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An alternative view of the Floristry world !


So it’s time for an update from the world of the Florist Shop and the big reveal that all these years the true creator of these fabulous yet slightly alternative blogs has been me  “maintenance man” and general dogsbody all to often abused by the skilled Florists!

I will of course continue the air of intrigue and anonymity by not revealing my identity beyond that... but for those trying to build a picture in their mind just think Clooney, Pitt and Reynolds…no of course that’s not what I look like, it’s the name of the Solicitors who have just issued the latest restraining order against me.

So let me start with regaling a conversation that was had several weeks ago. Picture the scene, I receive a telephone call from the owner of the business. “Whilst you are in town can you pop into a well-known shop and buy some Hula Hoops for an upcoming wedding” 

I can of course but how many ?

“Well three large and two small should suffice”

Cue much debate between me and the people with me as to what sort of Wedding would use Hula Hoops and what would they be doing with them, indeed what flavour should I get. Salt and vinegar, ready salted or are we really going for it and having beef ? 

Will they be some strange decoration for the tables, or are we be getting involved in the wedding buffet? 

And when you say three large bags – are you talking multi pack or a family pack?

It’s no good there are just too many unanswered questions for me to make the purchase, so I rang back to question what flavour I should get…….oh Hula Hoops as in the large circles that are used as a method of spinning around your hips!  

Well that was awkward!

When I last Blogged you will recall that the Willow Arch was going out for the first time to a Wedding at Danesfield House and I promised images post wedding                                               

And we now have our Flower Wall in and ready for its first upcoming wedding

For the second year in a row we have run our young person floral crown competition and the winner is Loz aged 14 from Winnersh, there have been some complaints from the other entrants who claimed that the winner looked suspiciously like Laura who was victorious last year but I have been assured that there is nothing untoward despite Loz looking like she is in her late thirties and having hair that makes her look like a cast off from a Lady Godiva film set!

This year the lucky winner has won a ticket to the Twyford Annual Horticultural Show…well done Loz enjoy your day out.

In other news the continued partnership with the Berkshire Probation Office is yielding really positive results. Young Lottie (strangely similar to Loz…but I don’t think there is a connection) has been happy to have “meet the staff” photo taken

 

and also took great pride in re-enacting the offence which landed her on probation in the first place.  

But do you actually do any Floristry in the shop I hear you cry !

So we are slap bang in the middle of the wedding season with all hands on deck with six weddings going out last week. Big shout out to Keith who was misled to believe that he was merely chaperoning one of the more vulnerable Florists to a Church and venue set up but ended up holding the ladder, cutting the Gypsophilia, doing the driving and generally being run ragged.

As always our huge walk in fridge was pushed to the limit by the workload but didn’t let us down (touchwood)


And at this point I would like to have shown you some lovely images of the beautiful Church Lych Gate that Keith assisted with but we have encountered some copyright issues with the photos when they were sent over. We are attempting to resolve the issue but the sender is proving somewhat difficult to deal with. 

But whilst we wait for that particular dispute to be resolved we actually set up our second Lych Gate in successive weekends and I am sure you would agree that the results are stunning. 

Willow Arches, Flower Walls and other special things

Blog is back!

Where have you been I hear you say?

Well its all been a bit hectic and as you all know time just gets away from you

The not very well maintained maintenance man has retired from his day job, hooray we all shout that means he can concentrate on actually doing some high quality handy work….but alas that is not how it has panned out and if anything he has taken the idea of putting his feet up a little too literally for our liking.

We have welcomed three new arrivals to the shop in the last few days

Firstly our new Wedding Willow Arch which after a few trial runs and its first testing at the Ascot Wedding Show in March it has now been signed off and is going out this Friday at the wonderful wedding of Natalia and Daniel at Danesfield House (Images will be posted shortly when set up in situ)

We are expecting our new Wedding Flower Wall to ready for hire in about three weeks…if you are not sure what it is well they have become all the rage since Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had a fresh flower wall for their wedding and so we decided to invest in providing this as an option to our brides using silk flowers.

And we also welcome our newest recruit Nancy to our team from the start of June.

