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.

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

Bloomsbury in Bloom

Sunflowers

It’s been a lovely week for flowers. We’ve had a couple of little weddings and some weekly flower orders. The sunflowers are still looking fabulous, and the autumn colours are creeping in.

Autumn shades with callas, nutans, craspedia, scabious heads and crocosmia

50TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY FLOWERS AT THE RITZ

5O years
bridal bouquet 1970 and 2020

We received an assignment this week to replicate a bridal bouquet from 1970. Due to the pandemic, some of the flowers were not in stock, but the couple’s daughter was so adamant that this should be as close as possible to the original, she made a trip to the Flower Market to find the missing flowers!

The bouquet contained bright pink roses, stephanotis, white heather and asparagus fern.

These trailing bouquets were popular in the 1970’s. They were made in floral foam, which dates

back to the Fifties, and revolutionised floristry. Beforehand, every flower was wired, or put on a false wire stem so they could be angled. Larger displays were made in moss with a chicken wire cage. This method has returned, as most floral foam is not green enough.

White bridal bouquet

We made this bouquet for a bride today. It’s sad that the rules changed to a maximum of 15 guests this week. The white Akito roses are perfect for petite brides. We used gyp, snowberry and eucalyptus, and hand tied with the roses.

My Garden Office

I am really enjoying working under my garden gazebo. Sadly, it’s mostly paperwork and SEO, but a friend did ask me to make a thank you bouquet this week. We bought a few roses, but everything else was growing in the garden – wallflowers, lemon balm, lavender and myrtle. It smelt wonderful!

Fiddle leaf fig
Alocasia

We supplied these two monster plants to someone this week too. His home will soon be a jungle!

We have a great selection of green plants in our shop in Bloomsbury. You can come and visit and pick a few up.

Garden flowers