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Bloom’s in season

Hello everyone and welcome back to The Nagundo Tree’s blog, its good to have you here!

I really hope you enjoyed last weeks blog and hopefully some of you tried out drying your own flowers. With valentines getting near there might be some roses coming your way which you just might not want to let go of … if not, nothing wrong with buying your own!

What flowers are in season for my wedding?’ is a common question spanning the entire 12 months. There is plenty going on through out each season and even though it may seem that you get the best of the bunch in the summer months there is much to be seen all year long. I have broken up the flowers grown through the year into the season where they really shine! Some have extended flowering periods which may continue blooming into the next quarter, or show its face a little earlier when the British weather gives it a little glimpse of the future. None the less there are flowers to appreciate ALL YEAR LONG. During our colder months, there are plenty of indoor bulbs, hardy shrubs and winding branches which compliment your greenhouse and polytunnel aided florals.

Whether you have chosen your date because of the flowers you love, or if you simply don’t know yet what flowers there are to love, then this should hopefully give you some exciting inspiration. These blooming periods are based on the British seasons which even though may be unpredictable, its bloody marvellous watching them develop. After the cold winter months the blossoms and bulbs start popping or down the line and the tree’s rupture into rustic tone, there are colours and textures for all of your wedding visions to come alive.

Enjoy exploring the bounty of flowers amidst each season and if anyone has any questions or queries about your flowering wedding month then do not hesitate to let me know.

From Ash

Preservation Experimentation

Friday 25th January 2019

To collect, print, photograph and all other means of documenting florals and nature, was my big aim for the year ahead. This is to be the start of my blog where I share with you my exploration into all things nature.

I really enjoy working with the changing seasons, making the most of what’s around me at the time. Winter is a spectacular time of year where you can appreciate what’s under the beautiful face of most shrubs and tree’s. We see the twisting stems of a Corylus avellane ‘Contorta’, or when the blood red leaves of a Euonymus alatus finally give in and fall away the cork ridged stems get their time in the limelight.

You can go out and appreciate these wonders in the woodland or hopefully in your own garden but sometimes when its feeling awfully cold I do miss the bright florals and dainty petals. When we have flowers in abundance during warmer times, why not keep some preserved in perfection for those rainy days. As the seed pods are in profusion and the ferns are turning golden brown, I think that the dried flowers sit more than comfortably in a winter arrangement. So now I’m going to share with you the beginnings of my preservation experimentation and create flowers which defy the seasons.

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Hang and Dry Method

For a long time now I have been saving all left over flowers, hanging them up and letting them dry with a prolific result. Using this very simple method you can save your birthday flowers and begin your own dried flora collection.

For smaller flowers you can hang them up in bunches and for a large rose, like in my examples below, I prefer to hang individually. Tie them with a wire or an elastic so that when the stems reduce during the drying process they wont fall free. Find yourself a small attic space, closet or darker area of the house to prepare your hanging garden. Plenty of air ventilation and making sure its on the warmer side are both useful tips to creating the perfect spot. If you hang your flowers in direct sunlight they are much more likely to fade ! Now that you have your area simply attach lengths of string across from wall to wall using hooks or nails and hang your flowers at intervals about a hands width apart. Usually the process takes a couple of weeks but they are ready when the stems and flower become rigid.

Below is a selection of my roses which I have photographed every few days for just over a fortnight.

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The hang and dry method works well with grasses, heathers, seed pods including Lunaria annua (honesty), herbs and Gypsophlia. Many other flowers sometimes appear too ridged, this isn’t helped by its tendency to point downwards as it is in the upside down position whilst drying.

The aim for preserving flowers is for the specimen to resemble the original characteristics it was given to us with. Which leads me to part 2 of my preservation experimentation.

