8 July 2014

Snippets from Greece

Also spent a week travelling around Greece so just sharing some shots taken there.

Light blue flowery bush on the roadside.

A flower near Acropolis Musuem.

Blooming bougainvillea was everywhere in Santorini and Mykonos. 

Went hiking in Santorini and saw these lantana... 

And a pink and yellow bicolour variety.

A traditional cave house in a small village in Santorini, the trees providing shaded spots when the sun is scotching hot.

Everyone knows white and blue are the statement colours of the Greek islands. After seeing so many stunning pictures over the years, expectations were high and fortunately the islands did not disappoint. So going to share a few shots...


Will be doing 2 Greek inspired boards, so tune in later!

6 July 2014

Catherine Muller London and A Little Flower Project

One of the most memorable course that I took was at Catherine Muller in Paris. Catherine opened a school in London last year and I managed to squeeze in a 1-day workshop on the very last day of my trip.

Here is the lovely school and shop.

Classes are taught by Joanna Chaker whom I met her 3 years ago in Paris whilst taking the courses, it was so lovely to catch up with her again!

Here is Joanna working her floral magic... 

A wreath centerpiece with British grown sweet pea, vintage hydrangea, rubus, eryngium and ivy.

And then also learned how to do a large urn arrangement! Not the typical round ones, this Parisian floral style doesn't consist of any fixed structure or shape as these don't appear in the nature but lots of flowers are layered to create a 'wild' and romantic look.

Such a gorgeous mix of textures.

And last but not least, my little flower project. Although I had done quite a lot of floral activities in London during the past few trips, I have never bought flowers to make an arrangement, so decided to do one this time. 

I was very inspired after visiting Cotswolds and Petersham Nurseries, so wanted to create something I rarely get to do at home, a real rustic countryside arrangement. So headed to New Covent Garden Flower Market to pick up some goodies.

Here are the materials : ammi, scabiosa, rubus, green berries, wild grass and mint flowers.

After purchasing all the flowers, I went hunting for a container. Saw a very nice range of terracotta containers at Kew Garden, fortunately one of the new shops at the flower market stock them so picked one up as it is perfect for the arrangement I had in mind. 

Heart all the different material containers in this shop... from ceramic, glass, terracotta, to tin and wood!

And voila, the finished piece!

Whilst I love using statement blooms such as hydrangea and garden roses for weddings, I am also very attached to arrangements that give a running-through-a-meadow feel with the use of lots of greenery and only petite and delicate flowers.

Also made a bouquet with the same materials and added a white and purple ripple sweet pea.

This bouquet will be perfect for a free spirited bride wearing an ethereal gown in a garden ceremony setting on a midsummer day.

So here are all the posts for my England floral adventure, hope everyone has a lovely week ahead!

5 July 2014

Burford Garden Company

One of the favourite pastimes of British people has to be gardening. Whilst I never have a chance to garden and frankly, it seems that cut flowers last longer in my care than anything in soil, I do love gardens very much and always imagine having a garden as there is a whole other world of flowers available.

Found out there's a large garden center in Cotswolds call the Burford Garden Company so decided to check it out. It was pouring on the way but the minute the car arrived the parking lot, the rain magically stopped, my prayers answered!

A huge plant selection outside. Here is the rose section...   

Obviously they have to stock to David Austin roses, here are 2 pinkish roses in full bloom.

A sweet lilac colour iris.

Clematis must be a popular climber as I noticed it in quite a few people's gardens and also at the Petersham Nurseries and the Columbia Road Flower Market. Here are quite a few variety of clematis, from white to pink to purple, from single to multiple petals.

Really quite stunned with all the different varieties of potted flowers. Apart from the main ones like roses, clematis and shrubs, there were also plants from A-Z!

Love this area, fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers!!!

Bleeding hearts...

Never heard of a shepherd's hut but here you go... one that is crafted locally in Burford! Comes with quite a heavy price tag of almost £4,000 and so got really curious and took a peek inside and how cute is it!!! Have to say this is a brilliant idea given the never ending rain at times and probably the sweetest hideaway for little girls.

Anything you need for your garden, you will find it here. Obviously got excited when I saw all these wood drawers and crates and metal birdcage and postboxes.

And plants suitable for indoor.

I feel part of the charm of Cotswolds lies in the wild and farm animals and it is not a complete picture without them, so wish to share a few pictures here.

Swan and ducklings swimming gracefully in a river...

Maybe this is a cousin of ladybird as there are no black dots and it seems to have a slimmer and more rectangular body? Anyways, it was just happily hovering on a bunny grass for a bit before whizzing off.

Mentioned that I went to Elkstone Village to see their open gardens in the previous post and saw this furry pony there who melted my heart. It was pouring at that point but I just had to take a few pictures of it.

Also went for a short trail walk from Lower Slaughter to Upper Slaughter which passes a sheep farm, so finally got to see woolly sheep up close and personal!

They really are such a sweet and peaceful animal.

Cotswolds is a stunningly beautiful place and I encourage anyone visiting England to head there for a few days! I had a brilliant tourguide who took me to a lot of places, so anyone who wants his contact, feel free to drop me an email.

1 July 2014

Charming Cotswolds Countryside

Although having lived in England and visited London so many times, it is a bit of a shame that I never travelled within England much. More so, most places I visited are cities but in the past few years, I yearn to go to more rural places to unwind. 

Thinking back, I used to take the train quite a bit in the student days from north to south, the trains would pass all these green pastures and I have always wished I can walk in the fields. Finally got a wonderful excuse this time and set foot in the beautiful English countryside and where better to experience it than to spend a few days in the idyllic Cotswolds. 

Whilst searching for a place to stay, I found this place in an area call Kingham, a few looks at the rooms and I was completely sold. To keep it short, from the limestone walls to the wood furnitures, the Wild Rabbit is rustic yet stylish. Here's the entrance with a hedge rabbit.

Wood mushrooms!

The rooms are named after woodland animals. Look at the key chain which is a small wood stump with the room name engraved.

Had a lovely dinner at the pub, ordered duck as main and delighted that the dish was garnished with edible pansies.

Heart long British summer days, it was still bright after dinner at 9ish pm, so strolled around the area and saw this large hedge tree in front of one of the cottages.

Visited a number of places, one of which is the Sezincote House in Gloucestershire. Beautiful house, orangery and garden.

Allium siculum was blooming in the garden.

And under a tree, lovely aquilegia vulgaris!

Lovely row of trees on the way to a small medieval town called Burford.

Roses in bloom everywhere.

One of the more well known areas is the Bibury. Noticed the black swan in the river?

Love this light pink poppy!

Originally wanted to take a flight lesson but unfortunately the weather was not cooperating. Had a few hours to kill and found that there were open gardens in a small village call Elkstone nearby so off I went.

The gardens are only opened for visit for one afternoon each year, an event organised by the villagers. The gardens range from small backyard ones to huge ones like the one below.

A gazebo by the pond.

Love this small flurry looking white flower...

Would love to have a good book and a cuppa and spent an afternoon at this lovely spot.

And flowers elsewhere, gigantic clematis!

2 cute ball shape flowers in other gardens.

Have to say that the Cotswolds is very picturesque and tranquil and so glad I got to spend time there.

Coming up next is Burford Garden Center!