In other news ….we had two days of chaos when Thames Water came a visiting! Another shop has a blocked drain and the only place they can access is via a man hole cover under the middle of our shop floor. After hours of phaffing around and all the other shops having packed up and gone home, Thames Water decided that actually they were wrong and it wasn’t our access point they needed but another one in the High Street. Great news…but no they need to run their industrial hoses through the shop from the back car park to the front and after two days it suddenly occurred to maintenance man to ask why they were not going though one of the other five shops (one of which was the offender in causing the blockage with cooking oil and another the shop being affected) the reply “well the other shops wont let us”!

Fair to say they left soon afterwards! What a liberty!

We have continued our community help work and this young lady has really pulled out all the stops in recent weeks and as you can see is a dab hand with a knife, just look at the levels of concentration being applied. What you cannot see is that hidden from view she is cutting her sandwich for lunch.

And if you haven't started following us on Instagram then don't delay Laura has shown that she has an amazing eye for taking fantastic photos                                                

Find us at villagefloralboutique

So that's it a whistle stop blog update of all matters VFB 

Stop and smell the Roses...or any other flower that will be a lot cheaper!

The Blog wakes from hibernation

Hello to you all, it’s been awhile and so much has happened since I last spoke.

 

Christmas has come and gone in a tinselled blur and already we are saying goodbye to January. The Wreath making courses that we ran in December were a phenomenal success and to be honest they were way beyond what we expected in interest and attendance…so thank you to all the lovely ladies that came and I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

 

The Wokingham shop is no more! But a small part of it still remains in our hearts…well actually a very large storage container remains and we are slowly moving the contents to different locations (I will never be able to get to the back of my garage ever again, we also took the opportunity to take a large amount of stock to the wonderful Sue Ryder Hospice in Nettlebed and hope that they can raise much needed funds from it.

 

So we say goodbye to 2016 which has been our busiest in eight years and its time to look forward – we have already completed Wedding Fairs at Cantley House in Wokingham and then the beautiful Elvetham Hotel in Hartley Wintney and the response and wedding bookings taken have been quite amazing and we thank all our prospective Brides and look forward to working with you all over the coming months. We are now getting ready for St Anne’s fair next weekend and then a two day event at the Ascot Wedding Show (if any Brides want free tickets then let us know as we have been given a number of complimentary tickets to give away)

 

And of course just two weeks away is the big day of Love when everywhere you look in the shop is the colour red!

 

So my tips for any man who may have stumbled upon this blog (or been quietly told to have a look!)

 

Avoid red flowers – they are far more expensive for obvious reasons and you can get a beautiful arrangement using whites, yellows and other Spring colours without taking a second mortgage!

Order early – Nothing worse than leaving it late and being seen by the neighbours on a petrol station forecourt late at night scrabbling through the half dead bunches that they display! Due to the need to order our Red Roses well in advance to TRY to keep costs down it means that when they are gone they are gone and that’s it.

 

You get what you pay for so be careful - “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”  If you buy supermarket flowers, you’ll get supermarket flowers.  If one of our competitors sends you an offer for a dozen red roses for £20 including delivery (which some are doing), then read the small print.  They probably won’t guarantee the day of delivery (not ideal for Valentine’s!) and the rose heads are likely to be the size of a half-eaten M&M.  There are lots of other marketing ploys out there plus the big relay companies charge hefty commissions too.  We avoid any of that rubbish and just focus on doing a great job and saving costs for customers wherever we can.

Make a big impression with a work place delivery –: Valentine’s Day is on a Tuesday this year and part of the fun of sending Valentine’s flowers is the girl (or boy!) receiving them at their workplace are the envy of their colleagues.  There are definitely brownie points to be won!!!

Last blog of the year

On my calculations it is just 44 sleeps until the big man arrives, now why I hear you ask am I telling you when the not very handyman is due to come and fix the upstairs tap at the shop, well this also is the day we finally close the front doors to our Wokingham shop for the last time…oh and of course by complete coincidence some beardy fellow wearing red is also in the headlines about this time as well….but as I rarely get anything left under the tree due to poor behaviour then this isn’t something I particularly dwell on.

Both shops have now been fully decked out in splendid decorative finery and if you haven’t popped in for a browse then don’t waste too much time as the most popular new lines are selling out very quickly.  