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Kiln Dry Sand Method

For the flower to be held in its own unique form and structure, it needs to have support. This support should be evenly distributed and need to fall in between petals and into the smallest cavities. After much research and reading i’ve found that a number of drying mediums have been trialled and tested, from silica gel to sawdust. I’ve read in a fantastic preservation book from 1971 that sand is the best drying media, but not just any sand, ‘the best variety comes from the shores of Great Salt Lake in Utah’. I wont go into detail now but the general consensus is that sand is often jagged and even though miniscule, its tiny sharp edges could prick and damage the delicate petals. The sand from the salt lake however, is smooth and very absorbent! As I live in the UK and would like as many of you to try out preserving flowers for your own, I needed to come up with a local and more readily available media.

Kiln dry sand is a very clean, dry and fine sand, which means so far it fits my criteria! It should apply even pressure around the entire flower head whilst making its way into all its tiniest pockets. Below you can see I have filled containers with sand concealing my flowers, both up right and upside down (simply to see the difference) and now I must wait 2 weeks before I expose the preserved florals and see the outcome of my experiment!

 

Thank you for reading the first blog post of 2019, I hope you enjoyed it! If any of you have any of their own points and tips on flower preservation, or if you decide to give either of these methods a go, then I would love to hear about it!

Happy Flower Preserving !

Love Ash

 

The Country Living Christmas Fair ’17

Welcome to The Nagundo Tree’s Christmas stand! This year we brought to the fair a range of floral décor including pressed flower frames, handmade candles as well as a variety of hanging wreaths. Alongside us were our friends, Old Amersham Gin who were debuting their unique bottles of locally infused Gin.

Everything in the below images is available to order and can be custom made.

Red Rooster

‘Only Fools and Flowers’ are back for the summer of ’17 and we kicked it off with our all swinging and dancing, rhythm and blues festival – Red Rooster!

We love it at Red Rooster and it seems like the Red Roosters love flowers! The sun shined down every day and we loved decorating the many heads with luscious halo’s of fresh flowers.

Children and Adults alike took part in our hands on workshops where each person involved learnt to create their very own headdress in their very own style! My favourite of the weekend had to be this lovely little one who found these feathers to give her head dress that extra spectacular look!

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Here are a colourful selection of snaps from the fantastic weekend we had at our favourite festival!

 

 

Kings Chapel Vintage Opening Evening

The most recent Wedding Fair held at the Kings Chapel, Old Amersham, took place on a perfect summers evening. Surrounded by suppliers basing their designs and decorations on a vintage theme, I created a summery floral display with that in mind.

Using a mixture of summer flowers in bright, bold colours, enhanced by an eclectic mix of foliage’s, I used my natural style to create a display suited to a country inspired wild wedding.

Flowers include Peony, Dahlia, Ranunculus, Aguiligia, Antirrhinum, Spray Rose

 

Chelsea Flower Show

I was lucky enough to go to the wonderful flower show in Chelsea last week. I was so inspired & felt like it was important to share it with you all! I would definitely recommend going next year if flowers are, or are not your thing, either way it is a creatively stimulating day for everyone. Here are a few of my favourite images from the day & a bit about what they are & why I like them:

The Wild Horse Welfare Garden was definitely one of my favourite gardens, with its wild style and clever horse shoe sculpture. The contrast in poisonous plants to beautiful wildflowers help tell the story of a horse named Clippy, rescued by Wild Horse Welfare.

 

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This year at Chelsea a very popular flower seemed to be the iris which appeared in most of the gardens, the stunning ice blue colour was a star of the show.

 

 

Jardin Exotique d’Eze

After climbing 450m up the hills of Southern France we set our eyes upon the breath taking panorama of the French Riverea in the brilliant sunshine. In this most beautiful setting is Jardin Exotique, built upon the ruins of a château just after World War 2, the home to hundreds of species of Cacti, Succulents and Agave.

Below are my favourite plants from the Exotic Garden followed by a small collection of images from my trip to the beautiful Jardin Exotique of Village Eze.

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Crassula Arborescens

This succulent shrub is also known as the ‘Silver Dollar Plant’ because of its round glaucous leaves. This was my favourite plant from our trip!

 

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Ferocactus Pottsi

 

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Trichocereus Pasacana

 

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Cylindropuntia Tunicata