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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…

A Vintage Season

I know it has been an age since my last post, I guess I have been busy with the doing rather than the thinking or writing about it. Anyway, now things have slowed to a respectable part time (!?) pace I have some reflecting and planning to do.

Delphiniums at Dusk

2014 will go down in my memory as a vintage year for growing cut flowers, the weather was almost perfect – come on no farmer ever says perfect! We got off to the earliest start in our 7 years in business with an abundance of spring flowers for Mothers Day.

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Our April and May weddings had plenty to choose from, with June varieties flowering early to close any tricky gaps.

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Rain and wind held off and there was very little damage overall, the flowers just soaked up the sun and bloomed their socks off. At the other end of the season the mild autumn meant further extension of flowering, with no signs of frost for a good month longer than normal.

Fortunately I had plenty of demand to keep the G&G team busy with the cycle of sowing, planting, picking and arranging.

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And there was plenty of subject matter for Clare West whose seasonal photographic diary enabled me to view the garden and flowers with fresh eyes.


There will be more from Clare in the coming months, we are presently planning a flower photography course for next year, so watch this space!  It will be aimed at growers and florists who want to ‘up their game’ with breathtakingly beautiful images for their websites and learn more about how their cameras work.

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Our weddings this year included lots of our popular ‘buckets and bouquets’ option which has urged me to run a new course next year for DIY brides who want to brush up on their arranging skills (DIY Wedding Flowers).

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Speaking of courses I was amazed at the popularity of my two new ones this year – Flower farming for Beginners and Flower Club – it certainly demonstrates a rising trend for local, seasonal flowers whether as a business venture or just for fun.

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I am also toying with the idea of running a monthly practical workshop called a ‘Grow Along’. Attendees will join our team for a half day of hands on seasonal tasks in the cutting garden. There will be tips on everything from propagating techniques, favorite varieties, timings for continual flower, effective watering and feeding, support, best tools and equipment and much more.

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It will be a great opportunity to learn as you grow, whether for profit or pleasure.

Thank you to Clare West for the images in this post.

Anemone crush

I have always been a fan of the
anemone, partly because it is one of the first flowers to break the
drudgery of our winters. It's jewel-like colours and velvety centre
are both a welcome relief and a signal that it is time to step up the pace .



They are also extremely productive,
unlike the tulip with it's solitary bloom per bulb, the anemone
generously produces up to ten flowers over a few weeks from it's
strange little corm.

We plant ours in the polytunnel during
late September/early October. It helps to soak them overnight and the
soil they are going into must be fertile, moist and weed free. They
are very hardy, especially the Jerusalem variety which can be planted
outside. If so, mulch well and look out for the voles, which love
eating the corms.



This year their timeliness and
productivity has been even more appreciated with a new variety for us
called 'Galilee Pastels'. I have been trying to get my hands on these
for a few seasons as their soft, muted tones are perfect for our
wedding work. Well, they were well worth waiting for: ivory, creamy-green,
smokey lilac and pink…exquisite.




The warm weather over the past few days
has them coming thick and fast so now is the time to experience them,
have a look at our 'Best of the Bunch'. They have an excellent vase
life, giving a good ten days.