7.31.2014

A Little Smile for Your Mum?


“A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” 

Tenneva Jordan

It was the French writer and film maker Marguerite Duras, that said our mothers remain the strangest, craziest people we’ve ever met, and it’s probably true!

What’s truer still, is that there’s few people more special than mum.




The phrase ‘working mother’ is redundant, declares Jane Sellman. And we completely agree. Whether mum has a ‘job’ or not, being a mother, is work in and of itself. No mother needs to justify whether she chooses to remain at home, or not. Mums work tirelessly. That is without question.

She’s done the late night feeds, the cooking, the cleaning, the kissing, and the scolding, often working tirelessly behind the scenes, putting her own needs and ambitions aside, patching up our knees when we fall, always there with a hug, and a smile, celebrating our wins, comforting our losses.

Mum, is irreplaceable.

And yet, it’s often, only Mother’s Day, or birthdays, when we acknowledge them! Two paltry days in the year!

Well, here at Lily Blossom, we thought it was time to change that. So…

We’ve decided, that every single month, we’re going to help you celebrate your Mum. Here’s how it’s going to work:

You do two simple things: like us on Facebook, and share us on Facebook! It takes, oh maybe two seconds? Five if you get distracted.

Then guess what we’re going to do…

We’re going to put all the people who liked us, into a prize draw, back at our florist’s studio. And we’ll pick a name out of a flowery hat. (That was metaphorical. We don’t actually have a flowery hat).
If it is your name that is drawn, we’re going to send a bouquet of fresh, lovely flowers, straight to your treasured mum’s door, from, well, you!!

It’s completely free, we must add. Completely, one hundred percent, free of charge. No money involved. No profit for us. This is not a profit making exercise. Repeat: this is not a profit making exercise.

Free flowers.

For your mum.

Yes, it really is that simple. 


Now, when we say ‘mum’, she doesn’t have to be your birth mother. But you know who we mean: the woman who has been there for you, through thick and thin. A mother, by any other name. Well,  a rose is still a rose, and all that!

Or perhaps you’d like to surprise your Mrs, or your daughter, with our bouquet of beautiful blooms. She could be your best mate, who is a single-mum-super-woman-extraordinaire! Foster mum, adopted mum, new mum, working mum, stay-at-home mum, earth mother, Tiger mum or matriarch. They’re all lovely, and they all deserve a bunch of flowers, surely. In fact, that’s the very least they deserve. But that’s what we do, here at Lily Blossom, being a florist and all, so that’s what we’re giving. A gorgeous bouquet of fragrant floral loveliness. There’s only one rule- she has to be a Mum!

That’s all there is to it.

It’s not often a business give products away for free, now is it? So why are we doing it?
The answer’s simple. Many of us florists, are mothers. Or fathers who greatly admire the work our partners do for our children, and all that our mums did for us. So we thought we’d give our nation’s mothers an extra-special reason to smile.

Well, that’s our ‘A Little Smile for Mum’ campaign quietly launched. Time to crack open the champagne!
Help us celebrate motherhood in all its glory and all its forms. Like us. Share us. Spread that flowery lurve. We’ll do the rest.
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We love to hear about the wonderful things our mums do for us, so if you’d like to share a melting mumsy moment, post to us below.

7.28.2014

Flowers for Ramadan


The sighting of the new moon on June 29th 2014 heralded the coming of Ramadan, for Muslims. 

image c/o freedigitalphotos.net


It is traditional in certain parts of the Middle East and North Africa, to fill the house with flowers, for the month of Ramadan and our floral design studio has been busy this month preparing gorgeous bouquets of fresh summer blooms, as the orders have come flooding in, from London’s diverse Muslim communities.

image c/o freedigitalphotos.net
With so much talk of Ramadan this month, and so many orders, we thought we’d find out a bit more about Ramadan, so we could share its lovely traditions with you. And we discovered, that not only do flowers play a large part in Ramadan and Eid, but in some Islamic communities around the globe, flowers are eaten, too! Ramadan, it seems, is a month of fasting, festivities, food and flowers

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Muslim year, and is observed by strict fasting from dawn until sunset. Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and smoking during Ramadan fasting.

Fasting is one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith, and is considered one of the main forms of Islamic worship. Pregnant women and children are not expected to fast. During Ramadan, Muslims request forgiveness for the sins of the past. Fasting is considered to be making amends for sins, mistakes and faults. Acts of charity are strongly encouraged during this time.

