A visit to New Covent Garden, London

New Covent Garden Market, London - Entrance

Entrance to New Covent Garden Market

First thing I do on my visit to London – go to New Covent Garden Market, of course! Paula Pryke had suggested we meet first thing on Thursday morning at the market, check out what flowers are currently available in London and perhaps run into some other floral designers for a quick chat. I sure had fun visiting the market with Paula! We chatted with Stephen Wicks and Mark Welford of Bloomsbury Flowers, oh they are funny! Plus, met Tony from By Appointment Only Design – we’ve featured them previously on Flirty Fleurs, was cool to say hello in person.
Also, got to see some very pretty flowers — lots of hydrangeas, peonies, garden roses, lupines and alliums-

New Covent Garden Market, London - Hydrangeas


New Covent Garden Market, London - Paula Pryke and Lupines

Paula Pryke + Lupines

New Covent Garden Market, London - Blue Bachelor Buttons

Blue Bachelor Buttons

New Covent Garden Market, London - Cucuma Flowers

Cucuma Flowers

New Covent Garden Market, London - Sweet peas

Sweet Peas

New Covent Garden Market, London - Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas

New Covent Garden Market, London - Supplies Department

The supply department is amazing, so many different vessels — and lots, and lots of garden urns! How I’d love to go shopping here and ship home all kinds of goodies!!
Should you like to visit New Covent Garden Market sometime it is very easy to access – just take the underground to Vauxhall, then walk down the street to the market.

A Passion for Peonies by Neill Strain

While in London I had the pleasure of accompanying Paula Pryke to her visit with Neill Strain. Neill has the most lovely shop in the Belgravia neighborhood of London ~ highly recommend visiting if you are ever in the neighborhood. (It’s just a few blocks away from Harrod’s).

Paula Pryke and Neill Strain in front of his shop in London

Neill Strain & Paula Pryke

Neill was hosting a special flower show at his shop called ‘Passion for Peonies’ as part of Chelsea Fringe. The Peonies he had on display were absolutely breathtaking ~ take a look:

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies Display

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies Display

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies Display

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Bartzella Peonies


Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Bowl of Cream Peonies

Bowl of Cream

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Charlie White Peonies

Charlie White

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Commander of Performance Peonies

Commander of Performance

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Cytherea Peonies


Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Delaware Chief Peonies

Delaware Chief Peony

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Diana Parks Peony

Diana Parks

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Etched Salmon

Etched Salmon

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Garden Treasure

Garden Treasure

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Lemon Chiffon

Lemon Chiffon

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Mackinac Grand

Mackinac Grand

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Mary Jo Legare

Mary Jo Legare

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Mme. Claude Tain Peonies

Mme. Claude Tain

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Moonrise Peonies


Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Moonrise Peonies


Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Mother's Dream Peonies

Mother’s Dream

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Pink Dinner Plate Peony

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Red Grace Peonies

Red Grace

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Salmon Dream Peonies

Salmon Dream

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - White Cap Peonies

White Cap

You can read more about the inspiration for Passion for Peonies and see more pictures on Neill’s blog.

Another two shots from my visit to Neill’s Shop – the entrance is always changing and the Flower Bar is always full of a lovely selection of flowers:
Entrance to Neill Strain's Flower Shop

Neill Strain's Flower Shop in London

The Flower Bar – a selection of flowers are always on display here

I love London!

If you’ve followed this blog for the past 4 years or know me at all, you know that I love London! It’s such a fabulous city! I love that I can get around town via the Underground and it is absolutely filled with wonderful things to see for flower lovers.
Ohhh… and was this past visit filled to the brim with flower goodness!
Today I’ll give you a re-cap of what I did and saw and the following days this week I will post more in depth looks at each event.
First, I arrived into Heathrow and caught the express train into Paddington Station. First thing I see – flower stand:

Paddington Train Station in London w/ floral display

Then I was off to the next train station to meet up with my friend, Emma, who I stayed with and again I see more flowers:

Flowers at a London Train Station

Thursday morning I was up bright and early and off to the New Covent Flower Market to meet up with the one and only Paula Pryke! Love her! We perused the flower market, chatting with other flower designers and admiring the gorgeous flowers available. We had a nice time at the market and then we caught a cab over to Neill Strain’s phenomenal shop in Belgravia. Neill’s shop is so beautiful and I just love going there for a visit.
Here’s Paula & Neill in front of his shop:

Paula Pryke & Neill Strain in front of Neill's flower shop in London

Paula Pryke & Neill Strain

Neill had a special flower show as part of Chelsea Fringe happening at his shop called Passion for Peonies. He had peonies that I’ve never seen before, so many incredible varieties.

