Food and Flowers: a perfect match!

Meeting Deborah from The Red Beetle Travelling Food was so much fun Today! I really admire her determination. Every time I have the pleasure to meet her, she turns up with bags full of ideas, enthusiasm and a beautiful smile. I genuinely invite you to try the Red Beetle's products as they are just outstanding, simply delicious. Deborah is now preparing the Christmas Boxes, you definitely don't want to miss these! 

From her Website. the Company's philosophy is to bring the most genuine, locally grown, authentic Italian food products to your table. She travels around Italy to establish a personal connection with her suppliers, to ensure that each and every ingredient is the most loved and cared for. 

So we met at Ottolenghi in Islington (place that I adore as food and location are lovely) and set up a photoshoot. Again, the autumnal look for me is a must! I never tire of this Season and its colour, it's simply poetic and inspirational. On this occasion I chose some Dahlias, Carnations, Amaranthus Caudatus and a lot of Eucalyptus for a natural and wondrous look.

Isabella Forum London - Lansdowne Club

At the end of September I was contacted by Grace and Jennie, two amazing ladies and co-founders of Isabella Forum, a membership network that helps women to better manage their financial future. On that occasion I was asked if I could design some floral arrangements for the event they were organising at the Lansdowne Club in London, on 28th October. Let me say that the very first time I spoke to Grace on the phone, I found a person that could immediately understand how I feel about my job and the reasons why I have decided to work with flowers. I felt connected straight away so, to me, it was a real pleasure to be involved with their project.

The event "The Journey Begins with You" took place few days ago at a fabulous location, in the heart of Mayfair. Grace and Jennie valued so much my job and taste that I was given free option to choose flowers, colours and designs. I went for a natural autumnal look, as I love sourcing blooms following the season and tones I can see outside the door.

It was so nice and rewarding to see people's reactions to my work! I left the venue with a big smile and the "looking forward feeling" to my next adventure. 

Quick update: here is Grace's feedback on my work. Needless to say I feel so grateful and happy! 

"So many people commented on the flowers and their artistry.  Your work made the day more visually beautiful for everyone and truly helped us create the mood we were hoping for.  Everyone felt relaxed and open to talk to each other...sharing some very personal experiences about money...not an easy thing to do!  That is part of the power of flowers. Thank you for delivering everything as you said you would."

Pictures of the venue + 2 lovely attendees at the end of the event taking home some well-deserved flowers! 

Floral Headbands for special occasions!

On 19th October, I was at the Forge in Bristol to attend a lovely workshop by the fabulous and talented Sabine Darrall for an update on Wedding Accessories. The atmosphere at the event was very relaxed and convivial, I enjoyed it a lot in particular the fact that everyone could freely express their own creativity using wonderful seasonal flowers. I went for a much loved bohemian look. 

The workshop was very well organised, there were even a model and a make-up artist for the photo shooting. I couldn't ask for more!

Ah, one quick note: have I already told you that I love this Season? Autumn, what a pleasure! I can see poetry and be inspired by simply looking outside the window. From orange to yellow, red-purple colour or even black, how would you be able to miss this daydream?

Photo Credits: Sabine Darrall @sabinefloral

Make-Up: @flo_wear

Fun: all mine! 

 

The National Orchid Garden - Singapore

Located within the Singapore Botanic Garden, the National Orchid Garden is a treasure for plant and flower lovers! It boasts the world largest orchid display with over 60,000 orchid plants. It makes it even more special the fact that it is the first and only botanic garden (the main Singaporean one) on the UNESCO's World Heritage list.  Ah, let me also say that it is the first in Asia but the third in the world following the Orto Botanico in Padova (1545) which I am very fond of as my actual place of birth! 

Back to the orchids, the design concept of the place is very interesting as divided in four separate colour zones:

"spring" zone with its main colours of bright and lively shades of gold, yellow and creams

"summer" zone with its major tones of strong reds and pinks

"autumn" zone of matured shades

"winter" zone of whites and cool violet shades

Needless to say it was a joyful sight every time I laid my eyes on an orchid. I couldn't imagine to find so many different plants and varieties in one place. I really loved the Cool House which is a reproduction of the tropical highland cloud forest where orchids and carnivorous plants find the perfect cool and misty environment to show off their outstanding beauty and colour! 

I honestly cannot count the number of pictures taken that day but I can assure you I was so excited and happy that I left with a huge smile on my face despite the mosquito bites! If you go to Singapore make sure you visit this amazing place.

Up, Up and Away!

Today I was invited by the lovely Yulia Rorstrom from Duck and Dry to brighten up and add a touch of colour to their press launch "Up, Up and Away". It was very exciting to be involved with such event and to see people's reaction to my work is just priceless. I love bringing colour and beauty in everyone's life, it's like hearing the perfect symphony on a beautiful sunny day, it makes you smile and feel lighter. On Instagram, @hungryromantic from Liz Earle is quoting Dame Iris Murdoch after a close-up shot of my flowers: "People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us". Needless to say, this made my day!

For the occasion I chose some beautiful hydrangeas, vuvuzela roses, scabious, camomile, nigella and poppy pods for an English meadow look. Some "behind the scenes" are included too!

The Chelsea Flower Show

After few years in London, I eventually managed to go to the Chelsea Flower Show. It has been a memorable day filled with fun, colours and flowers of course!

