Summer in our zone (9b) brings high temperatures, lots of rain and lots of bugs. This is our downtime and we put the beds to rest with landscape fabric and/or cover crops. Aside from flowers, I also love to travel. I try to combine the two as much as possible and I was lucky enough to visit The Flower Appreciation Society this summer in London, England.

I booked a Bespoke Workshop with Anna and Ellie which included a visit to their cutting garden, flower arranging, breakfast, lunch, and photos of our work.

We started off with a walk to their garden. Anna and Ellie were very helpful in identifying unfamiliar flowers to me along the way and when we arrived at their garden. They have an urban garden similar to FarmGal’s. It’s always interesting to learn how gardeners maximize space (go vertical) and which flowers work best for them in this setting.

We cut mallow, jasmine, roses, sweet peas, heuchera, foxgloves and more!



I always like to work on my bouquet making skills. I worry about a bride’s bouquet being too big or too small. Anna had a great idea and suggested I install a mirror in my studio so that I can hold the bouquet in front of the mirror and make adjustments in size as needed.



Ellie demonstrated how their lush, garden style centerpieces are created for the many amazing events they design for (their clients include Harvey Nichols, Liberty of London, and Molton Brown). Then I designed my own centerpiece using locally sourced British flowers and flowers from their own cutting garden. I loved working on my color palette by integrating the darker shades of heuchera and scabiosa with brightly colored geum and dahlias, variegated pittosporum and muted Koko Loko roses. The arrangement was topped off with jasmine foliage for that whimsical look.



A big thank you to Anna and Ellie for having me. It felt more like a day with wonderful flower friends as we talked about gardening, flowers, mutual friends, and dined on delicious food. If you would like to learn more about The Flower Appreciation Society, check out their lovely book, An A to Z of All Things Floral.


Photo: The Flower Appreciation Society