This autumnal dinner at Cowdray House, Cowdray Estate was incredible. Hosted by the fabulous team at Caper and Berry the event was for the leading lights in the wedding and event planning industry, who stayed at Cowdray House overnight.
We used all British grown chrysanthemums from Hampshire and believe me these are nothing like the contrived chrysanthemums you usually find in supermarkets and garages. The colours were truly amazing and they were wayward and natural. We foraged bracken and browning ferns from The Cowdray Estate and used them to dress the candelabra and the fireplace. The result was really beautiful and the planners loved it.
I actually attended the event and the food and service by the incredible team at Caper and Berry was wonderful.
These wonderful photographs of the event are by the super talented Louise Adby
What a magical evening in Midhurst!
Hellebores are simply amazing plants, surviving the British winter and continuing to flower in sub zero conditions. I’ve been selling lots of these gorgeous plants all through the winter at The Cowdray Farm Shop and I think I’ve used them in most of my winter events and weddings.
Well, here they are again in this lovely winter wedding at Cowdray House.
We used plants on the table and cut hellebores in the bouquets tied with jasmine, paperwhite narcissi, white lilac and a sprinkling of floribundas roses.
The floral candelabra, made naturally without floral foam, lined the banqueting table.
The fire was lit and we dressed the huge stone fireplace with ivy and candles; it was a perfect and romantic small winter wedding.
Archie’s caterers proved the wonderful food and hospitality.
Hellebores and ranunculus
Banquet with floral candelabra of spring flowers
This was a very special dinner at Cowdray House in December.
It was glamorous, festive and fun and in addition to providing the flowers and dressing the Buck Hall for Christmas I actually went to the dinner.
The food was absolutely sublime and provided by the fabulous Caper and Berry. What a great evening it was!
Thank you to Cowdray Estate for letting me post these lovely photos of the event taken by a Chris Orange Photography.
Well, we’ve been flat out again since the last event I posted so I’m trying to play catch up again!
This event was very special as it was a dinner for motoring journalists and VIP’s to celebrate the launch of the new Audi A8 in the UK.
We created a large central autumnal tree and decorated the huge fireplace with a garland of autumn leaves and berries. The tables formed a cross shape and were filled with a runner of autumnal flowers, hips and foliage with decorated candelabra to co-ordinate.
I hope you like the photos!
Amy and Andrew married at Cowdray House in Midhurst, West Sussex on November 18th 2017.
Candlelight was really important to Amy and Andrew and over 300 candles were used to create this fabulous romantic wedding.
The ceremony took place in the cathedral like space of Buck Hall and we decorated the huge fireplace with ivy, seasonal greenery and white hydrangea heads. Candles were used on top of the fireplace, in the fireplace and lining the aisle; it looked absolutely stunning and so did the gorgeous Amy.
We stayed on site to turn the room around for the dinner with the caterers, Caper and Berry. The guests retired to the drawing room for canapés and champagne and within an hour the room was transformed with candleabra, white hydrangeas and hundreds of candles along the 108 foot of banqueting tables.
I can’t wait to see the official photos by Hajie as mine came out a little pink for some reason when it actually didn’t look pink!
Buck Hall dressed for the Wedding ceremony
Buck Hall dressed for the wedding dinner
Macaron tower by Sylvia’s Kitchen
I really enjoyed creating the house and table flowers for this very special dinner at Cowdray House in October. It's an amazing time of year to be a florist as there is such wonderful material to work with and bringing the outside in as the days grow shorter is always appreciated by the guests.
I designed this dinner to come alive after dark when the candles were lit to create a real 'wow' factor. I used layers of candlelight that would illuminate the flowers, seedheads and grasses and although I didn't manage to photograph the table when the candles are lit I have seen photos that were taken that night; it really did look gorgeous and the feedback after the dinner was fabulous.
The dining table flowers
I realise I've got some serious catching up to do on my blog posts to get everything up to date!