The very first glimpse of the event was through 300,000 hand-crocheted poppies covering 2,000 sq. metres of the grounds of Royal Hospital Chelsea. Needless to say that the view was just outstanding! I was welcomed by two lovely Chelsea pensioners who provided me with very interesting information about the Royal Hospital and their amazing lives. The event was lovely but it was them who made the day simply fantastic!

Huge congratulations to Veevers Carter for the colourful floral tribute to HM The Queen on her 90th Birthday. Sweet peas, alliums, Hydrangeas, roses and many other fresh blooms brightened up the design.

I particularly loved the atmosphere recreated by Primrose Hall Nursery with its "Timeless Elegance of the Peony": hundreds of flowers surrounding a chaise longue where a book seems to be left behind for anyone to enjoy. Another outstanding design was the Telegraph Garden by Andy Sturgeon, a peaceful and enchanted oasis where any visitor could plunge in deep reverie. As we all know, flowers, designs and landscapes are the main attractions of the show but we must not forget that sculptures are playing a very important role too by enhancing the light and space. 

If you have never been to the Chelsea Flower Show, it is definitely time to arrange your first visit as it is definitely worth it!

 

Cinque Terre: a never ending beauty!

Think of something wonderful, Cinque Terre is more than that!

A Unesco World Heritage site since 1997, Cinque Terre is a collection of medieval seaside villages in the Liguria Region. To be precise, allow me name them as even the sound is absolutely adorable: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso.

Going to Italy at the end of May is such a treat as you can enjoy some lovely warm weather, have the most amazing vegan ice-cream, smell the sea breeze, listen to the waves and fall in love with a stunning view. And people, what a view! Tiny beautiful villages lightened up in the sun with vivid colours, narrow streets filled with intense activities and folkloristic sounds then flowers. Beautiful flowers everywhere to delight my eyes with pleasure. What stands out from this strip of land is the colour palette under the different lights of the day. You will never have enough of it.

Cinque Terre's unique historical feature are the terraced cliffs used to cultivate grapes and olives. Gardens are pretty lovely too, many roses and wild flowers.  Sleeping is not included in the journey as how can you actually miss all this? Too much to see, love, enjoy and breathe. Forget the car as you travel by train, a quite efficient service actually, or on foot.

No stress, just chill and food...well wine too! 

That's all Folks!

"That's all Folks!" Like the famous sign off from a great adventure, this is the end of a fantastic journey at McQueens Flower School. After 4 weeks of stunning designs, amazing people, fabulous teachers and beautiful flowers, the McQ adventure has come to an end. I would like to thank, once again, Wagner, Diana and Alina for being not just amazing but super-duper instructors. Their professional but very friendly and lovely attitude has made this experience unique. Another huge 'thank you' goes to the other students aka partners in crime for sharing the same dream with great passion and big smiles: It wouldn't have been the same without you guys!

This week - despite being the last one - has been very challenging and full of wonder as the main focus was on Large Scale Designs. Have you ever thought of 'building' a Tree? Well we did and it was just stunning! Definitely the best experience of the whole course as the result was an enchanting blue forest. 

Other designs were a huge colourful arch, impressive floral chandeliers, a stunning background with garden and a super very cute flower wall!

This course has been a well-deserved success for everyone and I couldn't genuinely ask for anything better than this. Thank you guys and see you soon!

 

"...and I dreamed your dream for you" M. Knopfler

Another week has gone. A week of flowers, smiles and good fun! 

I'm sure I will miss that place in the end, the amazing teachers and those lovely people I feel so close to me, with the same aspirations and hopes. There's always a wonderful atmosphere, very good vibes. Everyone is there to help, to listen or just to have a nice chat. Everyone loves flowers! 

The main focus this week was "weddings, weddings and more weddings"! We still miss one lesson because of the Bank Holiday last Monday, so a full day of "shower bouquets" is waiting for us. I can't wait, even if that means a whole day of wiring! 

Yes exactly, most of the times, according to the bride's preference of course, a wedding may involve a lot wiring and taping: from buttonholes and corsages, to circlets and bridal bouquets. The latter however, if not wired, can have different shapes and styles. The latest trend of the year is a very natural and sometimes asymmetric design with no wires involved as said above, called "garden bridal bouquet". Otherwise the dome-shaped bouquet is always a classic and can vary from monochrome/mono-flower to a selection of different blooms and colours. Plenty of choice for any preference or palette. No disappointed brides! 

Last wedding lesson is tomorrow, then big installations! Trainers are ready for hard work up and down the ladder. So so looking forward to it.

A big standing ovation for the weather in London this week: warm, sunny and beautiful. The Columbia Flower Market was very enjoyable today. Wonderful and colourful as usual with some good music too! 

What happened?

Very exciting and wonderful days at McQueens last week! We focused mainly on Corporate and Event works with a final special day: loose and natural arrangements that recalled the Dutch Masters! Wagner, the teacher, was just amazing.

Needless to say that I enjoyed each single day and looking forward to the next step, weddings! 

Take a look at the amazing pictures below for some inspiration. The last one is a "treat" by Yoshitomo Nara from Stephen Friedman Gallery which made me think to the quote:

"All the flowers of Tomorrow are in the seeds of Today". So very true, isn't it?