Flowers in Holborn to brighten the short days


We keep a beautiful stock of flowers in Holborn, and specialise in speedy same day delivery in the local areas of Holborn, Bloomsbury, Covent Garden, the City and the West End.
It always amazes me how different colours of the flowers look in the changing seasons – orange roses become almost luminous in autumn, the pinks don’t look as soft as in summer, the browns and golds match the falling leaves of nature and the golden, autumn sunshine.

We’ve had the usual run of interesting customers lately, including a lady whose wedding flowers we supplied in the early 99’s! She hadn’t been back since, and was delighted to find us still in Sicilian Avenue after all these years.
Then there was the guy secretly in love with a girl at work, a bouquet for a film set, plus birthday bouquets, thank you bouquets and new baby gifts.

Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like the Christmas window display to go in too early. But I suppose it’s about time, with Christmas office parties starting at the beginning of December.

Holly, mistletoe, blue pine, cones and cinnamon smells so good. We like to keep our displays as natural as possible. Luckily, blue pine, ilex and cones are very log-lasting, so you can buy well before Christmas.

We are very excited to be appearing at The Chelsea Flower Show next year, and we’re busy designing a beautiful Shakespeare garden for our booth, which is for Gerit Quealy’s amazing book, Botanical Shakespeare. It covers all the plants, trees, herba and flowers in Shakespeare’s works.

If you need to send flowers in Holborn and surrounding areas, do give us a call on 020 7831 6776 or email janet@stemsfloraldesign.com. We also have an online shop for your convenience. You can call if you’d like to discuss your requirements. We supply flowers for weddings and corporate events.

Flowers for events in central London


We’ve had a very busy week, full of flowers for events in central London.
When it comes to choosing a venue for your event in London, you’re spoilt for choice! From smart London hotels to blank warehouse spaces, it’s all here.
One of the events, for a US online games company, was hosted at the Corinthia Hotel on Whitehall Place, in the magnificent ballroom. The flowers were all white and green – hydrangea, roses,
Lilies and lisianthus. Very smart, and rhe green of the hydrangea was luminous.
Another event had these lovely deep reds, made with roses, chrysanths, sedum, black callas and love-lies-bleeding, (amaranthus).
Using the right colour palette can really reinforce your brand, so it’s important to get the advice of a good florist to see what’s available.
Another project is wedding flowers in white and blush. Blush roses, ( palest pink) are very popular this year.
We are constantly finding that brides to be are researching wedding flowers on websites that don’t clearly state whether the flowers in the image are real or artificial, and what time of year they are available. This causes disappointment when they realise they can’t have what they’ve fallen in love with in an image.
It really is advisable to speak to a good florist. Most florists will gove you a free consultation, and that is well worth doing.
We cover all of central London for flowers for events, and although the shop is closed at weekends, we still take on bespoke events.
We also grow scented foliage to give the flowers a natural, organic feel and obviously they smell gorgeous! We use three types of mint, myrtle, lavender and rosemary – all organically grown by us!
If you need flowers for an event in central London, give us a call on 07932 052411 or email janet@stemsfloraldesign.com

How to choose the best autumn flowers to warm you up!

Autumn flowers
Thistle, eryngium

The best autumn flowers are now available – summer dahlias and all year round picture perfect gerbera are mixed with physalis, nutans, lisianthus and gentian to create amazingly colourful bouquets that make you feel warm inside. It’s like a celebration of the end of summer, glowing colours like an autumn bonfire.
Many flowers are now available all year round, but most do have a time when they are at their best. At Stems we tend to reflect the season not only by that, but also by our colour combinations. The oranges, golds, reds and browns reflect the colours we see in nature in the autumn, so autumn flowers, to us, are about the colours.
The reappearance of Chinese lanterns and gourds are a lovely reminder of the proximity of Bonfire Night and Halloween.
So how to find the best autumn flowers? Go and visit your local florist and remember that only a small proportion of what is available can be found in supermarkets. You can also add to your choices by foraging yourself. Who knows – you might even find something edible too!
There is so much foliage to choose from, and it’s a great way to produce a large display at low cost. It can also add height to a displays. We stock pistache, eucalyptus, fern, aspidistra, fatsia, oak and other seasonal folige, depending on what looks good.

