IN BLOOM IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
This week the crowds are flocking to our neck of the woods for The Chelsea Flower Show, so we decided to head to our local florist to find out more about our favourite botanical beauties. Located on a handy corner of the Fulham Road, just a five minute walk from Austique Chelsea, The Flower Stand has been in business for 20 years. With new deliveries arriving each day direct from their suppliers in Ecuador and Holland, their customers are able to hand-pick some of the finest flowers that the borough has to offer. The Flower Stand not only cater to a wide range of budgets, but are also at the forefront of floral fashion, supplying photographers with blooms for magazine spreads which mark them out as trendsetters in their industry. We caught up with resident florist, Leo, to find out more:
Leo’s Average Day:
Leo wakes up at the crack of dawn to ensure that there is plenty of time for their stunning flowers to be displayed at their best – this usually takes about 3 hours to perfect, and what a difference it makes. She loves her job as it is so sociable and emotive, and allows her creative side as an artist to flourish.
Blooms in fashion at the moment:
Taking the lead from our stunning Austique Label floral pieces, Leo told us that everyone is loving peonies at the moment – The Flower Stand have a beautiful selection in white, coral, hot pink, and Leo’s particular favourite, Sandra Bernhard, named after the suffragette. The best part is that peonies are currently at the peak of their season, and will be around until mid-July, which gives us extra time to enjoy them. Leo also advised us that we are now coming to the end of tulip season, so grab them now while you still can. The Flower Stand’s best seller is by far the white avalanche rose, and in terms of shape, the most coveted bouquets are short, fat and lush.
How to select the best bouquet:
One of our favourite things about The Flower Stand is that if you take your own vase down, they will expertly arrange a bouquet for the proportions of the vase, at no additional charge. Leo’s top tip is to buy a vase according to your flower budget – that way it will never be over or under-filled. If you are working with a smaller budget, opt for one type of flower and use them in abundance for greater impact – the look you should aim for is one of simplicity, not fussiness. She recommended some beautiful parrot tulips for a budget of about £20, as these are unusual and look much more expensive.
Tips on how to look after your bouquet:
Leo really emphasised to us the importance of using a clean vase with fresh clean water – and nothing else. Cutting the stems at an angle helps as this increases the amount of water that the flowers are able to absorb, and remember it is key to trim your flower stems every other day and replace the water. Be sure not to bash or prick the stems, as this will do more damage than good!
Any ideas for how to dress an intimate event such as a dinner party?
Less is more. Leo suggests using 3 or 4 small, short vases either with identical large blooms or a simple bunch of sweet peas or hydrangeas – small arrangements are far chicer than large, fussy centrepieces, and make it much easier to negotiate as part of your table arrangement. As lots of small pots are key to achieve this look, Leo loves using her vintage 50’s coffee pot as a quirky alternative.
What to buy a friend:
Working as a florist for many years, Leo has learned that buying flowers is as personal and individual as shopping for fashion – your choice is hugely dependent on personal taste and style. Luckily for us, Leo is an expert and can advise anyone at a glance as to what bloom would best suit their personality – she loves to speak to customers in person or over the phone in order to get a better idea of what they would like most, and she understands that flowers speak volumes about a person, so it is important to get it right.
Visit The Flower Stand online here: http://www.theflowerstandchelsea.com/
Or give them a ring on: 0207 3517 996