Back in a June we worked with lovely Mauricio and his team at The Admirable Critchton on a fabulous birthday banquet for their clients who were staying at Cowdray House for the weekend.
The colour theme was rich reds and oranges with an abundance of candlelight and the tables were set in a horseshoe shape around a dance floor.
As we left Cowdray House a team of actors were rehearsing their steps for the murder mystery game that would be unfolding throughout the evening. The stage looked set for a really fun evening and I understand that the clients had a really fabulous time.
Last week was fabulous.
I was invited to design the flowers by The Admirable Crichton for a private party who were staying at Cowdray House for the weekend.
The dinner on the Friday evening was held at Cowdray Ruins, a place I absolutely love. It's a blank canvas with regard to flowers as it is all wonderfully old brick and dirt floors.
A simple green fern theme with wonderful grey linen cloths, green water glasses and lots of candlelight was requested by The Admirable Crichton and the result was simply beautiful.
Greenery is super fashionable at the moment but it doesn't always work in any setting. On this occasion, without any green grass or garden to compete with the green stood out against the red brick and with a simple vase of white foxgloves, fern and orlaya on the bar and a couple of vignettes of white foxglove plants and candles the Ruins came alive and was ready for a sensational dinner.
Last Friday I had the pleasure of providing the flowers for a summer polo event at Cowdray House on Cowdray Estate.
Hosted by Cowdray Polo Club with catering by Caper and Berry there were canapés on the lawn followed by a dinner in the dining room of cowdray House.
I brought in some wonderful rhodendendrons from the gardens of Cowdray House and decorated the tables with seasonal peonies, aquilegia, hellebores, lilac to name a few of the ingredients.
Its always a pleasure working at the fabulous Cowdray House!
The annual fund raising event for the Brainwave charity took place at Cowdray House last week and I provided the seasonal flowers for the delicious lunch which was provided by the wonderful Jacaranda Catering with fabulous wine provided by Nyetimber.
As the preferred florist at the glorious Cowdray House in Midhurst West Sussex, we know this venue rather well and can wholeheartedly recommend you to book your wedding or event there; its a really wonderful house in an incredibly beautiful location and you won't be disappointed.
Last week we provided the flowers for Sally and Tom's fabulous wedding at Cowdray House.
The theme was wild wood with plenty of greens and branches with new shoots emerging. We used seasonal flowers in whites, ivory and champagne with touches of blue. The flowers included anemones, frittilaria, ranunculus, jonquils, hellebores, bluebells and spirea.
We decorated the huge fireplace in Buck hall with branches of greenery, with a sprinkling of white flowers. This is where the wedding ceremony took place and the aisle was lined with candles in glass.
After the ceremony, the wedding party and guests had canapés and champagne in the gardens and other rooms of the house whilst Jacaranda Catering and our team laid out the banqueting tables for the dinner. We all achieved a very quick turnaround and the room was ready in just over an hour.
I thought January would be quieter with time to review and plan and update this website but its been quite the opposite with a really busy start to the year and I've got a considerable amount of catching up to do on my posts this month. I have been updating my Instagram account though, although I have let that slip in the last week!
So, what have we been up to?
With any event immediately after the Christmas break simple and mainly white schemes seem so appropriate and with heavenly hellebores in season and at the peak of perfection they make a wonderful addition to any tablescape. With new seasons ranunculus in white and green, a sprinkling of paperwhite narcissi, birch and a little pop of mimosa in bud the table was complete for this early January dinner at Cowdray House in Midhurst, West Sussex.
Clean and calming florals for January 2017 before the riot of colour starts to awaken our senses in Spring!
Miranda and James married on June 25th 2016. The wedding ceremony was held at St Mary's church in Eastbourne on the Cowdray Estate and the reception was held at the beautiful Cowdray House in Midhurst, West Sussex.
We provided the flowers and Jacaranda catering provided the hospitality.
It was a huge pleasure to work with Miranda and her wonderful parents, Sue and Bob,
Miranda and James have kindly allowed me to share their gorgeous wedding video with you here.
