Vote for The White Horse Flower Company in the Berkshire Muddy Stilettos Awards 2017!

I’m so excited that The White Horse Flower Company has made it into the Finals of the Muddy Stilettos Awards for Berkshire 2017 in the Best Florist category. If you were kind enough to vote for me in the first round, thank you so much. However, all first round votes have now been cancelled out so voting starts again from zero.

Voting in the Finals is open until midday FRIDAY 16 JUNE.

If you would like to vote for The White Horse Flower Company (and I would be delighted if you do!) please click on the logo below.

Thanks so much!

Lindsey

Kind Words. (Just married - April 29 2017).

Linz,

You floral wizard, you are a creator of pure magic! The flowers, centre pieces, button holes, EVERYTHING was absolute perfection. My bouquet and my bridesmaids bouquets were more beautiful than I could ever have imagined, I was completely blown away. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you for making our wedding outstandingly beautiful. I honestly can't express how much I loved every single element you created. 

Lots of love,

Bethan xx

 

Bethan's bouquet. What you cannot appreciate from this image is the scent and movement this bouquet had. From every angle it looked completely different. 

Bethan's bouquet. What you cannot appreciate from this image is the scent and movement this bouquet had. From every angle it looked completely different. 

Mentha Rose stealing the show in this particular bridesmaids bouquet. 

Mentha Rose stealing the show in this particular bridesmaids bouquet. 

Bethan's bridal bouquet. All of spring tied up in silk ribbon. We had discussed using Coral charm peonies - suitably faded (that means a week old to you and me) but I thought La Belle Epoque tulips that I'd watched blooming in the gardens of Little Park flowers these past few weeks were even more suited to the look we were aiming to achieve; the colour was spot on too. Best of all they were British grown jsut down the road from me. 

Bethan's bridal bouquet. All of spring tied up in silk ribbon.

We had discussed using Coral charm peonies - suitably faded (that means a week old to you and me) but I thought La Belle Epoque tulips that I'd watched blooming in the gardens of Little Park flowers these past few weeks were even more suited to the look we were aiming to achieve; the colour was spot on too. Best of all they were British grown jsut down the road from me. 

The ubiqiutous studio floor shot: Six maids bouuqtes, packed in tissue, in a splash of water and ready to be delivered.

The ubiqiutous studio floor shot: Six maids bouuqtes, packed in tissue, in a splash of water and ready to be delivered.

One of nine individual buttonholes. This one has a touch of thistle, brunnia, hen pheasant feather, some tiny dried poppy seed heads and to smidge of Osmanthus (the little grey/white balls).

One of nine individual buttonholes. This one has a touch of thistle, brunnia, hen pheasant feather, some tiny dried poppy seed heads and to smidge of Osmanthus (the little grey/white balls).

One of the six bridesmaids, they were all different but I particularly loved the one huge green and white ranunculus in this bouquet!

One of the six bridesmaids, they were all different but I particularly loved the one huge green and white ranunculus in this bouquet!

Four of the six maids bouquets in my ancient gardening trug. 

Four of the six maids bouquets in my ancient gardening trug. 

The Buttonholes.

The Buttonholes.

Spring: A Season to be cheerful.

Spring heralds the return of my wedding season; a season that properly kicks off in March and which doesn’t stop or slow until December 23rd. I love to look back over previous years and note how early or late the flowers bloomed in my garden as well as arrive in the flower market. This year I see the flowers are blooming later than last by two to three weeks.

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Spring flowers have a luminosity and vibrancy all of their own. The green of new growth has a certain softness to the touch and a vibrancy on the eye. From the cheerfulness of a yellow of daffodil and forsythia, to carpets of aconite and crocus in the garden, spring colours awaken the senses softened only by clouds of pink and white blossom in the trees and hedgerows. 

Blue is a colour I particularly associate with April; bluebell swathed woodlands, pretty muscari in my flower beds or forget-me-nots' growing in every conceivable crevice in the garden. I used to think of these tiny blue dots as weeds but have since embraced this tenacious little flower. Even the little seed podded stems at the very end of their season can create texture in an arrangement.

