It has been a hot water bottle down the dungarees, dippy egg & soldiers and favourite mug of hot tea sort of day. In a bid to adhere to my 'one post a month' schedule I have just come in from the studio where I have preparing for the various floral deliveries of the week, to be peppered with fat icy hailstones on my return to the house. How very January. My hands are as blue as the blooms I have been handling, including forget-me-not for a remembrance bouquet (I couldn't love the sentiment more) but I have my feet defrosting on the radiator and the promise of cake to pep me up. I put a lemon loaf cake in the oven (inspired by my delight at finding pink lemons) this morning and the scent of citrus is still lingering, reminiscent of those warmer, longer days to come.
Photo by Katy Lawrence
Bright white, dove grey, inky navy and soft blush has been the palette of the month, using the best of winter's floral bounty to bring cheer to these long winter days. I was reminded of a shoot with Katy Lawrence this time last year, where we hopped over to Richmond Park at the crack of dawn (quite literally, we are still very proud of ourselves for that one) to be greeted with a watercolour pink sky, the ground sparkling with frost and an empty park except for a few roaming deer. I wrapped a simple bouquet of foliage; eucalyptus, ruscus and some pickings from the garden, with a fat pink satin bow. Simplicity at its best. With January synonymous with doom and gloom, it lifted spirits to see the sky ablaze in my favourite hue, and I have been lucky to see the same again this year on my various early morning flower market excursions. Far less pretty from the drivers seat on the M25, but happiness inducing nonetheless.
Photo by Katy Lawrence
I feel I have missed the boat somewhat with sharing a 'best of 2017' but I am happy to let that slide. I did attempt to scour the archives for a favourite from each month last year, but it proved too overwhelming a task. The problem with shooting a majority of V&T flowers on real film is that unless you shoot a whole roll in one go (and I don't think that I need 36 photos of the same bouquet) you have to wait until you have finished a roll, and then sit patiently whilst it is sent off to to be developed which can be several weeks later. An exciting, anticipation building exercise, unless you are a season led florist in which case you have royally shot yourself in the foot. I try not to share out-of-season blooms so not to wrongly direct my lovely brides as to what is in season for their celebrations, but forgive me if a rogue foxglove appears on my feed in winter or one of Katy's beautifully nostalgic Cornish photos drops in the depths of February - I clearly couldn't sit on it any longer. This is my long winded way of saying I have an archive of 2017 film photography to share with you, and I am so looking forward to doing so. I am loosely calling it 'slow living', oh if only my tax return could have been done in the same manner...
However, with a broken camera currently in the workshop of an camera fixing expert, I have had to be more inventive in its absence and so I've started messing around with a few behind-the-scenes 8mm-esque mini films over on Instagram. I hope you like them. This month in the studio I have been kept busy with bespoke orders for loved ones, and in between I have been bringing together some rather heavenly flower plans for this years brides. Sweetpea, lavender and an abundance of poppies feature heavily, and I could not be happier. I am one lucky florist, as I have also been honoured as a recommended wedding supplier at two of my favourite Buckinghamshire wedding venues for 2018 - the beautiful Danesfield House in Marlow and characterful Old Luxter's Barn in Hambleden. Dressing the grand Versailles suite at Danesfield House is an absolute dream with its soft pink walls, glittering chandeliers and views of the beautifully manicured gardens, and I look forward to bringing the outdoors into the barn at Old Luxter's, with its rustic beams and sprawling vineyard across the yard. In preparation for the year, seeds have been ordered and the allotment is next on my list to be cleared of last years debris and planted up for the warmer months.
The market was filled with new season blooms yesterday, the narcissi aisle a particular joy awash with the heady scent of spring, and I gathered great armfuls of my favourites. On the workbench this week you will find those dainty paperwhites, sweet little forget-me-nots, the first white lilac of the year and a whole host of silvery eucalyptus for some very special arrangements. I have also been dropping a few Valentine's hints this week too, adding blush roses and frilly poppies to my basket to give you an idea of whats to come on the 14th of February. All the information you need to order a bespoke bouquet for your loved one can be found on the Valentine's link here and over on Instagram in the coming weeks - perfect for tagging those who might need a little nudge...