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This fabulous living catwalk has been designed by four-time Chelsea Young Florist of the Year, Joe Massie.  The catwalk is the highlight of Kildare Village’s Chic Summer Festival event.  There is a programme of events throughout July which include musical performances, artisan food and floral inspired cocktails.


Joe’s installation features three floral dresses surrounded by a carpet of flowers and plants.  The designs reflect aspects of an Irish Summer, one dress is inspired by cornflowers, one by butterflies and one by daisies.  Daisies are particularly relevant as the event’s ambassador is Daisy Lowe, she launched the event on 5th July.


Joe’s team also decorated the performance stage and food marquee.  The exquisite designs were very labour intensive and took a team of 8 florists, five days to complete.  The catwalk will be in the open air for a month, so a combination of real and artificial materials were used to ensure the designs look perfect throughout the event.


The dresses contain fresh grasses, succulents, echeverias, lichen and branches. The plants and flowers used were roses, dahlia, hydrangea, marguerite daisies, gyposphilia, lavender, cornflowers, and cosmos.  The installation can be viewed until Sunday 29th July, at Kildare Village outlet shopping, Ireland.

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Following on from the first part of my top ten yesterday, here are the final 5:

queen-of-the-night-tulip5 Tulip

Tulips are one of the truer black flowers. Queen of night is purpley tulip that appears almost black. They are mainly available in winter and spring. Tulips look fabulous as compact bridal bouquets.

black-orchid4 Orchid

Cymbidium orchids and slipper orchids are available in black. They are a very deep shade of red.  They are the most expensive black flower in my top ten list, as they are rare and only available as a special order.

chocolate-cosmos3 Chocolate cosmos

Cosmos looks a little like a single dahlia.  It is a delicate flower with a scrumptious vanilla and chocolate fragrance.  The flowers have a chocolaty red tone and are available in summer.

black-baccara-rose2 Rose

There are several black roses including black baccara and black beauty.  Black baccara is sumptuous deep red rose, and like all roses, it’s available all year round.

black-forest-calla-lily1 Calla

Black forest callas are my number one black flower.  They are very glamorous and structural.  Callas are available all year round, which makes them ideal for weddings. They are lovely in bridal bouquets.


Tulip image at top of article –

Calla –

Orchid –

Tulip –

Rose –

Cosmos –

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Can you work out which of the flowers above costs the least and which is the most expensive? extra points if you can put all 6 in order of price (The answers are at the bottom of the article).  The flowers & plant association has a very useful guide to flower prices, perfect if you don’t know a dahlia from a delphinium.

Setting a budget for your wedding flowers can seem daunting, especially since the price depends a lot on what flowers you choose.  Before you set your heart on a particular flower or design, work out what you can afford and tell your florist roughly what your budget is.  If you have no idea what flowers cost, as a rough guide allocate around 10% of your overall wedding budget to flowers.  Your florist will be able to give you a good idea of what you will get for your money and advise you on suitable flowers and designs that fit within your budget.


If you are on a tight budget your florist will help you make the most of your money.  They are the floral experts and know lots of clever techniques and special touches to give your flowers the maximum impact without blowing the budget.

A recent survey showed the average amount spent on wedding flowers is £200 – £400, 60% of florists surveyed placed their average order value within this range. For that amount brides received a bridal bouquet, bride’s maid bouquets, button holes and a top table arrangement.  Nearly 30% of couples spend £400-£1000, they received the bridal bouquet, bride’s maid flowers, button holes, top table flowers and reception table flowers.


The price of flowers is also dependant on the time of year, around St Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day nearly all flowers are more expensive because of demand.  The types of flowers you choose will affect the price, some flowers like carnations may cost a pound a stem, others like calla lilies could be six or seven pounds a stem.  If you choose a loose informal style for your flowers they will have more foliage and require fewer flowers, whereas a compact style arrangement with no foliage will need a lot more flowers per arrangement.

Don’t get hung up about all this information though, good florists are like miniature flower encyclopedias, packed full of information on flowers, prices and ideas.  They will know all the tips and tricks to ensure your flowers look fantastic whatever your budget.

So were you right?  The flowers are in ascending order starting with the cheapest, gerbera.

6 – Gerbera

1 – Ranuculus

2 – Lisianthus

5 – Rose

3 – Lily

4 – Hydrangea

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Would you want to receive this bouquet on the morning of your wedding day? Me neither, but sadly this was someone’s bridal bouquet.  It was brought in by the bride’s sister, in the hope that we could fix it, along with a bride’s maid bouquet (shown below).  A friend of the bride who ‘does flowers’ had made them and the bride was understandably very upset.  Luckily we weren’t snowed under with our own wedding orders that day and had some suitable roses in stock to use.  Sorry about the quality of the photos, as it was a rushed job the photos were taken on a mobile phone.

There wasn’t really any good points about either bouquets, the flowers had had been made with little care or skill.  The white roses in the bride’s bouquet are barely visible in the photo as they were so small, which made the calla lilies look huge and out of proportion.  The limp leaves in the bouquet appeared to be cut off a house plant. The tape on the bouquet’s handle was soggy and hanging off and the leaf that should have covered the handle was not attached at all, double sided tape had been used on the leaf but that was wet too.


The bride’s maid bouquet pictured above was much bigger than the bridal bouquet and a very uneven shape.  The roses were covered in bruised petals from poor handling.  The eucalyptus was too big and the loops of steel grass were sticking out about three inches above the bouquet.  The diamantes pins were either carelessly pushed in at a 45 degree angle or just falling out.  The bouquets were in such a bad state that they had to be completely re-made.

It’s shocking that someone with clearly no professional experience thought they could make bouquets suitable for a real wedding.  The bride’s sister was so grateful we were able to help her at short notice.

The photo below is another wedding with another flower disaster.  The arrangement is very sparse with no foliage apart from some huge pieces of trailing ivy. The dark green area you can see in the middle is floral foam, which should never be visible as it is usually covered by flowers and foliage.


As wedding flowers are made so close to the wedding, you can’t afford to take a risk on someone inexperienced.  A friend or aunty may seem like a cheap option if they dabble in flower arranging, but it may end up costing you more in the long run.  Not only the cost of getting a florist to rescue the flowers but the emotional stress too.

I have dealt with several distraught brides who have been let down by amateurs, days before the wedding.  To avoid a wedding flower disaster, trust a professional florist with your wedding flowers.  They will use their expert skill and knowledge to ensure you get your dream flowers.

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