A Guide to Autumn Wedding Bouquets

Autumn colours can be deep, fiery, earthen and vibrant. Combine plump crimson and purple berries with flaming oranges, rich reds and evergreens to conjur the passion and warmth you want to bring into your married life.

There are a few ways of doing this, so no matter what your style of wedding, there is a hot autumn trend. If you find one you like, remember, it is only a guide. Let your imagination fly: an expert wedding florist will be able to work with your ideas, and these trends, to create a bouquet that is both personal, and unique to you.

Calla Lilies, with their velveteen petals and their seductive shape, symbolize beauty, perfection, eroticism, and purity and ascention, depending on their colour. Although their appearance is beguiling and exotic, they have been out in force, in many English gardens, this summer. Their dazzling array of colours, and their distinctly female sensuality, makes them a beautiful choice for your wedding bouquet.

White is the traditional choice, for a bridal bouquet, but if you want something a bit different, try combining mango-coloured Callas with deep, aubergine purple ones. Ask your florist to mix the lilies with thistles, berries, raffeta, hessian, and other natural fabrics, for an exotic take on an ancient, woodland feel.

Gerberas come in a fabulous array of hot shades. Studded throughout your bouquet, their simple, cheery forms will set off the exotic curves of the Callas beautifully. The lilies can alternatively, be teamed with roses, which also come in a variety of warm colours.

The images to the left, and right, courtesy of topdreamer.com, show what can be achieved with this design. And the similar bouquet below left, is available from Lily Blossom, East Molesey. 

Design by Lily Blossom Florists

If you are looking for a wedding bouquet that has a more vintage style this Autumn, you could consider asking your florist to combine that soft, versatile, vintage beauty, the rose, in pale, wistful shades of baby pink, cream, pale orange, and soft yellow. The Autumn colours are there, but beautifully mellowed. Again, team with natural materials such as twigs and seasonal foliage, and perhaps a soft ribbon in a shade of creamy mocha, for a simple, striking bouquet. 

Available at Lily Blossom Florists

If you find a bouquet design that you love, it is a good idea to use it as the inspiration for the rest of your wedding décor, if possible. Or to choose colours of your wedding décor and theme, as the main palate for your bouquet design. Your florist will be glad to help you with this. And it is sometimes useful to create a mood board: cut out images that you like, such as colours, flower combinations, even textures, and show them to your florist, who can talk through your ideas with you, and will physically show you what different flower combinations will look like when you go to see them.

The flowers, textures and tones in your bouquet, will usually inform your choice of table centrepiece, wedding party buttonholes, flowers to decorate the venue, or wedding arch, and even the style and décor for your cake. Make sure to incorporate the colour of the bridesmaid’s dresses into your bouquet where possible. Your bouquet should become the simple essence of your wedding’s central theme. And if you choose your flowers carefully, thinking about their meaning and symbolism as well, you will have a bouquet that represents the hopes and dreams you hold for your future as Mrs X.
Lily Blossom Florists, East Molesey, will be happy to talk through your ideas with you. Contact us by phone on 0208 979 5656, or email to book a free, no obligation wedding flowers consultation. Or pop in to see us in our florist studio.

Ask about our exclusive Forever Wedding flowers package, which entitles you to a free bouquet of flowers, delivered fresh to your door, every year, on your anniversary, for twelve years!!

And look out for our guide to winter wedding bouquets coming soon…


Want An Extra Special Smile for Your Mum This September?

Well the summer holidays have flown by, and the kids are back to school next week!

Soon, Autumn will be closing in and the leaves will turn a burnished copper-gold. And so begins the bedtime struggles and the school runs. They’ll be traipsing back to school with new lunchboxes, water bottles, nice, clean workbooks and fresh white shirts (which undoubtedly, if the kids are doing their jobs right, won’t stay fresh and white for long!)

Summer holidays are lovely, but tiring! So with the kids off back to school, Lily Blossom Florists thought we’d say an extra big thank you to one lucky, tireless mum this month. If you haven’t heard of our very popular ‘A Little Smile for Mum’ campaign yet, let us update you:

Every month we ask you to ‘like’ us on Facebook. Every ‘Like’ we get, goes into a prize draw, and at the end of the month, we fish out one lucky winner, who wins a bouquet of our beautiful fresh flowers, that will be delivered, straight to their lovely mum’s door, completely free of charge

This September, because mums up and down the country have been working so hard to entertain the little ones, we thought we’d make the give-away extra special. So not only will lovely mum get a bunch of gorgeous fresh blooms, but a bottle of champagne, and chocolates too! All delivered straight to their door, courtesy of the lucky winner.

