Wedding Inspirations: Vintage Garden Party

Every bride has a vision of her perfect day. For some, it is a day they have dreamed of since they were a little girl, and some elements they choose for their big day will be as much about nostalgia as anything else.

Regardless of whether you have had a Pinterest board from when you got engaged, or a look book you have been working on since the day you were born, every bride will undoubtedly gravitate to a certain aesthetic which will influence each choice you make when bringing it all together.

From your choice in gown, to your jewelry, make up, hair, and the flowers you hold, each choice will determine whether you bring your desired look together or make it fall apart.

For many years now, brides have favoured a look that is reminiscent of yesteryear. Gowns made entirely of lace, beaded details, capped sleeves, tousled curls, loosely pinned in semi formal styles, garden ceremonies, eclectic vases with textured country-esque floral arrangements. What’s lovely about this look is that it is extremely down to earth, ‘quaint’ even, yet it still manages to be incredibly feminine. Before we were OBSESSED with everything being ‘matchy-matchy’ we used to be able to put together adorable little soirees which oozed a relaxed elegance; effortless and simple.

Get the look;

Obviously what flowers you choose will largely depend on what gown you choose, what time of the year that you tie the knot and the ‘look and feel’ you wish to achieve. Trust your supplier to make appropriate choices when it comes to substituting flowers that may not be available in order to achieve the look and feel that you are after.


I think this look can be achieved by choosing accent colours either in soft muted tones, or alternatively rich, dusty tones. This could include antique mauves, rose pink, nude, peach oyster, sage, duck egg blue OR pewter, gun metal, navy, burgundy, olive, chocolate and even black.

pastel colour palette


rich colour palette

Textured elements:

These flowers are not focal flowers, but certainly help to define this style by blurring the edge of the bouquet, loosening up the look, adding texture and movement, and by breaking up solid colour by adding ‘filler’ flowers.

Eriostemon, polygum berry, Mini gum, Flannel flower, veronica, budleia, Geraldton Wax, berzillea, bruneii, babies breath, dusty miller, andromeda.

Trailing elements:

These flowers will not be utilised in every style of bouquet but are particularly special for adding texture and movement if you wish to have teradrop, trailing, or waterfall bouquets. They can also be used to add a ‘beard’ to a loose posy bouquet.

Stephanotis, jasmine, asparagus, amoranthus,  pieris, clethra

trailing vintage

Floral feature elements:

These blooms should make up the body of your bouquet and are the stars of the show.

Lisianthus, Peonies, David Austin roses/garden roses, ranunculas, rhododendron, dahlias, succulents (for a modern twist)

vintage garden party bouquets

Accessories: Burlap, hessian, mason jars, mismatched teacups, teapots,  lace, doilies, birdcages.
accessory vintage

This look can be as unique and varied as you like and each wedding within this theme will have its own personal take on what a ‘Vintage Garden Party’ should be. Think stacks of classic books on tables as platforms for your vases, doilies, brown card name places and mixed jam jar vases. Mason jars are inexpensive so make a great gifts, and they can be painted to match your colour palette when required. Some of these elements can be personalised at home as little D.I.Y projects if you like to get crafty, but leave the rest to the professionals.

We’ll have more wedding inspirations coming up, so drop us a line if there is something in particular you would like to see!

Fwf x

Picture sources:


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Why do flowers need ‘food’?

I’m sure you have come across it before, most retail florists use it, and give it away so you can use it at home too. But have you ever wondered whether it was worth the effort, and if you should even bother? What is flower ‘food’ after all?

Like many other retail florists, we give out ‘flower food’ with fresh flower purchases. These handy little sachets are simply added to water to extend the viability of your cut flowers. They contain a unique blend of ingredients designed to help your flowers last longer, encourage your blooms to open more beautifully, and to keep bacteria at bay within the vase.

Image: Chrysal Flower Food

Plants are known to thrive in an environment where there are few bacteria, plenty of food available for energy, and water uptake is encouraged. Flower foods contain an acidifier that helps to adjust the water’s pH and sugar that will be used by the plant as an energy source, which had been lost when the flower was cut away from its root. These nutrients will help the plant to fully develop. Finally, there are stem ‘unblockers’ that will ensure the flower can easily take up water and nutrients that can later be used to take care of the needs of the rest of the plant. It is this combination that gives the fresh cut flowers everything that they need to survive longer. Whilst sugar alone for example will provide some elements of what the plant needs, it will also encourage the development of more bacteria which will have an adverse effect on the cut flowers.

