5 facts about coral charm peonies

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any of my weddings, and with lots of consultations coming up and final meetings with brides who are getting married this year, I thought I would take this opportunity to chat flowers.

Coral charm peonies are definitely one of my most requested flowers during the summer months. They’re so big, blousy and romantic; you can’t blame brides for falling in love with them. They can be a bit fickle though – sometimes they don’t open in time and sometimes they open too quickly. In fact I’ve been known to make a last minute dash to the supermarket to buy pop socks to keep the petals closed for a little bit longer!

As they are such popular blooms I thought I’d share a few interesting facts, in case you’re considering them for your big day.

Bridal bouquet with coral charm peonies, quicksand roses, rose flower and eucalyptus

Bridal bouquet with Coral Charm Peonies
Photography by Emotive Imagery

Peonies are not available all year round. They actually have one of the shorter seasons and are at their best in May and June. I’ve been known to get them at the end of april and even in late July – but that is a bit of a gamble. If you have your heart set on coral charm peonies I’d say choose May or June for your wedding day.

Go big or go home
Coral Charm peonies are big flowers so if you’re dream bouquet is delicate and petite I’d say that a smaller rose would be a better option. These are statement flowers, definitely not wall flowers and create a beautiful voluptuous bouquet.

Coral or peach?
Coral charm peonies change colour as they age. When they first open they are a vibrant coral but as they age they gradually fade to the palest peach. They are truly beautiful but the colour change is something to consider if you’re after a super bright coral flower to go with a colour scheme.

Not so scent-sational
The coral charm peony doesn’t really have much of a scent so if you want a beautifully fragrant wedding bouquet this might not be your first choice. In fact the only peony which does hold a scent is the white one – which incidentally smells gorgeous. That said the white peony is even more fickle that the coral, pale pink or purple – I have known them to open a good two weeks after the date I was hoping  they’d open!

Spendy blooms
They aren’t a cheap option. Given all of the above you can expect to pay a little more for this flower. Your wedding florist needs to be able to guarantee that those chosen for your bouquet are open, but not too much, coral, but not faded. It means they will need to purchase a larger quantity than they actually need to allow for any which don’t fully open in time for your wedding, and to also ensure that any over enthusiastic ones are reserved for another role within the wedding. They’re so big and blousy that only the very very best make the final cut for the bridal bouquet.

I hope you’ve found these tips useful, please free to share if you anybody who’s getting married, or even just fancies a bouquet of beautiful peonies. They’re definitely one of my favourites and I can’t wait for the first batch to arrive in Spring.


5 things I’ve learnt during my first year as a mum

I had great intentions of writing lots of posts once baby arrived. I was going to fill you in on all the things I was too terrified to write about when I was pregnant. The things I learnt, read, bought, our somewhat tricky journey to getting pregnant, my anxious pregnancy… And then he arrived…. And all you mummies out there will know, time just kind of whizzes past and before you know it you’re lighting the candle ready for the first birthday cake. It seemed like that for me anyway.

So today I thought about some of the things I’ve learnt during our precious first year as a family of three. I still pinch myself that this beautiful little bundle of fun and laughter is all mine. I don’t think the feeling of total and utter gratitude ever leaves you when you have struggled to get pregnant; an unexpected benefit of fertility troubles, and one which I love.

Mummy to be shoot

The day before I had my baby. Photo credit: Nellie Photography

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It’s been a while

It really has been a while since I last posted. This was not intentional however summer was busy for me with an influx of weddings and also some very exciting news. If you follow me on Instagram you will have spotted that I am having a baby. It was wonderful and very long awaited news so I’m sure you’ll forgive me for being a little more quiet than usual. Once baby arrives I will tell you a little more about the trials and tribulations along the way, however for now I am basking in the delight of expecting our first child. He or she is due in January so Christmas will be particularly special for us this year.

Alliums, thistles, Jana roses, Cotswold wedding flowers

A collection of autumnal hues

As the year starts to come to a close I have begun to recap on some of the exciting weddings I have been lucky enough to have been involved with this during 2016. On Friday I will be heading over to Stow on the Wold to deliver Laura’s wedding flowers for her wedding at Hyde Barn. Laura came to see me earlier in the year and I have been very excited to prepare all of her deliciously rich wintery colours for her beautiful wedding to John. I met Laura when I was working in marketing so it feels quite special to be creating her wedding flowers.

The Cotswolds is a beautiful location for a wedding and many of the weddings that I create flowers for tend to be in this area. There are lots of beautiful venues and of course the scenery is quite spectacular too. If you’re thinking of getting married in the area let me know if you’d like me to write a post with some of my recommended venues. There’s something for everyone and I’ve been lucky enough to do a fair few weddings in the area during 2016.