It takes less than five minutes to enter the prize draw: Like us, and share us on Facebook, to be in for the chance of winning this extra special gift for the lovely lady in your life. She can be your own mother, your foster mum or adopted mother, a friend who has just become a new mum, your wife or girlfriend and mother of your children. She can be a mum-to-be too. 

There’s only one rule: she has to be a MUM! 

All products featured, are available at Lily Blossom Florists, East Molesey


Seven Flowers for Seven Kinds of Love

The first ever London ‘Festival of Love’, has descended on the South Bank. And the Festival of Qixi, otherwise known as Chinese Valentine’s Day, has just finished.

What with all this love floating around, We thought it would be fun, to take a look at the seven kinds of love, and which flowers best express them.

Agape – the love of humanity- Red Carnation

This, is charitable love, and empathy. It is the love, and sadness we feel when we hear of a natural disaster, or crisis. Sometimes, a catastrophe such as the floods in New Orleans, the Tsunami in Japan, 9/11, or the 7/7 bombings in London, will make us feel connected to people we don’t know, and reach out to them, through charitable acts, fundraising activities, and acts of kindness.

The flower that best represents this empathic love, is the red carnation.

Storge – family love- Gerbera (African Daisy).

This love is the deep connection shared between a parent and a child, or a child and the adults they love in their family, such as aunts and uncles. It is also the care and love that an adopted parent, step parent, or foster parent extends to the children in their care.

The flower that most represents this protective, embracing love, is the bright, playful African Daisy.

Pragma – love which endures - Baby’s Breath

This is the love which endures hardship. It is the stuff that long-lasting, successful marriages are made of. And the love that binds an enduring friendship. This love takes time, and effort. It has a history. Not fresh as a daisy, but deep as a river, this love is the one that has been carried through, and matured like a good wine. It is all the better for time. There is a beautiful, traditional Chinese folktale, that is the epitome of this enduring love, known as the Legend of Qixi. Check out our lovely version of this folktale, re-told exclusively for Lily Blossom East Molesey, by writer Kyra Hall-Gelly, here.

The flower that best represents this enduring love, is the delicate, cotton-like Baby’s Breath.

Philautia – self-respect- Daffodils.

Yes, it is the love of self-respect. This is the essence of knowing what you are worth as a human being. When you have love for yourself, you have love for others. This love, is not about vanity. It is not about gloating. It is about truly valuing ourselves, for who we are, and being brave enough to follow our dreams, and do what is right, for us, if it harms none.

The flower that best represents this love of self, is the Daffodil. Its botanical name is the Narcissus. And on the day that legend has it, David confidently slayed Goliath, the Daffodil can usually be seen everywhere! To bring the energy of self-respect and confidence into your environment, choose the sunny daffodil.

Philia – shared experience- Geraniums and Alstromeira

The way we feel about our co-workers, our football team, the people we set out to achieve an ambitious goal or project with, encompasses Philia. We may not think of it as a type of love, but it is. It’s a connection born from challenge, cooperation, and achievement.

The flower that best expresses this love, is the Geranium. It symbolizes cooperation, the coming together of people, and camaraderie. Combine geraniums with alstromeira, the flower of achievement and goal-setting, and you have a bouquet rich in Philia’s symbolism!

Ludus – flirting, playful affection- The Bridal Rose (White Rose)

Aah Ludus. The risky, all-consuming, visceral love of young lovers. The heart flutters, the butterflies in the stomach, the longing, and the coy passion. That is Ludus
The flower that speaks of this flirtatious love the best, is the white rose. Youthful, fresh and pure, with a gorgeous, soft, enticing scent, the white rose is the perfect symbol for Ludus.

Eros – romantic and erotic love- The Lily

Animal magnetism personified, the love of Eros is a powerful and passionate one. It is erotic, of course, and sexual. This is the love that can morph into the other kinds of love; the creative love which makes two human beings come together, and sometimes, with effort and patience, can become the enduring love of Pragma.

The flower that best represents this passion is our very own Lily. Powerful and evocative, with a heady scent and stunning, silk smooth petals, Lilies in all their many colours are a rich representation of Eros. We particularly like the exotic mango Calla Lily.
So there are our seven flowers, for seven kinds of love. To check out the events of the South Bank’s Festival of Love, visit their website.