Our Christmas Wreath Workshops are also proving very popular with some dates already sold out, so again if you have ever fancied being guided through the process of making a luxurious door wreath whilst being plied with glasses of Prosecco then don’t hesitate and get on board.

The Wedding season is now drawing to a close but we still have another ten to negotiate during November and December with some fabulous winter wedding themes coming up.

Winter weddings are magical and so romantic with rich sumptuous colours or crisp clean whites, maybe roaring log fires and if you are really lucky a sprinkling of snow or at least a nice hard frost, many venues are dressed for Christmas saving some expense on decoration (An upcoming wedding at Northcote will benefit from having the feature staircase dressed for Christmas) And of course you can offer Mulled Wine instead of Champagne!

We are celebrating our busiest year ever for Weddings and already bookings for next year are massively up again, so if you are getting married next year do not put off making contact as dates will quickly be full even this far in advance.

And so I guess this will be my last blog until the other side of the big day and so I wrap up by reminding everyone that it won’t be long before we can all sit down and watch the movie Elf for the eleventh year in a row…you don’t like it! Go and sit on the naughty step until you are ready to apologise and in the meantime.......................

Image result for images of elf

I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.

Santa! Oh, my God! Santa’s coming! I know him! I know him!

That's all folks, see you all on the other side and Happy Christmas to all our wonderful customers

Do these blogs get stranger every month?

80 Sleeps till Christmas…there I have said it

But this also means that there are only 79 days left in our Wokingham shop as the regeneration of the town really is going to take place and as we shut the front door at the end of Christmas Eve that will conclude our five and a half years and the building will be pulled down before it falls down of its own accord.

It’s been a rollercoaster of a period, but we are excited to be saying goodbye and concentrating all our energy on our Twyford shop.

We have made some fantastic friends in the Town and hope that those who have come to love the flowers we provide will remember that we are only a phone call away.

In fact for some it will feel like the end of a marriage….but remember, it’s not you, it’s me (well actually its Wokingham District Council but it just doesn’t have the same ring) and you can still write, E Mail, ring or pop in and see us….and if none of that works for you then I suppose we may bump into each other on Tinder (sorry is that too soon and too raw)

But before we go we have the small matter of Christmas to deal with and that means hundreds of new lines being delivered from now until the start of November and then the day we dread (Probably 6th November) when the shop is turned into a Santa’s Grotty…sorry spell check error a Grotto!

We have now released the four dates that we will be running Christmas Wreath Making Workshops, so if you fancy making your own Wreath whilst eating Mince Pies and drinking something that makes you light headed then sign up and come enjoy the fun (details are on the website)  

We finish our Autumn Wedding Fairs this Sunday at St Anne’s Hotel in Wokingham, so if you are thinking of getting married and would like the opportunity to see some designs and inspirations and have a chat then don’t be a stranger.

And finally I finish with two thoughts

Does anyone else think this is all rather creepy and odd

You do...thank god I thought for a moment that I was the only one who thought the shade of lipstick used was all wrong!

And in the words of a great wise man who once said "if Honey G ever makes the Live X Factor finals then I am out of here" and with that I too am out of here!

 

 

 

"Fall" in love with the Autumn Colours

Holidays over and we now start getting ready for the C word…...

I know its only September but in our world the order for Christmas stock had to be made last January and we have to take delivery of it in just a few weeks time. There is something all rather odd and unsettling dealing with Santa and his army of Reindeer, Robins and Elves who like to sit on shelves when the weatherman is telling us that we are about to have record high temperatures for September.

The holiday was lovely (thanks for asking) and the girls did us proud dealing with two of our biggest weddings of the year which just happened to land on the very weekend we were away and I swear I already had it booked off before we knew about them!

No peace for the wicked though and yesterday saw four weddings go out and this was followed up by Sunday spent at Cantley House Hotel as the Autumn Wedding Fair season cranked up.

In other news we were so delighted with the response to our young Flower Girl of the year competition (I am told that Laura our winner was going to get herself The Guinness book of Records with her book token, but in the end decided to get a copy of The Highway Code (each to their own!) that we decided to roll out the Old Flower Dog of the Year and Young Flower Rascal of the Year awards and the winners photographs are pictured below…very well done to both Freddie and “Bear” which is what the Delivery Dawg has been renamed by Master Fred. 

