Alice’s wedding flowers!
I can’t believe it’s all over. We’ve been plotting, planting and planning for our youngest daughter Alice’s big day for months. It was worth it! It was held at a magical venue, Anrán, near Totnes, that had everything going for it – a stylish farmhouse where the bridal party stayed, a beautiful barn where the ceremony was held and an enormous enclosed courtyard where everyone mingled until rain threatened. Then we moved into the glasshouse, an enormous, former barn with a glass roof where we stayed to catch up with relatives and friends, and eventually moved to the tables that were ready and waiting for the wedding breakfast. Alice’s sister, Annie, had painted glorious directional signs, maps, name tags and visual flourishes, giving a classy finish.
Our floral decorations were unusual. We decorated the huge trestle tables with hundreds of pots of home-grown herbs, parsley, basil, mint and thyme, with the pots dropped into brown paper bags. Running among them were hundreds of Italian coffee tins and brown paper-covered tin cans, each with its own mini-arrangement of seasonal flowers. Rudbeckia and helianthus contrasting with the dainty, blue Michaelmas daisy ‘Little Carlow’ and dahlias. The dahlias came into their own around the perimeter of the glasshouse, where 500 magnificent blooms shone out, arranged among dahlia plants we’d grown in big pots, all with a background of giant bananas and palms. The dahlias were a present from Winchester growers, picked, prepared and transported by Louise Danks, assistant production manager at The National Dahlia Collection.
The ‘ceremony barn’ was changed into a green, white and pink wonderland with pots of white Gladiolus murielae at one edge. The corms from Jacques Amand were planted, 20 at a time into pots. Neil made a triumphal arch covered with hops and hydrangeas, given to us by residents of a sheltered housing scheme in Barnstaple.
Jon Wheatley generously lent us shrubs and grasses, which made a brilliant backdrop against the hay bales of the barn – Hydrangea paniculata,
Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’, artemisia and viburnum all created a fairytale effect.
The bridesmaids were brilliant, turning out to be budding florists, and I couldn’t have managed without the help of one of Alice’s friends, Amy.
As for the bouquets, The Real Flower company sent us 100 ‘Margaret Merrill’ and ‘Irish Hope’ roses, and David Austen Roses gave us a box of rose petals which were scattered on the floor of the barn where Alice and Edward gave their vows. Everything looked beautiful, especially the bride and groom!
Above, the table decorations, and Carol with her beautiful blooms
Friends and family celebrate with Alice and Edward