New book of sustainable floristry techniques

A Guide to floral mechanics by Sarah Diligent and William Mazuch. Kensington flowers are very proud  to have pledged our support to make the publication of this book possible.

 

In her own words, Sarah’s ethos is ‘working with nature, doing no lasting damage and bringing joy’.

Although floristry looks like a green industry, in recent years people have begun to recognise its environmental impact; in particular the use of green florists foam which releases micro plastics into the water cycle when it disintegrates.

Kensington flowers has already moved to natural biodegradable wrapping, including ‘eco wraps’  and has dramatically reduced its use of single use plastics and if we have to use  floral foam , we choose biodegradable.  Although these were important moves, there is more to do. Sarahs book is a technical manual for florists about how to avoid the negative impacts of floristry on our planet.

Excitingly, the book might also be suitable for enthusiastic amateurs.  Sarah’s writing partner William Mazuch, has a background in industrial design. His focus is on the materials and technical skill but his aim with the book is to ‘demystify the process’.  As Sarah has explained, ‘We’ve taken inspiration from Ikea furniture assembly instructions, car manuals and recipe books to create a book that is easy to follow, clear and absolutely achievable.

With this boo the pair aim to ‘surprise people, make people happy and do it well’.  We are very happy to have supported this brilliant, timely publication thats just been released.

[Information and quotes taken from https://www.frombritainwithlove.com/foam-free-floristry-the-sustainable-guide-to-floral-design/ and https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sarahdiligent/a-guide-to-sustainable-floral-mechanics]

 

 

Kensington Flowers Lock-down Delivery Service

Dear Kensington Flowers customers,

We hope that you are well and coping with these strange times. We miss the shop and hope to see you soon. Until that time, from 6th May, we are very happy to be re-starting our home deliveries. To protect our customers and everyone here in the studio, deliveries will be completely lock-down-proof and contact-free.  Juliet is working alone in the studio to begin with and will be happy to speak with you directly for any flower enquiries.

It is early summer so we expect to see peonies, delphiniums, sweet william, cornflowers and sweet peas. Summer is the best time for British flowers; we will make wonderful, seasonal bouquets to bring to our customers in Kensington, Chelsea, Notting Hill and surrounding central London postcodes.

Happy to say we have plants arriving in stock, Orchids, hydrangeas, and beautiful maidenhair ferns. If you would like any specific plants, please call Juliet to order  by Monday, for a delivery on Wednesday or Thursday the same week.

Please send us your orders for birthdays, anniversaries, surprise gifts or just to brighten up this time at home.

How to order:

To order your flowers and plants, please call Juliet on Tel 07493 707636 to pay over the phone or go to www.kensingtonflowers.co.uk to order in the usual way online.

We are limiting our delivery days to Wednesdays and Thursdays each week until further notice.  If possible, Please order by Sunday, for deliveries the following week.

The shop phone will not be monitored regularly, so for the moment,  please phone the shop mobile 07493 707636,  email or use the website enquiry form to contact us.

As our shop doors still have to remain closed in accordance with government guidelines on the Coronavirus situation, we are keeping our stock levels to a minimum.  Therefore, please do order in advance whenever possible.  Juliet may be able to arrange last minute deliveries, however it will be best to phone her directly to discuss.  We will always  do our best to help, if we are able.

We will be posting updates and some of our most beautiful lock-down bouquets on Instagram so follow us there at @kensingtonflowerslondon.

Thank you and stay safe x

Focus 19

New term starts

Summer is drawing to a close and September sees the beginning of a new school term and the first signs of Autumn looming. The delicate pastel and cool colours of summer flowers gradually being replaced by rich warm and vibrant hues.

British grown Dahlias are in abundance and a favourite choice for our customers at this time of year.  Dahlias come in a wonderful array of shapes, sizes and bold colours.

Mixed British grown dahlias

Focus 19

We are also seeing freshly cut English Garden Hydrangeas, with wonderful shades of muted colours.  We arranged a beautiful vase full for the new showroom of Samuel & Sons Trimmings at Chelsea Harbour for Focus 19.  The Interior Design event welcoming global design enthusiasts to celebrate best in design and decoration.