Passion for Peonies at Neill Strain's Flower shop in London.

Passion for Peonies at Neill Strain’s Flower shop

Neill, Paula and I enjoyed a fantastic brunch and chatted about the floral scene in London. They told me about visiting Chelsea In Bloom. Then Neill says – let me see if anyone has an extra ticket to Chelsea for today. (I had one ticket for Chelsea for Friday. If you ever go to Chelsea make sure to buy your tickets well in advance as they do sell out!). After our fun visit Neill drove me over to Chelsea In Bloom and told me he’d text when he finds a ticket. Chelsea In Bloom takes place at various shops around Sloane Square (the neighborhood just outside the Chelsea Flower Show). Sure was fun hunting for the shops that were participating and watching passerby’s reactions. About 90 minutes later I receive a text from Neill – he has a ticket! I was so excited, all of a sudden I was going to Chelsea a day early!!

Entrance to RHS Chelsea Flower Show

In the coming days I will be posting quite a few photos from Chelsea .. as soon as I sort through all of them!

I only spent a few hours there on Thursday as I knew I’d be there all day on Friday. After leaving the show I walked around Chelsea, Sloane Square and Pimlico Road. Wandered upon Nikki Tibbles’ Wild At Heart Shop:

Wild at Heart on Pimlico Road, London

Wild at Heart

And saw this gorgeous floral design sitting in the shop:
Flower Arrangement by Wild At Heart in London

Then I was off for more walking, wandered up through Belgravia neighborhood and ended up by Buckingham Palace. Then caught the underground back to Emma’s flat.

Friday morning came and I was off for a full day at Chelsea Flower Show! Yes, I really spent all day there and I think I saw everything. Hopefully I saw everything! Plus, I got to visit with Rona of Flowerona Blog. So great to see Rona and catch up, plus she knows all about Chelsea and could fill me in on details. Emma and her friend, Wendy, joined for the evening hours and we were the last of the group that left when the gates closed at 8pm. Off for a walk through the neighborhoods and a great dinner.
Hold tight .. you’ll be seeing plenty of Chelsea photos this week!

Saturday came and we decided to go for a drive into the north, towards Birmingham we drove. That idea turned out to be brilliant. Joe Massie was in Birmingham working on a floral installation.
Check out this piece he designed:
Joseph Massie Floral Dress 2014

Joe, Emma and I enjoyed a long visit over dinner in the small town of Wolverhampton. Good times and felt I had to pinch myself to believe I was there sitting with my friends at a random pub in Northern England.

Joseph Massie and Alicia Schwede, England 2014

Joe always makes me laugh

I can hardly believe where Emma and I ended up on Sunday. David Austin Roses. Yes, that David Austin! Located just outside Wolverhampton are the David Austin Rose Gardens. We perused the gardens, and more gardens. We had tea (cappuccino for me) and crumpets in their tea room. We studied the plants for sale. Finally selected an amazing yellow Graham Thomas Garden Rose for Emma’s garden.

Gift Shop at David Austin Roses

The entrance to the gift shop and the rose gardens at David Austin.

Talk about a perfect day, a perfect weekend and a perfect week!

Sunday evening we drove back to London. I quite enjoyed driving thru the countryside, the weather was perfect and the rolling green hills so beautiful.

Monday rolled around and we decided to take an easy day after 4 days of running around. The biggest outing was to visit Peggy Porschen’s cake shop in Belgravia. Peggy’s cakes are glorious to look at and just as good to eat!
Peggy Porschen Cakes

Tuesday came way too quickly and it was time to return home. Crazy how quickly a week can go by, of course two days are lost to the traveling to and from Seattle to London.