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden believes that different additives can be used to prolong the lives of fresh cut flowers. Experiments were performed with various substances mixed with water, including aspirin, vinegar, pennies and even vitamin pills, as well as commercial flower food to test their effect on cut flowers’ lifespans. Each vase contained the same variety of plant, and the vase was placed in the same environment. This research found that the retailer-provided “flower food” helped extend the vase life most effectively.

Image: Florist Works

According to horticulturist James C. Schmidt, paramount to long lasting flowers is a sterilised vase. You can use a ordinary household cleaner to wash the vase, or a combination of water and bleach. By using a disinfectant, you are able to keep bacteria numbers down, which in turn will help your flowers last longer. Bacteria growth diminishes the vase life of flowers, causing them to wilt and decay faster.

Re-cutting the flower stems every few days will ensure that there is a fresh surface from which the stems can take up water. This will allow the flowers to last even longer.

If your flowers outlast your supply of commercial flower food, you can try your hand at creating your own. There are various combinations that have been found to be effective in prolonging fresh flowers vase life.

flower food collage


  1. Lemon Juice – add lemon juice to your vase of water. The lemon juice changes the pH of the flower, and limits the bacteria growth from attacking the flowers.
  2. Soda – You can use either lemonade, or any other citrus based soda mixed with water in a 2:3 ration. (You just need the regular variety of soda, not the diet varieties.) The mixture should be changed daily so that your flowers can receive the maximum nourishment and protection.
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar – Adding apple cider vinegar to your vase will increase the health of your flowers by keeping bacteria at bay. Mix it with some sugar and water to see your flower thrive. White vinegar will work just as well, you will just need to add more sugar. Change this every few days.
  4. Copper Penny – An old school trick to keeping flowers at their best is to add a copper penny or two and a teaspoon of sugar. The copper in the penny will prevent the growth of bacteria by releasing acid.
  5. Plain Water- now this advice may seem to contradict the rest but where most people go wrong is that they fill the vase on day one, and then leave the flowers to slowly die. Part of the strength of each of these other additives is that you are generally instructed to change the vase every few days and re-cut the stems. If this is done, even with plain water, I guarantee you will see an increase in the vase life of your flowers.
  6. Aspirin – Crushed up aspirin tablets with an equal dose of sugar is a less effective method. The aspirin contains salicylic acid and will lower the pH.
  7. Vodka – Yes, you’ve heard that right, vodka can keep your flowers alive! A creative cocktail of vodka, water, and sugar (with the vodka diluted by at least half) keeps your blooms looking their best. Add a scoop of sugar and change the water every day.

102671-347x346-Pennyjar Fire-cider-cocktail-scorched-earth

If like me, this sounds like a terrible waste of vodka, simply change the water in the vase and re-cut flower stems. Meanwhile pour equivalent measure of vodka into a glass, with a squeeze of lime and soda water to taste, sit down and rest your stems whilst enjoying the view!

Til next time

Fwf x



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Wiggly Wedding Inspiration

Like any mother of young children, I know most of the Wiggles repetoire off by heart. They certainly know how to write a catchy tune that plays over and over in your head, and the kids just can’t get enough.

As far as what they do behind closed doors, I really don’t care. Private life is private life as far as I am concerned, but still, I’ll admit I was pretty happy to hear that Lachy and Emma (Purple Wiggle and Yellow Wiggle for those of you who don’t know) had announced their engagement On Tuesday 5th May. It is a like we are somehow a part of a special love story.

Having only gone ‘public’ with their relationship mere months ago, this courtship seems to have progressed extraordinarily fast, but in reality these two lovebirds have been singing sweet love songs to each other for a couple of years.

When planning a wedding theme, colour is essential. We always recommend starting with the gowns and tying things together with the accessories and flowers. We fancy the idea of Lachy playing homage to Emma by wearing a yellow BOWtie, and similarly, how beautiful would it be to theme the bridesmaids and flowers around the colour purple to pay respect to Lachy’s purple wiggle character. And let’s not forget the Big Red Car!

Wouldn’t a yellow Bow tie be just perfect like this one we found on Style Me Pretty


Check out these great purple toned dresses- an extract from Broke-Ass Bride


ww14 ww13 ww7

Images found (L-R)  Natalie Bradley, Ruffled, Alisa Burke

Their very own BIG RED car. Image from Remarkably Retro

So just for a bit of fun, we are giving you a glimpse into a Wiggly themed wedding!

I have scoured the web for special pictures and concepts that work within this specific theme. With Yellow and Purple as the feature colours, both mauve and lemon elements would work well to provide colour repetition as well as harmony. Why not consider a neutral grey to tie things together too? It is a great alternative to boring old black tuxes PLUS Grey, yellow and purple has been a trending colour scheme.

