Flowers for Australian Air Force Centenary at The Air Force Memorial, Runnymede attended by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth

FLOWERS BY STEMS FOR THE AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE CENTENARY AT RUNNYMEDE WITH HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN

We were honoured to provide flowers for the Australian Air Force Centenary today at Runnymede Air Force Memorial.

Her Majesty the Queen looked beautiful in Australian Air Force colours of green, yellow and white. The red, white and blue wreath I made for the occasion contained white cymbidium, and matched the orchids on the Queen’s hat.

I also used Naomi red roses, gentian, agapanthus, myrtle, skimmia and blackthorn blossom.

I made the Australian wreaths with some native flowers – banksia, nutans protea, dipsacus and kangaroo paw.

We used beautiful clay vases to keep a natural feel.

If you’re planning an event in the Windsor area, and need expert advice for your flowers, contact janet@stemsfloraldesign.com or call 07932 052411

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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Learn how to make a Christmas wreath in London or Windsor

Come and join us, Government guidelines permitting, and learn how to make a Christmas wreath to hang on your door or wall.

Wreath

This is a dried flower wreath, but for Christmas, we like to use blue pine, cones, dried apple, orange and cinnamon with seasonal twigs and cones

Christmas wreath

We’ve been preparing our Christmas window with wreath and fairy lights. We have a great selection of plants and pots that make lovely Christmas gifts

The shop and a euphorbia candelabrum

Lockdown has honed people’s appreciation of both good health and nature, so plants willl be a popular gift choice this year, with their healthy, healing properties.

Red and gold wreath

Our classes will be held in Sicilian Avenue, Bloomsbury. A demo will be given, using a wire frame with moss, and the pine and decorations will be added to the wreath. If you prefer to make a table arrangement, we will also demonstrate this.

You will then design and make your own wreath under supervision. You will be delighted with the result!

The Thames at Windsor

The weather has been amazing for the time of year. The swans, geese and ducks on the Thames in Windsor have been missing the swarms of tourists who usually feed them. We’ve made a few trips with some bread.

Raspberries, spinach, chard, broccoli leaves and herbs from our garden

I can’t believe we’re still picking raspberries in the garden in November! Everything home grown just tastes so much better!

Call us on 07932 052411 if you’d like to join us for a wreath making workshop, or email janet@stemsfloraldesign.com for more information.