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There are some flowers which appear timeless, season after season we welcome their return with love and affection such as the aforementioned daffodil, others have grown in popularity. One such newcomer is the hellebore, also known as Lenten Rose they have long been a favourite of mine I particularly admire their bashful downward looking stance. A few years ago they were less widely appreciated as a cut flower and they lent an unusual accent to my bridal bouquets (alas I cannot say the same today)!

Once a virtual unknown on the cut flower circuit, unpopular in part due to their unpredictability and tendency to wilt, hidden in shady corners of our gardens, hellebore s often went unnoticed as the ranunculus and other spring "super models" tulips and narcissus took centre stage. They are currently enjoying a moment of glory amongst florist and horticultural circles with many varieties available with a longer vase life, they are also extremely versatile straddling the foliage-flower boundaries such as the green Argutifolius. There are some twenty varieties to choose from and you will find the plants at every garden centre across the land with a variety for every aspect in the garden, a personal favourite is Helleborus Sternii.

To use in a bouquet or arrangement - cut and scald the stems in boiling water for 20 seconds before using, alternatively cut when the seed sets later in their season. 

   

 

 

I particularly enjoy the fleeting availability of a genuinely seasonal flower; I like how I can look back at one of my bridal bouquets and even if I don't recall exactly who I made it for, I will be able to date it by the season just by looking at the flowers I used.

The window in which seasonal blooms appear is often dictated by the weather: a cold spell will delay, warmer temperatures augment and speed up. Polygonatum (Solomon Seal) and the Fritillaria family are particular favourites of mine but the tiny flowers of Spiraea Arguta "Bridal Wreath" is my current floral muse. Its’ delicate white blossom on the finest filigree branches adds a slightly incongruous awkwardness to my arrangements;  the branches do not bend willingly but remain steadfastly upright if a little contorted; it has an air of frailty I cannot help but admire. This little flower grows in my garden and blossoms around mid-April it has the most fleeting of seasons but I can extend this by buying in from the Dutch flower markets where it is available at least three to four weeks ahead of my own garden offerings.  

 

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A bridal bouquet from April 2016: when the UK poly tunnel grown sweet peas merge with garden bluebells, forget-me-not and spirea.

A bridal bouquet from April 2016: when the UK poly tunnel grown sweet peas merge with garden bluebells, forget-me-not and spirea.

One Day Wiring Workshop For Florists

A professional workshop at Little Park House.

Wiring is a skill which has many uses in an event florist’s repertoire. From buttonholes to shower bouquets, the use of wires in floristry is a subtle and discrete technique which can create finesse in the finer details of floral design.

Enjoy a day at a beautiful country house where you will perfect and fine tune the key floristry technique of wiring. Using a selection of flowers, many of which will have been grown by Jill in her cutting garden, Lindsey will guide you through the basics before you make your own wired bouquet. Your finished work will then be professionally photographed by Caroline Palmer for use in your own portfolio.

Lindsey Kitchin is an experienced event florist at The White Horse Flower Company. She has been teaching workshops to florists and non-florists for many years. Lindsey uses wired flowers mostly in her wedding work, such as for buttonholes and bouquets.

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Jill Houston lives at Little Park House and is a flower farmer currently in her second year of growing for retail. Together we are combining a love of cooking, specialist skills and experience with flowers at this beautiful location to host a series of workshops.

This workshop is aimed at florists wishing to improve their wiring techniques rather than the flower enthusiast and some basic wiring experience/understanding is required. The class will be intentionally small so that each participant has adequate time and support throughout the day.

Tuesday May 9th 2017

The day will begin at 10am & we aim to finish by 4pm

Little Park House, Brimpton, Berkshire

  • Arrival: Coffee and cake
  • Introduction to the silver wire - basic techniques / making of buttonholes & corsages
  • Demonstration of a fully wired bouquet
  • Lunch in the orangery or (weather permitting) on the terrace
  • Making of a wired bouquet
  • Afternoon tea will be served as you work
  • Professional photographing of your finished work by photographer Caroline Palmer
  • Space will be limited to 6 participants

Cost: £350 per person

Click here to book