BeFunky Collage ww inspiration4

Image references: Word Board, Converse Shoes, Yellow ties, Bridesmaids holding flowers, Ombre cake, Invitation, Ties

wiggly wedding inspiration 3


Image references: Posy Vase, Bridal bouquet, Table setting

wiggly wedding inspiration 2

Image references: Ombre Cake, Invitation, Petal Cones, Ties

wiggly wedding inspiration 1


Image References: Colour board and Chrysanthemum, Bridal bouquet and Bridal party, Decorations, Converse Shoes, Bridal Shoes, Bridal Party.

Have another colour scheme you would like to see mood boards for, or need inspiration? This is what we LOVE to do, let us help!

Til, next time….

Fwf x


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Gorgeous Disbud Chrysanthemum, perfect for Mothers day flower deliveries. Image: Tesselaars flowers.

Disbudding for the perfect bloom

Did you know?

Disbud Chrysanthemums are called so as the flowers are ‘dis-budded’ to achieve just one single bloom per stem. All side buds are removed whilst the plant is young, resulting in a large focal flower. The result is one premium bloom measuring appromiately 7-9 cm in diameter.

Disbudding the stem is when all other side buds are removed, leaving just one central bud to bloom. Image: Longwood Gardens


How amazing is that? And, if you think about it, it also makes the single stemmed blooms seem quite reasonable in cost too after forfeiting so many of its brothers and sisters along the way! Imagine feeding just one child so they flourish and letting the others fall by the wayside! Hardly something a parent would do, but funnily enough, Chrysanthemums are a traditional flower for Mother’s Day. Weird. Some believe that the significance of the humble chrysanthemum is simply due to the inclusion of the colloquial term for our mothers within the flowers name: ‘mum’.

Pretty disbuds all lined up in a row. Image: Waldon’s Flower Farm
image (1)
Own Image: Chrissy farms that we visit
image (2)
Own image: Chrissy farms we visit


Disbuds have started becoming increasingly popular again with the influx of imported varieties that are being creatively dyed, giving us florists unique and varied colour schemes to explore. Fresh chrysanthemum flowers are a long lasting bloom, with many customers reporting they easily get up to two weeks from these impressive flowers.

These days people favour bright and bold colours, despite the fact they have been dyed. Image:


These Cremon disbuds have also been tinted. Image: Sierra Flower Finder


There are two types of disbuds: Spiders and Cremons. Spiders are defined by their tubular petals. Any disbud without this feature is considered a Cremon. Besides the spectacular disbud blooms, we also have fresh bunches of spray ‘chryssies’, button chrysanthemums and more!

Though I am not a fan of the standard chrysanthemum, the disbud is a different thing altogether. For me, it sits somewhere between the dahlia and the extraordinary peony, and I am a massive fan of both of these beauties! And, as an added bonus, they last so much longer! What do you think of disbuds? Kind of cool, or kind of daggy?

Mother’s Day is a day we can all take time to honour the wonderful mothers we know: the mother we have/had, our special mother-in-laws, or the grandmothers we are lucky enough to still have around and learn from. Sending fresh flowers to all the special ladies in your life is the perfect way to show them you care! Whether you choose to go with the traditional ‘mums’ or something different, our fresh flowers can be delivered throughout Sydney, or organised to be delivered with one of our affiliates anywhere in the world either Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Whether you order online or come into the store to choose something special, Florist with Flowers can create Mother’s Day flowers to suit any-mum!

Til next time,

Fwf x



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Where did the tradition of honouring our mothers come from?

Mother’s Day- How and Where the idea came from….

Mother’s Day as we all know, is a day to take time to honour one’s own mother. Here, in Australia is takes place on the second Sunday of May each year, but its roots stem from the United States where celebrations started taking place during the 20th Century.

The American holiday was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in West Virginia. She began her campaign to make Mother’s Day a recognised holiday in the United States in 1905, after her own mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Her mission was simple: to honor her mother by continuing the work she had started and to set aside a day to honor mothers. She believed mothers were “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”, and let’s face it, she was on to something!

This celebration then spread throughout the world, with the date altered to fit with traditions/celebrations within each country already related to mothering or motherhood. Mothering Day in the UK for example, was a holiday originally celebrated by Catholic and Protestant Christians and falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent. Initially this holiday saw parishioners return to their ‘Mother Church’- the largest church in the local area, or more often, the closest Cathedral. Servants then began being given the day off to attend their mother church also, and as such, it became a special family day, as general work hours often prevented family spending time all together. Children would often gather flowers along the way to place within the church, and, over time they began to give these flowers to their mothers. Eventually this religious day became the secular Mothering Day.

