Sunday, 17 August 2014

A rose called 'Miss Piggy'.

In a complete break from writing, I did a bit of flower arranging on Friday.

My mum heads up the flower arranging team at church and we offer to decorate for weddings if the bride and groom would like us to. We ask for the cost of the flowers and charge a small arranging fee on top that goes back into the flower fund, allowing us to provide flowers for the altar every week.

Anyway, Mum tends to be the one talking to the bride/bride's mum about what they want, orders the flowers, collects them, conditions them (you don't just buy them and stick them in the oasis if you want them to look their best and last!) and sorts out the money.

Me? I turn up on arranging day with my secateurs.

I love doing weddings because of the variety. For example, there was the one where the bride wanted bluebells in buckets, one with just greenery and candles, some have monochromatic themes and others are a riot on the senses in terms of colour and perfume. There have been butterflies and bows, wire and beads, tall arrangements, short arrangements... but you can always guarantee that no two weddings are the same.

The most obvious thing to tie the flowers up with is the colour of the bridesmaid's dresses. The bridesmaids yesterday were in black and silver. We've not had black in church before - most people would associate it with funerals rather than weddings - and our first thought was to use artificial black flowers with silver accents. Our second was to have lots of coloured flowers - acid green, orange, cerise pink - on a black base, with hints of silver and diamante. The bride liked the latter idea; 'as long as there's plenty of bling', she said.

Here's some of what we (myself, Mum and Laura B, my lovely illustrator!) produced...

An arrangement in the porch to welcome all the wedding guests...

Four large window arrangements...

For those who are interested in the details, we used lime green carnations, orange and cerise gerbera, dark pink lizianthus, gypsophila and a fantastic orange-in-the-centre-to-pink-on-the-outside-with-the-most-amazing-scent rose, called 'Miss Piggy'! Not all roses have a scent nowadays, because the flowers are often bred for colour. It's a real bonus when you get a smelly one... Oh, and a bit of assorted greenery; hosta, ruscus and fatsia. 

A Floor standing arrangement that went at the altar;
these flowers went up into the altar window for today's services

Unfortunately we think our bunches of 25 gerbera were actually bunches of 20, so the altar arrangement didn't have quite so much 'zing' in it, but it didn't look too bad. The black voile under each arrangement was scattered with silver heart sequins, and in the roses...

Miss Piggy and friends...wonder if the carnations were called 'Kermit'?

...well, we studded a few of them with diamond pins.

We were just packing up at 4pm after three hours of blissful arranging, when the bride came up to see the flowers - we always try to get them to have a look before the big day as the wedding itself is often a blur - and she seemed delighted. So job done - another satisfied customer. (And by all accounts the wedding itself went really well too; Mum and Laura were in the choir so got a sneaky peek.)

Roll on September, when we're doing the next one...shades of orange and cream then. 


  1. And might I add all done with gentle, thoughtful precision along with good hearts, spirit and love. To watch each arrangement unfold from a green oblong plastic dish with green oasis on black voil is just amazing. And our church still looked beautiful yesterday with some of the arrangements still in, the two arrangements that hung on our Litch Gate looked super in two of the window sills. Thanks you guys for yet more hours spent creating for our Church. S. X

  2. Where can I buy a Miss Piggy rose? - it's beautiful and, as you say, rare to find one with fragrance. You are multi-talented - great flowers and a great blog too.

    1. Thanks, Karen!

      We buy flowers for 'big' weddings in bulk from a wholesaler; they have catalogues you can go through to find exactly the colour you're after. I'm not sure whether you could go into a high street florist and ask them for a specifically named rose. And if you could, you might find you have to buy a bunch of anywhere between 10 and 25 stems...not cheap but well worth it for something so different.

  3. Just lovely :) The colours are very striking with the black

  4. Beautiful as ever, Squidge. I was at my sons house the other day and noticed in one of the vases' a super arrangement of bright chrysanthemum's - when I asked about the authenticity of the bright sapphire blue ones, he said the florists put chemicals in the water with the flowers nowadays for the unusual colours. I didn't know that.