                                                                                                    

Following on from the worries about the driving of one of our more excitable members of staff and her up close and personal look at a parking bollard in the van…I can report that she is still coming to terms with the whole driving scenario and awaits the offer of either 3 points or a Speed Awareness Course.

 

 

 

But what about Flowers….. 

Well with the days getting shorter and the trees turning lovely shades of gold and red (I really should have a spot on Country file)  it’s the time of year when we can start to incorporate fantastic foliage.

 

Oak leaves with their red and rich brown hues 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Viburnam Inge with pointed oval leaves & clusters of tiny black/purple berries. 

 

 

 

 

 Hypericum Berries are probably the most popular of all the berries, these delightful red or green berries are noted for their size and oval shape and will add some lovely texture to your bouquets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Chiili (Capscium) to bring vibrant colour 

 

 

 

 

And finally for this week the Silver Grey Brunia Ball which is really on trend for use in Bridal bouquets and buttonholes alike 

Hooray! Hooray! It's a Holi-Holiday

Hooray! Hooray! It's a Holi-Holiday

After five years finally a summer holiday, but as always the logistics of just having seven days away are immense and so a heartfelt thanks to all those who are moving heaven and earth to help (it has come at the very same time as a number of huge weddings and other competing demands)

Delivery dawg will also be having a short break from his weekend deliveries and is booked in for a week of R and R with his favourite Foster Parents Jan and Pete 

Image result for image of dog going on holiday

And he needs a break after he added to his list of wedding venues that he has visited up close and personal…previously found having a stroll around The Compleat Angler Hotel in Marlow, having a quick pint in the bar at Sonning Golf Club and yesterday the slightly odd experience of being in the Mill House Swallowfield Marquee setting up and having him on the outside looking in. Bearing in mind the immaculate and inviting grassed area that was behind him I think we got lucky as the potential for what he could have done for an encore just doesn’t bear thinking about!

And so after twenty years of sitting in departure lounges watching the large marauding families arriving and praying I don’t end up sat either in front or behind them on the plane…well this year it’s my time to be part of the marauders. I wish those who pull the unlucky seat number near us all the very best!

Whilst away we will wave goodbye to Aoife who has been our stalwart since we opened our Wokingham shop and she will be sadly missed. But as one leaves we have welcomed in recent weeks the arrival of Rachel who has already been a godsend helping out with last minute cover.

One of our more colourful members of staff has, as always not let me down providing me with new blog material.

We start with the inability to see a four foot high solid metal post that is located to stop vehicles reversing into the back of the Wokingham shop, just as well I say otherwise she would still be going and emerging somewhere in Peach Street with half the shop contents hanging off the van (not sure the insurance would accept that we have been the victims of a ram raid and the villains wanted a variety of candles, pictures, coasters and a vase full of Hydrangeas!) ….when questioned about the incident it was claimed that the post seems to completely disappear and them BAM! ....   Before you know it, it’s in the van beside you!

Anyway whilst we are away those weddings are being delivered by…..oh god no it can’t be…..who agreed to this holiday?

The Summer wedding season is now drawing to a close and immediately gives way to a packed September/October wedding diary. We will also be jumping back on the Wedding Fair circuit and you can meet us at Cantley House September 11th, The Millhouse, Swallowfield on October 2nd and St Annes Wokingham the following Sunday October 9th

And to conclude the final Summer blog I thought I would give a shout out to

 The English Lisianthus    

Lisianthus is the flower’s more common name, but officially it is called Eustoma. It’s a gentle, fresh-looking flower which is somewhat reminiscent of a rose. Usually Eustoma is white, blue, or pink, but more and more colours and varieties are becoming available. For instance, there are some varieties with serrated petals and variegated colours, like pink or purple with white. Eustoma’s stems are relatively long, and the flowers are excellently suited to being included in long bouquets. Eustoma is available year-round and can be beautifully combined with seasonal flowers as well as flowers like roses and gerberas which are also available throughout the year.

But we have been lucky enough to have English grown Lisianthus provided to us by an English grower and it is just fabulous (the same grower also provides the most amazing English grown Sunflowers. The quality is amazing and with so many lovely large heads to each stem and all at a cost and quality that knocks spots off the Dutch. 