Oh, one more thing I saw while out strolling around London – sides of buildings covered in plants. I thought these were just spectacular!

The side of a building in London covered in plants

The side of a building in London covered in plants

Wedding Wednesday :: Cakes with Flowers

Cake decorated with pink and lavender roses with privet berries

Designer Unknown

The winner of Paula Pryke’s book is…

Congratulations to Green Goddess Flower Studio, of Cape Town, South Africa!
Paula and her team selected your lovely bouquet as the winner!

Green Goddess Flower Studio wins a copy of Paula’s new book: How to Plan Your Wedding

Paula Pryke, How to plan your wedding book cover

Thank you to everyone who entered a lovely pink bouquet into the contest!!

Margaret Burnette, hot pink gladiolus blooms

Margaret Burnette

Cascading bridal bouquet with pink roses and white daisies and baseballs

Designed by Lisa Bellacicco

Book Review of How to Plan your Wedding by Paula Pryke

Paula Pryke, How to plan your wedding book cover

Paula Pryke has released her latest book, How to Plan Your Wedding, book number 16 for those of you keeping track! This book is a bit different than the others, this one is written for a bride planning a wedding.

I asked Paula, we’ve known you to write 15 previous books focused on ideas for the floral designer industry, this book is different as it is created for the bride, why were you inspired to create this book?
“Weddings have become so diverse and have changed totally in the last ten years. Although there is a lot of wonderful advice on the internet, I thought there were still people like me who like to hand write advice or reminders in a note-book style. I also think that all the blogs, pinterest, websites can be quite intimidating and so I wanted simplify things.
I have gleaned so much information about weddings in the last 26 years of working on them and since my own! Also, I often meet people who are planning weddings of all ages who just don’t know quite how to get started, so I wanted to write a guide that would help them through the exciting process.”

I feel the same as Paula, even in this age of the internet & computers, I still like to hand-write out my notes and I adore the thought of creating a lovely keepsake to remember this special day. In fact, there is even a space towards the end of the notebook where the bride can record memories of the day, such a nice touch! Whereas other planning binders are usually large & bulky, How To Plan Your Wedding is the perfect size notebook which can be slipped into a purse and taken to vendor appointments.

Now if you are a floral designer (which you probably are, considering you are reading this blog!) and are wondering if you’d enjoy this book, I can tell you – Yes! I found myself thoroughly enjoying each and every page, Paula has shared many new floral designs in the book. The book really is packed full of beautiful and inspiration images of floral arrangements.

Of course, I asked Paula what her next project is and she says – “I have a new book on Wedding Flowers out in January 2015. I have just finished the photography after 13th months! My new book out next year is also focused on weddings so I feel I have been totally immersed in weddings. I’ve been eating, sleeping and dreaming weddings and of course working on them!”

Paula Pryke - Bridal bouquet of pink and green flowers

Paula Pryke - All white wedding reception with peonies and baby's breath centerpieces

Paula Pryke - Bridal bouquet of all white peonies

Paula Pryke, Wedding cake with pink roses in between the layers

Paula Pryke - Bridal bouquet of pink, plum and crimson bridal bouquet with jasmine vines

Paula Pryke - Daisies for a flower girl

Credit for the images: How to Plan Your Wedding by Paula Pryke, published by Jacqui Small, ¢G20 hardback.

Click here – How to Plan Your Wedding – to order on Amazon

Now I have exciting news for one lucky reader – we are giving away one copy of How To Plan Your Wedding!!!

Send in a photograph of a Pink Bride or Bridesmaid Bouquet that you have designed to info@flirtyfleurs.com
We will select one lucky winner!

Please submit picture by Wednesday, April 23, 2014.

Fleur Friday

Red Christmas Table with Poinsettias

Designed by Paula Pryke
Image by Flowerona

Looking back on 25 years by Paula Pryke

Hi flower friends, I have an amazing post to share with you today! Floral Designer and Businesswoman extraordinaire, Paula Pryke, is celebrating 25 years in the industry this fall and she has been kind enough give us a glimpse into her journey. I hope you feel inspired as much as I have and enjoy her words of wisdom.

