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The Ultimate Compilation

Floristry is not something that comes naturally to everyone, as is often the case with many creative professions.  And sure, I guess there are elements of floristry that you do see everyday people giving a go, much like we might try and put a home colour through our hair. I’m sure that they are under no illusion that it looks ok, but certainly not professional, but sometimes this is all that is required, and we are all guilty of cutting corners (and costs) at times.

But there are some areas of floristry that should be left to the professionals. They are tedious and technically challenging and unforgiving, showing every fault when they are not created correctly.

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Image: Svenska Blomster Bloggar

The compilation bouquet is certainly one of these.

What is a compilation bouquet? The compilation bouquet, is also known as a composite bouquet, a Duchesse Rose (if made with roses), Malmaison or even a Glamellia.

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Image: Best Destination Wedding

Essentially it is a bouquet where individual blooms (of the one variety) are disassembled, and then the petals are wired and placed together again piece by piece until a giant single super bloom is created. These days many people bypass the wiring somewhat and glue the composition together. Regardless of what technique you favour, it is fiddly, detail orientated work and you should certainly ensure that you set up your work station with everything ready to go. If you are using the glue, it can get messy, and the individual rose petals can wither quickly.

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Image: Save On Crafts

The original term, “Glamellia” started back in the 1940-50’s, when during the war, Camellia blooms were considered particularly expensive. The solution? Take the petals of the more common, and less costly Gladioli, and create a single bloom that looks like the more expensive flower, the Camellia.  Glamellia= Gladioli + Camellia.

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Image: Wedding Bee

The term “composite” simply refers to any handmade flower which is accomplished by placing pieces of several flowers together to make it appear to be one large bloom.

Initially, this bouquet was designed with Gladioli, but most commonly it is created with roses. These days, the sky is the limit, and I have found some beautiful examples using Cymbidium Orchids, Ranunculas, Roselilies, Lilies and I’m sure there is much, much more out there.

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Image: Wedding Wire
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Image: Svetlana Lunin
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Image: Brad Austin
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Image: Wedd Book
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Image: Hot House Design Studio

The composite bouquet is an ‘Old School’ Floristry technique, and many florists would shy away from creating this style of bouquet simply because they are not ordered often, so you tend to feel out of practice. Undoubtedly this style of bouquet is a show stopper, primarily because it is not the kind of thing you see everyday.

One of the benefits of this style of bouquet is that it is lightweight and fairly easy to handle. As all the stems have been removed it tends to be far less bulky than any hand-tied or wired bouquet. It makes a fantastic choice for wedding bouquets, especially if you want to stand apart from what is out there generally.

What do you think, are you a fan of the “Glamellia”?

Til next time,

Fwf x

Featured Image: Inside Weddings



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Memories- Unique Ideas to Pay Tribute to Loved Ones.


Death is nothing at all,

I have only slipped into the next room.

I am I, and you are you.

Whatever we were to each other we are still.

Call me by my old familiar name,

Speak to me in the easy way which you always used,

Put no difference into your tone.

Laugh as we always laughed

at the jokes we enjoyed together.


Think of me

Give thanks for my Life.

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Image: Bergen Designs

A colleague and I were chatting a few weeks ago, after we had both lost someone. Funerals, and memorials vary widely depending on the kind of affair the deceased had organised, or how the family decides to honour their loved one, they even vary depending on whether they passed unexpectedly, or whether it had been a long battle to the end. Some people find the restrictions of a funeral hard on their own journey of grief, and want to find another way they can honour the person who has passed.

I recently went to a funeral which lacked any formality. The deceased had actually wanted there to be no ceremony- but his wife couldn’t bear the idea of that, so went for a super simple affair with very few attendees. There were no readings, no eulogies, no picture slideshows, just 8 carefully selected musical tracks which played in the background as guests arrived and when the last song had played, everyone simply got up and went to the club for drink together.

Perhaps not everyone needs to have people say nice things about them, and pretend that they were faultless and a saint throughout their life, but for me, talking about the good old times is really all part of the grieving process, and I missed that in this particular case. In fact, I found the silence overwhelming. Being alone with my own thoughts was deafening, and it made me more emotional than if there had been speeches and readings to focus upon.