If you would like us to help you design a wedding bouquet that is symbolic, get in touch by email here. Our Floriographer will communicate with you via email, and help you find the flowers that best express your sentiments. It’s a free service. There’s no obligation to purchase from us. We’d be happy to help. Simply write FAO Floriographer in the subject heading!


The Festival of Qi Xi (or Chinese Valentine's Day)

The 2nd of August saw the Chinese community celebrating Qi Xi, the Western equivalent of which, is Valentines Day, centred around the romantic tale of love and sacrifice, of a cowherd and his love.

You probably know this already, but here at Lilyblossom Florists, there’s nothing we love more than a little romance, and an opportunity to celebrate our home city’s diverse culture and ethnicity. So we thought we’d delve into the history of the British Chinese a little, and then share the traditional folk story of love in the mountains of China, that it is custom to tell, at Qi Xi.

Rumour has it, that the Qi Xi celebrations were first inspired by a traditional Chinese love story. It is a little complex, and is re-told here by writer Kyra Hall-Gelly, exclusively for Lilyblossom Florists. To know the story of Niulang and his weaver princess, is to understand the positive, poignant nature, and beguiling romance of this festival, so please read, and we hope you enjoy!

Facts about the British Chinese Community

Did you know that British Chinese are the third largest overseas Chinese population in Europe? The British Chinese community is also thought to be the oldest Chinese community in Western Europe, and most British Chinese people are the descendants of overseas Chinese communities themselves. Descendants of mainland Chinese people constitute the smallest number of British Chinese, with the majority having hailed from former British colonies like Malaysia, Hong Kong, Canada, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. And, did you know that our British Chinese, are the fastest growing ethnic group in the UK?

The Chinese have been part of British culture since the 17th Century, with the first Chinese immigrant to be recorded in Britain, being a Jesuit scholar named Shen Fu Tsong (below), who was part of  the court of King James II. 
Chinese Jesuit Scholar Shen Fu Tsong

In 2006, the Office for National Statistics marked the total British Chinese population at over 400,000 people, with 33% of British Chinese living here in vibrant London town, and another 13.6% living in the South East.

The Chinese community have contributed much to British society, including most notably, Nobel Prize winner Charles K Kao KBE, who pioneered the use of fibre optics in telecommunications, life peer Michael Chan, and of course the lovely Gok Wan.

What flowers do we feel embody the spirit of this gorgeous festival?

Well of course, we have a spectacular range of orchids and lilies, that symbolise beauty, perfection and, in the case of white calla lilies, purity. These are all fabulously romantic, ultra-feminine flowers, used to symbolise and celebrate femininity for centuries. Asiatic lilies are a perfect romantic floral gift for the month of Qi Xi, or simply to bring the energies of romance and promise, into your environment.

Tea Cup & Saucer Arrangement from Lily Blossom Florists

The other quintessentially British, enduring symbol of romance, steeped in its own rich history, is the rose. We feel that our collection of rose baskets, and these kooky giant teacup rose arrangements represent the romance, domestic skill, and bliss that is the essence of Qi Xi. They’re also perfect, affordable wedding table centrepieces for an August wedding. 

And, you’ll be pleased to know, that we are offering FREE FLOWERS, in our fantastic Forever Wedding Package. Click here for details.
Vibrant Basket from Lily Blossom Florists

Of course, for a bouquet that truly represents the British Chinese community, and combines these two lovely cultures, it would need to contain both the lily, and the rose. The Red Rose and Lily Hand-tied Bouquet from our collection (below) is the one our florists chose to celebrate Qi Xi. 

Red Rose and Lily Hand-tied Bouquet, from Lily Blossom

The Legend of Qi Xi: A Tale of Love and Separation.

As re-told by Kyra Hall-Gelly 

Picture c/o the world of chinese.com

This is the tale of a love most enduring: of anger and family, and one perfect day…

Far away, in the land of smiles, a poor, young, ill-treated cowherd by the name of Niulang, was cast out by his family, and tasked with the impossible task, of turning nine oxen, into ten, before he would be welcomed home.

Sad, and destitute, Niulang sat hopeless behind a tree, contemplating his fate, when a white-bearded elder approached the young man, and heard his plight. “Worry not” said the elder, “for there is a sick ox in a nearby mountain. Go there, and you will have your tenth ox!”

Off Niulang ventured, the impossible task, now seemingly possible.