Paula Pryke

Image from Flowerona

When I was growing up as a child in a rural community in the UK I found I enjoyed arranging wild flowers and flowers from my Mother’s Garden rather than doing the housework! I was also aware that if you placed a vase of flowers into the room after a quick round with the duster and the vacuum cleaner, the room came to life and my Mother’s gratitude was greater! Later I went to a boarding school which was set into an amazing landscaped estate of 500 acres where my love of nature and the seasons was sealed. Back then the global flower industry was only worth a few billion. Opportunities to see floral design were confined to the Church, Garden centres or a few plain looking high street shops.

25 years ago I was just embarking on my career with flowers and little did I know how it would change my life! I had originally trained as a history teacher having been inspired by my own teacher at school and the historic parkland and house where I had been schooled. Three years into my career of teaching, I just knew it was not where I wanted to be 25 years down the line. One Valentine’s day I journeyed from East London to Heathrow airport in the West and everywhere I went I saw florists delivering roses. It was like the rest of London was this sepia grey with the red roses shouting out to me! This epiphany movement ended up on me enrolling on a Constance Spry four week flower design course and from that moment I was hooked.

purple and burgundy flower arrangements

Returning to teach at school I was staring out the window looking at the fall leaves and feeling the call of nature! At the end of that academic year I took a part time teaching job at The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, famous for training Naomi Campbell and Russell Brand and worked for three days a week in a shop in central London. This also allowed me to take a floristry evening course to learn more about the basics. I had recently married and my husband encouraged me to start my own business. I felt ill-prepared in experience terms but what I lacked in that department I made up for in enthusiasm and hard work. My original shop was in a secondary site and so I sought out contract work and also business accounts. My husband is an Architect and I found that new buildings and recently refurbished buildings were a good source of business for me. I also worked in an area that at the time was not very sophisticated and rents were quite cheap so I found myself working with a lot of creative types, such as photographers and stylists.
I worked on a massive advertising campaigns for BA, lots of Financial groups and Banks and did masses of editorial work. My shop became a mecca for lots of interesting creative characters and I realised that although I was not very experienced, people liked the way we arranged and presented flowers. I did not think of myself a trail-blazer at the time because there has always been a healthy amount of competition in London and I was just busy dealing with the day-to-day business of running a busy flower shop.

Three years into having that little shop, three things happened that changed my fortunes. The first was one of my customers, also ran a publishing company and she was so impressed with what she used to see on her forays into the shop on Saturday that she offered me the opportunity to write my first book which was entitled: ‘The New Floral Artist‘. I can’t believe that I have two more books coming out shortly which will make it a total of 17 titles! These books have been translated into Hebrew, Japanese and 12 other languages!

Through the photographer of the book, Kevin Summers, I met one the Great Britain’s most famous Cookery writers, Delia Smith and she offered me the chance to work with her on her books and TV series and also to publish a monthly article on flowers in a magazine run but her and her husband. This enabled a lot of people to learn more about flower design and enjoy flowers in their own homes.

mantle decoration of orange flowers

The third event that really changed the nature of business was a recommendation by Ilse Crawford a style guru who at the time edited Elle Decoration. She recommended to Terence Conran that he pay me a visit at my store which he did. He declared it the best flower shop outside Paris and I began to work with him on his restaurant and design empire.

The books led to demonstrations and The Flower School and wider exposure around the world. The magazines led to a wider audience in the UK and a huge interest in floral design. The regular supply of flowers to the restaurant trade gave me a regular turnover and back in the 1990’s these had huge budgets so I became and I got known for modern displays of wonderful flowers. I am still more into the elegant understated look than the opulent flowers everywhere approach! I have just completed a “How to plan your wedding” book which is out in January and I am working on a new Wedding Flowers book which will replace my old title that has been in print for ten years! The new Paula Pryke Wedding Flower Book will be published by Rizzoli in the US and will be my 17th flower book!