And home grown which we absolutely love!

And with that I bid you goodbye and see you on the other side!

 

 

 

 

And the winner is......

So the results are in and I am delighted to announce that the winner of our competition to find the Twyford young flower girl of the year has been won by a young lady called Laura, she claims to be 14 years old and her entry wearing a beautiful floral wedding head band clinched first place. Her prize of a book token will be in the post shortly, once we have parental consent to send it to her !             

In other news we are experiencing problems with the delivery hound who has become increasingly depressed and his fear of the wind turbine on the M4 has spread to being scared of airplanes, Hot Air Balloons, Helicopters and in fact anything which in his opinion doesn’t  have the right to be in the sky. Most journeys are now subsequently spent in the passenger foot well peering up forlornly. Sad times!

The school holidays are upon us (hooray the morning journey in to work is a thing of beauty again) and it appears that everyone has gone on holiday overnight. Twyford High Street detected movement late Wednesday afternoon, but it turned out to be a small dust cloud gathered up by a passing gust of wind. We now enter the annual Summer holiday game of time off lotto, this is always a challenge to see how we can have everybody off at the same time and still manage to keep both shops open. This year we have decided to have a giant game of musical chairs in the back car park and the last ones standing get to work (Sorry about that Miss Coll)

I get asked all of the time what my favourite flower is and answering always feels a little like singling out a favourite child. In truth there really are no favourites, just preferences at a given moment depending on circumstances like the mood that day, what’s peaking in the garden, the weather and so on.

But in August and September you’ll rarely hear any other answer to this question than Dahlias. Dahlias, dahlias, dahlias

This versatile flower has a stunning colour range, with elegant blooms in soft pastels through to bright and striking shades

 

The sizes of the flowers vary, from the tiniest dainty pom-pom to the largest shaggy spider head so variety options are huge as well.

All sorts of old fashion flowers are back in vogue and Dahlia’s are amongst the top of the list. Dahlia bouquets or Dahlia table decorations are stunning seasonal wedding flowers. The Dahlia is a great flower to work with,  but as it is a thirsty flower and has hollow stems it much prefers to be displayed in vases of fresh water.

 

Avalanche!

It’s a funny old world!

For a decade we have been supplying flowers to one of our local residents and then overnight we wake up to find out that she is now the leader of the country……..I have had a word with Number 10 but they weren’t receptive to a coat of arms and "by ministerial appointment" being added to our stationery!

A funny thing happened a couple of weeks ago, the girls went to lock up our Wokingham shop when the door lock fell out…now when I say funny you will appreciate that there wasn’t much laughter.

This was in even more short supply when a chap dressed as Dick Turpin arrived the following day claiming to be a Locksmith, well he may well have been loosely trained in the art of lock repair but at £100 an hour and five hours taken over two days to complete the repair I cannot help but think I was the victim of a Highway Robbery!

I mentioned a few weeks back that illness had taken its hold on just about every member of staff…well incredibly its tightened its grip and has now included staff, friends and family and we are slowly working our way through the A – Z of the medical compendium that I borrowed from the library.. we have reached P for Pleurisy and I have just done a check for letter Q and have targeted Question Mark Ear, very rare condition that involves low set and rotated Ears which having checked all symptoms and looked in the mirror I am nailed on to get it!

But seriously I send best wishes to all that are under the weather and get well soon.

As always I struggle to get around to chatting flowers….but here goes   

We have had a moment to catch our breath with a weekend off from weddings (just as well with everyone ill) but are all set for a four wedding onslaught over two days next week

Thanks also to Wyatt and Steven for the fantastic images sent from their amazing Gatsby themed wedding at Beaumont Estate and few weeks ago.  

I would just like to take a minute or two of your time to introduce some of the very best roses in the world. If you are 'in the know' then you will already be  aware of the beauty that is the Sweet Avalanche

Avalanche roses have been leading the way for many years now and has very much taken the lead over previous favourites like Akito and Norma Jean. Avalanche are not only white, they are available in many other stunning colours. A family of 7 totally beautiful and totally stunning roses. Avalanche roses are tall with very strong stems. The flower head is large and bursting full of petals. Avalanche have an exceedingly high vase life of 12-14+ days and are available all year round. 

