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

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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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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

.

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.

Click and Collect or Text and Collect Flowers in Holborn

You can click on our webshop or text and collect flowers on 07932 052411.

The news of another lockdown is not a welcome one for small businesses. Everyone has pulled out all the stops, modifying their bainesses, forming alliances and hoping for an end to this.

One to one Flower arranging classes
Hand tied bouquet by a student

We offer one to one tuition in flower arranging at Stems. This is a great way to learn quickly. Students benefit from 35 years of experience in the industry. Whether you are planning on opening your own business, finding a job or you just want to arrange flowers at home, we tailor make a course for your requirements.

Https://www.stemsfloraldesign.com/shoponline
Autumn soecials biuquet

The stunning colours of autumn flowers come at just the right time, as the days draw in and the air cools. We love making bouquets in all these beautiful colours. We have chrysanths, trailing amaranthus, celosia, astilbe, cabbages, berried ivy, roses in every colour, grasses and seed heads.

Flower shop in Bloomsbury, Stems of Holborn
Flowers of autumn

There’s a wide selection of bouquets to choose from on our online shop. Look at the Bestseller’s list or the Autumn Collection.
Alternatively, text us on 07932 052411 with what you’d like to collect and when. We’ll text you straight back.

Pampas grass in Stems of Holborn shop window