garden roses

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Annie Lennox married for the third time in an intimate ceremony on 15th September.  Annie met her husband Dr Mitch Besser in 2009, when she worked with his charity Mothers2Mothers.  The charity helps single mothers and children with Aids.

They celebrated their wedding with a boat party on the Thames.  Annie’s two daughters Lola and Tali were bridesmaids at the ceremony.  150 friends and family attended the celebration including Actor Colin Firth and comedienne Ruby Wax.

The legendary Scottish singer performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert and the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in London this summer.

Annie shared two pictures of her wedding flowers with fans on Facebook and Twitter.  The bride wore a floor length ivory lace gown and 1920s style headpiece.  The couple chose flowers in a vintage pastel palette including roses, dahlias, hydrangea, rosemary, sage and ivy.

The beautiful bouquet Annie posted a picture of contains garden roses, hydrangea, and dahlias in antique pink, lilac and ivory tones. The soft green sage complements the flowers and also adds a wonderful fragrance to bouquets.

Annie had previously said would not marry again, which proves that love really does conquer all.

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Rachel de Thame’s fabulous floral designs were inspired by the Queen’s gardens and coronation gown.  The royal barge was adorned with flowers that echoed the royal colours of reds, purples and golds. Rachel said “As well as looking beautiful and being filled with meaning, the display should highlight the rich horticultural heritage of the UK and the Commonwealth.”


The floral arrangements were made by celebrity florist Kitty Arden and her team.  She said “When the Queen steps on board we want her to enter a very fragrant environment,” heavily scented roses and herbs helped to make the barge a feast for the senses.  Kitty had the help of 40 florists to complete the mammoth task of making 90 garlands from fresh flowers and foliage.  Some of the team given the fantastic opportunity to work on the royal commission were lucky students and tutors from Pershore College.


The florists starting preparing the garlands on Monday and worked 12 hour days all week to get them finished.  Most of the garlands were 6ft long and required three people to carry them.  The garlands were made with fresh foliage and herbs including rhododendron, hebe, lavender, rosemary and bay.  Later in the week they were dressed with roses, peonies and carnations.


Ninety percent of the flowers used were grown in the UK.  The designs featured 1000 purple sweet peas from The Real Flower Company, 60 Welsh daffodils, 20 Scottish thistles, 3,100 David Austin English garden roses and 20 plants from around the Commonwealth were loaned from Kew Gardens. The roses used were Patience, a creamy buttermilk colour with an old rose fragrance of fruit, lilac and myrrh, Darcey Bussell a fully double crimson flower with a fruity fragrance and Munstead Wood a deep crimson rose with a strong fruity fragrance.  Munstead Wood has won two awards for it’s beautiful fragrance.


There is more information about the planted designs on the royal barge here

images from crocus who supplied the plants

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The Spirit of Chartwell was transformed into a richly decorated barge for the Diamond Jubilee Pageant, it transported the Queen and members of the royal family along the Thames.  Horticulturist and presenter Rachel de Thame was the designer commissioned to decorate the royal barge, she used scented floral displays, garlands and planted lanterns.  The pageant took place on Sunday June 3 on a slightly grey day that was brightened by the amazing sight of a 1000 boat flotilla.

The royal barge was the centrepiece of the flotilla, amongst steamers, pleasure boats, tugs, dragon boats and kayaks. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh travelled on the royal barge, accompanied by the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cornwall.


Rachel de Thame’s magnificent design of crimson, purple and gold used almost 10,000 flowers and 600 plants.  It was brought to life with the help of Mark Fane of Crocus nursery and society florist Kitty Arden.  Crocus Nursery supplied many of the plants for the designs, Mark has won an incredible 20 medals at Chelsea Flower Show.  Kitty brought a team of 40 florists with her to create the floral displays.


Rachel spent several months researching the commission.  The design for the garlands and planted beds were inspired by royal iconography, particularly the coronation gown which featured embroidered flowers from around the commonwealth and the golden state coach.

The striking designs featured four planted lanterns including an English country garden scented with lavender, rosemary and bay, a knot garden that contained 200 clipped box plants, and a giant ‘E’ planted bed made from 1,500 African violets and edged with 400 patience roses. The design also included Welsh daffodils, Scottish thistles and 20 different plants from around the commonwealth to reflect where the Queen has reigned.


Scented roses were a key part of the designs as the Queen is very fond of roses.  One of the David Austin roses used called Munstead Wood has won awards for it’s fragrance.  90 floral garlands adorned the decks of the barge; they were attached to either side of the railings and featured roses, peonies, carnations, herbs and foliage.

Tomorrows post will feature more about the flower arrangements used on the royal barge.

images from: crocus

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Giovanna Falcone and McFly guitarist Tom Fletcher recently tied the knot at One Marylebone in London.  The theme was a romantic, woodland glade; the couple wanted the decorations to give the venue a magical feel.  London florist By Appointment Only provided all the flowers for the day, they created designs in a palette of soft pinks, lilac and papery blues with lots of natural looking foliage.

The ceremony took place in the Soane hall, the vast space was dressed with lots of floral displays and fairy lights were hung with ivy wound through them.  The alter was decorated with a long woodland style arrangement using stocks, lilac, viburnum, roses, hydrangea, spray roses and peonies in pinks blues and creams, with green viburnum and moss.  Behind the alter two large pedestal arrangements were placed with summer flowers and delphiniums for added height.

The beautiful bride wore an ivory Phillip Lepley gown with a vintage lace overlay and bead detailing.  She carried an informal teardrop bouquet of garden roses and peonies in shades of pink and cream, with trailing variegated ivy.

Giovanna’s bride’s maids wore full length dusky pink Kelsey Rose dresses.  They carried small hand tied bouquets of white sweet peas and roses in shades of pink and cream.  The men wore grey suits, with green ties and pink rose buttonholes.


blue hydrangea - Grey Wulf Flickr, lilac - Marisa DeMeglio

The room was transformed for dinner with a combination of low centrepieces and tall canopy arrangements.  The low designs featured summer blooms and candles.  The tall arrangements rested on twisted willow bases and featured lots of summer flowers and natural foliage.  The tables were dressed with paisley cloths in moss green and the napkins were tied with ivy.  For favours the guests were given personalised guitar picks that featured the couple’s initials and the date of the wedding.

The couple also had a magnificent floral arch that many of the photos were taken in front of.  It was packed with summer flowers in soft shades of pink, blue, lilac and cream, with lots of foliage including asparagus fern, photina, ivy and French ruscus.

I think the flowers achieved the magical woodland look perfectly, the bouquets and the venue looked truly wonderful.  Full photos are in OK! Magazine issue 829, May 29th 2012.

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