table arrangement

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Common name: Dahlia

Botanical Names: Dahlia

Origin: Mexico, Central America and Columbia

Colours: all except blue

Dahlias were first discovered in Mexico in the 16th century and noted as a medicinal plant.  They were brought to Madrid in 1789 and grown in the botanic garden. They are named after Swedish botanist Anders Dahl, and pronounced DAY-lee-a.  Since 1813 commercial growers have bred dahlias and produced thousands of types, including pompoms, cactus and waterlily varieties.


Dahlias are prized by gardeners for their magnificent flowers and often exhibited in horticultural shows and competitions. As Dahlias come from tropical regions they are not suited to temperatures below freezing.  It is recommended to lift the tubers and store them over winter in a frost free place.  The plants can range in height from 30cm for dwarf varieties up to 6m for the giant Tree dahlia. Some varieties produce flowers as large as a dinner plate.

They are popular as a cut flower and available mainly from June to October. Dahlias come in many colours and lots of them are vibrant or two tone shades.  They should be bought in a mature stage and handled with care as the open flowers are delicate.  They have a vase life of up to a week. They are also available as a British grown flower in late summer.


They are popular for weddings flowers as their peak season is through the summer.  The perfectly uniform flowers look lovely used en masse in compact bridal bouquets or table arrangements.  The British grown dahlias are often sold in bunches of gorgeous mixed jewel colours.

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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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Breaking Dawn wedding ceremony

Image source Wedding Inspirasi

In the previous blog we had a quick look at the stunning flowers used for Edward and Bella’s wedding.  The designer Tammy Polatsek went to town with the natural woodland theme .  Thousands of flowers were using to make the wedding set, but don’t despair you can re-create the fabulous look without a big film budget.  To help keep your flower costs sensible try to use ivory flowers that are in season when you get married.  The flowers used in the film included roses, delphiniums, stocks, sweet peas, hyacinths, ranunculus, freesia, cherry blossom, wisteria and viburnum along with umbrella ferns, and lots of moss.

Bella's wedding bouquet

Image source Twitter

Bella carried a simple hand tied bouquet packed with beautiful ivory flowers.  It must have smelt truly scrumptious, it contained hyacinths, freesia, stocks and ranunculus.  Freesia and ranunculus also make beautiful buttonholes with a couple of simple leaves.  Although you can’t currently get married in a forest in the UK, you can get around this by having a legal ceremony in register office, and then having your ‘real’ big day with all your friends and family at a later date in your favourite woodland. Or you can of course bring the great outdoors inside.  Create a woodland feel by lining your aisle with tall branches with mossed arrangements at the base and flowers arranged to look as if they are growing.


The floral arch in Breaking Dawn was breath taking; it was very tall and packed with flowers.  It featured delphiniums, cherry blossom and other white flowers.  The arch in the film was so full with flowers, it would be budget busting for most brides.  A scaled down version could still feature lots of gorgeous flowers but with a bit more foliage and moss.  Many florists will have an arch structure that they decorate and hire out for weddings.


The reception tables had a very natural organic looking design on them, but they were quite tall and sprawling, so the plates and tableware were very close to the edge of the tables.  Things can get knocked over when the table is that full and if your guests can’t see across the tables they may even move your lovely flowers elsewhere.  I would opt for a design with the candelabra at the centre of the table and have the flowers around the base, arranged in a natural style with lots of moss and foliage.

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autumn flowers

Everyone knows pumpkins make fun lanterns for Halloween, but did you know pumpkins also make great containers for autumn flowers.  Pumpkins look gorgeous with rich shades of autumn flowers.  I’ll tell you how to make your own autumnal pumpkin arrangement in a few simple steps. Before you get started you need to gather a few bits and bobs; a few fresh flowers in autumnal tones, some foliage, a block of floral foam and a few pieces of cellophane.  You can get most of your equipment from a florist shop; if you’ve got a garden have a look for any autumnal foliage you can forage to go in your arrangement.

Before you buy your pumpkin think about how big you want your arrangement to be, as your finished arrangement will be three times the height of the pumpkin.  So if you have a tiny space to display your arrangement in don’t buy a monster pumpkin.

To start slice the top off the pumpkin and scoop the flesh out.  Soak your floral foam in a bucket of water.  While your foam is soaking fill the bottom half of your pumpkin with scrunched up cellophane.  Cut a large piece of cellophane and place your oasis on it’s end in the centre of the cellophane.  Place the oasis and cellophane in the pumpkin, cut the oasis off about two inches above the top of the pumpkin and chop the leftover piece into two wedges, these can be pushed either side of the oasis in your pumpkin to make it fit snugly.  Trim off any excess cellophane.

pumpkin arrangement

You can now start putting your foliage and flowers into the oasis.  I used a mixed bunch of autumn flowers and a few berries and twigs from my garden.  Add the foliage first to make the outline for your desire shape and then follow that shape with your flowers.  If you’ve got any lovely autumn coloured leaves in your garden add them to your design.  When you’ve added all your flowers, check for any gaps where you can see the oasis and add some more foliage at those places.

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Christmas table arrangement

This year my Christmas table will be decorated with this contemporary cinnamon arrangement. The table will be jam packed with delicious goodies at Christmas so the compact shape of this arrangement is perfect.  It contains cinnamon scented candles, spruce from the tree, orange slices, red ribbon and holly, sprinkled with a few gold stars.  The spruce and holly is arranged in oasis so it will last well over Christmas.

Christmas table arrangement

Happy Christmas! May you be merry and eat lots of cake.

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