Mother’s Day in Australia takes place in the Autumn months when Chrysanthemums are readily available. The significance of the humble chrysanthemum is not know for sure, however many believe it was simply adopted as the flower of the day due to its name containing the colloquial term of endearment for Mother- mum. Traditionally chrysanthemums were used in bunches to give to your mother, and today with vast importation as well as hybridisation we have a wide variety of different Chrysanthemums that are now used to create spectacular fresh flower arrangements!

  • POMPON – spray type of chrysanthemum; each stem has several flowers.
Pom Pom Chrysanthemums Image: Whole Blossoms


  • CUSHION POMPON – flower is of medium length petals without button in the centre.
Image: Amazon



  • DAISY POMPON – flower with button in the centre.
Daisy Pom Pom Chrysanthemums Image: Danisa Flowers


  • NOVELTY POMPON – any chrysanthemum besides white, yellow, pink, and bronze cushions, any novelty colours. All novelty shapes.
Novelty Chrysanthemums Image: Sierra Flower Finder


  • SPIDER POMPON: flower with very long outer petals without button in the centre.
Spider Pom Poms Image: Amazon


  • DISBUD (one single large flower per stem produced by removing all side buds when plant was young):
Award winning Disbud Chrysanthemum being shown. Image: Chrysanthemums in Aberdeen


  • FUJI – synonym of spider, except it is not a spray flower.
Fuji Chrysanthemums are the same as the spider pom poms, although are not spray chrysanthemums. Image: Amazon

So, what do you think of tradition?  Something to stick with, or time to turn it up on it’s head?

Whether you celebrate with her on the day for brunch, send a card in the mail, have chrysanthemums or other fresh flowers delivered, I’m sure Mum will appreciate being remembered this Mother’s Day. However big or small the gesture, remember, a mother is someone who will love you unconditionally, till her last breath……. and really, what can you possibly do to match that?

I suppose we can spend our life trying…..

Fwf x


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Hello Autumn

Autumn Inspirations

With March beginning this week, we welcome back an old friend who we have not seen for year. Autumn is seen as a transitional time, characterised with mild temperatures and low humidity, which also makes it one of the most pleasant times of the year.

In parts of Australia, trees will turn rusty, amber and golden tones, and there will be winds that are absent throughout summer.

With milder temperature, you will notice that your fresh cut flowers will last longer in your homes, and beautiful varieties of field flowers become available as the climate outside becomes less wretched. Over the last few months many customers have asked me how long certain flowers will last. They often seem disappointed when I say 3-5 days (in 30-35 degree temperatures). I ask you this- how do you feel if someone gives you one drink of water each day or two? How do you feel at the end of a hot and humid day, even if you have done very little physical activity? I don’t know about you, but I feel truly exhausted. Wiped out. Weary. Right? So whilst we need to start getting more than our toes wet in the ocean quickly before we miss out, lets not mourn the intensity of Summer in Australia, but rather welcome back Autumn, our mild mannered friend, with a whole lot to offer.

I got married through Autumn a few years ago, mostly because it worked well for my husband and I work wise, but also based on the fact we wanted a wedding in the warmer months. I didn’t want to be rugged up, having to wear a bolero or a coat all day, or look half frozen in my pictures. That’s just us, we love it warm. But to get a 38 degree March day was quite unexpected. I sweltered under the layers of fabric and was so thankful not to have worn my spanx as well!

Truthfully though, we also based the entire wedding on our ability to get my favourite rose, Julia amongst some other favourite flowers. Ain’t she a beauty? She, like many other garden/tea roses are available throughout Autumn and are at their best.

There are many flowers like your standard order lily, imported orchids or glasshouse grown rose that are available all year round. There is certainly noting wrong with enjoying your favourites everyday of the year if they are available and if you so fancy. However, if you like to treat yourself to something that is only available for short windows and able to give you small pockets of happiness, then look no further. Other flowers available especially throughout Autumn include:


Armaryllis -(Belladonna lilies)


Camellia blooms

Catteyla orchid







David Austin Roses


Geraldton Wax


King Proteas


Molluca Balm


Tea Tree

Well if that ain’t enough gorgeousness for your day, wonder on over to the store to check out what other beauties we have available for you. Go on and get yourself outside and enjoy the perfection that is the start of Autumn, get your skin in the sun and absorb that all important Vitamin D while you can, because, if the last two months are anything to go by, the year is flying by, and before you know it, I’ll be penning the next in our Season series, Winter.