Rainbows, autumn leaves, bonfires, the golden sunshine of autumn are all reflected in our new range of bouquets in-store and the online shop.
If you’re looking for weekly office flowers, you’d be surprised at the choice of flowers available. Too often it seems that only exotic flowers are used in office displays. There are many indigenous flowers that can be used if displayed in the right way. Some of them can ecen be dried – Chinese lanterns, twisted willow..
We also incorporate gourds and pumpkins in our displays. Images to follow in other posts!
I haven’t been foraging this week, but I have been photographing the flowers and foliage in the countryside which are mentioned in Shakespeare’s works, compiling a gallery for future reference. It’s a beautiful book – Botanical Shakespeare, by Gerit Quealy. Great for a birthday or Christmas gift for flower lovers!
Talking of foraging, go out and pick up some conkers if you get the chance. Put them in a bowl, and apparently they keep spiders away! You can also find sweet chestnuts, acorns and masses of muti-coloured leaves form the plane trees and chestnuts.
You can also harvest lavender and hydrangea from the garden for drying, pick rosehips to add to vases of flowers in the house, and pick herbs to freeze for the winter months.
I’m picking myrtle and mint from the garden to add to the bouquets and make them scented. Thay are at their strongest at this time of year.
When the sky looks grey and outside looks uninviting from the cosiness of your home, try throwing on a waterproof jacket and going out anyway. The sky looks less grey, the autumn winds are exhilarating and you may well find some interesting things to forage. I love the way the moss becomes a vibrant green and the grass recovers.
We made an interesting display at The Italian Embassy in London for Ferrero Rocher a while back, using the best autumn flowers, and incorporated moss and conkers with orange roses, physalis and cymbidium orchids. It really reflected the colour and delicious nuttiness of Ferrero Rocher!
During the hot, summer months we crave coolness and I love the soft pinks, mauves and whites that belong with this time. But now I want warmth and golden sunshine in my flowers.
With globalisation comes better availability. Just as we have adopted the Curry, we have adopted the exotic Bird of Paradise (strelitzia) flowers. Orange plumes with a stripe of indigo, tall stems and a stately appearance, they go beautifully with the autumn flowers. When the plumes die, cut them off, then carefully tease out a new plume from inside the beak. THis is a great tip for keeping them twice as long!
You can varnish gourds so that they keep for longer. They are beautiful shapes, and look great in a bowl in the middle of the table.
So if you’d like a bouquet with the best of autumn flowers, email janet@stemsfloraldesign.com or phone 020 7831 6776. WE will make you something beautiful!

Foraging and Shakespeare’s flowers

Foraging for flowers mentioned in Shakespeare’s work has been our project of the week. It has been great fun.
I was given a copy of Gerit Quealy’s beautiful book, Botanical Shakespeare, so I could do the reaearch required and compile a list of possible flowers and foliage, (and fruit and vegetables) available at this time of year to obtain for an event at The Sloane Club on Thursday, hosted by Country Life Magazine.
It was too late in the year for the lovely spring meadow flowers, such as violets and crocuses, but many of the vegetables and herbs are now flowering, so we had alliums, fennel, lettuce – and beautiful blackberries and elderberries, as well as some lovely little mushrooms!
Burdock and erigons kept company with scented bachelor’s buttons – also known as scented fern, or tansy.
Shakespeare gave the flowers and foliage a magical property – from the lethal hebenon in Hamlet to the scented herbs and roses in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The turnip and the burdock are all about love and courtship. How wonderful that we still have them around us to bring this era back to life!
The book has beautiful illustrations of all the flowers, foliage, fruit and vegetables in Shakespeare’s work, and they are listed by play and by character.
Emily Carding, http://onewomanrichard.weebly.com gave a mesmerising performance at the book launch on Thursday. Emily will be performing at The Edinburgh Festival in August.
If you would like a copy of the book, go to botanicalshakespeare.com