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The best indoor succulents on the Isle of Wight!

The best indoor succulents on the Isle of Wight

Succulents are known for being low maintenance and long lasting which is why they’re a favourite with millennials (who in general have little time and less outdoor space!). The rise and rise of this cute little house plant is a trend that’s not going anywhere and is taking over not just home interiors but weddings as well!

This month we’ve created our own Succulent Bar (also to feed my addiction!) where you can choose your succulents and any container and we’ll do the rest. With your input we’ll create your own mini-indoor garden, a single succulent in a ceramic Moroccan tile pot or a terrarium with a family of succulents planted inside. So many options to choose from!

What are succulents?

Succulents are a type of plant that thrives in dry climates because they store water in their leaves enabling them to withstand long hours in the sun with little watering. 

Tips on planting succulents in pots…

They like very well draining compost which should be a 50/50 mixture of compost and grit. You can buy succulent compost ready mixed at Homebase, B&Q or other garden centres. If you use a general compost mix the succulent will rot as they don’t like a soggy bottom (so to speak!). Choose a container with drainage holes so that any excess water can drain from the bottom. Succulents should never be left to stand in pots or trays of water, and shouldn’t be watered if the soil is already damp – let …

What will the floral trends be in 2020?

What will the floral trends be in 2020

We love nothing more than poring over interior magazines and studying floral industry sites in order to spot up and coming trends. This sort of ‘deep dive’ research sparks our creativity when planning wedding flowers, and also informs our decisions on what flowers and plants we stock in the shop. We try to stay ahead of the curve so that our ideas are fresh and current. So what floral trends can we see on the horizon as we head towards 2020?

We’ve noticed that more delicate and neutral colour palettes are proving popular for weddings in the coming year. Nude, blush and even cappuccino tones which are so soft and feminine, and also add warmth. This combination is elegant and timeless but can also be turned on its head and used in more asymmetric designs (even bouquets!) giving a modern, edgy feel.

We’ve seen botanical themes used widely this year, and this trend shows no sign of slowing down in 2020. So just what is a ‘botanical’ theme? It’s all about greenery which can be used either alone or to complement flowers and add texture. We’ve experimented with lots of luscious and interesting foliage combinations this year which have produced incredibly beautiful bouquets and buttonholes. They can be quite big and include different shades of green to add drama or they can be very minimal and delicate.

With 1970’s bohemia just beginning to have its time to shine on the floral front it’s been fun to use these in the …

Easy to care for indoor house plants

Easy to care for indoor house plants

Our shop turned into a bit of a jungle over the past year as we began to stock indoor house plants.

Indoor house plants have become really popular recently due to reports that many plants have air purifying qualities (Peace Lily, Spider Plant, Ficus Plant and Aloe Vera to name a few!) so are perfect for the home or office. They also reportedly stimulate creativity, reduce background noise and even reduce stress levels – we could all do with a bit of that right?

But it can be quite tricky deciding which ones will thrive in any given environment, so I thought I’d jot down a few tips on some indoor house plants that are easy to care for.

Easy to care for indoor house plants

Epipremnum (common name: Devil’s Ivy)

Possibly the most popular trailing plant because they have stunning variegation on their leaves, they are fast-growing and can handle low light and a bit of neglect.

Sansevieria (common name: Mother-in-Law’s Tongue) 

These structural plants are so easy to look after. They grow in next to no light, require hardly any water and are pretty happy to just sit there looking pretty!

Spathiphyllum (common name: Peace Lily)

With its beautiful green foliage and occasional white flowers these plants actually communicate with you when it comes to care. They will wilt when thirsty and you can almost see them perk up before your very eyes once they’ve had a little H2O. They also grow in low light.

And if all …

Isle of Wight wedding flowers… 2019!

Isle of Wight wedding flowers

With only a handful of weddings left in our diary it’s nice to have a moment to sit back and reflect on the many Isle of Wight wedding flowers we’ve created so far this year. And what a year it’s been. June – August has been a floral frenzy! It’s been all about floral arches and installations, totally dreamy.

