Thursday, 22 December 2011

Christmas reflections

It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas!! Just come back from the supermarket and they are running out of really funny things, that's when you know Christmas is nearly here.

It's been an amazing year and there have delightful highs and equally delightful lows but I have to say I LOVE having my own business. I love working with my Sister-in-law and love all that we have built in these delightful economic times! I'm proud of the fact that we have grown as a business with record bookings for next year. I adore the mix of Brides that we meet and the flowers that we create!I'm looking forward to next year and all that it will bring at Hartley Farm as it seems to go from strength to strength. 

A bit of festive we built!

A yummy winter bouquet

We have two days until we are finished and man are we looking forward to it, but if you do want to stick your head in before the great day then please do! Bring a smile and we may even give you a mince pie and of course some gorgeous flowers.

We wish all our customers/readers a very merry Christmas & a Happy 2012!

P.s enjoy the photos and I'm off to find a drink!! 

My favourite roses!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Smelling like Christmas....

A florist in the making...
Its been a fantastic weekend at Young Blooms HQ and our workshop now truly smells like Christmas. There is spruce needles everywhere, a fair amount of cinnamon sticks crushed under foot and a marvellous smell of orange slices every time you open the door.

Have you guessed that we had wreath making workshops this weekend??

A rather gorgeous creation!!

We both really enjoyed it all as there is always a great atmosphere at these events. Catching up with old friends and making new ones, we all drank buckets of coffee and enjoyed rather yummy mince pies and admired all the creative efforts!!

So enjoy the photos and hope you all have a fabulous week.

So proud!!

The coolest wreath of the weekend I feel...

Beautiful and stylish!!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Never let it go to your head....

Life is busy, hectic, full of meetings and deadlines and yet there are moments where you realise you are doing something right amidst the madness!! Well....

We had a couple of moments like that over the weekend!

"We just wanted to say a big thank you for the stunning bouquets and buttonholes you made for our wedding. From our vague ideas and indecisive instructions we couldn't believe what a perfect set of creations you came up with. From the shape to the colour they just couldn't have been better."
Jen & Dan Oct-2011

"Thank you for the lovely bouquets, button holes, table decorations and 3 large thank you bouquets you supplied for our wedding. All of the flowers looked superb and the 3 large bouquets were greatly appreciated."
Lisa & Andy Oct-2011

It's so lovely to receive emails and letters like this and makes all the hard work worth while. 

Well, I trust the week is going well for you all!! Signing off and am off in search of coffee...... xx

Thursday, 10 November 2011

An extravaganza of sorts...

We attended a wedding fair last weekend at the Assembly rooms in Bath. It was a curious day, the footfall to the event was very slow but brides seem to be very positive that we met there.

I would love to know whether Brides do attend wedding fairs more these days or whether it is more likely that they will do all the research on the Internet and meet companies individually? I know we have a lot of brides who come back home to get married in the local area, therefore don't have time to attend such events.

Anyway it gave us a fab chance to 'play' and create some very yummy bouquets, some terribly luxurious table centres.

A small part of our table
The best part of any event like this is that Brides can get ideas for their day and there was lots of inspiration there. We saw lovely Meg from Lemon Sky Cakes Do check her website out! Also the Little Wedding Helper was there! Her stand looked fabulous and was very vintage heaven!!

Bookings for next year are coming in thick and fast so if you are looking around I wouldn't take too long as we are already booked out some weekends.

Well I leave you with another creation, as I mentioned in my last blog. I created a 'glamelia' for my competition so decided to do a bridal version. It was fascinating to see people's reaction as I think this style of bouquet would take a certain type of dress and Bride! It's an unusual design and quite Victorian in feel!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend, signing off and in search of gin.......

Thursday, 3 November 2011

It's the taking part that counts...

Well, what can I say! I thought, I created and I came in the top five!! I entered the BFA Bristol heat for RHS Chelsea Florist of the year I entered ages ago and then completely forgot about it, then the weekend before realised that I had 4 days to prepare!!!

Are you someone who works well under pressure, do you plan things at the last minute? I realise more and more that I love thinking about ideas much more than actually doing them sometimes.