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Image: Empress of Dirt

You may also feel compelled to honour the deceased in your own special way, personally and privately, or in a way that others can share in. For example, I found this simple idea (above) which I thought could be easily adapted to include loved ones names and significant dates in even the smallest of gardens. You can then add stones when needed without sacrificing more space in your garden, which is suitable for our small urban living spaces.

My friend and I had been talking about the idea of starting a special memorial garden, or section in your garden where you can honour people who have passed. This could work particularly well for school or community groups where people are able to congregate in a public area. In fact, that’s exactly what a one local school has recently done. After losing two staff members in a short period after long battles with cancer, they set about creating a memorial space. The teacher’s classes were encouraged to choose the plant and be involved in the planting and maintenance and again, this garden needn’t get any bigger. Choose appropriate sized plants or you could even include small plaques to an established garden bed.

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Image: Joe Maui Blogspot

You will often find that these days, families ask that no flowers be sent to the funeral. Aside from the cost involved in paying tribute to someone this way, often so many pieces are given on the one day, and it is impossible to enjoy them all at once. They are either left at the service, or it is up to friends and family to transport them back to the family home. You can obviously choose to send something directly to the home, and if this is something you wish to do, be guided by your florist who will certainly suggest sending something that is self contained.

Another idea is to stagger the deliveries of sympathy flowers to the home. This can be organised directly with the local florist so that the family is not overwhelmed in the first few days only to be left with a house full of arrangements dying at the same time. This way the family can enjoy fresh flowers for weeks or months, and can appreciate them individually.

Whilst it is not customary to provide a ‘gift’ or favour to funeral guests, how cute is this idea of giving guests a packet of a favourite flower/herb/wildflower, or forget-me-nots to take home and plant at home. It is certainly perfect for an avid gardener, and adds an extra personal touch to the service.

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Image: Botanical Paperworks


Well, there are some ideas for you to think over. For all your sympathy flower needs, head here.

Perhaps you have recently lost someone special like me, and don’t want to feel like they have been forgotten….

Forever in your heart, never forgotten.

Fwf x

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New Arrivals- Gift giving for New Mums and Bubs

Is it just me, or does every second person seem to be pregnant at the moment. A few Sundays ago, I remember every customer I had had between 9 and 11 had been in the family way at varying stages. One customer had come in to choose a gorgeous arrangement for her friend from mothers group who had just had her third bub, and she was standing there, mere weeks away from bringing her fourth into the world herself!

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People love to give flowers to new families, but there are a few things that can be overlooked when ordering, that you may wish to consider.

Babies have SUPER sensitive senses and whilst strong perfumes are hard on anyone’s system, this is especially so for the newly born, elderly and those with allergies. A newborns respiratory system is immature; it requires a lot of effort to breathe not to mention drink/eat and just get those little peepers open! When you throw perfume into the equation, it makes it that more difficult to breathe.

So our advice? It is best for bubs (and mummy) particularly if they are still in hospital in a confined space to avoid strongly perfumed flowers.

On the upside, there are SO many flowers that haven’t got any perfume anyway, but some seasonal favourites, certainly do! It would be best to avoid oriental lilies, hyacinth, freesias, tuberose, stock, johnquils, and even lavender.

variety of colorful freesias, colorful natural background ** Note: Shallow depth of field
Image via Flower Meaning
Image via Dogoilpress
Image via Lake Nurseries
Image via Sierra Flower Finder
Wedding VIdeo behind the scenes
Image via Sierra Flower Finder
Image: Saga
Image: Pixabay

Sometimes these flowers are barely noticeable in a large open space, but when put into a small hospital room with little or no natural air, it can be incredibly over powering.

If you are organising fresh flowers, make sure your designer knows they are for a new baby and request there is no perfume.