In Indonesia, a month of festivity engulfs the country, as families wake around 3am each day to share a traditional pre-dawn meal. And many will welcome the month of Ramadan by covering the graves of loved ones in beautiful blooms.

When the fasting is done for the day, so reports one of our Muslim friends, the craving for Middle Eastern deserts descends with a vengeance! Many such deserts contain a flower much loved by England (and much of the world), the humble rose. Rose Water is essential in the Middle Eastern kitchen. And it is delicious. The best known sweet containing rose water, is probably the light, squidgy and delicious Turkish Delight, but there are many more. There’s a whole host of recipes on the BBC website utilizing Rose Water.

Apparently, (and we must admit, we have yet to try this), you can make rose water yourself at home, quite easily. It must be made with roses that have been grown using no chemicals or pesticides, so, for you keen gardeners out there, you’ll be pleased to know, it is best to use roses you have grown yourself.

 
image c/o freedigitalphotos.net

A warning: Don’t eat flowers that have not been grown for that purpose. Flowers not grown for consumption may contain dangerous chemicals. Our flowers are not suitable for consumption.

On the sighting of the next new moon, on July 29th 2014, the fast is ended, with a celebration called Eid-Al-Fitr (the feast of fast-breaking). This is an extremely important religious date for Muslims, and acts of charity, forgiveness and celebration are encouraged. It is a chance for Muslims to spend time with family and share a feast.

In the UK, there have been some fabulous community-minded innovations surrounding Ramadan’s feasts. We particularly loved ‘Dine@Mine’, which aimed to foster deeper understanding of Islamic culture, through food. The initiative invited Muslims in the UK to invite strangers into their home, to share Iftar, which is the meal that opens the fasting. This great article from Huma Qureshi for the Guardian Newspaper, is a personal account of such an enlightening experience. Well, unfortunately, Dine@Mine doesn’t seem to be running anymore, which we think is a real shame! If we are mistaken, or you know of a similar initiative that is currently running, please tell us. 

However, among the Muslim communities of Great Britain it seems that there have always been, and will always be, those who invite strangers in, to share their food, charity and positivity, during Ramadan.

Elegant Rose- Design by Lily Blossom
In Trafalgar Square, London, an Eid Festival is held annually, to celebrate this time and bring diverse communities together. This year it is taking place on Saturday 2nd August, and promises to be both delicious and entertaining, with a range of food on offer, including Malaysian, Turkish, South Asian, Egyptian, Indonesian and more. There will be plenty for the children to do, including henna, face -painting, calligraphy and sports. Check out London.gov.uk here for details on how to get there, and what’s on. It promises to be a great event, and a lovely opportunity to learn about the various facets of Islamic culture.


If you are celebrating Eid-Al-Fitr, have invited non-Muslims into your home to celebrate Eid with you, or have yourself been invited, we would love for you to share your experiences, and your recipes with us here at LilyBlossom, especially if they contain flowers!

If you visit the Eid Festival at Trafalgar Square, send us your pictures.

And finally, to those of us celebrating Eid tomorrow, Lily Blossom say :

“Eid Saeed!”


“Happy Eid!”

7.23.2014

How to Fight Cancer with Flowers

How to Fight Cancer with Flowers...

Lily Blossom Florists, East Molesey, are proud to be the first ever florists to support Macmillan Cancer Support:

You may have noticed our monthly featured bouquets, in support of Macmillan. If not, let me explain: each month, our expert florists carefully select one of our most popular bouquets of seasonal flowers, and every time you buy this featured bouquet from us, we donate 15% of our profit to Macmillan Cancer Support.
Although of course, most people care deeply, for many of us, cancer is something that happens to other people. However, it is a sad fact, that one in three people will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. Although three quarters of those diagnosed with cancer are aged 60 or above, cancer affects people of all genders, colours and ages.

Macmillan not only supports those who have been diagnosed with cancer, but their friends, families and loved ones too. This alone, is reason enough to support them. However, Lily Blossom’s journey to becoming a Macmillan supporter, is a distinctly personal one. Our business owner Nicholas, tells us why…

 “Four years ago, cancer was something that happened to other people. Then, one fateful day, the story of cancer, became our story: my father in law, was diagnosed with cancer, and from that day, everything changed…

The cancer started in his stomach, and spread to his liver. My father in law is loved so much by our family and of course, I was devastated to learn of this news. Wanting to support him as much as I could, I began to research the nature of cancer, and available treatments on the internet. And, as both son in law, and business entrepreneur, I found myself asking ‘what use can I be?’