For weeks, alone, over valley and mountain Niulang trudged, and at last, found the weak and ailing ox with a broken leg. Three days the kind Niulang fed the ox, trundling back, and forth, back and forth, with bundles of grass, until it was full. Exhausted, Niulang collapsed beside it. And then, the ox did no less, than speak!

“I was once the god of cattle, in heaven! It pronounced. “I violated the laws of heaven, and was made into an ox for my crimes!” The ox lamented woefully.

“How do I help you?” the kind Niulang remarked.

The ox smiled (if an ox can do such things!) “The only cure for me kind lad, is for me to bathe my wounded leg, with the dew that rests on the petal of flowers, for a month. How do I collect such sacred delicacies, with hooves like these?”

Niulang’s kind heart was touched. He forgot, about his own misfortune. “I will collect it for you, friend” he said. And dutifully he set about, each morning, collecting the shimmering dewdrops from the petals of flowers, in the morning light. Gently he bathed the ox’s wounded leg. And at night, exhausted, fell onto his back, and slept, ready to faithfully continue his task the next morning, and the next.

On the last morning of the month, Niulang woke up and beamed, to see his ox friend healthy, strong, and healed. His friend was well. And now, perhaps, he could return home.

Niulang and his ten oxen travelled back, back, over valley and mountain, to his home. “I left with nine oxen” he said softly, when his sister-in-law opened the door, “and as you asked, I have returned with ten. May I come in?”

“No!” his sister-in-law hollered, angry and bitter at his success. “You are not wanted! Give me back my nine oxen! Take the tenth and go from here!”

Poor old Niulang. All he had now, was the shirt on his back, and his healed ox friend.
What would become of him?

Meanwhile (and here comes the romance), the seventh daughter of a goddess, Zinvh the Weaver, was growing bored of her life. Inertia had set in. She was deeply unhappy. ‘Sod this’ she said, and left. She was going to see the world of earth! She was going to have some fun!

It was the old ox who spied her, and, with his friend Niulang’s loneliness and self-sacrifice in mind he thought ‘now I can help you, faithful lad.”

A little trickery here, a little persuasion there, and soon Niulang and the princess fell in love. Much fun they had, yes. A naughty princess, she was, perhaps, but she was a wonderful wife!

Legend has it, that it was the playful, adventurous Zinv, wife of the kindly cowherd Niulang, that brought silkworms down from heaven, to the earth, and taught its people how to extract silk.

Happily they lived, and had two children: one boy, and one girl.

Until, of course, the goddess of heaven found out, that Zinvh, the fairy goddess, had married (gulp) a mere mortal man! Straight back to heaven, she ordered the naughty princess, now mother and wife.

Poor old Niulang. He could do nothing. Was he destined to be alone?

Crying, he turned to his trusty old friend, the ox. And saddened by his plight, the ox told him something dreadful:

“Kill me” he said. “Turn my skin into a garment. With it, you can ascend to heaven, and rescue your lovely wife.”

“No!” Niulang refused. “You are my faithful friend!”

The ox looked about him, at Niulang’s beautiful children, and remembered the kindness of the boy Niulang once was. “Your children need their mother. You need your wife. I have lived a long life. Much longer, and more happy, than it would have been without you lad. It is time for me to go.”

Regretfully Niulang carried out his horrible task. As painlessly as he could manage, and blessed his friend, and missed him dearly. Crying all the time, he made a garment from the hide, and strung it upon his back. And with his two children in his arms, he ascended to heaven, to find his wife.

But the goddess of heaven grew angrier still, when she learned of his act of valour. She took one of her hairpins, and drew a deep, jagged line across the sky. Now there was a river of sky, between Niulang and his love. Try as he might, he could not cross the swelling, turbulent river safely, with his two children in his arms.

Niulang and his children wept bitterly. They mourned and cried so loud, that all the Magpies in the world, hearing their pleas, flew gracefully from the trees, and collected in a flock. They flew up into heaven, and made a bridge of wings for Niulang and his children to cross safely.

The goddess could do nothing. And after raging, and screaming, and many days of anger, she relented:

“You may meet, but once a year, upon this bridge; on the seventh day, of the seventh lunar month.”

Well this arrangement was far from perfect. But every year, on the seventh day, of the seventh lunar month, Niulang and his children, run arms open, to their wife and mother upon the bridge of Magpies, for one, perfect day of familial bliss.

Now, every year on this day, the festival of Qi Xi is held. Daughters, mothers, women and girls, pray for skills. And couples celebrate the love, of the humble cowherd and the weaver princess.