Tag Archives: hydrangeas

Style on the Thames

Anh and Tung's wedding at The Trafalgar Greenwich

It’s taken me a little while to write about Anh and Tung’s fabulous wedding at The Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich.  I blame this, in part, on having to choose just a few of the absolutely fantastic photographs taken by Ed Peers!  They capture something really striking about the vibe of the whole day – everything looked so stylish and effortless but this was underpinned by an enormous feeling of warmth and joy from all of the couple’s friends and families.

Akito rose bouquet at The Trafalgar Tavern Greenwich

Anh’s dress was exquisite, white and detailed with thousands of sparkles.  She was very clear from our first meeting that she wanted her flowers to be simply sophisticated and not in competition with the dress so we opted for a hand-tied domed bouquet of white roses.  A couple of months before the wedding, we did a trial run with ‘Avalanche’ roses but they were just too yellowy against her dress.  So, back to the drawing board and after lots of advice from lovely Terry at Zest Flowers, I ordered ‘Polar Star’ specifically for the bouquet……which didn’t come in to the market on the morning I went to buy everything!  So, trying not to panic, I bought some ‘Norma Jean’ roses…still too yellowy 24 hours before the wedding!  Thank goodness I’d bought extra Akito roses which had opened beautifully and were the perfect white to hold next to Anh’s glorious dress!  Disaster averted.  Blood pressure back to normal!

Akito rose bouquet at The Trafalgar Tavern GreenwichAkito rose at The Trafalgar Tavern

I’m not entirely sure what colour one would call Anh’s bridesmaids’ spectacular dresses but their posies of Akito roses and lisianthus looked perfect with them!

Akito rose bouquets

Foliage on the trafalgar tavern staris

The white and green theme was carried through at The Trafalgar. Both Anh and Tung wanted the staircase to be dressed with an abundance of foliage which made the entrance to the upstairs wedding venue really magical. The combination of wild ivy and soft ruscus looks really dramatic in the photos too.Ivy and ruscus foliage garland

Trafalgar Tavern staircase with foliage

Ivy and ruscus foliage garland











We made good use of a sumptuous asymmetrical combination of white hydrangeas, ‘Avalanche’ roses, white lisianthus and trailing green amaranthus on the registrar’s table and then on the Top Table during the meal while the round tables for the guests had Stem’s cool glass urns as centrepieces crammed with hydrangeas, roses, lisianthus and foliage.

The Trafalgar Tavern registrars table

Top Table at The Trafalagar

Trafalgar Tavern wedding Greenwich

In other parts of The Trafalgar we had fun with single stems of flowers displayed in ‘random’ glass vases, the table plan adorned with foliage and blooms and what Anh described as ‘an upside-down vase with flowers inside’ which I now realise could be called a bell-jar!
The Trafalgar
Hydrangeas and roses at The trafalgar
the Trafalgar wedding flowers
Flowers and spanish moss at The Trafalgar tavern

I really love working at The Trafalgar Tavern and am really chuffed to be on the recommended suppliers list. The stunning views out over The Thames from the floor to ceiling windows are breath-taking and the rooms themselves transport you back in time with their grandeur! It’s also right at the heart of Greenwich which is such a magnificent part of South London and allows for some pretty special photo opportunities!
Married couple

Putting together the flowers for Anh and Tung was a massive pleasure for Stemgirl and Serge. Love and congratulations to you both!
Wedding at The Trafaglar Greenwich

Total love in Central London

ICA Carlton House Wedding London

Where do I start with Claire and Paul’s wedding? Perhaps I should start at this point – after the event. I feel absolutely, totally and completely honoured to have been a part of the process towards their marriage. From the first email I received, I think I really wanted to ‘do’ their flowers. I met them, talked to them and (I hope) got what made them tick.

ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding

The flowers were REALLY important to them. At first, I was truly worried about this. Would I ever be able to deliver on the image they had in their heads? They described the wedding they were hoping for (and as an extension, the flowers) as being “relaxed and like us”, “chilled and not like a wedding” and fitting with a contemporary city setting. How would it feel for them (and, OH GOD, for me) if I didn’t do a good enough job?

ICA Carlton House Terrace WeddingICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding






ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding


Claire and Paul had a strong idea of the look they wanted to create and had done a lot of research about flowers that would fit with their stunning colour scheme. We were going to use whites and ivories with elegant lilacy-greys and flashes of deeper clarets and very dark purples. ‘Memory Lane’ roses were high on the list of flowers Claire wanted to include as well as ‘Schwarzwalder’ calla lilies, ‘Claret’ astrantia and dark red ‘Rosie’ cymbidium orchids. Then we really went to town with show-stopping tall white ‘Highwood’ arums and gladioli with small and delicate ‘Versailles’ freesias, ‘Mariachi White’ eustoma, ‘Avalanche’ roses and ‘Snowflake’ spray roses.

ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding

ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding

ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding








ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding

We used loads of different vases for the tables and I had great fun finding them and bringinICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding Londong the look togetheICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding Londonr.  No matchy-matchy here!  Some of the vases already reside in Stem’s store but another source of major inspiration was the treasure trove at fabulous Rob van Helden’s prop hire emporium. Hundreds of different cut glass, crystal and silver-leafed vases (as well as the really tall vessels) were all to be found ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding Londonhere and PICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding Londonatrice and Tom coped admirably with my many visits!  We also littered the tables with all sorts of pressed glass and silver-leafed tealight holders. so that there were twinkling candles everywhere when the guests walked in for the meal.

ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding London

Gladioli vase ICA Carlton House Terrace wedding London

Arum lily tall vase ICA Carlton House Terrace wedding London








Why was it all so important to them? They had invited people who really, really mattered to them and every bit of their day was focused on telling those people how loved they were and how precious it was to Claire and Paul to have them there witnessing their marriage. Wow! Properly overwhelming, even writing this now, not long after we were all there at the ICA.

ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding London

The ICA/Carlton House Terrace is a fabulously stylish and intimate place to be. I really enjoyed working with Emelia and her team who made my first job here great fun! I love how the feel of it changes throughout the day – from sophisticated urban Georgian wedding venue to cool and sexy hangout in the evening. The way that gorgeous pinky/purple/red lighting was used completely altered the look of the rooms. And also made the flowers work in a completely different way.  A wonderful venue for a wonderful London wedding.

ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding London


Avalanche rose

ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding London








ICA Carlton House Terrace wedding


ICA Carlton House wedding london

Thank you very much to Mark Bothwell for the use of all his fabulous photographs.  I think he captured something very special about Paul and Claire and about their day.

ICA Carlton House Terrace Wedding

 Biggest love and congratulations from Stem to Claire and Paul xx

A sunny and joyful wedding for Melanie and Ruairidh

Dan Biggins Photography

When I first met Mel I was really struck by how joyful and relaxed she was in her approach to planning her wedding.  To describe the kind of day she was hoping for, she used words like ‘relaxed’ and ‘happy’ and talked about wanting a welcoming party feel.  She also wanted the rooms at Belair House to feel really summery and fresh with lots of whites and greens while “not looking too weddingish”.

 Dan Biggins Photography

I suggested many different white and pale green flowers so that there would be a real feeling of abundance.  We went with several varieties of hydrangeas, roses and spray roses, freesia, astrantia, alstromeria and eustoma with delicate, daisy-like feverfew and lacy ammi majus.  And then I went bonkers with all the lovely seasonal foliage on offer at GB Foliage at the market as well as fragrant mint and rosemary.

Dan Biggins Photography









Mel’s bouquet was made up of David Austin “Patience” roses, freesias, hydrangea florets, astrantia, ammi and mint with the stems bound simply with garden twine.  The buttonholes, in honour of Ruairidh’s nationality (the men looked very dashing in their kilts), were made of white eryngium thistles.  And the little flower girls carried posies of ‘Akito’ roses and wore Alice-bands decorated with tiny spray roses and freesias.  All really pretty and delicate and sunny!

 Dan Biggins Photography

Dan Biggins PhotographyFlower girl at Belair House


Mel decided she wanted the flowers for the tables displayed in lots of different glass vessels rather than in anything too formal.  So each table had what I call “a random collection of vases and flowers” placed in the centre.  Of course, just like perfecting so called nude make-up, making things look random is actually quite hard work!

Random table centres

top table

The results were gorgeous and I think you can see from all the fabulous photographs by the lovely Dan Biggins, Mel and Ruairidh’s wedding was a really relaxed and happy day, just as they’d hoped for.



Belair House wedding

You can see many more of Dan’s photos and my flowers on the super-cool A Touch of Modern wedding blog.

autumnal abundance

English hydrangeas

How better to ease oneself into Autumn, but with enormous bunches of English hydrangeas?  Each gorgeous bundle combines all the colours of the season – russety reds, jewelly pinks, antique greens and even touches of blue that  echo the sky on those crisp, clear sunny days that make this time of year quite fabulous.  The market is full of them, they’re great value for money and they not only last well in the vase but dry beautifully too.  I like to mix them up and used them here with black-red ‘Black Baccara’ roses and zingy-red ‘Tornado’ alstromeria.  To complement the wonderful hydrangeas, I’m also making good use of the magical colours, textures and berries of locally grown foliage which work naturally and fantasically in larger displays.  How stemgirl loves this time of year! 

English hydrangea, Black Baccara rose and  Tornado alstromeria table centre