Through research I discovered, that many companies support cancer charities such as Macmillan. But these companies are usually big outfits, and donate more than our little flower shop’s annual turnover! I must admit, for a little while, I was discouraged, and didn't know what impact, realistically, I or Lily Blossom Florists could possibly have. Then, as weird as it may sound, one night in a dream, an image came to me, and stayed with me long after I had woken up…

Now, as you can see from my illustration (below), I am no artist, but I felt compelled to draw this image, just to acknowledge its existence really. And perhaps to keep it, as a memory. But when I drew it, I found myself inspired to take it further. The result was a frame full of flowers that embodied the image. Perhaps all the research I had been doing, had subconsciously affected me: the image looks to me, like white blood cells defending the body, and regenerating cancerous blood cells. The image both touched and inspired me. I took a picture of it, and sent it to my father in law, with the message, “your blood is fighting. Don’t give up on yourself.” 



I remember my father in law being so happy. So proud of me. And now, although it’s clearly no Van Gogh, the flower frame is an enduring image of hope and faith, to me, and I hope, will continue to be for my father in law. It was also this fantastic, brave man, who encouraged me to spread my positive message in any way I could, no matter how small. And his inspiration led me to contact Macmillan.

I remember thinking that, as a boutique florist, perhaps our impact may not be as massive as a big corporation. But flowers are a symbol of hope, and love, and a positive affirmation of life. And any act of support, no matter how small, is invaluable, to those of us whose lives have been touched in some way, by cancer.”

Nicholas Lee, Business Owner, Lily Blossom Florists.

And that is the story of how Lily Blossom, a little boutique florists tucked away in Hampton Court, became the first florist to support the wonderful work of Macmillan, and fight cancer with flowers.

With the help of charities like Macmillan, there is hope and support for those touched by cancer. Because of the awareness-raising activities and research of charities such as Macmillan, recognizing the signs of cancer is becoming increasingly better, many cancers are now treatable, and where they are not, can be managed with treatments, meaning a better quality of life for cancer patients as compared to years ago.
But there is still much, much more to do. If you would like to help us support Macmillan, consider purchasing our feature bouquet. It is a small act. But it is an act of hope. 

Are You A Budding Floral Designer?

Enter Lily Blossom’s Floral Design Competition!

Good afternoon all flower enthusiasts!

This gloriously hot afternoon sees the second part of the first ever RHS Floral Design Studio competition!

Design by Lily Blossom, East Molesey
The first stage of the competition was held at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show earlier this month, with the second stage being held at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show, which runs from 23rd July (today) to 27th July. Five floristry colleges will be competing for the prize, and the opportunity to display at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2015.


We think this is a great competition that honours the skill and artistry of florists everywhere, and both fosters, and inspires new talent in the flower industry. So, we’ve decided to follow suit, and launch our very own mini competition.

Vibrant Summer Gift Bag @ Lily Blossom, East Molesey

You don’t have to be a fantastic artist to enter. But if you fancy having your unique floral design realized by our professional florists, in our floristry studio, at Lily Blossom, East Molesey, then sketch a design, scan and send in to us by email, Facebook, or drop it into the shop.

The winning floral design will be carefully crafted, and lovingly created by our team of expert florists, and once photographed, will be displayed on our website, with you, credited as the designer! We’ll then deliver your beautiful bouquet, straight to your door.

The theme of your design must be ‘Carnival’. This can be interpreted any way you like. It’s a great summer activity to do with the kids, in the first few days of the summer holidays! We can’t wait to see their imaginings.

Tea Cup and Saucer Arrangement @ Lily Blossom, East Molesey

We’re not looking for Van Gogh. We’re looking for enthusiasm and imagination, so get out the paints and glue, the glitter and the pencils, the tissue paper and the sticky tape, and go for it! Tell us which flowers you would use in your bouquet, and how it adheres to the ‘carnival’ theme.

Our floral design competition closes on 27th July at 10pm. There’s nothing like a good deadline to get those creative juices flowing eh!

Include your name, age, address and postcode (so we can deliver your fresh bouquet to you when you win), telephone number and email on your entry.

If it’s an entry from a budding little artist, they can use mummy or daddy’s email instead of course!