Well, it's a floral time of year and the last few weeks have been incredibly busy for us at This Floral Life.
We've been making lots of wreaths, table decorations, planters and flowers for the Cowdray Farm shop and decorating trees, houses and shops for Christmas. It's been really hard work but so lovely and beautifully festive. It's a great time of year to be a florist!
We've worked on some gorgeous events recently and this weekend we set up gorgeous Christmas tablescape for a private dinner at Cowdray House, Midhurst.
The dinner was in the fabulous Buck Hall and with the huge Christmas tree, balcony fireplace garlands that we installed last week, the room looked amazing. With the fire lit and hundreds of candles around the room, the stage was set for a magical Christmas event.
It's been a magical couple few weeks decorating some fabulous venues for Christmas including one of my absolute favourites; Cowdray House, Cowdray Park, Midhurst.
The Christmas tree was specially selected and cut from the Cowdray Estate and is a truly magnificent tree.
So, two fireplaces, five balconies and a huge tree later....
I was invited to design the flowers for a gorgeous event last Thursday and we created a wild and autumnal tablescape inspired by the views from the dining room window of Cowdray House, who hosted the event. Caper and Berry provided the fabulous food and hospitality.
The event was a party for many of the top wedding and event planners and, having installed the flowers, I rushed home to change and actually attended the event.
It was a great night with amazing food, a superb venue and great company.
Photos by the brilliant Kerry Jordan of Boo Face Photography
It was a glorious Autumn morning for Krisztina and Graeme's wedding at Cowdray House on 8th October 2016.
If you look through this journal you may have seen that I was the florist for the very first wedding held at Cowdray House, at the end of June this year. Well, this wedding included the first actual civil wedding ceremony at the house.
Autumn is a great time to get married and at Cowdray House the views from the ceremony room out to the garden are spectacular with all of the colours of Autumn represented in the landscape.
The flowers also included colours from the Autumn landscape mixed with pink and peaches and the last flush of the English roses.
It's been a really beautiful summer and I've been lucky enough to spend so much of it outside, arranging flowers, tending plants and watering (a lot for the potted plants that I sell at Cowdray Farm Shop) in the cool of the evening just before sunset; a magical time of day.
The summer season has been non stop this year and the event work, like the flowers, has been abundant.
For this event at Cowdray House I wanted to showcase the abundance of summer flowers and seasonal fruits and also to showcase a small selection of the huge variety of plants that I've been selling at Cowdray Farm Shop this summer; verbenas, abelias, pelargoniums, senecio, clematis, honeysuckle, crocosmia, dahlias.
A sprinkling of garden roses and a few unripe blackberries from my own woodland garden complete the look; the abundance of summer 2016.
It's been an extraordinarily busy Summer and I have some catching up to do on this journal. Apologies!
Now, I posted a photograph that I took of Miranda, my gorgeous bride whose reception was at Cowdray House at the end of June, but I didn't post any of my other photographs so I aim to address that in this journal entry.
It was a fabulous wedding and the Lewis family were an absolute dream to work with. It's always such a huge pleasure for me to work with such lovely people on these really important occasions in their lives. Helping to create great memories through flowers and styling, it's hard not to be swept up in the happiness wave. We became firm friends in the run up to the wedding and we've met up on several occasions since and I know we'll always stay in touch.
The Lewis's wedding was one of the first weddings that Cowdray House had hosted and Sian and Jayne, who hosted the weekend on behalf of the house, made sure it was a huge success. Jacaranda Catering provided the food and a team to run the event over the weekend, led by the amazing Minty Moore and I hear that the food was superb. If you're looking for a caterer for a wedding or an event, do get in touch with them, I often work with them on events and the clients are always really delighted with their excellent food and brilliant service.
My team were superb (Nia, Sue, Rob, Alyson and Stuart) and we had a great time making and installing the flowers. We all went on to make and install the floral decorations at another large private party the day after so it was a very busy few days, but fun too.
Here are a few of the photographs that I took on the morning of the wedding.