As Autumn’s rustic bounty begins to ebb, a new floral season makes a welcome return to the market, hand-in-hand with a cacophony of winter foliage, metallic accents, and delightful piles of glittering, shimmering, festive knick-knacks. Although a more compact floral collection than the heady pick-and-mix we see during the warmer months, they are all the more treasured for it – exquisite stems such as nodding Hellebore, giant Minstral Anemones, and multi-layered ranunculus so synonymous with the season, prompt admiring looks across the workshop and ignite our love for flowers all over again. Read on to discover our favourite winter varieties, from the month of November through to early spring.
By far one of our most cherished varieties over the cooler months the Anemone is a flower like no other – poppy-like, black-eyed centres crowned by gossamer-thin petals paired with chunky, grass green stems – a delicate balance of fragility and something altogether more resilient. Available in an array of jewel-colored tones from deep inky blues and post box reds through to eclectic marbled ‘Tiger’ Anemones and iridescent ivories brushed with the faintest lick of blush pink. These unique gems are ideal for wedding work, combined with complementary varieties for exquisite winter bouquets, or simply tied en masse with a touch of seasonal foliage, à la the Calliope bouquet – a design inspired by McQueens flowers founder Kally Ellis, who sites this papery stem as her favourite flower.
The humble tulip, famously so popular during the 17th century that the most fashionable bulbs were worth more than their weight in gold. Although synonymous with spring, when our boarders and vases fill with brightly coloured flowering bulbs, this flower enjoys a first flush much earlier than it’s familiar counterparts – with the first bundles arriving in the markets just as we begin to feel the cool snap in the air.
Plentiful and abundant in size, colour texture and shape, we adore tulips for their seemingly never-ending range of colours and ever-more intriguing new and unusual varieties – from the swirling, water-coloured Parrots, otherworldly fringed varieties, and multi-layered double tulips so large they can rival a summer’s peony. Hardy and dependable, tulips lend themselves to a range of uses from wedding work, through to winter bouquets, contract flowers and more – so long as you are prepared for their ability to continue growing. Once cut, place in as little water as possible to keep these beauties hydrated, and fashion any bridal creations as close to the time of use as possible – lest you discover your creation has unexpectedly transformed all by itself, overnight.
Popularly referred to as a ‘Christmas’ or ‘Winter Rose’ the Hellebore is a hardy little bloom that thrives in the depth of winter, growing in shaded clusters of earthy hues from the coolest of whites, to zesty greens, delicate mauves, and moody maroons. We adore their dainty nodding heads and precious petals, frequently sprinkled with a scattering of dainty freckles. As a cut flower, they are notoriously fickle and known to spontaneously flop over at a moment’s notice – much to the dismay of the beholder. Nonetheless, this unique flower is as irresistible to florists like catnip to kittens, and worth a little extra care and attention to reap it’s rewards. Swiftly remedy wilted Hellebores by snipping the ends and a dipping into boiling water for a few seconds, gently wrap upright in a paper cone, place the stems in cool water overnight, and you will be rewarded by a much perkier bunch the following morning.