The winner will be announced on Friday 1st August.

The RHS Tatton Park Flower Show looks set to be a spectacular event. There will be many people in carnival regalia parading up and down delightful gardens, basking in the British sunshine. There’s basket weaving, ‘walk and talks’, family activities, late night opening and loads, loads more! To find out more about it, check out the RHS website.

Design by Lily Blossom, East Molesey
It's time to turn your passion into poppies, your hobby into hydrangeas and your love into Lily Blossom. We look forward to creating your unique design in our floral design studio. 

Onwards, to flowers, fame, and fortune. 

(Well you never know, it might be the start of a new career!)

Send your designs by email to: info@lilyblossomflorists.com.

Or drop in by hand, or post to:

106 Walton Road,  East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 0HP, with an envelope marked Floral Design Competition.

If sending images by email, please make sure they are jpeg, gif or png file type.

7.21.2014

Two Hot Trends in Wedding Flowers



Bring the Outside In…

Bringing the outside in is the hot trend for weddings.

This trend was begun in 2011 by those most royal of trendsetters Prince William and the lovely Kate Middleton.  The velvet red wedding aisle or Westminster Abbey became a magical path through an enchanted forest, for the day. It was lined with 20ft trees, bringing the beautiful British countryside right into the heart of the urban Abbey. A beautiful and original take on wedding floral design that looks set to continue into 2015 and beyond.

Royal Wedding Photo c/o sheknows.com

One of the simplest, and prettiest way to bring the outside in, is a gorgeous combination of birdcages and stunning, fresh, seasonal blooms. Birdcages are rich in marital symbolism. Ornately decorated birdcages were used in Victorian times, to hold the white doves that would be released by the bride and groom during the wedding ceremony.

Using an assortment of different birdcages adds a lovely, unique touch to your wedding’s interior d├ęcor. And it is fun trawling the garden centres, antique shops and preloved.com to find them! Both Ebay and Etsy have a fantastic range of original, vintage and hand-distressed birdcages. Bring them to Lily Blossom’s floristry studio, and we will fill them with bountiful blooms. You can spray them vibrant colours, or whitewash them easily, and relatively cheaply. Add little butterflies, which are gorgeous symbols of transformation, or birds. Fix the birds to the outside of the cages, and they are a beautiful symbol of freedom.


Add one flower-filled cage to the centre of each table, and give them away to the wedding party as ‘thank you’ gifts. They make beautiful, thoughtful, handmade gifts. 
Floral Birdcage by Lilyblossom, East Molesey


‘Flower Trees’ are another pretty and popular trend. Willow twigs adorned with ribbons and blooms, and a touch of glitter to add some sparkle, placed as table centrepieces, or larger versions, lining the aisle, will instantly lift your venue and mark your wedding out from the rest. Get in touch with us and we can help you to visualize your ideas.

Something Blue…

An unusual and sumptuous trend has hit the wedding floristry scene this year. And it is a wonderful take on the old adage ‘something borrowed, something blue…’ Floral arrangements that reflect the mystery and calming intensity of water, are going to be extremely popular this year. Consider dressing your bridesmaids in a palette of complementary blues (see below). Combine indigo with turquoise for a truly stunning, romantic feel. Or rich, royal blues, deep, decadent greens and shimmering purples for a decadent, almost ‘twenties glamour. A little tip: the palette of blues below compliments perfectly, either cream/ ivory wedding gowns, or glistening hot white wedding dresses with diamante detailing.


To achieve the perfect aquamarine look with beautiful blooms, consider flower arrangements that utilize thick, fleshy succulents (plants naturally designed for retaining water), reeds (naturally found in watery landscapes) and other textured greens.

Other flowers that perfectly conjure the deep intensity of water, are blue delphinium, agapanthus and Palenopsis Orchids.

Combine these flowers with shades of blue, curved glass, for the ultimate in aquamarine beauty.

Did you know…

The original bridal poem, often referred to as ‘The Four Somethings’, actually includes five somethings! The fifth, is traditionally a sixpence:

“Something Old
Something New
Something Borrowed,
Something Blue,
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.”

The rhyme originated in English folklore, and was first recorded in writing, around 1898!
As you can tell by now, there is nothing we love more than a good wedding. In future blogs we’ll be bringing you the latest trends in wedding floristry, with hints and tips on how you can achieve the look. Subscribe here for regular updates.