Today, I'd like to introduce you to a lovely lady called Helen Edwards and her fantastic florist business, The Velvet Daisy. Don't you just love that name? I think it's the sweetest name for a florist!
I first met Helen at a DecorCafe Network event a couple of years ago and was immediately impressed with her passion and enthusiasm for her business as well as by her skill, talent and knowledge. Helen really knows her stuff and is a super talented florist with years of experience under her belt and a flourishing business in both London and Devon.
Meet Helen of The Velvet Daisy
Helen set up The Velvet Daisy a few years ago, having worked for one of London's leading florists for years, and deciding it was time to branch out on her own (not before working on some of the 4,800 bouquets made for the medal winners at the 2012 London Olympics though!).
She has a unique and what I would call abundant and generous style of working with her flowers. Whether it's a bouquet for a wedding, a table setting for an event or an installation for a project, each of Helen's arrangements is like an explosion of flowers and foliage, thoughtfully designed and beautifully assembled.
She uses colours deliberately so they either match or contrast, yet always remain balanced and she's brilliant at playing with texture and scale to add interest and depth to her designs.
I asked Helen how she came up with the name for her business 'The Velvet Daisy' and she explained that it was a combination of her favourite flower - the daisy - and her love of texture, and of velvet in particular. I guess this explains her clever use of texture! Some of her arrangements look kind of velvety as you'll see in the pictures below, but I assure you everything's real!
In fact, Helen spends many a (very early!!) morning carefully selecting and buying flowers from her chosen wholesalers at New Covent Garden, as well as from English flower growers in Devon and the South West of England (read this post to see what her early mornings look like at New Covent Garden!).
She chooses seasonal flowers and foliage and creates bespoke designs for her clients, which make the most of what each season has to offer.
Let's take a look at some of The Velvet Daisy's projects and then Helen will share some simple top tips for prolonging the vase life of your cut flowers.
THE VELVET DAISY BOUQUETS
I love the colours in this bouquet as well as all the different textures used.
The subtle colours in this bouquet are gorgeous don't you think? And the little bits of white coming through are sweet and help keep the tone calm and add texture.
The gorgeous flowers in this bouquet are flirty and romantic with just enough green to add a bit of contrast.
This super structured bouquet is super vibrant! But the contrast works beautifully!
INSTALLATIONS BY THE VELVET DAISY
This grand installation over a gorgeous arch is incredibly rich and lush isn't it?? Do you see what I mean by abundant?! I'm sure the clients who commissioned this were impressed with these results!
Taking a closer look at the arch installation above...lovely colours
This rather wild autumnal display over a country fireplace is impressive and would look great with a nice autumn fire going (just make sure none of those long twigs fall in though!)..
No your eyes are not playing tricks on you and you're not looking at this upside down! This is a hanging arrangement Helen created for a commercial project. There's more below :)
This is what the hanging arrangement looks like - there's so much movement and life in it!
A close up of some of the flowers and foliage in the hanging arrangement. It's a lovely colour scheme.
I thought this was a rather unusual installation. It's a little garden around a Birch tree in a large marquee installed for a 50th anniversary mid-summer event. It must have looked superb!
This wild display is full of movement and character.
This grand arrangement was created by Helen in partnership with an amazing wedding cake designer - that cake is 1.2 metres tall and Helen's design really helps frame it.
THE VELVET DAISY TABLE ARRANGEMENTS
This impressive table display was designed by Helen for an event at The Bluebird Cafe in London. I love the colours and richness in these arrangements!
A delicate, soft and elegant display for a wedding table. I like the clever use of scale in this arrangement.
Even in this small display using an assortment of vases and pots, Helen is super generous with the flowers and foliage she includes. They may be small, but they are full and rich - and it looks like they have an amazing scent as well...
What a beautiful arrangement of simple little jam jars and milk bottles! And I do believe there are some daisies in this one too :)
WEDDINGS WITH THE VELVET DAISY
Weddings are a big part of Helen's business and I think you'll agree, she is a great choice! This couple certainly looks happy.
Helen works closely with her clients to ensure every detail is addressed.
Beautiful floral gift bags.
I hope you've enjoyed meeting Helen and getting to know The Velvet Daisy. If you'd like to get in touch with her for any of your projects, then you can reach here. Before I wrap up for today, I did mention some tips earlier, which Helen was kind enough to share with us - and here they are:
HELEN'S 8 TIPS TO PROLONG THE LIFE OF YOUR CUT FLOWERS
1. It may seem obvious, but buy your flowers as fresh as possible, not when the flowers are fully open or the petals are spotted or going brown. The stems need to be firm and able to support the neck of the flower heads with no signs of wilting.
2. Always cut off about 2 - 2.5 cms from the bottom of the stem and at an angle. This applies when you first put your flowers in a vase and whenever you change the water. The stems of the flowers will start forming a seal within a minute, which stops water being absorbed.
3. You can use the flower food supplied, but if you are placing a mixed bunch in a vase you may find the food is suitable for some flowers but not for others. I would always recommend popping 1/2 a chlorine tablet or a splash of bleach in the water to reduce bacterial build up.
4. Always remove any leaves that are likely to be placed below the water line. They rapidly increase bacterial growth and reduce flower freshness.
5. Keep flowers away from direct sunlight.
6. Keep flowers as cool as possible, even taking them into a cool area in the evenings.
7. Try misting your flowers, especially orchids.
8. Remember, most English garden flowers are not likely to have a long ‘shelf life’ so don’t be too disappointed if they don't last for ages! Enjoy them while they're fresh!
Couldn't resist adding this picture :)
'till next time...
Image Credits: All images by Helen Edwards & The Velvet Daisy, used with permission.