Til next time, I’ll be basking in the autumnal glow,

Fwf x

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Happy St Patrick's Day, March 17th 2015

Take Over of the Clover!

Got a favourite colour?  Mine is unreservedly GREEN: anything from sage to avocado, khaki to lime. So with St Patrick’s Day approaching, what better way to celebrate than taking some inspiration from the Emerald Isle, from the clover and the leprechaun…

St Patrick’s day, a cultural and religious celebration on March 17th,  commemorates the passing of Ireland’s patron Saint (A.D385-461), the arrival of Christianity in Ireland as well as the heritage and culture of the Irish in general.  Celebrations include public parades and dressing in green attire or adorning yourself with Shamrocks, the symbol Saint Patrick is said to illustrate the Holy Trinity. The Lenton restrictions on eating and drinking are lifted for the day, which has in turn propagated the tradition of consuming alcohol on the holiday (not that the Irish needed an excuse! Ha!)

Kilbennan St. Benin's Church Window St. Patrick Detail 2010 09 16.jpg
St Patrick Image: Wikipedia


Green is a wonderfully calming and neutral colour but it is often underrated, and people tend not to see the true value of adding foliages to an arrangement, or using green berries or blooms to ‘lift’ a colour scheme. As a florist on countless occasions I have had a hard time convincing a customer that what we really need is more green rather than more flowers or more colour. And so this week my mission is to turn that around!

With so many lush foliages available in green it is easy to create long lasting arrangements that are low maintenance and are stunning in their simplicity. Alternatively a variety of fresh flowers are available in everything from soft pistachios tones to rich, olives, ideal for creating textured, versatile arrangements that complement almost any colour scheme or decor.

Song of India:

Gorgeous Song of India Image: Cainta plant nursery


Gorgeous Succulent Image: Commons Wikimedia

There are hundreds of varieties of succulent plants. Succulents are supple, long lasting plants, that can be utilised as ‘cut flowers’ (with no stem), with bamboo skewers used to create an artificial stem. They do not require alot of water and create a great ‘focal’ with their flower petal-like formation.

Molluca Balm (Bells of Ireland):

Molluca Balm Image: Aliexpress

Molluca Balm is bright lime green in colour, long and elongated, with flower pods along the length of the stem. In the language of flowers, it represents luck- no wonder it is known as the ‘Bells of Ireland’.


Gorgeous Cymbidium Orchids Image: Flowers Pictures

The Orchidacae family is widespread and diverse. Cymbidium orchids are available in various green tones (among other colours). Cymbidium orchids are generally available throughout May-October within Australia.. They are long lasting and ideal to use enclosed within a tall vase, or as an eye catching centrepiece in a more varied arrangement.

Simply divine green Slipper Orchids Image:Fun Flower Facts

The exotic Slipper Orchid is also available in stunning greens however are far less accessible, more expensive and rarer to find. Certainly well worth it, if you can mange to get you hot little hands on them! For this reason they are often reserved for use within weddings or special events.

Dendrobium orchids are often known as Singapore Orchids Image: Pix Good

Soft green and bright lime green varieties of Dendrobiums-the common Singapore orchid are also available. This orchid is more affordable and available all year round through international suppliers. They are not cultivated locally. The flowers take water through both the stems and the flowers so you can immerse flowers in a basin full of water to rejuvenate there appearance every couple of days.


Green Buttonn Chryssies Image: Flicker

Chrysanthemums are available throughout the year in different varieties. The flower heads occur in various forms, and can be daisy-like or decorative, like the buttons (above), disbuds, spiders or pompoms. They are available in a vibrant, fresh, lime green tone. Chrysanthemums are extremely long lasting. The disbuds are an ideal focal flower whilst the spray forms (spiders or buttons) are great to use as a ‘filler’ flower.


Supple and Shiny green Anthuriums are often mistaken as artificial. Image: Fine Art America

Tropical Anthuriums are plastic like in appearance and are often mistaken as artificial. With approximately 1000 species within the genus, the Anthuriums form the largest genus of the arum family. The bloom contains both male and female structures and is often seen to be rather phallic. They are ideal teamed with fresh cut foliages or other tropical blooms.


The possibilities to explore are limitless! Don’t forget there are several other varieties of fresh flowers commonly available in green, like Jade green roses, heleborus (winter rose) or hydrangeas which are popular for weddings, and carnations which continue to make the comeback of the century! Poppy pods, lotus pods, artichokes, berries and much more are also available in gorgeous shades of green so rather than just getting those cold ales flowing, get those creative juices going too and create an arrangement that will make your friends #greenwithenvy!

Til next time remember,

“Green is the prime colour of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises”  Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Fwf x


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