Hen Party Workshops

Your best friend is getting married and the organising baton has been handed to you to ‘do the hen party’. No biggy, lots of things can be done, most of which involve whipped cream, strangely shaped cakes and booze … but not every bride to be wants that and if you know your bezzie well, you’ll know what she would like to do

One option could be a tailored Floral Hen Party … we’ve done floral crowns, bouquets, jars of flowers and a combination of the above. They can either take place at our workshop in New Covent Garden Flower Market one morning (up to 9 people) and include a quick tour around to choose your flowers…. always a fave option if the bride is yet to choose her colour scheme or we have a great venue location at The Blacksmith and The Toffeemaker up in Islington (up to 18 max)

The pub is easy to get to and has a wonderfully light and spacious back room that we take over and fill with flowers, fun and cake! It also specialises in gin …but don’t let that influence you in any way

Each party can be tailored to your needs and timing but they usually last around 2 hours, cost £50 per person to include cake, tea and coffee. You also get a goodie bag which you can use to take away your flowers in, if you aren’t wearing them of course


hen party workshop with blue sky flowers

So if you are stuck for ideas, just drop me an email and we can get flowered up x

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

UKAWP floral workshop

Back in June, during British Flower Week in fact, I was delighted to be able to host a floral workshop with some of the fabulous wedding planners who are part of the UKAWP – a brilliant organisation dedicated to the expert planning of weddings around this country and beyond

Sandy Moretta, Elisabetta Cirulli White, Anna Petterle, Liz Gall and Andri Benson came down to our flower market studio early one morning to try their hands at bouquet making and showed off some serious floralling skills

But first we had a quick tour around New Covent Garden Market, where we are based, which can be an enlightening place for newbies … cold, yes, but the flower is king here and the market boys do what they do best to keep them fresh and in perfect condition. Full of the most amazing flowers and collections of foliage available across London and beyond, they were completely blown away with the variety and selection on offer

We grabbed hot chocolate and croissants (for some bacon sarnies – also king here!) and then looked towards choosing blooms and deciding on their bouquet look, beautifully captured along the way by super talented photographer Kate Nielen

Whilst the ladies all had the same flowers to choose from – British stock, lilac and peonies, soft pink super fragrant roses from The Real Flower Company, delicate spires of larkspur, dark, almost black cornflower and chocolate scented cosmos and a variety of interest foliages … they all chose a different combination and mix which meant that none of the bouquets looked like any other. They were as unique as the service offered by each planner and as individual as the brides for whom they work (sorry, shameless plug for planners everywhere!)

Although I did a little demo and explanation of how to select your hero flowers and supporting floral cast, the ladies needed very little in the way of encouragement and quickly set to gathering up their goodies and creating their own version of floral heaven

In fact, they were so quick and engaged with the whole process that we decided to continue and moved on to making buttonholes to complement their creations – an important skill for planners to master and have on hand when faced with a groom and an unfortunate case of the sat-upon buttonhole… believe me it happens more than you would think!

I think the ladies had a fab time and I certainly know where to go when short of capable hands on a big wedding now … so if you need a wedding florist, I hope we can help, but should you need more than that, I think you can do no better than engage one of the lovely wedding planners who are part of UKAWP… they can hold your hand through the planning process and then hold your train as you prepare to go down the aisle x

Kate Nielen Photography -74

Photography by Kate Nielen