The most well known and quite possibly the most impressive rose with an fabulous large flower head and a very long flowering period. Avalanche+ is a white rose with a subtle hint of pale green on the outer edge petals. This rose is a symbol of endings and new beginnings - what better choice for a wedding rose? 

In the Avalanche family, there’s also Avalanche (white), Peach Avalanche (peach), Sorbet Avalanche (pale pink), Candy Avalanche (dark pink), Emerald Avalanche (soft green) and Pearl Avalanche (champagne)! 

 

Giving you Gyp

Wow, such a lot has happened since our last blog.....out of Europe and let’s not even start to discuss the football

But our love of flowers will never change and we are now showcasing our passion via our new Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/villagefloralboutiquetwyford/?hl=en and

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/vfbtheflorist so don’t be shy and hit that follow button!

We have this week welcomed our newest and youngest member of staff Danni and we have everything crossed that she is able to put up with the travelling that she has to make to get to work each day.

Remember the Fax from our last Blog...well its now officially gone to a better place, well when I say a better place I actually mean the Grundon 

For Fax Sake!

The final piece of in house chat this week has centred around the topic of sandwich fillings...yes you heard me correctly!

Does the addition of Tomato make the bread go soggy?

Is Egg socially unacceptable in the workplace?

Does Cucumber have any future in the modern wrap?

And is it acceptable to have Corned Beef for three days in a row?

All good questions that I have no answers for, other than to say that it is incredibly important that the Corned Beef gets used up by the sell by date!  And of course you can always make your own sandwiches instead of having a pop at the poor maintenance man/part time driver and now in house chef and at this point if you don’t know the identity of this blog writer then you never will!

So as always I have gone completely off track with my musings

Last weekend saw weddings at Ufton Court with Holly choosing a classic ivory Rose with Gypsophilia bouquet and the venue decorated with Lily Vases decorated with domed arrangements of White Hydrangea and a natural leaf finish. Whilst over atand The Mill House Hotel in Swallowfield and Rebecca having a bouquet in a  just picked look in predominantly yellow tones using Vanilla Sky Roses, cream Double Lisianthus, white Bouvardia, white Spray Rose, cream Stocks, white Wax Flower, small leafed Pittosporum, Asparagus Fern and Hard Ruscus foliage. The venue decorated with an assortment of different sized jars filled with yellow Roses, cream Lisianthus, yellow Craspedia, white Wax Flower and Gypsophilia all sat on wood slices. ‚Äč

Giving you Gyp

Baby’s breath, or to give it it's proper name, Gypsophila, has in the last year or so made a big comeback and is now very much the main attraction. This simple but pretty flower is both delicate and feminine and most importantly, inexpensive! 

Tiny delicate white flowers that seem to last an age and never fail to make a significant impact whether used in small dainty doses or huge frothy bundles.

Ceremony wise I am loving a simple bunch of gyp as pew ends, tied with lace, colour-scheme ribbon or hung over the back of a chair in a glass bottle or jam jar:

 

 

 

Get your Fax right

This week has seen our attention turn to the cumbersome and rather ugly Fax machine that currently takes up precious space amongst the telephone, computer and printer.

One of younger members of staff (she will enjoy being referred to as young) asked the question “why do we still have that”, well in case someone wants to send a Fax of course, “but when did we last receive a fax”.....a few minutes taking in the enormity of this second question followed by the response “well its probably been six or seven years!”

But it acts a second phone if we need to urgently make a call on a second line, well we either use our mobiles or just replace it with a slim line phone...don’t you just hate the younger generation and the way they nag!

So we will shortly be holding a memorial service to the passing of the Fax – but only once our maintenance man gets his act together as he has been asked to provide a set of four stacking trays to put in the place of the beloved Fax and if his track record is anything to go by this may not be a quick process.

But surely other things have been going on that actually involve flowers.

They have indeed – we have had weddings at Lillibrooke Manor and are working on upcoming Beaumont Estate in Windsor and Wokefield Park.

