Flowers. The Perfect Gift

Flowers are the Perfect Gift

Flowers are the perfect gift for so many occasions.
As a floral designer, wedding flowers have been my gift to many relatives and friends on their special day. I always take flowers to dinner parties – often adding blooms and foliage from my own garden.

bouquet with myrtle, red robin and blossom from my garden

I have been enjoying the cherry plum blossom I have the joy of smelling down the lane on my daily dog walk. I pick the cherry plums in July and make jam.

cherry plum blossom

I love this time of year – the days are getting longer, the birds are twittering with excitement, the spring flowers are in bloom. It’s the season of hope and renewal.

purple and white bouquet

Certain bouquets in the online shop are popular in different seasons. The rainbow colours are top in winter, and we’re now seeing less need for the bright colours. This must be related to the better quality of light in spring.

Memory Lane

Our Memory Lane bouquet’s popularity never fades. This is one of my favourite roses. So delicate in colour, but a very strong variety, it opens beautifully and lasts well.

Here are a couple more of this week’s creations. Although Covid has damaged trade to a huge extent, we are still able to make some beautiful designs, thanks to our loyal customers!

Happy New Year and happy foraging from Stems of Holborn

Happy New Year to you all and happy foraging from Stems of Holborn. The news of two vaccines now available has shed a new light on 2021, and as we should be at the start of a new year, we can start to feel hopeful. Foraged by @stemsfloral……

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Just before lockdown last March, I was asked to supply some mossy branches for a photo shoot for Vogue. Still at the shop in London, I had to make it home before dusk to forage the best mossy branches. This hawthorn, growing on a damp, windy corner of a lane, fitted the bill perfectly.

Foraging

One of my favourite pastimes in the whole world is foraging, and there has been plenty of time for it during the pandemic. I love to look at the countryside close up – like through a magnifying glass – and discover buds beside brown, dried seedheads, mossy patches, ivy clinging to tree trunks, blossoms, berries and grasses.

This is actually blackberry and sloe jam!

Sloe berries grow by the river here, on the beautiful blackthorn trees with their long thorns and spectacular, white blossom in spring. You can pick the sloes, then the blackberries along the lane towards home. We made this lovely jam in the summer. The sloes give it a sharp note.

Blackberry and sloe jam recipe

1kg fruit and 1kg jam sugar

Freeze the sloes, as this will soften the skin and allow the juices to run out. Use two-thirds blackerries and one-third sloes. Put the fruit in a stainless steel saucepan on a low heat and pour in the sugar. Melt very slowly till the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to get a slow bubble, stirring all the time. Heat your jars in a 120 degrees c oven to sterilise for a few minutes. Put a plate in the freezer to cool. When you can see creases in the jam, ( after about 30 minutes), smear a teaspoon of jam on the cold plate. If it hardens, it’s ready.

Foraging in winter is also fun. I have found tall dried teasel, berried ivy, trailing ivy, mosses, cones and branches Soon, the tiny snowdrops will be pusing their way up through the earth, followed by crocuses in gold and purple.

Happy 2021 to you all!

Jan is a florist and has a shop in Sicilian Avenue, Bloomsbury, London.

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Florist in Bloomsbury

Happy Anniversary

This is our beautiful bouquet we have named Happy Anniversary. We gave it this name when we created it for a dear friend’s wedding anniversary. I love the rich red of the roses with the purples – strong colours that hold their own beside one another.

Mon petit chou bouquet
Https://www.stemsfloraldesign.com

In contrast, this pale bouquet of gentle whites, pinks and greens that we have named Mon Petit Chou, makes a suitable gift for many occasions. It contains white agapanthuus, white roses, cabbages and foliage, including myrtle and berried ivy.

Wild World

This part foraged bouquet includes cabbages, celosia, teasel and berried ivy with pussy willow and trailing amaranthus. I love the wild, natural look of it. I love the diversity of the requests we get for flowers too.

Https://www.stemsfloraldesign.com/

Autumn as a season is best eeflected in the golds, green and rusts of the changing leaves and the golden sunshine, with a touch of blue/grey clouds. This bouquet, which you can find in our Autumn Specials in the online shop, depicts just that.

Wild purple and white bouquet
Stems of Holborn purple and white bouquet

The purples, mauves and whites of summer are still available. This bouquet was purple, white and green, and delivered in a vase for a guest at a local hotel. Long stemmed roses, lisianthus and limonium with cabbages and pussy willow in a clear glass vase.

The offices in Holborn are still literally empty. I know many people like working from home, and it’s safer than travelling to the office, but it’s having a devastating effect on the Hospitality industry. Let’s hope a vaccine is found soon, and we can return to some sort of normailty.

Getting back to work in Bloomsbury

50 Red Roses with hydrangea

Local hotels are reporting a slow return of guests to our local hotels in Bloomsbury and Holborn, so we were delighted to provide this amazing bouquet of 50 red roses and hydrangea to The Rosewood Hotel on High Holborn for a special birthday.

Sunflowers and autumn shades

This lovely autumn sunshine bouquet was also for a birthday, and won us a 5 star Google review. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed both making and photographing it. I do love the “bang in season” bouquets, and now is the time for sunflowers, callas, crocosmia seedheads and scabious with grasses.

Good enough to eat!

I’m a huge foodie, and love the overlap of food and flowers. Somehow, no colours together look wrong, and at this time of year, people appreciate strong colours.I often add a few chillies to my bouquets, and garnish my food with autumn leaves and berries.

How to forage and make your own autumn bouquet

How to forage and make your own autumn n bouquet

Many of us have had more time at home since lockdown. Even if you’re working full time, the time saving lack of daily commute gives is a few extra hours in the day. We have the choice of when to take a break for a walk, a coffee, or a project.

i love to go foraging, and right now, the rosehips, teasel and berried ivy are spectacular. There aee dried grasses and oak leaves with acorn clusters. You can take a pair of scissors on your walk and cut a few interesting branches. Buy a few flowers from your nearest florist, bring home, and set out on a table with your foraged stems.

Now decide if you want to make a tall, tapered bouquet or a round posy. If it’s a tall one, place your stems in order of length. This way, you can see which will form the back and the front. If you’re making a posy, cut all the stems to approximately the same length. Then clean all thorns and foliage, leaving only the top one third of flowers and foliage on the stems. Collect up the flowers in your hand, one by one. When you’re happy, tie with harden string and place in a vase.

teasel

Wedding flowers Bloomsbury

i do love tiny flowers because they remind me of wild flowers.I could look at them for hours. I am particularly enjoying the nerine – bright pink with delicate, curly petals.

Bride’s bouquet

i had to end this with the most beautiful image, sent by the bride herself to us. The flowers she chose are perfect with the delicate beading on her beautiful dress!

if tou need flowers for any occason, come and see us at Stems of Holborn in Sicilian Avenue, Bloomsbury, or call us on 07932 052411