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

Visit Stems of Holborn and plan your wedding flowers!


You can visit us at Stems to discuss your wedding flowers. Normally, we can give you an outline of everything you should consider in half an hour.
It amazes me that some brides to be contact us a week before the event, while others are already planning two years in advance! There is, of course, a lot of pleasure to be derived from planning an event.
Pinterest.co.uk is a source widely used by brides to be. They often show us photos they have seen. But since there are no filters for seasons or suitability, many of the images are not feasible for bridal flowers.
I have supplied flowers for weddings at The Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Aquarium at London Zoo, The Steam Museum at Kew, The Museum of Garden History and many more of our elegant London landmarks. But my favourites have to be the marquee weddings. I love it when the marquee opens out onto a beautiful garden and we can reflect that in our floral displays inside rhe marquee.
Just as with the food we eat, where in season is synonymous with at its best, flowers bang in season are unbeatable.
If you’re planning a spring wedding, think freesia, tulips, narcissi, ranunculus, blossom. If it’s summer, you have the choice of big, blousey peonies and hydrangea with delphiniums and digitalis for the large displays, or dainty little spray roses and soft lisianthus and limonium with veronica for a fairytale look.
I’ not keen on the current jam jar trend, with cluttered tables. It’s what the table should look like at the end of the reception, not the beginning!
The main thing is, choose the flowers to suit the venue – and find out what’s in season on your chosen date. You can then colour coordinate with bridesmaids’ dresses, ties, waistcoats, venue colour scheme etc.

Wedding flowers London


Today I am delighted to be in Harrogate, doing the wedding flowers for one of my lovely nieces, and, of course,attending the wedding!
There’s a nip in the air, and I can see that the flowers are a couple of weeks behind us down south. The snowdrops have only just finished, and the blossom is still beautiful.
We make bespoke flower displays for London weddings, and will also supply to the Windsor area. Make an appointment for a free consultation with me by calling 07932 052411, or email janet@stemsfloraldesign.com

Flower delivery in Holborn


Our early spring posy has proven extremely popular of late. Small bouquets, with our without a container, are most suitable for offices and theatre deliveries.
We’re now moving into the early summer flower season, and have had peonies and hydrangea in stock this week. It’s lovely how the flowers change with the seasons, always bringing new textures, shapes and colour to our bouquets.
We offer free delivery in Holborn, and to our clients who have weekly office flowers.
We’ll be closed for Easter Friday -Monday.
Call us on 07932 052411 or email janet@stemsfloraldesign.com