The Beaumont Estate wedding being themed on The Great Gatsby and so we have been buying in Ostrich Feathers from our local Ostrich Farm…you didn’t know there was one, well you would be surprised what you can stumble upon while out hiking…and they won’t miss a few feathers surely.

Snap up the Dragons!

Next week is British Flower Week and what better way to celebrate than to take a look at the Snapdragon.

You say Snapdragon, I say Antirrhinum

The quintessential English Country Garden flower is available from June to October and comes in White, Cream, Yellow, Orange, Pink and Red.

A single flowering spike of the Snapdragon holds dozens of small soft rounded flower heads and they are right back in trend with their fancy Latin name Antirrhinums

So named as Snapdragon as when you squeeze the flower heads they look like a dragon opening and closing its mouth.

Myth and legend says that concealing a Snapdragon about your person makes you seem fascinating and cordial.

Wonderful in bouquets and vase arrangements, Snapdragons are a versatile favourite and with a bit of love and care they will last for up to 10 days, but make sure you keep them well clear of the fruit bowl at home as this will have a very bad effect upon them, just keep well watered as they are thirsty little blighters

Big and Blousy

Sickness has unfortunately been central to life in the Florist over the last three weeks, with just about every member of staff bravely soldiering on in the face of all manner of ailments.

As I mentioned in a previous blog we are now well and truly in the thick of the summer wedding season with eight weddings in the last ten days and another eight now coming over the immediate horizon….and that’s just June!

As part of this we have now started one of our favourite games in the shop…ooh how exciting,... is it Charades, hide and seek or even name that tune…..no we play Peony hokey cokey!

This involves putting the Peonies in the cold room to stop them bloomimg to early, but no we get the Peonies out because we need to encourage them a little, but is it to soon?  so back in they go, but now we only have forty eight hours till the wedding…quick get them out again. And on it goes until they are perfect for the big day (wow how we love playing Peony hokey cokey) but we cannot afford to let them get all blousy and peak to soon (as that is what we expect from Mike the Maintenance man and part time driver…well maybe calling him maintenance man is pushing it, as in reality he stands looking at the problem and saying how difficult it will be to fix…)

But if you haven’t yet been seduced by the beauty of a Peony then its time… we absolutely love them and for that reason we forgive the little beauties for all the in out, in out, shake it all about that they put us through.

I love their layer upon layer of frilly petals, especially the Sarah Bernhardt variety.

Peonies are named after Paeon, who was a physician to the gods in Greek mythology, and their season generally runs from May to July.

During these months, you’ll find herbaceous peonies and tree peonies not only growing in your gardens, but also available as a cut flower in florist shops.

Peonies are one of the most requested flowers for weddings, as brides-to-be love their full, ruffled and romantic look.  And the pale pink and white varieties tend to be the most popular.

You’ll also find this summer flower in cerise pink, red, maroon and coral.

And of course a quick update before I sign off about the hound….well he has decided that in the spirit of this weeks theme it was important that he wasn’t left out and so has been sporting flowers in his hair….and yes you guessed it, he loves the Peony as well

 

Week two

So week two of Blogging and unusually for me I haven’t given up yet!

Big deal I hear you cry….but you have to understand that there were competing pressures. I had a rather tasty Walnut Whip that needed teaching a lesson and a family size Dairy Milk giving me the eye. But then I realised that Blogging has fewer calories and of course they will still be waiting for me when I sit down to watch the big Eastenders finale.

So this week we have been nominated in the Best Florist Category by the Muddy Stilettos website…..yeah me neither!... but if someone has been so kind as to nominate us then we will be only too happy to encourage, threaten and bribe anyone that knows us to vote.

So here is the link and make sure you are part of the encourage group as we would hate to “send the boys round”

 berkshire.muddystilettos.co.uk/awards

Having got that out of the way, it must be time for a picture. Unfortunately there were words exchanged in the van last weekend and the atmosphere between hound and driver is clear to see…all very frosty   

Following on from last weeks issues

The awning has been hosed down!

