Thursday, 28 February 2013

February Wedding Fayre

 February is a difficult months for flowers – the supply of English flowers is limited (though lovely) and people aren`t really ready to think about flowers when snow and ice are still lying on the ground. But I`ve been motivated to do a lot this month as I was working up to my first wedding fayre which took place last weekend. This is an event marketed to potential brides where all kinds of suppliers, from vintage cars to bespoke wedding gowns, show off their wares. I was allocated a table to sell ‘Meadowsweet’ and I wanted to show what I could do with fresh English flowers and foliage in February. I decided to use reds, yellow and orange for one set of arrangements (red anemones, orange alstroemeria, yellow narcissi and a few white narcissi). I made a couple of arrangements in Heron Cross jugs and three small arrangements in vintage cups and saucers (especially pretty I think).

Then I made a second set of arrangements in a different range of colours – blue and pinks, with quite a lot of white (blue anemones, pink alstroemeria, pink tulips and white narcissi). Again, I used a couple of Heron Cross jugs. Then I decorated jam jars in lovely vintage paper that I found in Hay-on-Wye and pretty blue-grey ribbon for the three small arrangements.

In preparation for the fayre Jessie had made postcards for me to promote my products – weddings, workshops and bouquets. She also designed a portfolio for me to show case weddings and associated products. I set up my table with the arrangements I had made and the postcards, and I placed a slide show of wedding pictures in the middle (this ran all the time on my computer – hopefully to catch people’s eyes). Then I had the portfolio ready to show to people.

There was a steady trickle of interest (though not a rush) and I gave away a lot of wedding postcards….I will have to wait and see if any convert into real interest. I was really pleased to get one definite booking to make jam jar table arrangements for a special birthday celebration in May. I was also pleased to make contact with one or two other suppliers whose services are complementary to mine – in particular the gorgeous vintage wedding stationery produced by Claryce Design and the splendid vintage volkswagens supplied by Vintage VolksWeddings. It was also good to catch up with an old friend who did the same floristry course as me and who is now working with a professional florist. After the wedding fayre I used up my surplus flowers and foliage to make a couple of simple arrangements in some of my large vessels. Here they are next to our new veranda!

A couple of weeks ago Jessie and I visited the Garden Museum in London (some interesting stuff and a peaceful location in an old church). I noticed some inspired, but uncomplicated use of daffodils in a large urn just outside the museum. It gave me the idea to make this simple arrangement in a small urn. Next week I am visiting my friend Judith in Oxford and we are going to a lecture by the Director of the Garden Museum. His talk has the title: ‘Floriculture: flowers, love and money’ and it is based on the exhibition about the history of the cut flower trade in Britain which has just opened. I will be interested to see what sources he is drawing on as I am finding the floristry industry pretty difficult to research as so little has been written about it…more about this later. I am working up to writing something myself.

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