We’ve worked with so many lovely couples this year who have graciously left us to get creative when it comes to designing the florals for their special day. In June we decorated huge beams at the beautiful Kingston Manor and lined the tables with eucalyptus galore. Filling the barn with fragrance.

Image by Charlie Price & Charlotte Fisher

That same month we also decorated a beautiful driftwood arch on the cliff tops at Compton Bay with the picturesque white cliffs of Freshwater Bay creating the perfect backdrop.

In July we had the pleasure of decorating Appuldurcombe House for the lovely Emma and Chad. We used lots of blue delphiniums, corn flowers and lush green ferns. The cake was a real centrepiece – we worked with the lovely Ellie at Frostbite Bakery to cover the cake with fresh succulents (each on individual wires) to keep them in place.

Image by Silk Photography. Cake by Frostbite Bakery.

We decorate so many gorgeous venues across the Island but it’s always an honour when we’re asked to create flowers at Osborne House. We worked with Alicia and James on planning their dream flowers for …

How to keep flowers fresh for longer

How to keep flowers fresh for longer

How to keep flowers fresh for longer – it’s a question I’m asked a lot by customers browsing in the shop.

If you’re after longevity it’s always best to ask a florist which flowers last the longest. We can then recommend flowers such as alstroemerias, chrysanthemums, carnations, lilies and orchids.

Generally, soft stemmed seasonal flowers like tulips for example don’t tend to be longer lasting – but boy it’s worth enjoying them for their short season! Nothing like a vase of sweet peas, garden roses and hydrangea in the summertime. But there are some tips you can use to help these little beauties last a little longer in a vase.

5 steps to keeping cut flowers fresh for longer

  1. Choose a clean, clear glass vase. The majority of flowers are happiest when daylight can get to the stems. Wash the vase thoroughly with tap water before use – this’ll ensure that no bacteria is present when the flowers are popped in.
  2. Always keep the water clean. We recommend water being changed every couple of days. Fresh cold water is best. There are many old wives tales about how to make your flowers last longer by adding special ingredients (we’ve heard them all ie using a penny, vodka, aspirin, lemonade) but we believe that simple fresh cold water works best. Always ensure that over half of the height of the stems are in water (a minimum of 4 inches). Flowers do drink up the water so keep topped up if

Flowers bees love

Flowers Bees Love

A guest blog by Debbie Kennerley

As Autumn is nearly upon us and the garden is beginning to quiet, we can start to think of next year’s planting. Planting flowers that bees love is the best way of helping our friends in the apiary.

As reports suggest, the number of bees worldwide is diminishing largely because of industrial farming, parasites and climate change. It’s estimated that one third of the food that we consume each day relies on pollination, mainly by bees, but also by other insects, birds and bats which is why bees are so important to our continuing survival.

At this time of year after the harvesting of some delicious honey the worker bees, having worked extremely hard all summer, will start to die out leaving the Queen and her trusted ‘ladies in waiting’ huddling together preparing for winter.  

Next spring, the worker bees will be busy looking for pollen. By planting their favourite flowers and shrubs now, we give them the best chance of survival next year.

If you’re interested in cultivating a ‘bee friendly garden’ here are some tips on flowers that attract bees:

Crocus

Foxglove

Lavender

Sage

Salvia

Sedum

Clover

Borage

Phacelia

Nasturtium

Mahonia

Echium

Echinops

Ceanothus

Cotoneaster

Allium

Please call into the shop during the month of September for your FREE packet of seeds (while stocks last!).

If you’re interested in taking a bee-keeping course, they are available through IWBKA (Isle of Wight Bee-Keepers Association) or join the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Pollination For …

Happy birthday to us!

Ryde gifts

13% discount on all purchases* made before 31 July 2019.

July is an exciting month as our little floral business turns thirteen. Happy birthday to us! Did you know that you can buy a range of gifts from us here in Ryde, not just flowers? 

This expansion into homeware and garden decor prompted our name change 5 years ago. It seemed to evolve naturally as we moved beyond stocking flowers to include an ever changing supply of indoor plants, unique ceramic pots and elegant glassware. We wanted to offer an alternative to customers looking for a little extra to accompany a bouquet, or to customers wanting to support us despite not being greenfingered!

