Keeping on keeping on…

January is a time for reflection, for new plans, for keeping warm and cosy, and, for us, a welcome month to rest a little after two busy months leading up to Christmas. Top of my own list for Christmas was Alan Bennett's latest book. I grew up listening to his calm, Yorkshire voice, appreciating his clever observations on life and his humour. He is the one person I would dearly love to meet - ok, there is also Shane Connolly, the true gentleman of the flowery world. When asked by a friend if our little business had any plans for the year ahead I said yes: to keep on doing what we're doing, or, in the words of Mrs B, to " keep buggering on" - a phrase she...

read more

Wreath encounters with Ethel…

Late last year we were asked if we could help with the front cover of the Christmas edition of the Live Ribble Valley magazine. Beautifully produced, we know many of our customers read it and the Christmas edition always adorns Mrs B's coffee table.  A large wreath was suggested. Familiar with the magazine's 'aesthetic' of muted tones, always with a seasonal slant and an emphasis on the countryside, I began to think.  I kept coming back to one of my favourite films - nostalgic, Northern and set in the picturesque village of Downham: Whistle Down the Wind.  If you haven't seen Alan Bates lying low in a barn surrounded by a collection of cute children...

read more

Yorkshire Flowers and Gardens

"Do what you love." I started a previous post with that familiar mantra. This year we have taken our ambitions further - doing what we love at places we love, and working with people we admire (more to come on this). Dove Cottage Nursery is a place we adore: a small haven of tranquility nestled just 6 miles away from us in the Shibden Valley.  It's a place we visit on an almost weekly basis throughout the summer months so that we can add to our ever-expanding collection of herbaceous perennials and grasses, in an attempt to create a garden with movement and life (sounds a lot like our floral designs!). One sunny Saturday afternoon chatting with Kim...

read more

Herbaceous borders and other ramblings

England in June: there's no place finer - long days, some warmth, hedgerows brimming with foliage you have to snip, herbaceous borders bursting with life, colour and busy insects. Oh, and roses, the scent of roses in every corner. No time better then for a flowery trip down the country, taking in the changing scenery as hills flatten into fields with big skies, and then onwards as the leafy verges widen out into broad sweeping downs heading off towards the sea. A few days away took me to Stamford and on to Sussex. Secateurs, scissors, apron, buckets, emergency gin and Yorkshire tea all rattling around in the boot. En route to Stamford I stopped briefly...

read more

British Flowers and Bronte tales…..

'Do what you love' is a message we hear often, and working with flowers and food lets us do just that. But, this year we decided we would take things a little further and try to bring into our workshops other things we love. It's no secret that we like to use British flowers whenever we can. We love their uniqueness and, more than that, we enjoy working closely with the people who grow them too. It adds a whole new dimension to every arrangement we make if we know where each flower has come from. Often we've watched them being picked. We know that the growers have selected them for us because they think we will like a particular colour or shape....

read more

Eyes like leaves, lips like berries, and hellebores to die for

In the darker days just before spring emerged fully, bringing a riot of green and an explosion of soft colour, we got together the team we work with regularly for a day of much needed inspiration. The hellebores this year in our garden were good but not quite as good as in previous years, and I know we weren't alone - other local growers reported the same. The long wet winter did them no favours at all and I'll be honest and say we didn't feel it was appropriate to hold one of the classes we had advertised because there just weren't enough high quality hellebores to use. And so we cancelled a class, and I felt rather down-hearted at having to do that....

read more

Floral workshops- what goes on? Sarah waxes lyrical again

What do our floral workshops involve? Hopefully this post explains. 'A real feast for the senses' was a comment made by one of our first ever guests and that has become our mantra as we plan each workshop. Our aim is for our guests to smell that unrivalled fresh flower scent as they step on the bottom stair, to taste freshly brewed tea and coffee and homemade cakes within moments, to touch the petals of every bloom as they wander around the workshop and to gasp at the sight of each flower, branch, vine and piece of foliage in what literally is a room full of flowers. We love also to hear the sound of friendly chatter, the obligatory ten minutes silence as...

read more

2015 a year to remember

2015 was our busiest year to date and we enjoyed every minute. We met friends from around the World, promoted British Flowers, launched our one to one workshops from the new 'garden workshop' in Yorkshire and held more classes at our Lancashire workshop than ever before. There were lovely brides who wanted natural and seasonal bouquets with exquisite ribbon, parties and afternoon teas and we had to sample new food for each event- what a chore! Christmas also brought us some beautiful houses to dress as well as almost a hundred guests who wanted to make wreaths and centrepieces whilst indulging in Mrs B's fine food and wine. Classes for 2016 have been announced...

read more

Seasonally Affected… An Autumn Blog Post by Sarah

We've always said we embrace the seasons. Nothing excites us more than seeing new flowers emerge or trying out new recipes with fruit and vegetables that are abundant. But it's Autumn that gets me every year; maybe because we live somewhere which has trees on every hillside, in every valley and in every shade from pale gold, rust, crimson, burgundy. It's also because in Autumn our garden and the cutting garden become more theatrical than ever. The borders with their 'Piet Oudolf'-inspired planting become like living sculptures dancing in the Autumn breeze and bathed in the warm afternoon light - the kind of light you just don't get at any other time of...

read more

Spring flowers photo shoot at Gawthorpe Hall

Recently we have been involved in a few photoshoots. I love them. A chance to get creative with the best flowers, and of course the best ribbon. Yes, I do have a special box of ribbon that I save just for photoshoots! Currently containing Heirloom Silk, VV Rouleaux velvets and all the Silk and Willow that I can afford. When Mandy of Hair By Amanda Jane suggested a photoshoot at Gawthorpe Hall, a National Trust owned Elizabethan mansion tucked away behind the busy roads of Burnley my mind started to whirr. Gawthorpe is famous for the vast collection of embroidered textiles it houses and I wondered if that could be incorporated into what we did. 'Elizabethan'...

read more
  • Follow Us

© 2014 Simply by Arrangement All Rights Reserved
Site Credits - Designed & built by unit36