Styled shoot at Plas Rhianfa

It’s so rare that I get a chance to take photos of my wedding flowers that I was absolutely thrilled to have been asked to arrange the flowers for a styled shoot.

It took place at Plas Rhianfa, a beautiful fairytale Grade 11 listed French-style inspired hotel in Anglesey; an award winning luxury wedding and events venue in the heart of North Wales.

Photo by www.gilljonesphotography.co.uk

Photo by www.gilljonesphotography.co.uk

I was lucky enough to work with some very talented professionals and had a fantastic day. The weather was very wet and windy but it didn’t matter as we had the amazing hall to work in. The brief was ‘Vintage Hollywood’, ‘Gatsby’, ‘Art Deco’, and ‘Dark and Moody’. I loved this brief as Art Deco is my favourite era.

I loved doing the flower arrangements and bouquets. They had to be luxurious and there’s nothing more luxurious than David Austin roses which I love to use. Nothing can beat fresh scented garden roses. I also loved using Pampas Grass and definitely need to grow some in my garden.

The lovely and talented Gill Jones from www.gilljonesphotography.co.uk took some stunning photos of my flowers.



photo by gilljonesphotography.co.uk

photo by gilljonesphotography.co.uk

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From the garden to the wedding

 

After such a long winter and the daily walks around the cutting garden looking for any sign of the hundreds of tulips and narcissi bulbs that I had planted at the end of last year, they finally appeared.  They were a few weeks later than the previous year but when they bloomed they were wonderful and are only just coming to an end now.  I was really happy to be able to use them as the main flower for 4 weeks of weddings. 

As they are coming to an end the early summer flowers are starting to bloom - cornflower, white lace flower, alliums, aquilegias, lupins, clematis and more.  The peonies and roses are close to flowering as well.  So exciting, can't wait to use them for the summer weddings.  Here are a few photos from a wedding a few weeks ago.  They show the flowers still growing in my cutting garden on Thursday morning and all arranged and ready to be delivered 15 miles away to the wedding venue on the Saturday morning.  I'm so pleased that about 95% of the flowers came from my garden.

Buying Flowers Vs Growing Flowers

Today is Mother's Day.  I don't normally do flowers for Mother's Day as it's too early in the season for home grown flowers, but, this year I thought I would give it a go.  This meant buying all the flowers from a wholesaler. 

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My season starts in April and carries on until mid October.  I went on line and browsed through all the different flowers that were available and once I had decided on my scheme I placed an order.  I managed to get mostly British grown but some were Dutch.  My theme came about from first deciding on a beautiful British grown yellow rose and the rest followed.  They were delivered a couple of days later, ready to be conditioned and arranged for mother's day. Easy, you might say.  Definitely what my husband, Jeff said. He said, 'why do you go to all the trouble of planting seeds, bulbs and plants with all the hard work that entails when you can just sit in front of a computer and order your flowers?'. 

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I have to agree, he's got a point but it didn't give me the same satisfaction and thrill that I get from arranging my own flowers - flowers that I have grown and tended for months. Even though the flowers that I bought were all perfect, with straight stems and pretty much identical they do not have the character of home grown flowers.  They don't have the crooked stems, the variety or the scent.  There's nothing like going out in the morning to pick flowers for weddings, or the look on the bride to be's face when she comes over to look around the garden and actually see the flowers growing and then seeing them in her bouquet.

So, even though it's hard work and being out in all weathers - it is definitely worth it.  There's nothing like planting seeds and waiting patiently for them to germinate before potting on - maybe 2 or 3 times before finally planting them out in the garden.  I also enjoy taking cuttings and getting excited when they take root.  Along with all the nice things there's also the weeding, the digging and pruning but I wouldn't change anything.  I love my flowers - the variety, the colours and the scent.

So growing wins hands down.  Who wants an easy life.

Roll on Spring

Well, it's the end of February and it's been a very long cold, wet winter and still more ice and snow forecasted.  This week has been lovely and sunny but freezing cold with a biting wind.

Last Autumn I planted over 50 kilos of Narcissi and well over a thousand tulip bulbs.  Jeff had to borrow a plough from a farmer friend to plough the field ready for planting.  It was back breaking work getting all the bulbs in.  I have been checking every day for signs of them poking through and finally this week they have started.  What a relief.  I can't wait for them all to come up and flower.  I will post photos when they come.  Some seeds have already been planted and growing well in the greenhouse and polly tunnel.  Next month will be a busy month for planting seeds.

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Some of last year's tulips.

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February has been very busy with wedding flower queries, consultations and bookings for this summer and also I have started to take bookings for 2019.  I have met some lovely brides to be and their families and I am really excited and looking forward to doing the flowers for their weddings.  I have also been on some venue visits which I really enjoy.  A couple of weeks ago I met up with Rhian at Bron Eifion in Criccieth, a beautiful wedding venue and also St Catherine's church which is a beautiful old church.  Tomorrow I will be going to Tros yr Afon, Penmon, Anglesey and to the church in Beaumaris to meet up with another lovely bride to be.  What a lovely job I've got.

A five day wedding flowers masterclass

On impulse I booked myself on a course.  January is so long, cold, soggy, boring and impossible to do anything in the garden so I have just completed a 5 day masterclass in wedding floristry at the UK School of Floristry - absolutely shattered!  What an experience, learnt lots and met some lovely people.  Lots of great sharing of ideas from Joseph Massie and had the opportunity to work on some amazing designs using fabulous flowers.  From small intricate designs to huge 'wow' designs, such as large urn arrangements and a huge floral arch.  On the last day we were very lucky to have photos taken of our designs by a lovely photographer - Teresa of teresac.co.uk.  I am looking forward to receiving the photos.  I was very fortunate that Jeff picked my up from Liverpool so I was able to bring some of my designs home.  Here are some photos of the ones I brought home.  There is always so much more to learn, so I have decided to go on a course every year (I haven't told Jeff yet).  So many exciting new things to try.

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