The brief for this competition was the following:
   Design and construct an arrangement for the centre of a table
at a formal dinner for UK competitors at the Olympic Games.
Well the day itself dawned, I had done a vague trial run the day before but didn't quite know what the finished product was going to look like. So I trotted off to the wholesaler and bought too much of what I needed (you can never be too prepared?)

Arrived home, cleared the cat and Husband out of the house and got to work. I finally decided to go with the Olympic rings as my starting point, I also wanted to include some sort of national flower from each part of the UK.

The focal point of the piece was the 'glamelia' that I made!! I LOVE these, they are what I call a deconstructed rose and are a doddle to make!! Now as an aside, if your getting married soon these work fabulously as a bridal bouquet!!

My other materials were

  1. Roses - England
  2. Thistles - Scotland
  3. Daffodils - Wales
  4. Moluccella (Bell of Ireland) - Ireland
I tried to deconstruct all the materials as much as possible and the piece kind of grew from there. I loved the thistle tops surrounded by the rose petals and would love to create a table centre with this idea, feels and looks very luxurious!

My closing thoughts would be the slate slabs that I used to base the piece on, if your looking for something very earthy and rustic to put a table-centre on then look no further. They work a treat and look very expensively lovely.

The final piece is below, I will one day conquer this competition and compete at Chelsea, it was my goal to get there before I was 30 but ho hum........

Much love to you all.....

Am looking forward already to the next blog as we are at the Assembly rooms, Bath for a fabulous wedding fair. Starts at 11am so if your around do come and say hello!!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Loving the weekends.....

Well, I have to say I have loved this weekend. Driving back from the flower market along the country lanes I couldn't resist taking this photo. It was a proper Autumn morning and the sunrise was absolutely stunning.

I could wax lyrical about how cute the horses looked but actually its all about the flowers!!

Three weddings this weekend and they couldn't have been more different if they tried.

I think the bouquet below was my favourite of them all, the three types of roses contrasted beautifully with the hot pink freesia and the mixed herbs added to the beautiful scent.


                                                                                                                                                                            I know I said it was all about the flowers but amid all the hustle and bustle my delightful cat as seen below got herself into another tiff and currently will not leave me alone, so whilst I am trying to be awfully witty and delightful she has draped herself elegantly across and if I so much as moved she growls in a most disturbing cat like way!! Ho hum.....

The wedding this morning was a family affair and well and truly all about the sunflower. A gorgeous dark blue for the bridesmaids and bright yellow of the sunflowers really set the venue up for a fantastic day!!

The wedding was held at orchardleigh and we decorated the stunning staircase with hand-tie's of sunflowers and draped organza up the banister, finishing it all off with trailing ivy. Making a perfect entrance for the bride.

I leave you with a photo of the sunflower wedding cake and hope that you all have a fabulous week.As an aside, if you happen to get a chance, go to Hartley Farm and check out our front of shop cause its looking beautiful, maybe treat yourself to something lovely and floral and then try a machiatto coffee cause they yummy!! As seen below.....

Monday, 17 October 2011

My new top five!

New loves have been created!

White Amaryllis....
I feel they are hugely underrated and yet are a stunningly elegant flower. You will be pleased to know that they have also made it into our Christmas Shop for 2011!!

Fresh rose petals...
Now had I known what I know now, I would have handed out buckets of fresh rose petals to all & sundry at my wedding! There is something utterly yummy and fresh about how they look!!

Sparkly chandeliers......
Now I know this is a bit of a curve ball but seriously!! If you had the house/workshop/office/flat would you not go straight out and buy one of these?

Bex's first long-low arrangement....

I think you would agree with that this girl can do flowers. We set her off with the challenge and this is what she produced! You see we teach our team well.....
(Sorry couldn't help myself....giggling)

Random celebrity sightings....

Currently stands at Mr Dara O'briain & a minor royal who later turned out to be Lady Sarah Chatto no less!! Don't worry my husband has already accused me of reading Hello magazine too much for me to even know who she was!!

Anyway I wish you dear reader a happy week until we meet again! Signing out and off in search of chocolate.....

Friday, 30 September 2011

This week has been.....

A lovely Mr & Mrs getting married on Monday

Selling lots of these on Tuesday..

Running out of this on Wednesday...

Buying lots of this on Thursday...

