Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Greek Wedding Extravaganza

We've just got back from the most magical wedding weekend in Greece.  Two of our best friends, barefoot on the beach with 200 friends.  The bride organises events for a living so it was always going to be beautifully done but this was something else...

Something about beautiful stationary on a beach...

Chaz and the lads

The beautiful bride

Indi with Matthew Williamson

Have you ever seen a more beautiful table setting?


HB and Eddie in the ceremony

me and knitwear genius, Alex Gore Brown

Look at that dress...

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Blackberry Arranging

I was very tempted to give myself another whole year to finish my latest book, Inspire.  The only reason being that it would have meant my all time favourite wild rubus (blackberries)- could've been included.
I didn't - and now every time I pass a blackberry bush I kick myself wishing my timing had been better.  I went to the flower market at Nine Elms this week and the first thing I fell upon was an enormous blue bucket, bursting with blackberry stems.  

I think there's something so magical about these shiny, jewel like berries.  I adore them in arrangements and they're pretty hardcore and long lasting too so are great in bouquets too - just remember to remove the spikes on the stems beforehand.

Buckets full at Covent Garden on Monday

 Classical urn arrangement

Dahlias and berries

Tomatoes, berries, beans and apples

Heavenly scented rose, sage and berries from the Real Flower Company

My hedgerow pickings before they turn into actual berries

Love this one

Proper blackberry vision from Franse vaas met bramen

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

My 'This is your Kingdom' Contribution

Sunday morning croissants and jam at Worton Organic Garden near Cassington.

I have a slight obsession with cafes. My dream is to one day open my own; a flower-shop-come-coffee-shop-come-gallery, all under one white-washed, rustic roof. I still can’t get over the fact that it took me a whole year to discover Worton. After moving from the South of France to Oxfordshire three years ago I was desperate to find somewhere special that I could escape to; somewhere beautiful with proper coffee and cakes. I made do with character-free coffee shops for months until one wet morning I found a postcard advertising Worton Organic Garden. I was there in a flash.
After getting very lost (it’s hidden down a long, bumpy track, almost in the middle of nowhere), I pulled up in front of a small, grey, wooden hut. Behind closed doors was the most delicious looking organic fruit and vegetables I’ve ever seen, eye-wateringly beautiful, home-grown flowers and steaming towers of freshly baked breads and croissants. And even better still to come was the cafe which sells, hands down, the best coffee I’ve ever tasted.
The weekly changing menu is full of organic, locally-grown, quite ‘girly’, Ottolenghi-style food and everything I’ve ever tried is absolutely delicious. We take ‘the Cubs’ on a Sunday morning. They pretend they’re still in France and order hot chocolates and croissants with Jostaberry jam while I work my way through as much of their patisserie section as time will allow. Sitting still and small boys don’t go hand in hand, but Worton is perfect for them as they’re free to run around the garden, talk to the chickens and throw sticks for the owners’, David and Annekes’, dogs. It’s upsettingly only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (if I could, I’d be there all day, every day) but it’s a relatively hidden gem that I cannot recommend highly enough.

For the whole article click here 

Friday, 27 June 2014

DIY Fresh Flower Light

I found this brilliant DIY project yesterday while I was planning how I'm going to decorate my area in the Anthropologie tent at Port Eliot in a few weeks time.  This slightly distracted me for about three hours and I wanted to share it in case you were feeling creative too this weekend.

The post is written by Brittni Mehlhoff, the editor and founder of the wondrous Paper & Stitch website. 

Here’s how you can make your own fresh flower pendant light…


Flower Breakdown:


Additional Materials:

  • Large wire basket with a hole at the top that your light kit will fit through
  • Light kit/pendant cord like this one from IKEA + lightbulb
  • Floral tape + Floral Wire (I used two gauges – one thin and one thick/ heavy duty)
  • Scissors + Wire cutters (optional – for the thicker gauge wire)


Before you get started, let’s talk about flower care… For dahlias: They are sensitive to dirty water, so if you’re keeping them in a vase or bucket for a prolonged period, just make sure to re-cut and replace the water daily. For mini-callas: These only need 1 to 1.5″ of water (too much water is actually not good for callas – it can make the stems turn mushy too quickly). For everything else: Cut at least 1″ off each stem and place in 3-4″ of room temperature water. Let everything hydrate for at least 3-4 hours before you start working with them.
Okay, now let’s get started… There are a lot of pictures below to walk you through this one, but the basics are pretty easy…

