictitious creature may seem an odd choice for a country’s national animal, but perhaps not for a country famed for its love for, and long history of, myth and legend. The unicorn has been a Scottish heraldic symbol since the 12th century, when it was used on an early form of the Scottish coat of arms by William I.

In Celtic mythology, the Unicorn of Scotland symbolised innocence and purity, healing powers, joy and even life itself. It was also seen as a symbol of masculinity and power. Not quite what I think when I think a unicorn but you know, each to their own.

I’ll leave you now with a final word from Robbie.

 

On a bank of flowers – 1789

On a bank of flowers, in a summer day,
For summer lightly drest,
The youthful, blooming Nelly lay,
With love and sleep opprest;
When Willie, wand’ring thro’ the wood,
Who for her favour oft had sued;
He gaz’d, he wish’d
He fear’d, he blush’d,
And trembled where he stood.

Her closed eyes, like weapons sheath’d,
Were seal’d in soft repose;
Her lip, still as she fragrant breath’d,
It richer dyed the rose;
The springing lilies, sweetly prest,
Wild-wanton kissed her rival breast;
He gaz’d, he wish’d,
He mear’d, he blush’d,
His bosom ill at rest.

Her robes, light-waving in the breeze,
Her tender limbs embrace;
Her lovely form, her native ease,
All harmony and grace;
Tumultuous tides his pulses roll,
A faltering, ardent kiss he stole;
He gaz’d, he wish’d,
He fear’d, he blush’d,
And sigh’d his very soul.

As flies the partridge from the brake,
On fear-inspired wings,
So Nelly, starting, half-awake,
Away affrighted springs;
But Willie follow’d-as he should,
He overtook her in the wood;
He vow’d, he pray’d,
He found the maid
Forgiving all, and good.

Not interested in tasting haggis? Why not try some flowers instead. Flowers delivered to your door for only £24 a pop!


Featured photo by Simon Migaj

California dreamin’

You might need to put your shades on for this one, it’s a blinder. This stunning yellow bunch will bring sunshine flooding into your home.

Hit the road, Jan

You might need to put your shades on for this one, it’s a blinder. This stunning yellow bunch will bring sunshine flooding into your home. Swapping grey skies outside for a lovely sunny burst of light indoors.

Who’s in need of a holiday?

Think of this arrangement as a mini getaway. Maybe not mini, one that lasts up to two weeks. Starting in LA like our LA Lilies. Cruising down the Big Sur in your convertible mustard mustang is how you’ll feel when these guys open up.

Forsythia is part of the oceaceae family. Well that makes me think of the ocean, and there’s the Pacific up ahead!

Time to wax up your surfboard to ride those gnarly waves with this weeks wonderful waxflowers.

Later, watching the sunset go down over the Pacific makes me think of solidago with its cloudlike, fluffy texture

And let the good times roll with this weeks roses being unbelievably appropriately named Rose ‘Good Times’.

Are you feeling like you’re in sunny California now?

This weeks sunny arrangement
This weeks sunny arrangement

Beat the January blues

This week you might notice we’re all about the yellow. I always say that fresh flowers are good for the soul and these flowers are all about well-being. Bring in the positive with the New Year. Well, I hope this arrangement will transport you to far away, warm lands. It also reminds me of Sunday breakfast for some reason.

Los Angeles
Los Angeles @soitgoesmag

And… Back to reality

LA lily doesn’t actually stand for the star studded city of Los Angeles. It stands for something far more glamorous. Longiflorum Asiatic. Which is two different types of lilies in one. You can practically see the Longiflorum Asiatic taking off it’s Raybans and flicking it’s hair with an explosion happening in the background. Or maybe that’s a bit of a stretch.

LA Lilies
Too Hollywood

 

Surfs up

The lovely little white flower in this arrangement is called waxflower. Named waxflower because it’s petals look waxy. I’ve got a real soft spot for them. I think they’re charming. I hope you enjoy them too. If you squish them they will give a lovely aroma.

Waxflower is actually a native to Australia. Ahh, to be in Aussie now. Well just look at the flowers and you can pretend you are. Just imagine that sunshine on your skin.

Australian outback
Hot. Hot. Hot.

Roses that just want to have fun

Bask in the dazzling rays of some Good Times roses. They remind me of going past the orange orchids on my hypothetical road trip in California.

Fancy forsythia

Forsythia may look a bit stick like on arrival, but hundreds of yellow flowers will burst open over the week like a hundred little suns.

 

How to arrange forsythia, lilies and waxflower

Start with your structural forsythia. Snip off any low branches, so there are no stems below the water line. Arrange the stems evenly around the edge  of the vase. You’ll make a triangle-like teepee.

Forsythia
Standing strong forsythia

Take your lilies and do the same, filling the gaps left by the forsythia. This creates a grid for your waxflower and roses to stand up in.

LA Lily
Lush lilies

Next up, your fluffy waxflower. Place the stems in the centre using the stem grid for support and carefully pull its branches out in opposite directions.

Waxflower
Waxy waxflower

Finish with those good times roses. Tucking them over the edge of the vase.

Good time roses
Good time roses

And there you have it. Your own holiday in a vase. The perfect arrangement to beat the January blues.

Seeing as January’s all about new beginnings, start the year right by getting flowers delivered to your door for only £24 a pop!