Category Archives: life at stem flowers

loving this dress thing

Wow!  Professional photos of my flowers are on the wonderful Love My Dress blog after a really fun photo-shoot at Beauberry House.  Wedding organiser Andri Benson brought together a group of fabulous South London women who are all in the wedding trade and we rocked the whole day.  Pretty vintage flowers, romantic dresses, amazing cakes.   And now one very proud stemgirl.

And here are some of the photos I took.  Just so you can see the difference between my efforts and what a professional can do!

cool and cosmopolitan

Hooray!  Have a look at Stem’s gorgeous flowers featured in the October/November issue of Cosmopolitan Bride.

Stem provided the flowers for Jude and Dave’s fabulous wedding at The Swan at the Globe in London (p.46-48).  More photos of their day will follow as soon as this very proud stemgirl gets back into the world of the organised blogger!

As I think I’ve said before, features in magazines or on other blogs and websites are the kind of publicity we just can’t buy.   I know I’m not an expert at the whole publicity thing but I am increasingly underwhelmed by the effectiveness of paid-for advertising.  That is, I don’t think it’s worth the cash.  I suspect our clients are most interested in recommendations and information about Stem from people who know what they’re talking about (i.e. other brides and grooms) rather than glossy ads that tell you nothing real about us.  That’s not a hint about recommending us, by the way.  Really not….

properly in print

So stemgirl finds herself quoted in the latest edition of Wedding Flowers Magazine which I’m really pleased about.  Especially as it’s in a feature about ‘green’ weddings.  Check out pages 50-51 of the February/March issue.  One of my quotes is in pink at the centre of the page! 

Featuring in a respected publication like this (or other wedding and events magazines) is absolutely fantastic for a business like Stem Flowers.  It generates lots of interest from people who happen to read about us and think we sound cool.  And then make contact with us.  And then ask us to work for them.  It is sometimes far more effective than placing adverts which I often find inordinately expensive when one takes into account that they will often generate no interest at all.
How gutting it is, then, to have a lovely quote or two from me in a lovely magazine which lovely people read and NO MENTION of the name of my business or any contact details….AAAARGGHHH!

it’s amazing what one can do

So, nineteen hours before a very grand wedding at Dulwich College, and on my way to the shed to get some vases, stemgirl trod on a hoe! A three-pronged cultivator to be precise. Through the flip-flop and into the foot. Not good.  And all I could think was ‘HELP – I’VE GOT A WEDDING TO DO’!  But King’s College Hospital A&E were fantastic and got the message, applied bandages, supplied crutches, gave tetanus. The next day, I was hobbling but back on my feet.  Fabulous blue, pink and purple hydrangeas and delphiniums came together to steal the show, especially teamed with antiquey and romantic ‘Pacific Blue’ roses. I don’t think I moaned or looked for sympathy too much but you might have to ask Serge his opinion about that!

Hydrangea, rose and eryngium top table

fun at the flower market

I spent a busy and really exciting morning at New Covent Garden Market last week for a Summer Wedding Flower extravaganza.  There was a smorgasbord of floral designers, demonstrations, music, discussion, networking and excellent bacon sandwiches!
Flowers from Country Roses at Josselyns FardMost exciting of all was the wonderful news that I can now buy fabulously romantic David Austin roses (based near Wolverhampton) and a wonderful array of roses and hedgerow flowers and foliage from Country Roses (near Colchester).  Hooray for British flowers! They might be a bit more expensiveRoses from David Austin per stem but they are so completely gorgeous that I hope my clients will see that they are worth it. I was also really pleased to see that my fantastic wholesalers, GB Foliage, continue to have a really magnificent array of seasonal English foliage for me to choose from.  Their stand is like a lush forest of green at the moment.

There were some other fantastic displays to gawp at.  MostHanging balls of flowers at Moyses Stevens striking were the hanging balls of flowers by Moyses Stevens.  I think that there should be more space in the world for floral spheres.  Rebel Rebel were as cool as ever with (rather handsome) DJs and strawberries hanging delicately from wires and Zita Elze focussed on extremely detailed, intricate garlands for chairs and tables.  Strong deep jewel colours continue to be a strong theme (thank goodness) as do block colours and lots of foliage.  Bring on those leaves!

Visiting the market is a really vibrant experience, which is why I love taking brides and grooms (in particular) there when they’re choosing their flowers .  These seasonal events are a delightful way to spend a morning – and you don’t have to be trade to go.  Keep an eye on www.newcoventgardenmarket  for the next one…..

flowers, camera, action!


Beauberry House filming

I spent this morning dressing Beauberry House with flowers in preparation for a Wedding TV filming session.  Guess what – I love doing things like that!  The house is going to be featured in a guide to fabulous wedding venues.  I think there’s some kind of competitive edge to it in that one venue will ultimately be crowned as the best place to get married in any particular region.  My gorgeous ‘Ruby Red’ and ‘Tyler’ gerberas looked suitably lush in the restaurant where I had a bit of fun with funky pink wire too.  Just as I was leaving, wonderful Oleia (she who runs that place so brilliantly) told me that the BBC were also pitching up this afternoon to film a programme for BBC3!  Could stem flowers have a future on the box….?

Gerbera and wire garlandGerberas and wire close-up

some things really make me feel happy

It’s lovely to get letters or phonecalls from people who are over the moon with our flowers.  It’s even lovelier when it’s from someone you wouldn’t necessarily expect to make contact.  One call came from a guest at Vanessa and Will’s gorgeous ceremony at Templeton House in Richmond.  She simply phoned to say how wonderful she thought the flowers were (and how lovely we were too!).  She wasn’t interested in passing on new work or anything like that.  She wasn’t a possible client.  She just wanted to say that she’d been there and the flowers were wonderful.  That made me feel rather good, I have to say.

Glass urns at Templeton House

And then the colour-fest that was Rebecca and Mark’s wedding at Beauberry House on Easter Saturday resulted in the most lovely card from Bec’s mum.  I was so touched that she had taken the time to write independently of her lovely girl and that she felt that “the colours were amazing”, that “everyone commented on how lovely the rooms at Beauberry looked” and that it had all helped make the day “happy and memorable”.  One quite chuffed stemgirl.

Spring-time anemone, bupleurum and ruscus hand-tied bouquet