Tag Archives | British cut flowers

Styling my Brand

It was ten years ago that we dreamed up Green and Gorgeous, after a  long dog walk I finally found the name that had been just beyond my reach for months. A graphic designer and illustrator were employed and soon we had a logo and it was time to start growing some flowers!

I have always been very fond of our name and brand identity, it certainly has set us in good stead but as our business has grown and changed it is no longer the right fit.

A decade on and Green and Gorgeous has grown up and is a very different enterprise to when we started out so I wanted to create a new brand identity that would convey our matured business.

Our rebrand has been a year in the making, it has been a process which has been both fascinating and nerve wracking at times.

Initially I did what I always do when I want to get something done, I bought a book, Fiona Humberstone’s How to Style your Brand. The more I read the more I realised I needed help, I felt too in my business to have any clear perspective.

I approached branding consultants Opal and Co, as soon as I spoke to Clare I was reassured that I was in good hands she helped me with the brand blueprint which is really a branding strategy which gets to the heart of your company’s purpose and who it is for – your target customer. My discussions with Clare really helped to clarify the direction I wanted to take the business in over the next ten years and how I could stand out from my competitors.

Once I had my brand personality document it was time for the visuals and I already had Caz Harrison from Making Waves booked in. She had a waiting list and seems to be rather in demand. After seeing some of her recent commissions including Lucy the Flower Hunter I was pretty excited about what she would create for us.

Caz visited us here on the farm to get a sense of what we are about. We had a good look at my mood board on pinterest…finally it was my turn to get the pinterest out! Caz stated that G&G was definitely an Autumn personality with a touch of Winter. At this point I will direct to you Fiona’s book or website to explain the importance of knowing which season your business falls into if you are to use colour psychology to its full potential.

A few weeks later the Brand Snapshot file arrived in my inbox, it was a nerve wracking moment what if I hated it? Thankfully I didn’t in fact it felt very comfortable, almost familiar.

Caz started with an overview “The new Green and Gorgeous brand identity celebrates the gentle colours and textures of nature and honest British heritage”

This is followed by a mood board which included some of my favourite brands, fonts, colours and artists. I think putting this together begins to set the tone and gets Caz in the right mind set to start sketching and pulling out pantone colours.

Next up our new colour palette, based on some of the keywords that came out of my brand blueprint. Caz has moved away from the obvious greens and seems to have miraculously chosen similar colours to the ones I am using to decorate our new home.

So it goes without saying that I really like them, particularly Beetle which is the colour she has taken through into our signage and printed material.

I wanted something timeless with the font, with a heritage feel. I like the fact it isn’t too defined and has a letterpress, handmade feel, I also thought it was high time we had an ampersand.

I was keen to have an abbreviated form as our name is a bit of mouth full and does not always fit on printed material. This is where Caz really worked her magic and came up with our mirror image icon.

She added in some mock ups so that I could visualise how the new brand would look on stationary, signage even on a tote bag, which would be great for course goodies.

So here it is just in time for Spring 2018 and hopefully it will stand us in good stead for the next ten years of ‘artfully cultivating flowers’.





It’s All in the Vase

Last year was our busiest so far for workshops with almost thirty dates fully booked ranging from career courses, collaborations, growing cut flowers at home and floral design.

Pot by Harriet Coleridge

This year I am planning to add to our course repertoire with some new subjects including flower painting, a ‘perennials and woodies’ masterclass and a residential flower farming course in October – more about those in my next blog.

I am also keen to bring back a few tried and tested favorites.

One of the most popular newbie’s of 2017 was ‘It’s All in the Vase’, I came up with the idea for this full day of floristry after working on my book in which I focused on natural style floral designs in about thirty different vessels.

Over the past ten years of working with garden flowers I have come to the conclusion that the choice of the container is equally as important as the selection of flowers and foliage to go in them. I strive to enhance the seasonality, form and colour of the composition with the shape and texture of the vase/pot/jug – it doesn’t matter what you use as long as it is watertight.

This full day of floristry focuses on this principle with three vase arrangements in a range of shapes and sizes aimed for different places in the house.

Harriet Coleridge throwing a footed bowl.

I loved preparing for this course as it meant shopping for vases and even more fun designing custom made pots which meant indulging in one my favorite crafts – pottery. I am just a beginner who can make a pot but not one with any intentional design.

