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...

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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'...

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Last September whilst 'en vacances' in France (at a nice little place called Le Chateau Saint Paterne; a place I would recommend to anyone passing through Normandy) we visited Monet's Garden. Not surprisingly I began to think about my own small plot and what might go into it early in the season, before the dahlias.  Tulips were the answer; hundreds of them. I clicked onto the Peter Nyssen website (              On two freezing cold days in late November (at the last minute as usual) I dug trenches - really big ones - and reflected upon World War I as I wiped mud from my eyes. Brown paper packets full of promise were...

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On cake and kindness

It's no secret that Mrs B (aka Christie; aka the food half of Simply By Arrangement) makes exceedingly good cake. She often says that she shows she cares through food. Her chocolate brownies used to be posted up to her son in Edinburgh each week and she was most distraught when they couldn't be flown out to him in Afghanistan. Her courgette cake kept up morale in the final couple of years before our marvellous office closed for good and nobody visits our workshop without eating cake (and that includes the flower delivery driver). So it will be no surprise to find out that Mrs B is often testing out new recipes. The one here is my own favourite and it's...

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Floral workshops – Confessions of an addict

A flowery post by Sarah. Last year I must have attended at least 8 workshops on flowers or how to grow them. This might seem odd since most of my own work is in running floral workshops. But, for me, there really is no better way to spend a day. Surrounded by the scent of flowers, flowers chosen by someone else, placed in buckets scrubbed by someone else. I like to go alone, or with a friend. I love a road trip and there is nothing better than a day of flowery chat with other like minded folk. Here's a round up of just some of the inspirational workshops I visited last year - more to come too. THE FLOWERS FROM THE FARM HARROGATE WEEKEND: This was...

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Inspiration 2014

   Amidst the Christmas madness we took a moment today to reflect upon the books that have inspired us throughout the year. We also couldn't get by without first-rate olive oil; gin; chocolate; and scented candles from The Yorkshire Soap Company. Sarah dreams of silk ribbon, sharp scissors and a new pair of secateurs. Mrs B dreams! We wish all our customers a very Merry Christmas and look forward to a few moments by the fire reading and planning more for...

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There are many people we should thank for helping us get to a stage where we have a website as our shop window. Over the coming year they will all be mentioned in this blog (written by Sarah and with culinary contributions from Christie). These virtual Bakewell Slices go to James Dent ( for designing this website; Katie Spicer ( for our workshop and garden photographs; Toni Darcy ( for wedding flower photographs; Elizabeth Jackson (flowersfromthegarden-Harrogate) and Wendy and Sue ( for supplying us with beautiful flowers for our workshops; Andrew Buchanan for...

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