One of the very popular lines that we’ve branched into is stocking St Eval candles. St Eval have been making candles from their Cornish home for over 25 years and their ethos of ‘treading softly on the earth’ and a strong belief in keeping traditions alive, seemed to fit with how we strive to do business too. They create their own unique blend of wax and fragrance ensuring a truly fabulous scent. Our most popular candle is definitely the Sea Salt, we have customers who stock up on 2 or 3 at a time! But I think my personal favourite is the Bay and Rosemary, a comforting and welcoming fragrance as you step inside the door of your home. 

We rate these candles so highly that we’ve added them to our online shop as an addition to any …

Why June weddings are my favourites…

June wedding

I always look forward to June. And not just because it means warm summer days are on the way, but because it’s the month I got married.

The beginning of June is a lovely time as we see the transition of flowers from spring into summer and can enjoy the best of both worlds.  Ranunculus, peony and dahlia are available now and when used together create stunning arrangements. I couldn’t wait to use these goodies and more in my own wedding flowers!

When John and I got engaged (whilst out kayaking around the picturesque Priory Bay) I had no idea how my ‘dream wedding’ would look. It wasn’t until we had chosen our wedding venue at Landguard Manor, Shanklin, that I could picture our special day. All we wanted was a relaxed day to share with everyone we love. I don’t like a fuss!

I knew I wanted bright summery flowers – lots of clashing colours (because I didn’t have a favourite flower or colour to choose). So when it came to ordering them from my suppliers I didn’t do any calculations like I usually do, no lists or post-it notes, I simply scrolled through the selection of what was freshest that week and added it to my basket. I think you get the best combinations when you see what nature can bring. I was literally a kid in a sweet shop!

The day before our wedding we loaded the shop van with flowers, vases and the trinkets I’d collected …

Peonies…the ‘must have’ flower for many wedding parties!

Peony wedding isle of wight

Peonies always arrive with fanfare, announcing their arrival rather grandly with their big blousy heads with layers and layers of petals, beautiful foliage on the stem, and the most heavenly scent. They really are a prince among flowers and so naturally are first choice for many of our Isle of Wight brides (we once had a bride change the date of her wedding so that peonies would be in bloom!).

At this time of year bridal Pinterest boards are brimming over with peonies featuring in bouquets, centre-pieces and buttonholes! They’re so versatile and are available in many different colours and shades with new varieties being grown each year. They can pretty much lend themselves to any colour scheme a bride might alight upon.

Last year was the year of the Coral Charm peony. We had vases of them in our shop throughout the season and they were hugely popular with our customers. This year we have a particularly charming variety of peony in stock called Gardenia. It’s so delicate with soft powdery blush tones. The perfect flower for a late spring/early summer wedding with its pale pink outer petals and delicate white inner layers (purity and innocence all rolled up in a flower head). It’s absolute magic watching them open up! A little known fact for you about the peony… it’s known as the ‘flower of riches’ and is said to bring good fortune, luck, and a happy marriage. No wonder then that brides (and us florists!) love using them …

A day in the life of a florist…

a day in the life of a florist

Every day of the week is different in our little flower shop. Different suppliers come on different days. Different staff on different days – and for me different working hours on different days depending on the pre-school run! I love the variety and it’s a big part of why I love my job. No two days are the same.

The first priority of any florist is fresh flowers for the day. Before we started our family I spent many a misty morning driving over the downs for 5.30am flower collections from our suppliers. But since having my babes I’ve found a few new suppliers that are happy to deliver great quality flowers straight to our store up to 4 days a week. That’s been life changing to be honest, not to mention saving precious minutes of a morning!

Once in the shop (after a cup of strong English Breakfast) we start the day by checking all of our online orders, what deliveries need to be scheduled and any priority arrangements. If there is a funeral planned our first delivery is to take the funeral flowers straight to the funeral directors.

Next stop is to get our imaginations firing by arranging our display of plants outside the shop and creating our ‘ready to go’ flower bouquets. I really enjoy playing around with our outside display, using crates, tables, ladders, benches – anything interesting that we have to hand really! One of my favourite props is our vintage bike – pop a …

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