Back to school part 2

As I’ve mentioned before, April has been a bit of a back to school moment for me. After 15 years as a solo florist with no formal training but learning as I go and making mistakes along the way, I decided to take the plunge and sign up for some hands on courses

Having jumped in at the deep end (see previous post!), I followed this by booking onto the 2 day La Belle Epoque course being run by the lovely Becca and Maz down at The Garden Gate Flower Company in Cornwall. They had managed to entice the amazing American florist Ashley Beyer from Tinge Floral to come and teach us. We stayed at Boconnoc, a stunningly refurbished hotel and wedding venue run by the Fortescue family near Lostwithiel

Well, what can I say, other than it was a completely amazing, full on, head spinning, flower filled, swoon inducing few days amongst some wonderful florist friends – new and old – who got absolutely stuck in to creating displays taught by Becca, Maz and Ashley with an incredible array of home grown (and a few Dutch) flowers – ranunculi, anemones, fritillaria, hellebores, narcissi, clematis, sweet peas, stock, tulips not to mention the flowering foliages – camellia, pieris, spirea and on and on!!

We very quickly went from watching Becca and Ashley bring their creations to life to having a go ourselves. Armed with fabulous floral booty, we crafted, bit our lips, changed things around, um’ed and ah’ed a bit longer and finally got the courage to ask the girls how we had done …. ‘very well’ was the general reply followed by a couple of well meant suggestions to improve which of course made everything fall into place!

The before and after of my ‘Ashley’ – can you spot the difference!

We then had a wonderful lunch provided by Emily Scott from The Tudy Inn which was just amazing and, honestly, if the pull of the ranunculi hadn’t been so strong I think we would have stayed at the house all afternoon … but the snips were calling and back we went to create bouquets

la belle epoque class with blue sky flowers

We were able to finish our bouquets with beautiful silk ribbon brought by the lovely Sian at Lancaster & Cornish who are just down the road from Boconnoc – thanks Sian! x

la belle epoque class with blue sky flowers

All in all, we had a wonderful time and learnt a lot … so watch this space to see what happens next! x

Hoppy Easter!

Since everything this weekend will be about bunnies and buns (of the hot cross variety), chicks and chox, I wanted to revisit a beautiful shoot from last Spring that first appeared on bloved Little B … but it is just too cute not to revisit!

With the invaluable styling help of Laura from Holden Bespoke, photographer Kate Nielen and I brought together a group of wonderful suppliers to bring our Beatrix Potter inspired Easter tea party to life. There are bunny signs, bunny ears, bunny plates, bunny eggs … oh no I’m getting carried away now!

The ladies at Eagle Eyed Bride who clearly can turn their hands to much more than beautiful wedding stationery, jumped to the challenge and created a fabulous suite of Peter Rabbit-esque invitations, menus, place names… even a pin-the-tail-on-the-bunny!

easter shoot by blue sky flowers shot by kate nielen

With mountains of scrummy fluffy bunny-tail inspired marshmallows, very grown up macarons and little pastel chocolate hearts from Anges de Sucre together with a chocolate mini-egg topped cake, who needs sandwiches!

If you’ve read this far and are still interested in anything other than food, you might like to know that I chose some beautifully fragrant flowers for our table – lilac, paperwhite narcissi, tulips, guelder and some British grown super smelly roses … all in pastel ceramic pots to match the food, of course!

Who wouldn’t want to be sitting at this table with all these goodies on display? I wish you all happy hunting this lovely Easter weekend x

 

 

Photography: Kate Nielen

Styling: Holden Bespoke

Stationery: Eagle Eyed Bride

Macarons, Mallows and Chocolates: Anges de Sucre

Milk Bottles and Glitter Tablecloth: The Sweet Hostess

Hand stamped Spoons: Magpies and Crabs

Afternoon Tea: Nadia Rae

 

Its not all weddings you know…

Most of our weekends are filled to the brim with lovely wedding stuff – sorry husband – but occasionally we do get swept up in other celebrations…. and special birthdays are probably our second favourite thing to flower

I was so honoured to provide some flowers for a surprise birthday party arranged for the lovely Julie Michaelsen a wonderfully sensitive and creative photographer with a great eye…well, two actually

I was slightly worried that I hadn’t made enough vases but when we started to place them out on the very long table in the Queens Room upstairs at Bumpkin Notting Hill, I did begin to wonder if there would be room for any food or drink! But apparently there was enough for a very good night to be had by all – HB Julie xx

Photos by Nicola Jo