During the last three decades the flower industry has grown into a global multi-national business worth over 100 billion pounds. In those 25 years, I have opened and closed nine shops; eight in the UK, seven in London and one in the Seoul, Korea. I still still have the fantasy of having a flower shop and standing amongst all these beautiful creations, chatting to my customers and making beautiful flower designs! The reality of a flower shop is quite different and you do literally become a slave to your own creation. Since I started my first flower shop the retail world has changed dramatically and although there is still some demand for beautifully arranged quality flowers, most of my colleagues in London and now I have gone down the bespoke Atelier route rather than a retail outlet. My business now is based around business contracts, special events and my bespoke gift and internet orders. Many of my contracts, which I have had for twenty odd years and include some great fashion houses and city institutions as well as restaurants.

I am currently working as a flower consultant for a famous London department store and so I have be analysing all the reasons why retailing flowers have become so much harder even if you have the benefit of a prime site with lots of foot-fall. 25 years ago you could not really buy flowers anywhere else than in a flower shop, nursery, garden centre or a flower stall. Twenty years ago the Supermarkets came into the flower business and now they are really the major players for cut flowers for the home and also the gift market. These giants were attracted to the mark-up that flowers offered them and they have become very good at understanding the floral business over the last 20 years. They have also offered good value and long lasting flowers to their customers which has made bespoke floristry and top quality flowers look prohibitive to your everyday flower buyer. The relay organisations such as FTD and Interflora got bought out by the Corporate world and have forsaken the small independent florist. The Sympathy flower business has also been bought up by huge multinational companies and what was a lucrative and necessary party of the flower trade has dwindled because of their control on the flower purchases. Also there has been a strong trend to make a donation to a charity at a funeral rather than buy flowers. Whilst I understand this shift in thinking, there is nothing sadder than a funeral without any flowers. All these factors have meant that it is now very hard to survive as florist on the high street. Added to this, the flower industry and in particular the wedding flower industry has been attracting lots of new companies who just wish to work on events and weddings. Many of these work from home with limited overheads and can offer very competitive rates to secure work. One consistent trend I have seen over 25 years is how many people in our industry do not charge enough for their labour and designs and this can devalue the business and the talents required.

flowers and oranges for a display

Now everyone who consults with a floral designer is quite savvy about flowers and through pinterest, blogs and the wedding media. This has meant that the client likes to be more involved in the creative process. This can be an advantage but I sadly think it makes more people opt for something they feel safe with and less open to the one-to-one creative process with their floral designer. It also means that a lot of people come to you with ideas and budgets that really don’t match rather than let you guide and help them! It also can mean in a crowded market that too many floral designers are quoting and advising on the same weddings causing the Bride and Groom to become totally confused and wasting a lot of our time. There has also been a much greater emphasis on order takers, event planners, venues or concierge companies wanting to organise the whole event and take a commission from all their vendors. At one time, I liked to think that people chose me for my artistry or because they liked working for me. Now I know that it is because they will cream off 15% or 25% from my work. Even Royal Palaces are in on the game. Sadly these hidden commissions mean that your clients enviably pay more for their weddings and it can also lead to unscrupulous practices or less talented florists being recommended for work because they are prepared to compromise their clients wedding and pay a higher commission. The other recent trend at the top end of the market is the use of faux flowers in flower decoration! The demand for the flowers to look even more fantastical has led to the use of artificial flowers being added into flower displays! I try to avoid this at any costs but I admit it can be effective in moderation!

purple pink and blue large flower arrangement

Working in London too, we also have massive congestion meaning we spend too long on the road getting in and out of events. We also have difficulty parking and the overhead of the Congestion charge as all added costs to our work. 20 years ago you could park pretty much anywhere in London and deliver flowers. Now you pay up to £12 an hour and run the risk of £60 parking fines every day! Logistics have become much more costly and complicated. When you add the 20% VAT we also have to add to our flower costs here in the UK, it has made the product so much more of a luxury that the market has become quite divided. More often I am working for the international world traveller with many homes across the globe than the ‘ordinary’ local customers who wanted a treat or a beautiful gift. These overheads and the increasing cost of the flowers have made keeping on top of the profits even more challenging and margins have been squeezed.

