Tag Archives | tulips

Must have Muscari

It has been lovely to be back in my studio arranging flowers. I have spent a lot of time over the winter months at my laptop designing weddings and preparing quotes. I have been talking about flowers for months and finally I’ve been let loose.

The last two weddings have been a mixture of pinks and blues. I have mainly been working with anemones, ranunculus, narcissi, tulips and muscari.

The spring flowers are quite challenging to arrange due to their fleshy stems. They are often heavy headed and don’t like being in oasis. I think tulips have the most diva-like tendencies. They take a lot of careful handling and then once I’ve finished arranging after a few hours they’ve moved and pleased themselves anyway. Like true divas though, they know they are worth all the fuss! 

I’ve really enjoyed working with the muscari this year. The stems have been long and the graded blue heads have offered a delicacy to the palette. They are a fabulous bridal flower to use as they last well out of water, making them great for hair flowers and button holes. Here is a flower crown created with muscari and lily of the valley.


Here it is again mixed with narcissi and viburnum for a corsage and used with lily of the valley to create a hair clip:

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The anemones have been amazing this year. The fully open heads have been so huge a couple of people have mistaken them for oriental poppies! The stems have been straight and long, perfect for constructing a hand tie bouquet.



It’s always fun to do something big and bold. For last weeks wedding we created three flower balls. I used a base of choisia and viburnum then added ranunculus, anemones, solomons seal and scilla. We also used some magnolia from the family’s garden. They certainly made an impact!


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At the other end of the floristry scale, just a few stems in a bud vase can be heavenly too. Simple, natural and beautiful.


Jo Wise




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.





Three weddings and a course

 What a busy week, with three weddings to start the season off, all with different colour schemes thank goodness. It has been an anxious time with the heat pushing everything on so quickly, but everyone seemed more than happy with their various combinations of ranunculus, tulips, anemones, honesty, apple blossom, muscari, narcissi, sorbus and euphorbia.

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  Anna Baldwin 14th May 024


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The narcissi we planted in the field have been so useful this week, I used a different variety for each wedding; Avalanche for the yellow theme, Thalia for the white and Silver Chimes for the pinks/creams. It is amazing what you can do with a tractor and a potato planter; I think the tulips will get the same treatment this autumn. The ranunculus are peaking with some heads the size of peonies, they are one of the only flowers I find hard to pick! But pick I did, a couple of hundred for our first arranging course today, there will be more info about that from Jo in the next blog.

Now I am just praying for a grey, rainy day to slow things down and water in all those perennials I divided back in March , plus the annuals we are planting out now…. I do sound like a grumpy farmer.

Other exciting news:  the mail order boxes have arrived, finishing touches are being made to the shopping page and I hope to be taking orders for gorgeous ranunculus bouquets like this very shortly.


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