In Vogue

One of our last projects before the lockdown was to forage moss-covered branches for British Vogue.

As a nature lover, I tend to study the hedgerows, and particularly appreciate the many types of moss, in all shades of green, that grow in the branches in the moist air of early spring.

We closed the shop on 23 March, as directed by the Government. As a non-essential shop, it was the right thing to do. These are worrying times for everyone, and iur health and safety comes first. The situation is unprecedented, and nobody knows how things will pan out.

But there are some positive aspects – a good rest for some of us, and time to reflect and take stock. Also a rest for the environment, without air and water pollution. A time to reevaluate our lives and consider what is important.

We’ve been making short videos during our daily exercise. They are about the local countryside.

Cherry plum blossom

This is an area with many ancient yew trees, and the elm is clawing its way back after the devastating Dutch elm disease in the Seventies. The cherry plum blossom lining the lane has the most amazing fragrance, and we pick the fruit to make jam in July.

We also have elderflowers in May, and will make elderflower cordial and jelly.

elderflowers soaking with oranges a, lemons and sugar

in August, the brambles will be covered in juicy blackberries, and we will pick tansy and dry it as a pot pourri – said to keep flies away.

We hope to be back at Stems in the summer, and to share some of our foraged treasures with you all.

Look out for our videos on instagram @stemsfloral and the Stems of Holborn Facebook page.

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Jan founded Stems in London WC1 in 1985, after changing her career as a teacher/translator, & training as a florist in Sweden. Her unique style, inspired by country walks, has been described as natural & wild, but with depth & sophistication. From a simple, tiny posy to grand events at St. James's Palace, Jan loves creating beautiful arrangements.