Petal and Wild

Wedding Floral Design Blog - Petal and Wild

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Celebrating British Flowers at The Midnight Garden Flower Farm
 Stone urn filled with British flowers at The Midnight Garden Flower Farm.

As the nights are drawing in and the trees are showing off their best autumn colours, I’m reflecting over the last wedding season, and the amazing range of British blooms I’ve been lucky enough to work with. There’s something very special about styling British grown flowers – a more natural, organic and free-flowing quality. Bringing the outside indoors is one of the delights of wedding floristry, and it becomes so much easier and more joyous when the flowers in question aren’t travelling enormous distances to reach the venue. 

Every June, there’s a whole week of celebration for what this country has to offer. During British Flower Week, lots of the UK’s growers and flower farmers put on workshops and tours for florists and flower enthusiasts to find out more about the provenance of the blossoms and blooms they work with. It’s a great chance to meet others in the industry, and to get creative with varieties that we perhaps don’t work with as often as we might like to. 

 Close up of British flowers grown at The Midnight Garden Flower Farm


The Midnight Garden Flower Farm

This year, I visited Cathy Marchant of The Midnight Garden Flower Farm near Newmarket, to take part in an urn styling workshop during British Flower Week. Cathy is a passionate grower and floral designer, and I can count on her for beautiful and well-cared for seasonal flowers. I regularly source flowers for my brides from The Midnight Garden Flower Farm, and Cathy’s stunning Georgian walled garden and Victorian glasshouse is a treat to spend time in. 

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 Collage of images of urn styling workshop at British flower farm

I had such a lovely time with Cathy at the workshop. We had gorgeous weather, and it felt really special to be able to immerse myself in something creative just for fun and with no specific brief to work to. 

My finished urn was a bit of an homage to early summer. I used a palette of clean whites and greens, and added pops of ice-cream tones in pale yellow, lilac and pink. The overall effect was youthful and fresh, and it contrasted really nicely with the formal grey stone of the urn. I’m really pleased with how it turned out, and knowing that I was working with flowers grown and gathered from just a few feet away made it all the more enjoyable. 

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The Midnight Garden Flower Farm close up of urn-min.jpg
 
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Supporting Local Growers

Now, it’s not always possible to use 100% British grown blooms – there are certain varieties that simply fail to thrive in our climate. However, the UK boasts an absolutely enormous range of flowers, and I’d love to see more brides and grooms taking an interest in where their bouquets, buttonholes, arrangements and installations come from. 

For me, it’s the equivalent of your weekly food shop. Choosing locally grown blooms is like visiting your artisanal food producers – the butcher, greengrocer or farmer’s market – rather than heading to the supermarket for a one-stop shop. 

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The Midnight Garden Flower Farm close up photo of urn
 

Flowers grown locally tend to be better quality for weddings – they’re more used to the English climate and they’re likely to be more robust having not been flown or otherwise transported from Holland, Colombia or South Africa and risked being crushed or damaged in transit.

There’s a real range of dedicated and talented flower farmers in the UK. As well as The Midnight Garden, I regularly source from The Real Flower Company, Usk Valley Roses, Tregothnan and the Irish Green Guys, to name a few. 

If you’re in the midst of planning and starting to think about your flowers, I’d love to talk to you about the options available. Get in touch, and let’s have a chat about how to include truly seasonal, British grown blooms into your wedding-day flowers. I promise you won’t regret it.

Love,

Alana x

 

Jen Feroze
Romantic English Roses at Gaynes Park
 Wild rose bouquet on wrought iron chair with calligraphy quote

Gaynes Park in Essex is one of my favourite venues. It's only five minutes down the road from my workshop, and it holds a special place in my heart as the place I got married. So, when Victoria from Victoria Murray Photography approached me about a styled shoot at Gaynes Park, I jumped at the chance to get involved.

Styled shoots are a great opportunity for wedding suppliers across the industry to come together and get creative - putting together looks and themes that will give brides and grooms a taster of what's possible for their wedding day. 

 Single pale pink rose

The Quintessential English Rose

The brief for this shoot was modern luxury for the English rose. We wanted to mix classic, traditional elements with contemporary styling for a beautifully opulent wedding day. I can't think of a better venue to meet this brief than Gaynes Park. Its manicured gardens and gorgeous orangery made it the perfect place for our romantic English roses. 

It will come as no surprise to you that roses were the feature flower in the work I did for this shoot. I wanted to include an abundance of full and fragrant varieties, and I chose a palette of white, cream, blush, pale pink and soft peach. This was a real treat for me as I got to use some of my favourite garden roses: David Austen Juliet; David Austin Keira, O'Hara, Margaret Merril, Mansfield Park and lots more besides. 

