Dizzy for Daffodils!

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

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

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

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So let’s explore the different types:

February Gold

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

Tete-a-Tete

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

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Yellow Trumpet

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

Ice Follies

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top florists throughout history!

With my boxes, you are all flower arrangers. I give you the flowers and you get to create and bring out your inner florist. But was there ever a time when floristry wasn’t the in thing?

With my boxes, you are all flower arrangers. I give you the flowers and you get to create and bring out your inner florist. But was there ever a time when floristry wasn’t the in thing? The answer is no. From the beginning, humans have been hunter and flower gatherers. We just can’t help it, we’ve always had a thing for flora and fauna.

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Flowers fit for a queen

The first recorded plant hunter was Queen Hatshepsut, an Egyptian pharaoh who reigned for over 20 years in the fifteenth century BC. Her reign was peaceful and prosperous, prompting a cultural renaissance that gave rise to celebrate paintings, sculptures and temples. It is thanks to these that we know of Queen Hatshepsut’s plant gathering exploits.

In the middle temple of her palace in Luxor’s Valley of Kings, are reliefs showing an expedition of five ships sent by the Queen to the land of Punt to gather exotic goods.

Earliest known flower arranging dates back to ancient Egypt to 2,500 BCE.  Egyptians were the first to cut and place flowers in a vase to decorate and add colour to their surroundings.

Egyptians were known as the first florists by trade and commissioned to place very high stylized arrangements around burials, processions, and table decorations. These florists would carefully select flowers that had a symbolic meaning with emphasis on religion.  A big seller was the garland of flowers worn by loved ones and left at the tombs.

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Reliefs showing an expedition of five ships sent by the Queen Hatshepsut

Greek & Roman

The Greeks and the Romans used flowers while incorporating herbs and olive branches with their floral design. Romans’ prefered flower was the rose, using them for dressing tables during many meals due to its overwhelming fragrance, which was known as the “Hour of Rose.”

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Europe

Floral arranging finally reaches Europe by 476 AD.  Big arrangements were popular in churches and monasteries where flowers were used for food (to eat) as well as decoration. An essential part of arranging was with herbs, which was used as a spiritual symbol in arranging.

Italy was the first in Europe to incorporate flowers in paintings, specifically in vases, thus creating a need for floral design. Adorning your balcony with different colours and petals in baskets was an inviting sign to your home.

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Moving onto my fave florist and explorer of all time:

Marianne North

Even by the standards of fearless, globe-trotting Victorians, the flower painter and tireless traveller, Marianne North was an extraordinary woman.

In an age before air travel and motor transport, she crisscrossed the globe, living and painting in Jamaica, Canada, the United States, Brazil, Tenerife, Japan, Ceylon, India, Borneo, Java, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Seychelles and Chile – all in the space of a decade and a half and on her own.

Wherever she went, and whatever the obstacles in her way (cliffs, swamps, jungle), she carried on painting her astonishing, botanically accurate, vividly coloured oil paintings of the exotic plant life she found. And virtually all of her flower paintings – some 833 – can be seen together in the Marianne North Gallery at Kew Gardens.

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Marianne North painting in the jungle

 

Centuries and centuries have passed, but one thing remains, flower arranging is a timeless art and will continue to be important in centuries to come. If you fancy becoming a florist, why not give my boxes a go?

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

On-Trend Dining!

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

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.