And Friday.......... 

Well, I'm hoping might be dinner out with my Husband, but who knows....

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Roll on the sniffly nose....Autumn is here!!

This week has been glorious as I have been able to indulge in my love of all things vintage crate like!! Hurrah I hear you cry.....

Our new display outside Hartley Farm shop is complete, with a truly scrumptious Autumnal display! I would urge you to come visit and check it out!!

I wanted to create a door wreath to welcome Autumn in, I think they make such a gorgeous talking point! The Americans have down to a T with these things. They shouldn't just be for Christmas, enjoy the season that we are in and celebrate with a fabulous creation like this.

Autumn a go-go, with wicker basket to
complete the look!!

See I even got some corn in there! How Autumnal can you get AND....I picked a load of pumpkins from our Allotment this afternoon, but fret not I won't force a picture of those on you.

Clash the colours as much as possible. xx

Well, I wish you all a beautiful rest of the week, I am off to find some cucumber slices {late night out with my Brother} Never start talking about politics at 10.30pm, it doesn't work.


Monday, 12 September 2011

A day off...

 I love an adventurous bride. This photo came from a wedding we did this last weekend. She had two sets with flowers to welcome her guests in the entrance way.

I always think its a great to use items which are completely unique to you as it makes your day that bit more special. And what a fabulous talking point for all your guests!!
We have also been in marquee heaven for the last couple of weeks. Marquee's are interesting as they are a blank canvas from which to create your day.

This wedding was more about the little touches, as the Bride loved butterflies and had left them for us too put into the flowers on the day.

I would always say don't be afraid to add your own finishing touches after the flowers have been done! Though do always talk to your florist about what you have in mind.
I am not sure whether to be concerned about my love of vintage crates. I would happily buy them until the cows come home. I'm building an collection of them up at the workshop as they are fabulous to display flowers on

I also love photographing flowers on them as they give that extra vintage touch.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

I thought I would keep it simple today, had marvelous afternoon with friends, just hanging out! Cause frankly that's all that Sundays should be about!

We have been building up a collection of bouquet photos so feast your eyes on these as I am off in search of a cup of tea....


Friday, 29 July 2011

Luxury is the answer.....

Well, what can I say! Last weekend was officially a belter. The new Mr & Mrs are in Bali somewhere and we are only just recovering!! It was a fabulous weekend with the closest wedding we have ever done! We walked across the field and into the marquee to set the reception up, round the corner to the Church and across the car-park to drop the buttonholes off! The bride was down a country lane and oh was I enjoying it!!

The flowers were fabulous, the Bride kept it elegant with gorgeous David Austin roses called 'patience' and trailing jasmine for her bouquet! The reception was awash with vintage green hydrangea and a fabulous new scented rose called 'Norma Jean'.

A very excited groom..
The wedding was a success all around, ask anyone at Hartley Farm  and they will look at you with a knowing smile......

Anyway I off to the pub for a happy pint......

A most bemused Father of the Groom...
Fabulous table-centres
Bouquet of yummy-ness for Bridesmaids
Enjoy the photos, there will be more on Monday xxx

Monday, 11 July 2011

Who needs the Gym when......

Who needs the gym when your a florist? We certainly didn't this weekend, we drove down to a gorgeous barn near Tisbury to decorate for a wedding reception. The weather was certainly VERY mixed, between horrendous downpours & bright sunshine we hung garlands high up in the ceiling of the barn.

The bridal bouquet was vintage to the core, from trailing jasmine to the lavender picked from the Mother of the Brides house. The blowzy peonies helped make it a stunner.

No fear of heights.....

As you can see it was all very natural in style, we created loose garlands of ivy, trailing jasmine and eucalyptus with explosions of flowers. Which included hydrangea, peonies, roses and lisianthus. I felt the style really suited the barn, it was a very rustic look that was needed and thus we created it!!

Outside the barn there was a beautiful courtyard, where drinks were going to be served and seating was arranged. We decorated the pillars with these garlands and had great fun making them, they were so unstructured it was fabulous and the suited the barn so beautifully.

I think sometimes as florists we work in a very structured way, when in fact nature is so unstructured and free.

Will be attempting more free style floristry in the future me thinks......