 

Samuel and Sons Hydrangea vase arrangement for Focus 19

Garden hydrangeas make a statement display simply arranged en masse. This image captured a lot of attention on our instagram page @kensingtonflowerslondon.  A great bonus is that hydrangeas can dry very well so can be used as a long lasting display. They look wonderful made into door wreath.

KF Studio Dried Hydrangea wreath
KF Studio hydrangea wreath

This week we were proud to work with Osborne and Little to showcase the new seasons collections for their Kings Road showroom for Focus 19.  We filled large baskets of mixed ferns to compliment the new Nina Campbell Ashdown Collection.  The ferns worked brilliantly with the Benmore Wallpaper.

Osborne and Little showroom

 

We stock a variety of fresh indoor plants at our studio and if we do not have what you are looking for, we can always try to source the plants for you.  This week we hunted down a banana plant for a customer and some trailing Hoya.

Indoor plants

British Flowers Week 2019

Our British Flowers Week Bouquet

From Monday 10 June to Sunday 16 June, independent florists and flower-growers celebrate British Flowers week. Each year, we make a special bouquet using only flowers from British Growers.

Photo of a British Flower studio choice edition bouquet peonies, cornflowers, sweet william flowers from Kensington flowers

What is British Flowers Week?

Before the 1970s, most flowers stocked by florists in the UK were home-grown on British farms. Over the next 50 years this changed dramatically so that now most of the flowers in shops and supermarkets come from large, commercial growers who sell through the Dutch flower market. As well as a huge increase in air-miles, this means that the freshness and individuality of many flowers has declined. British Flowers Week aims to reverse this trend.

By stocking British flowers wherever possible, we are part of the move towards buying from local, independent flower-growers. Currently we have home-grown lupins, cornflowers, herpiris, lavender, peonies, sweet william, grass and yarrow. For more information on events and ways to encourage British growers, see the British Flowers Week website at  https://www.britishflowersweek.com/.

Green Changes at Kensington Flowers

Wrapping and Green Compost

New environmentally friendly wrapping

We have changed our wrapping to use Eco-craft biodegradable cellulose. This wrapping is made in the UK from renewable wood chips and is fully bio-degradable and compostable. Cellulose comes from the walls of plant cells. It breaks down into carbon dioxide and water, which are then used by trees and plants to grow. The composted cellulose has been tested to ensure that it has no negative effects on subsequent plant growth. It is also vegan-friendly.

Green Waste

As well as biodegradable wrapping, this year we started to send all green waste (leaves, stalks, fallen petals, soil) to compost rather than landfill. This reduces the use of unsightly and environmentally damaging landfill and it means that unused plants and flowers go straight back into the natural ecosystem.

Heading to the compost

Kensington Flowers at Christ Church Edible Garden

The Opening of the Charity Garden

Kensington Flowers donated flowers for the opening of the edible garden at Christ Church, Kensington. The garden opened in the evening of Thursday 23rd May.

After years of planning,  the charity Growing Space has created the garden for local schools. It aims to engage young people in growing food: to know where it comes from, to enjoy healthy eating (by tasting their own produce) and also to bring in the local community as volunteer gardeners. We were very happy to be involved in this project for a second time, after running a floral workshop for the charity in December 2017, attended by parents and teachers at St Thomas’s school.

A first look at the garden
Gardening Christ Church Edible Garden watering charity flowers florist healthy eating
A young gardener

Chelsea Flower Show 2019

Our Favourite of the Show

Peony Peonies Chelsea Flower Show Flowers New Flowers 2019 gardening floral arrangement
All that Jazz (credit: Jackson and Perkins)
One of the first (and best) summer events in London is the Chelsea Flower Show. As well as the garden competition, growers introduce completely new varieties of plants which are judged by the Flower Show judges. Our favourite from the shortlist for Plant of the Year was the new peony, All that Jazz , which has creamy-apricot petals flecked with dark red and a dark red centre. The winner was a sedum shrub, Atlantis Nonsitnal, which has yellow variegated leaves and small flowers in the summer.