However, despite all of these headaches of running a business involving the beauty and fraility of fresh flowers, I would not have changed anything! I have met some wonderful people and designed flowers all over the world! I have gotten to work inside some of London’s most beautiful landmarks and I have worked with the movers and shakers of Great Britain. I have worked in Palaces, on Super-Yachts and on a whole lot of loading bays!!! Recently I have been a consultant to a Crystal Cruises so I have become very familiar with how to get flowers delivered to any port in the world and I have been able to arrange flowers while sailing down the Panama Canal or past the Statue of Liberty! The flower industry has grown out of all recognition and ordinary people’s lives have been enhanced by the beauty of regular flowers in their own home. Running any business over 25 years requires adapting and moving to changing trends. I have been amazed by how many florists here in Britain and abroad and have been influenced by my work and how many have become floral designers and gone on to enjoy a life with flowers. I still enjoy teaching and passing on what I have learnt to the next generation. This weekend I have been judging The British Industry Wedding Awards and it is great to see new talent. I was a little disappointed not to see more original work but maybe we have got Pinterest and the bloggers to blame for that!
Deep down when I am back at the flower market with just the raw material and I see lots of my contemporaries still up early and still eulogising about a new variety or a new colour, you realise what an addiction the flower business is! As Vita Sackville- West said, “Flowers really do intoxicate me!” It has been such a pleasure to work each day with such outstanding beauty.
Who could ask for more?

The Paula Pryke Flower Design Diploma starts on the 4th of March 2014

handtied bouquet of orange fall flowers

orange fall flower arrangement

modern flower arrangement

heart wreath of colorful flowers

Who’s your floral idol, crush, hero, superstar?

Recently I sent out a twitter request & email to our mailing list, asking for input on seven different questions. Thank you to everyone who sent in their replies!!

Question #6:
Who’s your floral idol, crush, hero, superstar? Why?

Paula Pryke – just love her work. And Preston Bailey – for someone that does such ornate, over-the-top events, his blog and twitter feed reflect such a modest and humble human being with great business acumen.
Gerry & Rebecca, Petal’s Edge Floral Design, Washington DC & Alexandria, Virginia

large scale floral design

Designed by Preston Bailey


Japanese contemporary floral artist Naoki Sasaki. His work is exquisite! Somehow he manages to manipulate natural elements into fantastic design concepts without compromising their naturalness.
Christine, My Creative Workbook/ Floral Lifestyle Design, Vancouver, Canada

Designed by Naoki Sasaki

Designed by Naoki Sasaki


I do have to say Robbie Honey and David Stark are my current floral idols. Loved learning how to create large scale designs with Robbie in NYC. He is funny, on trend and is quite the world traveler. I love seeing how David Stark takes art as his inspiration and uses it to produce amazing events and most of the time he uses the product that his client is trying to market. Its absolutely genius.
Alexandra, Exquisite Designs, Chicago, Illinois

lush white flower arrangement

Designed by Robbie Honey


Paula Pryke because of her use of colour and her steadfastness through all the trends and fashions and adversity over time. She is still a great leader in showing us the way forward.
Marion, Poppies Designer Flowers, England

modern purple flower arrangement

Designed by Paula Pryke. Photograph via Flowerona.com


Sandra de Ovando. It started with passing her shop window one evening. I told my husband about her and he ordered a bouquet for me for our anniversary. Simply stunning. Then I took a class her studio offered and she was there teaching alongside her staff. She’s built this lovely little empire and her aesthetic is simply wonderful. She’s patient and kind AND quite a role model for upcoming Latina designers! 🙂
Tara, The Blissfull Bloom, NYC

contemporary flower design

Designed by Ovando Flowers, NYC


Paula Pryke, I attended one day of her workshop in San Francisco at Cool Water. Her style is completely what I enjoy designing, we have many similarities in the blooms, branches we both use. I appreciated hearing her explain how her business grew to what it is. She is very approachable, learning from her was a joy.
Kris, KRISanthemums, Oregon

yellow and purple flower centerpiece

Designed by Paula Pryke Flowers


My personal floral idol would be Karen Tran, her style and talents match my ultimate business vision for my future brides and clients.
Floral crush is Jeff Leatham, love seeing him work those arms when designing!
Floral Hero & Superstar is David Tutera. I met him in person once and not only was he as handsome in person as what you see in photos and tv but he was so gracious and had such a calming demeanor. I was definitely starstruck.
Jennifer, Mancuso’s Florist, Michigan

purple and fuchsia tall flower centerpieces

Designed by Karen Tran


How can I not have a few of these? Though lesser known than some, Cloth of Gold Flowers in Birmingham, AL is at the top of my list. I LOVE the way Katie combines color, texture and ribbon. Stunning! I attached a design of hers that to me is perfection.

