If you’ve left your Christmas shopping until the last minute (again!), here are some bright ideas to inspire.
5 Magical Ways with Winter Wedding Flowers
Just because you’re getting married in the winter months, it doesn’t mean your decor needs to be Christmassy. When the shops are full of festive glitz, it’s refreshing to step away from the obvious red, gold and silver and welcome your guests with something a bit more subtle. Here are five tips for contemporary winter wedding flowers that don’t rely on holly and ivy.
The annual search for the family Christmas tree can sometimes feel as though you’re Hansel and Gretel using breadcrumbs to find your way through a dense forest. To guide you towards your perfect tree, here’s a sturdy path of tips and tricks:
I always feel a bit left out in September when the kids go back to school. New shoes, new pencil case, new opportunities to learn new things… I think we grown-ups forget that it’s never too late to pick up a different skill – we perhaps just need a bit of inspiration and a nudge in the right direction.
Gardenia runs regular Flower School classes at our shop in Teddington High Street.
Every summer, the Gardenia team designs and creates wedding flowers for hundreds of couples. Each wedding is unique and every wedding flower order is bespoke, and I can honestly say that our florists care deeply about each of them. It is very rare, however, that we get to work on something as special as this....
It has been a productive and successful few weeks in our corner of South West London, with Gardenia’s customers proving yet again that flowers are never out of fashion when it comes to choosing a gift for someone special. A major London department store thought they knew better recently, when they launched a marketing campaign to encourage their customers to forego flowers and choose “more than the obvious” as a Mother’s Day gift. Not surprisingly, the UK floristry community was a little put out, as editor of the Florist Trade Magazine, Caroline Marshall-Foster explained on Facebook:
Haven’t we grown!
The end of 2015 was a whirlwind, to say the least. The run-up to Christmas is always busy for florists, requiring physical strength and mental stamina to survive long hours of shifting trees in the cold and making hundreds upon hundreds of wreaths and table decorations. Who in their right mind would consider opening two new shops at the same time? That would be me.
After the organised chaos of the launch of Gardenia Teddington earlier this year, I remember telling my team (and anyone else that would listen) that we definitely wouldn’t be opening any more shops for the next five years. There’s no doubt that Teddington has become a wonderfully successful part of the Gardenia family, but the opening process was exhausting, stressful and expensive. Yet here I am, barely six months later, bringing you news of two (two!) new Gardenia stores in fantastic locations that were just too good to pass up. Read on for more details, along with some other freshly cut news from the shop floor.
“Summer afternoon – summer afternoon… the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
Picture a summer’s afternoon and chances are there will be flowers there somewhere: making daisy chains on a picnic blanket in the park; the evening scent of roses, jasmine and honeysuckle in the garden; or a higgledy-piggledy bunch of sweet peas on a sunny kitchen windowsill. There are so many wonderful flowers that conjure up this glorious time of year, but one of my absolute favourites is lavender.
The little Grants are going through a ‘junk modelling’ phase. This means that Mrs. G. and I have had to become very adept at hiding the recycling, for fear that it revisits us in the form of a spaceship/Barbie house/robot. I’m all for reducing, re-using and recycling, but there are other (prettier) ways to do it – particularly when you bring fresh flowers into the equation. Here are some of our favourite ideas for turning your trash into treasure:
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that a florist’s year tends to revolve around certain key annual events: Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas, for example. But as a florist based in SW19, we’re one of only a handful to add Wimbledon fortnight to our line-up of special dates...
What with all the excitement of our new shop in Teddington High Street (we’re open, come and visit!), we’ve almost forgotten what normality feels like. Suddenly, its May, which can only mean one thing for a florist – wedding season is upon us!
To kick off Summer 2015 in style, I asked four Gardenia florists to come up with an idea for a bridal bouquet, using the time-honoured tradition of ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ as their inspiration:
My dad, Andy, was a fruit and veg man. He started off on a market stall and worked his way up to become a central buyer for Waitrose, before opening his own greengrocers business. But during the recession of the early 1990’s, the financial gods weren’t on his side. As his customers flocked to the supermarket for a cheaper, more convenient way to buy their weekly greens, he set up a simple flower stall on the Fulham Road. When I left school at 16, I went straight to join him.
Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness
So, summer is officially over. The kids are back at school, the leaves are turning and there’s a subtle chill in the air. As the seasons change, so do our flowers: whilst we loved the pretty pinks and lilacs of July and August, they seem a little old hat now. Stroll past one of our shops this month and you’ll see a very different display in our pavement buckets, incorporating the glorious reds and chestnut browns of autumn foliage, berries, rosehips and willow.
As flower symbols go, the distinctive red poppy of remembrance is one that most of us are familiar with – ever more so this year as we commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
Earlier this month, we set up shop for the day at my daughter’s school fair. We do several fairs in and around South West London during the summer months so I’m pretty adept at making sure we take along the right flowers. We need things that catch the eye with a burst of colour, that are easy for customers to carry around with them and that make good gifts. My number one, sure-fire winner? Sunflowers.
You’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t find flowers to be a genuine pick-me-up; in my experience there are few things that can lift the mood as effectively. It’s not that surprising then to hear that recent research here in the UK and overseas has given scientific weight to the argument for Mother Nature’s gifts in the workplace.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that a florist’s year tends to revolve around certain key annual events: Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas, for example. But as a florist based in SW19, we’re one of only a handful to add Wimbledon fortnight to our line-up of special dates.