For this I needed to call on the professionals – Harriet Coleridge and Joanna Oliver. Both are local potters who like to work on the wheel using stoneware but their throwing style, glazes and firing methods are very different. Together we designed a series of ‘pots’ which I felt would enhance the colour and form of the materials for each season.

Bowl by Joanna Oliver

Vases, bowls and jugs are already being planned for 2018 and each season will include a hand thrown pot from Harriet and Joanna which is very much a collaboration of their signature style and my input to make sure it works as a vessel for the seasonal gatherings of flowers and foliage. For Spring, Harriet will be making a bowl inspired by a trip to Japan, the perfect shape for holding noodles or in this case flowers with a turned foot in a beautiful, warm, creamy shino glaze.

I am also mindful of how these vases will work in people’s homes, I want then to become a go to favorite for the kitchen table or mantlepiece for years to come.

I had some lovely feedback from people who attended last year’s workshops including a blog by visual storyteller Cristina Colli who attended the Spring class and recorded the day with beautiful photographs of everyone’s work.

As much as I love ceramics we do include other materials include glass and metallics to reflect the different seasons and play with various sizes and shapes – here are a few of my tried and trusted favourites.

There are three dates available this year, one for each season with the first spring date of April 22nd now live on the website. So, if you fancy a day of full floral immersion with lots of ideas on what to grow in your own gardens for cutting, techniques for arranging in a natural style without using florists foam and three beautiful, bespoke vase arrangements to take home, have a look!





Making the Cut….in House and Garden


It was this time last year whilst pruning the roses that I got a call from Clare Foster, garden editor for House and Garden. She asked if I was interested in working with her on a 6 month series about growing flowers for cutting – each issue would be filled with information about what to grow for a continual supply of flowers for the house from April through to September, which are the best varieties for cutting, when and how to complete tasks and ideas for how to arrange what you have produced .

The garden photographer Eva Nemeth had been commissioned to work on the images and over the next few months she paid regular visits to the farm to capture the rapid succession of horticultural tasks, flowers, floral designs and created some gorgeous flat lays to illustrate my favourite seasonal pickings. Eva took so many beautiful images that I thought it was a shame not to show more of them in a blog to run alongside each monthly installment. It also seemed like a good opportunity to talk a bit more about what we get up to throughout the season.

April is often considered the start of the cut flower growing season but I find March a more realistic month to get started. There is plenty of cutting back and pruning to do if you are growing perennials, shrubs and roses for cutting. These will all need a good mulch afterwards with well rotted manure or compost. It is important to get this job done earlier before buds start to break into leaf and new growth starts to sprout from the ground.

I tend to do most of my perennial and shrub planting in March. There is plenty of moisture around for the roots to get established before the warmer months.

I always earmark my older more congested perennials for lifting and dividing at this time, this year the focus is on my large collection of phlox, I am saving this job for the attendees on the Propagation Masterclass who will be taking some healthy clumps home with them.

March is also when things start to get busy in the greenhouse. If you are lucky enough to have one it is a good time to sow a whole host of annuals (both hardy and half hardy) plus perennials which you would like to see flowering in their first year. I grow many of my favourite perennials from seed including scabious, Eryngium, delphiniums and Achillea, it saves a lot of money and is many germinate varieties germinate very easily. Sowing will continue into April with some of the hardy annuals that dislike root disturbance being sown directly outside.

Just as things start to get busy with growing tasks it is time to start picking all the flowering bulbs that were planted between September and November.

The Anemones are in flower first and once they start they come thick and fast, producing stem after stem from each corm. To find out more about how to grow them have a look at my post here.

The tulips follow close behind, I pull them  and lift bulbs and all, clearing the bed as I go for the next crop – more about growing tulips in my cultivated palette series here.

Narcissus are flowering in our field and in my pots, I love showing off the more delicate varieties this way and I find they last longer in a pot than tulips.

To accompany all these spring beauties April is an ideal time to go foraging, I cut from our surrounding native hedge and orchard, carefully selecting the branches that will create the shape I want in my arrangements. The emerging leaves of hazel and hawthorn accompanied by blossoming branches are my favourites.

No April arrangement would be complete without a hellebore or two, by now they are setting seed and this ripening gives them a much longer vase life.