The Courier wants more money because the flowers didn’t go out in a box (that’s right we often just hand a bouquet to the driver collecting and tell him to try to balance them on the front seat)

We are now full steam ahead in the summer wedding season with a Thursday wedding at Botleys Mansion which is just outside Chertsey in Surrey and is part of the “Bijou” group. This year is already seeing an increasingly popular option of weekday or Sunday weddings which seems to make the venues more affordable at peak time. Rita and Simon have been an absolute joy to work with a theme of Champagne toned Vandella Rose and peach Hypericum and burgundy Spray Rose

The Summer wedding season really gets going this coming week with  four big weddings over the space of three days…I will let you know how that went next week.

 

Continuing the Hydrangea theme from last week, I thought I would provide some more detail to those considering choosing them

 

Hydrangeas are without a doubt one of the most popular flowers within our shop. We often use them in floral arrangements for weddings, at parties and events and in our fresh bouquets,

 

First discovered in Japan, Hydrangeas now grow all over the world and can usually be sourced throughout the year. They start to flower in Britain in July and usually remain in season until November. We source ours from England, Holland and Columbia.

 

The most popular form of Hydrangea (and the one we usually work with) is the mophead variety of Hydrangea macrophylla with its pom-pom shaped clusters of individual flower heads. Other varieties include the LacecapHydrangea macrophylla which features crown-like rings of flower heads, and the more conical shaped Hydrangea paniculata. Personal favourites for this time of year include the Classic Hydrangea in Pimpernel Blue and the Verena Classic Hydrangea, both of which show beautiful Autumnal colour without being too obvious.

Hydrangeas are beautiful when displayed on their own, particularly when they are at the height of their season and have particularly large flower heads. If you’d like to feature Hydrangeas in a classic floral arrangement then we recommend using other traditional English flowers such as Peonies, Roses and Lilies. Freesia, Stock and Delphinium are all beautiful options too, alongside greenery such as Eucalyptus, Birch and Beech. The green and white always looks refined, it is ideal for traditional English wedding flowers and will simply never go out of style!

If you would like a floral arrangement with an artisan look then consider light, textured flowers such as Astilbe and Veronica. Sweet Peas, Clematis, Aquilegia and some of the wilder looking David Austin Roses are perfect, and don’t be afraid to experiment with flowering herbs such as mint. Any colourway will work, but often this style of floral arrangement will feature hotter hues such as pink with hints of peach and coral.

To blog or not to blog?

So we have been chatting for a week or two (well ever since we launched the new website if I am honest) and the subject matter I hear you ask…well should we start Blogging.

Blogging is for arty nouveau types, those who dance around with fresh flowers in their hair…or those who actually understand the world of the inter web, look at me I only “snap chat” when I am in a hurry and fire a quick answer back to someone before disappearing in a cloud of stress and unanswered E Mails!

Who would read it and why would they bother…well that’s a good point well made, so I guess a nice photo will need to be included to catch the eye.

So here it is!

I bet that wasn't what you were expecting!  This is Mo, Momo, Marge, Marlon and anything else that starts with M, faithful hound on his normal weekend deliveries and just before he leapt for freedom out of the Passenger window (but lets not talk about that now, he was Ok and no one need know other than us!)

Ok now we have got that out of the way, lets blog

And where better to start then having a run through of all the questions that we have had to ask this past few days

Why after only ten days of having our rather smashing new shop awning fitted, have we ended up the subject of an aerial bombardment from the local Pigeon fraternity?

Why are Couriers unable to actually deliver flowers in boxes the same way up as they leave the shop and in the way that it is emblazoned across all four sides “THIS WAY UP” I mean it’s not rocket science or am I just asking too much?

And how much longer will the Plumber take with the new bathroom refit…oh sorry that’s a question for when I get home, the two worlds often collide and confuse!

So this weekend we are all geared up for the wedding of Elisabeth and Rob, the flowers being used are ivory Roses, white Wax flower, white Statice, pale pink Spray Rose, white Veronica, lilac Lisianthus and presented in that “just picked “ look which will produce a really lovely bridal bouquet.

And let’s finish this first dipping of our small toe into the blogging waters with our flower of the week. 

And it is (rustling of golden envelope and hushed audience) 

THE HYDRANGEA

Why, well because I blooming well love them, that’s why and it’s my blog so I choose! 

 

Our first blog!

Our first blog!

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VFB the Florist
7 London Road, Twyford, Berkshire, RG10 9EH. Tel: 01189 344420
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