AESME

JOURNAL | MAY

AESME

In the STUDIO


Vessel | Korean ceramic tea bowl & kenzan Materials | Ranunculus, Saponaria, sweet peas & pennycress

Vessel | Korean ceramic tea bowl & kenzan Materials | Ranunculus, Saponaria, sweet peas & pennycress

It’s been a busy and productive month in the studio with weddings every weekend, a steady flow of beautiful flowers coming in and out and the constant to-ing and fro-ing of vessels and buckets and plants. May is perhaps our favourite month, fast-paced and flashing by so quickly, yet at the same time strangely long and drawn-out - the flowers of late spring - tulips, anemones, the last of the narcissus - giving way to peonies, clematis and bearded iris.

We’ve so enjoyed working from some very colourful and creative briefs this month. Autumnal rusts and berry tones for a wedding on the Kent/Surrey border with a beautiful blowsy blossom and hawthorn arch. A long aisle of Italian alpine meadow-inspired arrangements (to reference the groom’s heritage) in the Nash Conservatory at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens. A Chinese-Jewish wedding at the extraordinary Sezincote House (a two-hundred year old Mogul Indian palace on an idyllic country estate in Gloucestershire, built by an English aristocrat for his homesick Indian bride), with a rambling clematis and wild rose briar chuppah, oodles of lush table arrangements and hundreds of metres of twisting, curving leafy vines across the clear marquee ceiling. Last weekend, a church wedding and reception at Cowley Manor in the Cotswolds with abundant urns, table arrangements and a marble mantelpiece laden with peonies, bearded iris, spilling with tiny blue Lathyrus flowers on twirling vines.

Vessel | Low & wide Japanese ceramic bowl & kenzan

Vessel | Low & wide Japanese ceramic bowl & kenzan

Materials | Grasses, nandina, ranunculus, ferns, the last of the tulips

Materials | Grasses, nandina, ranunculus, ferns, the last of the tulips

Exquisite bearded iris cut from the garden

Exquisite bearded iris cut from the garden

Vessel | Large & shallow resin bowl | Materials | Hawthorn, Fritillaria Imperialis, iris, tulips, corncockle & alliums

Vessel | Large & shallow resin bowl | Materials | Hawthorn, Fritillaria Imperialis, iris, tulips, corncockle & alliums

 
For the  Baylight Foundation  x  Natoora  supper club at  Walmer Yard  in Notting Hill during  London Craft Week

For the Baylight Foundation x Natoora supper club at Walmer Yard in Notting Hill during London Craft Week

Materials | Cabbage & variegated tulip leaves, clematis, Californian poppy, Ornithogalum nutans

Materials | Cabbage & variegated tulip leaves, clematis, Californian poppy, Ornithogalum nutans

Alpine-inspired aisle arrangements for Hannah & Gianluca in the  Nash Conservatory  at  Kew Gardens

Alpine-inspired aisle arrangements for Hannah & Gianluca in the Nash Conservatory at Kew Gardens

Antique cast iron urns full of spring flowers for Anna and Andras’ wedding at  Cowley Manor  in the Cotswolds

Antique cast iron urns full of spring flowers for Anna and Andras’ wedding at Cowley Manor in the Cotswolds

Clematis & strawberries in stoneware bottles for  Natoora  x  Baylight Foundation  supper with Chef Dan Cox of  Crocadon Farm

Clematis & strawberries in stoneware bottles for Natoora x Baylight Foundation supper with Chef Dan Cox of Crocadon Farm

Hannah’s bouquet contained corncockle, Marguerite daisies, Californian poppies, Aquilegia & sweet peas

Hannah’s bouquet contained corncockle, Marguerite daisies, Californian poppies, Aquilegia & sweet peas

Materials | Faded ‘Coral Charm’ peonies with Saponaria, iris, elderflower, clematis and dog rose briars

Materials | Faded ‘Coral Charm’ peonies with Saponaria, iris, elderflower, clematis and dog rose briars

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Installation | The chuppah, dressed with clematis vines, hawthorn, spring blossom, sweet pea and potato vines, and garden roses, for David and Tash’s wedding ceremony, in the ornate curved Orangery at  Sezincote House

Installation | The chuppah, dressed with clematis vines, hawthorn, spring blossom, sweet pea and potato vines, and garden roses, for David and Tash’s wedding ceremony, in the ornate curved Orangery at Sezincote House

Laying up the tables for D&T’s evening reception dinner at  Sezincote House . The floral colour palette was creams, blush, coffee, rusty orange and pops of bright red to reference the bride’s Chinese heritage

Laying up the tables for D&T’s evening reception dinner at Sezincote House. The floral colour palette was creams, blush, coffee, rusty orange and pops of bright red to reference the bride’s Chinese heritage

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In the GARDEN


Preparing the largest annual bed for cutting from high summer

Preparing the largest annual bed for cutting from high summer

The garden has come on in leaps and bounds over the past few weeks with the help of Becky who is a recent addition to our growing team, assisting with cutting for weddings and events, maintenance and turnaround between crops. Once over the tulips were whipped out and replaced with annual seedlings - stocks, runner beans and Nicotiana (tobacco flower), and lots of seeds direct-sown to cut from later in the summer. Two new long beds have been planted up with dahlias. In the tunnels the sweet peas, calendula, Californian poppies and corncockle have been flowering like mad, the ranunculus waning and soon to be replaced with sea lavender and straw flowers. Every week there are new varieties showing - this week the bearded iris and first flush of roses have been gently brought back and coo’ed over at the studio. And the nigella are just starting now too - African Bride, Sativa (black cumin) and Hispanica, which are the colour of dark blue denim.

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One of the most exciting things for us this year is growing crops of different varieties specifically for our clients within a particular colour palette. The red sweet peas (Air Warden, Winston Churchill and Red Ace) that we grew for David and Tash’s wedding at Sezincote - sown from seed on Christmas Eve - started flowering just in time and we were able to cut long, whole vines for them with these hits of beautiful scented red flowers. For Anna and Andras, who had a white/buttercream and peach palette with accents of blue, we cut Lathyrus sativus azureus and Californian poppies like wrinkled silk rosettes.

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Our first roses are fairly short-stemmed at the beginning of the season but we cut them into crates filled with jars of fresh water and bring them back to the studio regardless - so useful for low bowl arrangements and small clustered vessels for table styling. We use many of the weeds that we pull up in our designs too - speedwell, hairy bittercress, shepherd’s purse, forget-me-nots, jack-in-the-hedge. At the moment we have a real problem with invasive creeping buttercup but the upside is a profusion of glistening, sunny flowers just when you are searching for that hit of yellow. Herb Robert is an old favourite – it grows everywhere around the garden, and at the moment is a nude pink turning to flaming red. We pull it up by the root, soak it, store it in buckets of water and use it for filling the base of arrangements; a touch of vermilion when you want to spice things up a bit. We don’t discard the stunted, strange (sometimes slightly freaky) plants in our garden; it’s a bit like nose-to-tail eating in a restaurant; there’s a use for everything, weeds and weirdos alike.

If you’d like to join us for a day in the studio we have a A Day’s Flower Arranging Workshop coming up next month on Wednesday 17th July, 10am to 4pm. We’ll have an abundance of freshly cut flowers, foliage, fruits, vegetables, herbs (and decorative / edible weeds!) from the garden in an array of delicious colours to arrange with and we’ll be covering garden-inspired bouquets and table centrepieces (using the chicken-wire technique). Further details and tickets are available here.