Thomas’s Battersea Fundraiser

 

 

Local School Summer Party Fundraising Event

Thomas’s London Day School  and The CAIRN Trust

We are lucky enough to be located across the street from Thomas’s School in Kensington. As neighbours we enjoy a lovely relationship with the staff, students and parents of the school, many of whom are customers in the shop and have been wonderfully supportive of our business over the years.

Occasionally when the school are fundraising for charity projects, we are able to return the favour and lend our support to the cause. Juliet has lent her time teaching the staff and parents how to make Christmas wreaths and decorations for sale at the Christmas Fair and we have donated vouchers and plants over the years.

One of our more recent donations was in aid of the CAIRN trust (Children’s Aid In Rural Nepal). This trust is one of the schools permanent charities and funds raised go towards providing children with education, books, and access to libraries and school places.

The recent fundraiser hosted by the PTA at Thomas’s School in Battersea raised £203,000 for the CAIRN trust. A donation of this size provides sweaters, books, education and facilitate construction of library buildings.

We are very pleased to have been able to contribute and to be in some small way involved with this wonderful charity and the work that they do.

Community project – Christ Church Edible Garden

Community Project

The Christ Church Kensington Edible Garden Project

Kensington Flowers is located in the heart of Kensington, a stone’s throw away from Kensington Palace and Gardens.  The local community here is of great value to us both personally and as a small business.

Recently Kensington Flowers has become involved in a community project concerning the area behind Christ Church Kensington.  The aim of this project is to create an edible garden aimed at raising awareness as to where our food comes from and how it is grown. The edible garden is not just for the pleasure & benefit of those who live locally. It will benefit the many Independent and State schools in the wider Kensington area.

Thomas’s Day School approached Juliet to assist with an evening floral workshop which would raise funds for the project. The workshop was attended by parents and teachers at the school. Attendees produced beautiful candle arrangements which were sold at the schools Christmas Fayre. Proceeds from the sales of the arrangements will be donated to the edible garden project.

Overall the workshop was a tremendous success. The art room at Thomas’s was transformed into a suitable workshop, with added nibbles and fizz to fuel the workers. Approximately 40 Thomas’s ‘Elves’ then set to work creating their own arrangements.

Juliet gave a wonderful demonstration on how to prepare the pot with oasis and candles, making sure that these are secure. She then taught everyone the art of adding the decorations such as pine and fruits to dress the arrangement.

Juliet and her equally glamorous assistant Anna, passed on encouraging words of wisdom and practical advise throughout the evening. The room was filled with laughter, concentration and a healthy degree of competitiveness!

The arrangements were finished off with a ‘made by’ label, adding a personal touch for both for the maker and the buyer.

Juliet kindly lent her time and knowledge to the project. All of the equipment required such as cones, cinnamon, pine, terracotta pots, dried fruits, tape and wires were donated by Kensington Flowers and a generous local Kensington family.

All proceeds from these arrangements, along with proceeds from art and vases made by the children of Thomas’s, will go to the edible garden fund.

We will keep you posted on the progress of the garden, so stay tuned!

Welcome to our new website

 

 

Welcome

Hello and a warm welcome to the new Kensingtonflowers website!

We are so happy about the changes we’ve made and hope you enjoy browsing through our updated online shop.  We now offer more choices of bouquets, arrangements and plants to choose from – you can now even order flowers for a whole year, as a very special gift to a friend or loved one.  Here at the shop, we often get requests from clients who wish to send flowers on a regular basis, usually once a month,  and so we thought it made sense to have this service available to order on our website…Hope you like it!

You can now order from us whilst on the move too from your mobiles, pay by paypal, have direct links to our social media pages…making it even easier to get in touch with us. All very exciting!

  Calendar flowers – order flowers for a month, 3 months, 6 months or a year!

It is now just over a year since we’ve moved premises to our flower studio in Victoria Grove, and can’t believe how quickly the time has passed.  I hope you feel the spirit of the shop through our new website and I’ll endeavour to keep you updated with our news and activities on this blog.