Really looking forward to welcoming Edel Hopkin and Katherine Brett to ‘The Lodge’. Book binding is one of those traditional crafts that has endured time and continues to fascinate us. This workshop not only shows you binding methods but also introduces us to the art of creating interesting and unusual papers that can be used to line the books making them unique and very personal.
Found these gorgeous purple Hydrangea at ‘Covent Garden Flower Market’ last week. They are so lovely to work with they are prone to wilting but all is not lost if they do.
When your blooms start to wilt you can try and revive them by submerging them in a “bath” of water for about 45 minutes. Remove them carefully and gently shake the water from the bloom, re-cut the stems and place them in a vase of fresh water.
The blooms should revive in a couple of hours giving you another day or two to enjoy them.
Today’s Botanical Art workshop concentrated on painting leaves with some amazing results. A very patient Rosemary Dodgson showed our students lots of useful techniques and tips to create these gorgeous leaves …….
Inspiration for yesterday's flower club came from walking around the garden looking for some flowers to brighten up the house. Sadly in the garden there were only a few bits 'n' bobs left not enough to fill a vase but enough to make a lovely hedgerow style arrangement in oasis.
We used a mixture of antirrhinum, allium, cornflowers, thlaspi, Delphinium, helianthus, eryngium, aster, sedum, corn, pittosporum and dahlias to achieve this beautiful country hedgerow feel. If only all hedgerows were this beutiful............
The seasons are definitely changing, I love watching the mist rolling over the meadow and watching the sun rise, to give us yet another glorious late summer day, these days are so precious.
Saturdays Floristry Taster Day was a lot of fun and our ladies had plenty to smile about.
There are plenty of fruit trees in the grounds of Hemingford Grey House so I have been up early harvesting raspberries, plums and apples to make jam. I've never made Jam before so with my trusty thermometer and a recipe from the BBC good Food website I spent yesterday creating plum jam then raspberry and apple jam, have to say I was pretty pleased with myself, it actually looks and tastes like Jam, now lets see what our B&B guests have to say about it.....
During the holiday season the river running alongside 'The Lodge' takes on a whole new life, there is always lots of laughter at the weekends with families out on the river rowing, canoeing and even paddle boarding. On the meadow there are always plenty of river cruisers and narrow boats enjoying the moorings, where they can just watch the world go by, enjoy a glass of something chilled and BBQ of course - it always smells so good when you are walking past !!!!
It's lovely to chat to the boat owners and here about their adventures, I met a fellow crafter the other day on a beautiful narrow boat covered with stunning Bonsai trees. Hannah from the 'The Floating Tea Picker' produces some gorgeous herbal teas, then creates lovely wooden boxes for them to go in, such a lovely idea. I feel a workshop coming on ...........................
Really excited to have added 'Raku' pottery to our schedule, it's such a great process it's going to be a lot of fun - this ancient Japanese art of rapid glaze firing, allows you to create the most amazing and unique glaze patterns on ceramic pots and bowls, it's a real creative treat this autumn visit our Raku workshop page
Follow our six easy tips to keep your cut flowers looking fresher for longer . . . .
Cut flowers are still very much alive when you buy them and some varieties, such as tulips, can continue to grow up to 2" after they have been cut so if you don't feed them and give them fresh water they will die and quickly - just like any other living organism.
1. Change your water every two to three days . . . .
Flowers drink a lot of water!!! A large bouquet can easily empty a vase full of water within the first day. Flowers are very susceptible to bacteria, which can build up inside the vase and the stem - you will have noticed that rotting smell when flowers are left in the same water for any length of time - by changing the water and topping it up regularly you will increase their life considerably.
2. Trim the stems using sharp scissors . . . .
After flowers have been cut and taken away from their water source the stems dry out and the cells in the stem die making it very difficult for the flowers to absorb water. By re-cutting the stems you remove the damaged cells and create a surface that is able to absorb the water again - if you cut them at an angle you increase the surface area and their ability to survive longer. Always use sharp scissors to give a clean cut and that way you will avoid damaging the cells at the end of the stem which would reduce the uptake of water.
3. Keep YOUr flowers away from heat and bright lights . . . .
It is so tempting to put your flowers in a sunny spot but if you do you will reduce their life considerably, flowers in sunlight mature and open very quickly and move to the next phase of their life whereas flowers kept in a cool dark spot will last so much longer as the process has not been accelerated by heat and light.
4. Keep your flowers away from your fruit & vegetables . . . .
Ethylene is an invisible gas given off by ripening fruit & vegetables, harmless to humans but devastating to flowers. It's all down to mother nature - once a flower is pollinated it begins the process of developing fruit and seeds and they drop their petals to ensure the flower's energy is redirected into making the fruit and seeds - so if you stand your lovely flowers next to your fruit bowl you are very likely to find a table full of petals in the morning.
5. Clean your vases . . . .
Bacteria love dirty vases so don't be tempted to throw one lot of flowers away and put the next lot straight in. Wash your vase either in a dishwasher or with a few drops of bleach - the bleach won't harm the flowers but will kill unwanted bacteria.
6. Feed your flowers . . . .
Flowers love to be fed and the little sachets of food you often get with a bouquet of flowers are fab, especially if you're not great at changing the water. This is because they contain an anti bacterial to help make the flowers last longer but to be honest there's no substitute to giving them regular fresh water.
There are lots of wives tales about food for flowers and if they work for you great - keep doing it. In our opinion nothing beats regular fresh water and a splash of bleach to keep the bacteria away whatever you do we hope these tips will help you enjoy your blooms just that little bit longer ..............