Here’s a few photos I took of the flowers for lovely Laura’s beautiful Cotswold wedding at Hyde Barn:




Life lately: April

I thought I’d do a little post about what I’ve been up to during the past few weeks. Amy Antoinette often writes little round-up posts and they are always nice to read. Besides it’s been a weird time getting back into things after our little holiday, especially after Phil’s grandmother passed away shortly after we returned. She would have been 99 next month and although she was a grand old age, her death still came as a surprise to us. We had been staying with her while our barn was being built and were busy decorating the attics. The idea being that one day she might need a carer on more of a full time basis. I guess that was never going to be part of the master plan and she was so fiercely independent really. I don’t think she would have wanted anyone staying in her home on a full time basis.

roses and eucalyptus in an old metal pot

A rare character who did everything from Cordon Bleu demonstrations to captaining the ladies cricket team. She even decorated her house from top to bottom doing all the wallpapering herself. She was a frugal lady too and loved to make and create soups and pickles using leftover items from her garden. We always joked that she would freeze everything in sight. She even froze a picnic I made her once – much to our amusement.

About three weeks before she died she plucked and dressed a pheasant. I quite fancied the feathers for button holes, but decided I wasn’t brave enough to get involved with plucking. She on the other hand was in her element. I guess it reminded her of the old days and the things she got up to during her youth.

I loved to listen to her tales about the things she’d done over the years. My favourite was the one about her house and how she came to be living there. Phil’s Grandfather had said it was a big house so she must never complain about all the work to be done. In actual fact I think she embraced the work and enjoyed to be busy. There’s a lot to be said about having an attitude like that. I fear life can quickly pass you by if you don’t get out there and make your mark.

You can probably work out for yourself the kind of impact she had on our life and I suppose I am very fortunate in that my husband carries many of her qualities. He isn’t afraid of hard work and has run a successful business since he was in his mind twenties. Both of them encouraged me to push outside my comfort zone and do things which were a bit scary. I suppose that’s why I am doing so many things now, I’m certain I haven’t always been this brave.

We laid Phil’s grandmother, or Addie as she was affectionally known, to rest on 7th April. It was rather fitting really as she was born on 7th May and married on 7th December. You could say 7 was her lucky number and I’m sure she would have been pleased to keep the sequence going right until her final days.

For her funeral I created a number of floral arrangements using as much foliage from her gardens as I could. Her favourite plum tree was covered in blossom so I used that in the church along with some deep red/pink roses, some beautiful big peach and pink roses, plus some thistles and pretty eucalyptus. I think she would have been very pleased to think she pushed me out of my comfort zone to create her funeral flowers. It’s not something I had ever done before, but it felt right to do them for her.

I’ve posted some photos below so you can have a look. I think she would have liked that too.

A modern pedestal using wild foliage, roses and blossom

A wooden crate with roses, eucalyptus, thistles and tulips. Perfect for spring

Roses, thistles, berries, tulips and dill


Wooden crate with roses, thistles and eucalyptus

Lunch in Ludlow

It was my Father-in-laws birthday yesterday so we packed up the car and headed over to Ludlow for the day. Shropshire has always held a special place in my heart, so we like to go back there whenever the opportunity arises. As luck would have it Ludlow really isn’t so far from where I’m living these days, so I don’t need much of an excuse to pay the old town a visit. My grandparents owned a small-holding on the Shropshire and Welsh borders so I spent many a summer holiday driving around pretty villages and enjoying picnics in the hills. It was my idea of perfect and a tonic to the monotony of school and homework.

Ludlow High Street, Shropshire

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Five things to do in Madeira

I think I set the scene in my previous post; you know why we chose madeira, where we stayed, who we chatted to and how we came to be visiting.

I didn’t tell you much about the island though and why we loved it so much.

So here are my five favourite things about Madeira.

A luxury trip to Belmond Reid's Palace

Hello Sunshine!

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A luxury trip to Madeira

It’s not that Madeira was somewhere I hadn’t thought about visiting, it was more that it had a reputation for appealing to a slightly older clientele. I’m not sure why that’s the case here in the UK; it certainly didn’t seem true for other Nationalities.

Then my favourite travel blogger, Mrs O Around The World visited last year and posted some beautiful photos. And just like that, I fell in love with the place; or more specifically a pool built into the rocks at the edge of the ocean.

The best swimming pool in the World

My favourite swimming pool ever

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A Coronation Street wedding!

And guess what?

I was lucky enough to create the flowers for their beautiful wedding at Curradine Barns in Worcester.

Working alongside my very lovely friend Jackie, we created a selection of beautiful, country style floral designs using Lisianthus in white and lilac, white Vendela Roses, lavender, anenomes, eucalyptus and Gypsophelia.

Mikey North Wedding flowers

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A valentines bouquet and other flowery tales

As you know I spend lots of my time working with flowers.

We recently moved house so I haven’t had a workshop or proper space to work in since November last year. In fact you could quite often find me balancing flowers on top of wheelie bins – I’m not even joking. Thankfully I now have a lovely little space to work in. It has plenty of shelves, a nice tall table and a cute little window too. What more could I ask for?

Red grand prix roses

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A luxury hen weekend in Bath

Hen weekends have gained themselves a bit of bad press over the years haven’t they?

They seem to have developed a reputation for being totally raucous with plenty of cheap plastic head wear and dodgy fancy dress situations going on.

Hen weekend in Bath England

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