Stems in Holborn


As a florist in Holborn for the past 32 years, I have seen many changes. The home of Stems has always been in Sicilian Avenue.
Central St. Martin’s School of Art and Design, www.arts.ac.uk was opposite my shop in Sicilian Avenue, and Victoria House was The Liverpool Victoria.
So when they both moved out, it felt very empty. Other insurance companies and Building Societies slowly moved out of the area. Then the first www.Metrobank.co.uk opened
Central St. Martin’s is now full of small TV and production companies. Victoria House has several companies, but also the fabulous Bloomsbury Ballroom in the basement – home of the London Cabaret Club www.thelondoncabaretclub.com. In the old Prudential building, we now have the fabulous Rosewood Hotel , www.rosewoodhotels.com
We have the lovely academic buildings of Bloomsbury, and of course, The British Museum. Lincoln’s Inn Fields is the home of The Sir John Soane Museum – a hidden treasure.
We are in Sicilian Avenue itself, with its beautiful towers and turrets.
Holborn is neither the City, nor the West End proper. It is its own little oasis in the centre of the two parts. At weekends, it is full of tourists, visiting The British Museum.
If you want to send flowers, come and visit us, or call us on 07932 052411. You can also order online.

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.

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!