Tag Archives | floristry

Fat bottom and a thin neck


As I gave all of my vintage china and glass a spring clean, I thought about what makes the perfect jug. I decided mostly it’s a fat
bottom and a narrow neck, just like this one.

GreenandgorgeousSG (35)


I have favourites  which don't fall into this category, some are striking, some challenging, elegant or
simply….how can I say ?….amiable. But the good all rounders pretty much are of the 'fat bottom narrow neck' type.  Some vases in my collection hardly get used at all, but I'd never part with them. In fact, I don’t
think these swans have ever left the studio.




I am very attached to my vintage china and glass and I can
honestly say I don’t think I’ll ever have enough! My favourite shape to arrange
into of all time is definitely a fan vase. You can create something with drama
and texture very quickly.  



Here are my top ten tips on choosing a good all-rounder jug.

About 8” tall (for under
eye level table centres)

Fat bottom

Narrow neck

4.     Is beautiful in it's own right

A subtle colour. I love
working with soft aqua colours best, although I have a lot of turquoise in            my
collection too

If decorated, not too

A good strong handle

Watertight (sounds
obvious but you’d be surprised how many aren’t)

Can withstand the
dishwasher (very handy)

10.  Hasn’t cost the earth, so you’re not too frightened to
use it


Jo Wise



New Year Plans

It has been a long time since I wrote
my last blog, I think it was in June when the rain and wind came,
after that I was too busy battling with the elements. It certainly
tested my resolve as a flower grower as I watched countless flowers
rot in the ground or be flattened by the wind.

As we were not able to grow some G&G
favourites new flowers were discovered and took centre stage. Many of
these were from the group that really saved the season – perennials.
These proved to be far more weather resistant than many of the
annuals and because of all the rain grew taller and more prolifically
than normal and those prone to mildew like Asters, Monarda and Phlox
were spared.

 The real stars were the perennials sown
from seed in February/March which went on to produce buckets of
flowers from June onwards. They included Achillea, Galega and
Tanacetum which all proved to have good 'cut and come again' value and
a wildflower- look for our natural style bouquets.





Our new field of perennials planted
mostly as bare root in the autumn of 2011 also grew in very well
thanks to all the rain. It was a joy to wander in there one evening
when supplies and spirits were low in the cutting garden to discover
row upon row of new and exciting things to cut.

So the extreme weather meant different
flowers to work with, a new palette with unexpected combinations and
some beautiful results.





After seeing off the most challenging
year for growing cut flowers I am full of plans for 2013, which include adding to our mail order
range and developing a Pick Your Own cutting garden. More news on
that in the coming weeks. 

We have also come up with some new

Jo and I have put our heads together
and developed a two day course for DIY brides on how to grow and
arrange wedding flowers.




I am offering an in depth growing guide
to three of our favourites – sweet peas, roses and dahlias as half
day workshops.

If you would like to find out more have
a look at our Courses page on the website.

Rachel Siegfried




Tulip Time

I have mixed feelings about tulips, On the one hand they are essential to the spring palette and their range of shapes and colours offers such versatility to March and April bouquets. A quick peruse of a Parkers or Bloms bulb catalogue offers such an overwhelming choice that you will never be able to consider buying the rather small headed, boring tulip bunches in the shops again.

On the other hand, tulip time can be an anxious few weeks for the flower grower. I grow a lot of them in the polytunnel for an earlier 'forced' crop. Grown under cover also encourages much longer stems. However, it is always a gamble. If we have a cool wet spring than the tulips are sheltered from the rain and are ready in the correct early, mid and late order. If we get a hot spell, like a couple of weeks ago than they tend to all come at once. This is often difficult from a sales point of view but I have been fortunate this year with lots of early weddings.



I treat my tulips like annuals, they are planted densely and shallowly so that they can just be tugged out of the ground and the bulb snipped off. This rather dramatic act always makes my customers squeal! If I do not harvest the flowers than the bulb is lifted and dried for replanting the following autumn. We put them in the field using the potato planter on the tractor, along with scented narcissi and dutch iris.

Some of my favourite varieties for cutting include the viridaflora type like Spring Green, Greenland and Dolls Minuet.



I love all the voluptuous peony tulips we have used a lot of Montreaux in bridal bouquets this year. For a contrasting shape the lily-flowered China Pink is a wonderfully tall elegant tulip for large vases. 



I enjoy tulips arranged with a bit of blossom from the orchard. I always tend to put them in the vase slightly short because I know they will carry on growing and look just right after a couple of days.