Many people tend to choose either pink tones or blue tones depending on whether it was a little girl or boy who entered the world. Imagine a hospital room full of just one colour tone! Try to think about mum, does she have a favourite colour or flower that you could design your arrangement around? Mum has just been through what can only be describes as a massive marathon, so perhaps bringing her a gift as a huge pat on the back will earn you some extra brownie points. Dads take note! Ever heard of the concept of a push present? Whether mum gave birth normally or via c section, I think it fair to say she has just endured a long 9 months, an has now just been through one of the most physically and emotionally demanding and draining days of her life. And you know what, she would probably do it all over again, with no hesitation after seeing that little bubs face! Have you thought of a special piece of jewelry, or voucher for a massage?

Alternatively, you could consider one of our other great gift ideas for new arrivals; nappy cakes, a unique tiered cake-like gift made entirely from baby essentials such as nappies, washers, singlets socks and a teddy! Or a baby essentials gift pack perhaps with everything in them from gentle shampoo and conditioner, body wash and oil to blankets, bibs and soft toys.

Know anyone about to pop? Check out our gift range here :-) or our fresh flower range here.

Fwf x

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Frida Kahlo and Flowers

 “Fruits are like flowers: they speak to us in provocative language and teach us things that are hidden.”

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo, (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954), born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón, was a self taught Mexican artist, best known for her iconic, revealing and often dramatic self portraits (55 out of her 143 paintings ever made were self portraits). She remains one of the most influential artists of her generation, a unique style icon, today, still used as a muse for others, such as Beyonce.

In late June, an exhibition opened at The Art Gallery of New South Wales if you are interested in seeing more and learning more about this intriguing lady, along with her husband Diego Rivera, two of Mexico’s most influential artists of the 20th century. Some sessions are already sold out, but they do offer timed entry tickets to avoid disappointment. See here for more info.

‘I am my own muse. I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to better.’

Frida Kahlo

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Image: Lenin Imports
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Image via Pinterest
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Image: Arty Factory

Frida certainly had a unique dress sense, and sense of individual style, influenced heavily by her Mexican culture. She favoured bright colours, embroidered dresses, with flowers and ribbons woven throughout her hair, and kept her naturally thick eyebrows untended. She was considered to be fairly unfashionable at the time, with her hair parted down the centre, and braided into a tight bun and often exaggerated her features in her portraits to make herself even more so. At the time, Frida was considered to be somewhat unconventional, with her peers favouring a more modern dress sense rather than the more traditional attire, so she stood out.

Her unique signature style could easily be identified, and often featured throughout her work, paired with imagery of foliage and flowers from her own garden, jewellry made from shells, stone and bones, as well as some of her pets. This was her way of demonstrating the close relationship between humans, animals and nature. Kahlo frequently incorporated plants/flowers/foliage like “elephant-ear” leaves  or Viejo (old-man cactus), other cacti and flowers.

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Image: Arty Factory
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Image: Fractal Enlightenment

“I paint flowers so they will not die”

Frida Kahlo

Kahlo contracted polio as a child, so much of her art focused on her physical and emotional pain. In fact, part of her signature dress style was a direct result of her condition, covering up her smaller/thinner leg with long layered clothing. Kahlo was also involved in an accident in her teenage years, when on September 17, 1925, she was was riding in a bus that collided with a trolley car. Kahlo suffered serious injuries such as a broken spinal column, a broken collarbone, broken ribs, fractures to her right leg, a crushed, dislocated foot and a dislocated shoulder. On top of that Kahlo was pierced through her abdomen by a piece of iron handrail which compromised her future fertility. Whilst Kahlo did become pregnant three times, each time, sadly she lost each baby.

As a direct result of her experience with infertility, Kahlo references reproductive failure in several paintings; in Henry Ford Hospital right after her miscarriage in 1932, shows a woman, Kahlo herself, on a bed bleeding.  She also often uses flowers as a symbol of fertility throughout her paintings.

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Image: Frida Kahlo Fans
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Image: Yahoo
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Image: Wiki Art
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Image: Art Eye Witness

If you are a fan, the exhibition is open until October 9th, so don’t delay!

Til next time,

Fwf x

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