I also love flower farmer tales (via blog and Instagram) of Love ‘n Fresh, Floret and World’s End/Saipua! They all do a great job letting others peek into their lives and the lives of the flowers they grow.
Nikki Shenk, Instagram: @nikki_shenk, Moscow, Russia

blush and purple bridal bouquet

Designed by Cloth of Gold Flowers in Birmingham, Alabama


And the one that made my day…

I have many crushes… How do you choose just one? Alicia Schwede and Chuck Graham of Flirty Fleurs, Amy at Botanical Brouhaha because they have started these blogs and have given so much back to us. Holly Heider Chapple, Francoise Weeks, Ariella Chezar, Gregor Lersch, Ian Prosser, Pim van den Akker…. the list goes on and on.. Why these names.. because they continuously are improving their art form. Because they continue to inspire. Because they never want to stop learning. Because they always give back.
Sheri, Blumen Meisters, Texas

lush pink elegant flower centerpiece

Designed by Botanica International Design Studio
Photography: K and K Photography, LLC


Guildford Cathedral Flower Gala, June 6-8, 2013 – Guildford, England

Demonstration by Paula Pryke

Demonstration by Paula Pryke

An exciting Flower Gala is coming soon to Guildford, England! The Guildford Cathedral Flower Gala will take place June 6-8, 2013. A special preview evening to be held on Wednesday the 5th June.
The Cathedral Events team has been working on the production of this flower gala for the past two years, and without a doubt it will be quite the flower show!
Paula Pryke is the designer for this wonderful event and has been working on designs with florists and flower arrangers from the Parish churches, flower clubs, florists and floristry school to transform the Cathedral into a colourful garden of over 50 Floral Arrangements.



During the Gala there is exclusive opportunity to see three of the UK’s most exciting floral designers in action:

• Thursday 6 June 13:00 Robbie Honey

• Friday 7 June 13:00 Shane Connolly, who will also be signing his book

• Saturday 8 June 13:00 Joe Massie

Click here to read more about the flower demonstrations with Robbie, Shane and Joe.

Tickets for each demonstration are £30 which includes entry into the Flower Gala. 100 seats available only. Purchase tickets HERE.




A day at the Gala is priced at just £8.00 per person and is open from 10.00am to 5.00pm with last entry at 4.00pm. Purchase of a ticket to the event will give entry to:

• The Flower Gala to view the stunning floral arrangements within the beautiful Cathedral building

• The Marquee an exciting retail space where there are a variety of unique and special gifts on sale

• The Rose Cafe offering light refreshments and with wonderful views over the town of Guildford

• The Cathedral Refectory serving an array of different hot and cold refreshments throughout the day

• Guildford Cathedral gift shop

• Access to and from Guildford town centre using our free Arriva flower bus service

• A hospitality marquee on the front lawn offering a restaurant service for lunches

Best orange


About Guildford Cathedral:
• Guildford is one of England’s youngest cathedrals, and the last to be built from scratch on a ‘green-field’ site

• Designed by Sir Edward Maufe, it was started in 1936, and finally consecrated in 1961

• The Cathedral is built of bricks made with clay dug from Stag Hill itself. To help fund the construction, people could buy individual bricks for half-a-crown: you can still see the bricks bought and signed by members of the Royal Family.

• The tower is 160 feet high and contains 12 bells from the same foundry that made Big Ben

Guildford Cathedral

Guildford Cathedral


Stag Hill
Events Website: www.events.guildford-cathedral.org
Cathedral Website: www.guildford-cathedral.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/GuildfordCathedral
Purchase tickets HERE.