DIY // flower pendant light with www.flowermuse.com

First things first, flip your basket over so the bottom is facing up. This is the framework for your pendant lampshade. Now you’re ready to begin. You’ll want to start with the greenery (like Green Pittisporum) as your base. Cut off descent size sprigs (6-10 inches) from a larger branch and begin attaching them to the wire basket with floral wire. You can also weave some of the pieces in and out of the basket for extra security. For heavy stems or branches, use the heavy gauge wire. Start weaving some of the other greenery into the frame at this time as well (like Viburnum berries). Once the basket has been decently covered with the greenery all the way around (you don’t have to fill in every hole because there are plenty of flowers still to add – this is just the start), start adding a few filler flowers, like wax flowers for example, to fill in some of the gaps. Secure with wire just as you did with the greenery. You can also add some sprigs of dusty miller around the base at this time.

Now that the lampshade is starting to fill out a little bit more, it’s time to start adding the really cool flowers, like mini calla lilies, dahlias, and purple veronica. Cut the stems fairly short (leave about 5-6 inches on the stem) and start weaving them into the shade, securing with wire as you go). Before securing flowers in certain spots, I would just kind of push the stem through the basket and then step back to see if it looked good. If you’re happy with it, secure it with wire, if not, move it to another spot and look at it from a distance before securing it with wire.
Once the bulk of the main flowers have been added, you can add some of the smaller fillers to round everything out. The thistle, berries, and scabiosa pods are perfect for this part. And you can cut the stems down to 5-6 inches before adding them, just like the others. Note: If you need to cover any additional areas but find you have run out of flowers, add additional greenery like dusty miller a couple of leaves at a time to fill in holes that have gone unnoticed (I wouldn’t recommend adding a whole stem at once – that’s a lot of leaves).
Once you’re happy with the arrangement, it’s time to add the light kit. As luck would have it, my light fit perfectly into the hole at the top of the wire basket. Then I screwed in the bottom piece of the light kit from underneath and it was perfectly secure. Add a lightbulb and you are ready to shine some light on your fresh flower masterpiece.

DIY flower pendant project

DIY flower pendant light (close up)

diy flower pendant light


And to answer the lighting question that you are probably wondering about it… Yes! It does light up. I had it on for about an hour and a half and it was completely fine. The wire basket that I used for the base was large enough that the flowers were not really disturbed by the heat. But just to be on the safe side, I wouldn’t leave this on when it’s unattended.
Here are a couple of photos of what it looks like with the light on…

flower pendant light with www.flowermuse.com

diy flower lampshade

On the table…There were lots of petals and leaves left on the table when we finished up, so I decided to leave it just as it was (newspaper and all),  and add an old scarf as a table runner. I also had some extra dusty miller left over, so I cut the stems really short and added them to a low profile bowl with some water and added a few scabiosa pods for a super simple tables cape.

flower pendant light

dahlias + calla lilies pendant light DIY

fresh flower lampshade DIY

For more genius ideas have a look at 

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Poppy Fields

Two separate friends called me up the other day to tell me about these 'incredible fields full of poppies' that I had to go and see. We're not talking about the wafer thin red ones that line the roadsides but full on, real, spiky stemmed, buy-in-a-flower-shop type, lilac ones.  Driving the cubs to school yesterday morning I nearly drove into a tree when I looked up to see it was snowing in the fields to my left.  And then I remembered the Poppy story.  
So with no Cubs in tow, left to my own Cluedo-esq devices I went to track them down.  It didn't take a lot of detective work and two minutes later I'd found a gap in the fence and was waist deep in more poppies than I've ever seen in my life.  

It sadly turns out that it's actually a massive crop of morphine poppies - Papaver Somniferum - and not a ginormous pick your own poppy field.  Morphine's usually imported from Turkey, Tasmania and Spain but as a way of cutting costs and dealing with our growing demand for it, pharmaceutical companies are now paying UK farmers to grow it for them here. 

Now I know that they're owned by big old pharmaceutical companies the idea of slipping in with my secateurs makes me feel slightly uneasy.  I'm thinking moonlight stroll/ balaclava / camo gear might be the only way of getting my hands on a nice big bunch.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

English Summer Wedding Flowers

Hattie with the boot full of flowers

Last weekend my mama and I did the flowers for one of my best friend's wedding.  She's a jeweller and wanted us to use lots of bright jewel coloured flowers so we filled the church with garden picked peonies, sweet peas, delphiniums, daisies foxgloves and my fave lime green alchemila to stick to her theme.
Here are our creations from inside the church and also the brides and bridesmaids posies...

Brides bouquet


contemplating our creations

table arrangement at the back of the church

the beautiful bride

foxgloves in zinc planters for outside the church