 Two rose heavy bouquets seen from above. Created by Petal and Wild and including David Austin Keira, David Austin Juliet, O'Hara and Mansfield Park roses.

I know that roses are sometimes seen as cliche when it comes to romance, but I am deeply, deeply in love with them. The rose is a flower with such potential and inherent sophistication. There are so many varieties to choose from, and their petal structure never fails to add a touch of elegance to any bouquet or arrangement. Nothing represents the English garden quite like the rose, and I won't hear a word said against it!

 Large bouquet of roses on chair with cream bridal shoes

Something A Bit Special

I created two bouquet arrangements for the shoot - one rich and luscious with luxurious colour, and the other more pared back but no less sculptural, filled with white roses and grey-green foliage. 

I knew that I also wanted to make a statement piece in the orangery - something that would bring the outdoors in and add a rose-scented wow factor to the day. I constructed a half arch with tumbling leaves and full pink roses. It was a labour of love but I'm so happy with the results.

 Half arch floral installation with cream and pink roses and foliage at Gaynes Park.
 Bride holding bouquet of roses and standing in rose archway at Gaynes Park

Artistic Styling

The brilliant Laura from Devine Bride was our styling superstar for the day. She designed the beautiful tablescapes, including calligraphy from Judy Broad and contemporary agate slice place names. Our bridal model looked incredible in dresses from Blackburn Bridal, and must admit I got goosebumps when she walked under my arch of flowers for the first time. 

I loved being a part of this shoot, and I hope there will be many more opportunities for me to let loose with romantic roses in the future!

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Modern English Rose Bride,  Flowers by Petal and Wild, bride in front of floral arch 1 image by Victoria Murray Photography_mini.jpg

Check out the credits for the full dream team, and if you'd like to chat roses and arches and bouquets (oh my!) then get in touch. I can't wait to hear about your wedding plans. 

Love, 

Alana

 Collage of images showing wild bouquet of roses in pinks, creams and corals

The Dream Team:

Photographer: Victoria Murray Photography  
Planner & Stylist : Devine Bride
HMUA: Lupton Hair & Makeup Artistry 
Dress Designer: Blackburn Bridal.
Shoe Designer: Freya Rose 
Floral Designer: Petal and Wild 
Stationery: JB Calligraphy 
Venue: Gaynes Park 
Jewellery: Ormolu London 

Wedding Flower Focus: Peonies
 White peonies

Wedding season is in full swing, and the weather has been glorious – perfect for beautifully fragrant, colourful bouquets of summer flowers. I’m excited to share some of the weddings I’ve been working on soon, but today I want to celebrate one of my favourite summer flowers: the peony.

We’re pretty much at the end of peony season now, which is always a slightly sad time as they’re just so gorgeous! This summer has been a wonderful year for them though, with late May to early July being the time they’re at their best. The peony has been a sought after bloom among brides for years, and they’re certainly not a fad flower. Soft and elegant yet big, bold and blousy at the same time, this beautifully sweet and somehow timelessly elegant flower adds a real wow to any bouquet.

 Blue and white bouquets with peonies on white wooden chair

Part of the reason I love to use peonies is their texture. The delicate ruffles of the petals add a really sculptural finish to bouquets and arrangements, and the colour palette of the peony means they can either form a beautiful backdrop of whites, creams and blushes when used in abundance, or else they give a punchy accent in corals, deep pinks and reds.

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The Perfect Moment

Timing with peonies can be tricky, as they don’t show off their full ruffled glory immediately. Order them too early and you risk overblown petals in your bouquet, pick them too late and they’ll be tightly wound little buds. Heat plays a big part in the speed at which the flowers open, so once purchased they need to be carefully tended and looked after to make sure they’re at their best on the big day. Your florist will be experienced in coaxing peonies into beautiful life, and everyone has their own little tricks of the trade to keep them looking plump and gorgeous. My personal top tip is to wrap tights or stockings around the flower to help it keep its lovely globe shape. If possible, I also keep them in a cool, dark place until they’re needed.

This gorgeous little pink number was a cheering sight in my studio for a week. I shot it each day, opening up to reveal its inner loveliness.

 Pink peony opening slowly over 8 days
 Pink peony opening slowly over 8 days

So thank you, peonies for brightening up my work and my life this summer! I’m starting to look forward now and can’t wait to get stuck into some lush late summer and autumnal colour. Stay tuned for a showcase of some of my recent work, and some details of the lovely weddings I’ve been involved with this year.

Love,

Alana x