Wild, eclectic wedding flowers by Jay Archer Floral Design

Inspired by eclectic music, early mornings, late nights, and an incessant need for caffeine, the latest wedding flower Look Book by Jay Archer Floral Design is an ode to wild love affairs and rock ‘n’ roll.

Challenging the neat, pastel prettiness of popular wedding floristry, Jay hopes the Look Book will inspire 2014 couples to ‘think outside the box’ when planning their wedding flowers.

Jay Archer bouquet

Chocolate cosmos, black elderflower, and Himalayan honeysuckle bouquet by Jay Archer

The bouquet is inspired by singer Patti Smith’s ‘Because the night’; a wild, passionate love affair, or the elopement of young lovers; filled with homegrown chocolate cosmos, black elderflower, and Himalayan honeysuckle.

A feverishly layered archway of English flowers, weeping pear, passion flower vines, and clematis, make the perfect backdrop for a bohemian ceremony. The sweetheart table, arranged for an intimate wedding breakfast, is decorated with artichoke, gold leaf figs, astilbe, and astrantia.

For the table plan, Jay has taken inspiration from the Scottish hills; childhood holidays spent playing in the stream and clambering mossy rocks. Bringing a personal story to a wedding staple, the moss covered table plan is rich and earthy.

In comparison, the decadence of the amaranthus, also known as love-lies-bleeding, is wildly romantic. Using popular favorites like ranunculus, English hydrangea and peony, Jay changes the perception of using traditional florals in a truly modern setting.

You can find more photos from the lookbook and read a fantastic interview with Jay over on Love Scarlett, where she talks about the inspiration behind her designs, her passions

About Jay Archer Floral Design

Jay Archer Floral Design is an award-winning wedding and event florist based in north Hampshire and covering London and the South East. Her style is often described as natural, abundant and eclectic, with an emphasis on homegrown, seasonal and locally sourced flowers with quirky textures and old fashioned scents. For more information visit http://www.jayarcherfloraldesign.com.

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Five ways with Amaryllis for winter floral designs

I only came across what are commonly know as Amaryllis a few years ago and instantly fell in love them for their striking form. Actually when I first saw them I thought they must be several different flowers cleverly wired together, with their stems wrapped in some kind of leaf, such is their strange design! Their tall height, thick, straight stems and multiple, lily-like flower heads make them eye-catching in their own right, but they also look wonderful in a variety of different floral arrangements too.

A bulbous plant, Amaryllis, or to quote their correct name, Hippeastrum, are winter flowers and very popular for Christmas, often being sold potted as they grow and flower well indoors. Usually first appearing in UK shops and flower markets around September,  they are available in a variety of colours well in to March as a cut flower and if bought in bulb form normally take about six to eight weeks to appear. But if you, like me, love this flower and fancy having a go at creating your own alternative Christmas flower arrangement with them at home, below are a couple of design ideas that I love.

Red and white Amaryllis with holly and pine sprigs in a rustic white jug, sat on a tray withfestive Christmas baubles

Red and white Amaryllis with holly and pine sprigs in a rustic white jug, sat on a tray with festive Christmas baubles, from Better Homes & Gardens http://www.bhg.com

White Amaryllis bulbs planted in large tin buckets topped with moss and pine cones, set on a metal tray filled with cones and wooden stars

White Amaryllis bulbs in large tin buckets topped with moss and pine cones, set on a metal tray filled with cones and wooden stars. From Vibeke Design http://www.vibekedesign.blogspot.com.br

A winter centerpiece with peach Amaryllis, garden roses, and ranunculus, gold and wine-coloured orchids, plus an unruly assortment of foliage, created by Joy Thigpen  and featured on www.oncewed.com/

A winter centerpiece with peach Amaryllis, garden roses, and ranunculus, gold and wine-coloured orchids, plus an unruly assortment of foliage, created by Joy Thigpen and featured on http://www.oncewed.com/

Red and white striped Amaryllis planted in a pretty wicker hamper

Red and white striped Amaryllis planted in a pretty wicker hamper, from http://www.jacksonandperkins.com

Modern white Amaryllis and fern arrangement

Modern white Amaryllis and fern arrangement by Sarah Winward http://www.sarahwinward.com

Hippeastrum originally come from Central and South America, so its no surprise (although it was at the time!) that I saw so many growing wild and in people’s front gardens when I went to Costa Rica a few years back. If you do fancy growing them as opposed to trying your hand at the above designs, you ideally should have planted them by now to have them flowering at Christmas, but the plus is that if you’ve missed this deadline, you can plant them in the New Year to enjoy them well in to Spring.

Here are some great tips from Monty Don on the MailOnline on how to plant Amaryllis bulbs you can enjoy in Spring.

What do you think? Do you love Hippeastrum as much as me, and will you be buying any this year?

A year on.. my best work so far

This gallery contains 28 photos.

Well, I can hardly believe it’s been (almost!) a year since I took the plunge last September and jacked in my 9-5 job to pursue floristry full time. The course is now over, I have achieved a merit for my … Continue reading

My new favourite place in London: the Garden Museum in Lambeth

Back in early February I blogged about an exhibition I intended to visit at the Garden Museum, which was all about the history of cut flowers, and when I got back from holiday I finally got around to going with my Mum. On the day I was also lucky enough to receive an invite to the closing event, ‘Floralia’, which was a floristry competition for up and coming floral designers who were challenged to create an arrangement that explored the link between floristry and fine art. There are excellent photos of the entries over on Flowerona, a prominent flower-inspired blog.

Me at 'Floralia'

Me at ‘Floralia’

Both the exhibition and Floralia were fantastic and inspiring, and the Garden Museum is definitely now one of my new favourite spots in London! Set in the deconsecrated church of St Mary-at-Lambeth, which is home to the tomb of renowned royal gardener, traveller and plant-hunter John Tradescant and his family, the museum is beautifully done and a haven for gardening and flower enthusiasts. The old church makes for a striking setting and the museum has been designed in such a way as to highlight and retain the integrity of the original structure.

A beautiful Spring display at the entrance to the museum

A beautiful Spring display at the entrance to the museum

As well as a programme of informative exhibitions and events, the Garden Museum hosts a unique collection of around 10,000 objects spanning 400 years of gardening in Britain, each representing the history, culture and design of gardens in some way. There is also a shop and cafe, which leads out to a pretty ‘knot’ garden in the old churchyard. Designed as a memorial tribute to the Tradescants by the Dowager Marchioness of Salisbury, President of the Museum, in a style typical of their 17th Century times, it contains many of the species they introduced and many they grew in their own Lambeth home.

The Knot Garden at the Garden Museum

The Knot Garden

I didn’t realise at the time, but reading up on it, it transpires this garden was opened the year of my birth in 1978, by none other than Her Majesty, The Queen Mother! Strange, also, was that while I was away in Vietnam studiously revising for my upcoming plant I.D. test, one of the plants I had to learn was Tradescantia, which takes its name from John Tradescant himself! You can read all about the history of the knot garden and the museum here, but I highly recommend a visit too.

Just one of many species of Tradescantia, often used for pot plants, borders & containers

Just one of many species of Tradescantia, often used for pot plants, borders & containers