Archive | Weddings

Tablecloth Bride – seasonal snapshots from summer weddings

I have done some requests for wedding photos from some of our brides this year as we often don’t get to see full story of their day amid all the bridal hustle and bustle of the summer season. Afterwards, it’s great to observe how many plans were fulfilled and dreams achieved, especially as many of our brides do some arranging themselves. So, I just thought it would be fun to see some of the real brides with their bouquets from this year.

Photo by Craig and Kate

I did become rather attached to hurriedly pinning on a linen tablecloth from Habitat to photograph my bouquets before they rushed off to a busy dressing room. The bouquet looks better when held, retaining its shape and the oatmeal tablecloth set off the flower colours very well. The resulting silhouette is not terribly flattering though, maybe it is about time I bought a real dress or perhaps it’s high time I made one.




Anyway, back in the real world, here are a few of the brides from this year with their bouquets.

Kate decided upon whites and greens for her wedding in May, her bouquet included my favourite ivory Peony ‘Duchess de Nemours’ and a lacy umbellifer called Orlaya which were also used in the hair and table centre flowers which the family arranged into our Weck jar selection.


Meg chose corals and yellows for her wedding which was perfectly timed for Peony ‘Coral Dawn’ and Icelandic poppies combined with golden Philadelphus and honeysuckle.


Kate Townshend’s bouquet had a base of Spiraea and Jasmine with sumptuous Peony ‘Kansas’ and Sweet Williams for the deep pink element and scent from a Japanese Sweet Pea variety called ‘Oyama bicolour’. To complement the lace on her dress I also included Astrantia and Orlaya.


I like to include as much variety, scent and texture as possible in my bouquets – it is hard not to with so much in the garden to choose from. Consuelo’s brief was soft corals, pinks and creams with silvers and greens. I included a few different varieties of roses and dahlias with some peach Hypericum, dusty miller and pineapple mint. Panicum ‘Frosted Explosion’ and Jasmine combined to give the bouquet a wild finish.



Cecilia’s bouquet in September was a ‘pick of the garden’ creation. She did not have a colour theme and just wanted a very natural, spontaneous combination. The week before we wandered around the garden and she pointed out some favourites and left the rest to me. This is my favourite way to work and what we are really all about.  I call it ‘going with the garden’ and it often produces the most stunning results.

Photo by Craig and Kate www.craigandkate.comPHOTO BY CRAIG AND KATE

Thanks for those brides who got back to us and shared images of their special day, watch this space for more Real Brides…

Real Roses


I have just been working on a small wedding for tomorrow which has got me contemplating my roses. The bride wanted blush pink and apricot ones – this heat has all but stopped them in their tracks but I still managed to find just enough. ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ has proved to be the winner for repeat flowering with ‘Irish Hope’ coming a close second. Both seem incredibly heat resistant.


Back in June when they were looking at their luscious loveliest, Clare West joined me for an afternoon shoot all about roses. It felt wonderfully decadent to pick these precious blooms and create ‘make believe’ bouquets and pedestals with them. But to have them captured by Clare’s beautiful photography was an opportunity I could not resist.

Green & Gorgeous - June 219

Photo by Clare West

We grow about 40 varieties here, mostly undercover in a Spanish tunnel. This not only protects their petals from the rain but increases stem length and reduces black spot. I think I managed to pick one of each variety for these pictures, out came the crystal vases and then I handed my fancy pen over to Clare who has much prettier writing than me. I decided to present the roses like this for my Rose Masterclass the following week. People were able to experience the blooms close up as I discussed planting, pruning, etc. and then we went outside to do some deadheading and to look at the growth habit of the different varieties.

Green & Gorgeous - June 206Photo by Clare West

All of our roses are scented, some more than others, I think ‘Chandos Beauty’ and ‘Margaret Merril’ are the strongest. Sniffing roses is like tasting wine, each has a unique perfume which enhances it’s character. They are like old friends to me and in the 5 years I have been growing them I have got to know their own little quirks and foibles.

Green & Gorgeous - June 218Photo by Clare West

Out of all the cut flowers I grow I think they are the most far removed from their soulless, imported cousins. All the more reason to grow roses and bring unrivalled beauty to your arrangements.

Green & Gorgeous - June 171
Photo by Clare West

An urn filled with Hornbeam, Jasmine, Campanula, Ammi and the Rose ‘Sweet Child of Mine’.

Green & Gorgeous - June 245
Photo by Clare West

A bridal bouquet with just the simplest addition of Jasmine and Apple Mint. Roses include ‘East park’, ‘Millie’s Rose’, ‘Queen of Sweden’,’ Warm Wishes’ and ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’.

Green & Gorgeous - June 231

Green & Gorgeous - June - 045
Photo by Clare West

Floral crown using patio rose ‘Sweet Dreams’.


David Austin roses ‘Crown Princess Margareta’, ‘Port Sunlight’ and ‘Crocus rose’ accompanied by the lovely ‘Chris Beardshaw’.

Many thanks to Clare West for keeping up the good work with all the incredible images, her last blog covering June can be found here.

My Friend got married in February

My very dear friend Janet told me she was marrying her
partner of 16 years Nick (also an old friend from Art school) “Would you like me to arrange the flowers?” I offered, “ I’d
love you to!” replied Janet. The slight drawback was the wedding date was set
for 9th February.

I don’t usually do winter weddings due to lack of flowers,
but there was no way I wouldn’t have done this one. I didn’t want to let Janet
down, particularly as she had asked me to be a ‘best woman’, which was an
enormous honour.

I suggested hellebores, anemones, viburnum and pussy willow.
Thankfully she loved the sound of all of those. She is a firm believer in
British grown and had really set her heart on all the flowers coming from the
garden. All I could do was watch and hope. I watched the flooding and the snow.
I cringed at the hard frosts and gave weekly reports on their progress.  Finally the weather was kind during the
first week of February and all was well. In the end it was only the delicate
little viburnum that suffered, as most had gone brown from frost.

Photography by Stephanie Rushton

The hellebores were stunning, but they were tricky. Mostly
due to it being so early, too early to pick them really. The heads hung down
and I knew they wouldn’t be terribly reliable out of water. They worked well in
little bud vases and nestled into the bouquet.





photography by Rachel Siegfried

I also worked them into the buttonholes with pussy willow
and rosemary. Janet and the best women all wore them in their hair (apart
from me who loves an excuse to wear a hat) I advised all the girls to keep an
eye on each others hellebore hair flowers and make sure they remove them at the
first signs of wilting. I’d say we got about 3 hours out of them, which isn’t
so bad for early February.






The table centres were quite simple jugs of anemones,
hellebores and pussy willow.




The pussy willow was a joy and worked brilliantly with
Janet’s fur jacket. I ran it through all of the arrangements. I used tiny
sprigs right through to some very long branches which went into an enamel
pitcher on the bar. The most important thing was Janet was really thrilled. It
was a great day and it gave me a good feeling to make a friend happy,
especially on her wedding day.



Photography by Stephanie Rushton

Jo Wise