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Cornflower and fern flower crown // Flowers by Catkin // The Natural Wedding Company

What a treat we have today, featuring an array of beautiful floral wedding ideas inspired by dreamy pre-Raphaelite paintings and a sprinkle of fairy magic from Cicely Mary Barker’s ever-loved flower fairies.

Shot against the evocative backdrop of Doddington Hall, an Elizabethan manor house in Lincolnshire, the floral designs were created by our friend Rachel at Catkin, using all homegrown blooms from the walled garden she tends to on site.

Peach coloured hydrandgea and fern flower crown // Flowers by Catkin // The Natural Wedding Company

English meadow bouquet // Flowers by Catkin // The Natural Wedding Company

Moss and purple hydrangea flower crown // Flowers by Catkin // The Natural Wedding Company

Wild bridal bouquet of ox-eye daisies and cow parsley // Flowers by Catkin // The Natural Wedding Company

Pre-Raphaelite inspired wedding flowers // Flowers by Catkin // The Natural Wedding Company

Rachel is a long-standing member of the British Flowers community, so putting English grown, seasonal flowers at centre stage was vital.

The flowers she chose – garden roses, scabious, cornflowers, nigella, sweet peas, pinks, astilbe, larkspur, ammi and daisies – all contributed to the ethereal look Rachel was after, imbuing her floral creations with natural movement and texture.

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Charlotte and George's informal country wedding

What could be a nicer way to start the New Year than with a beautiful real wedding to provide you with lots of inspiration and ideas for your own ‘big day’.  Today’s wedding is particularly special to me because it’s the wedding of one of my TNWC businesses – the lovely Charlotte who runs The Crafty Baker.

English country wedding tables

English country wedding

Handmade rosette place names

It’s also pretty special because a number of TNWC businesses were involved in this wedding, including the photographers Bohemian Weddings who are a recent addition to the directory AND Charlotte was inspired by my own wedding stationery.

Plus, tomorrow on the blog I have an exclusive wedding photography offer from Bohemian Weddings so don’t forget to check back!  If you fall in love with any of the suppliers from their Charlotte and George’s wedding you’ll find all the details and links at the bottom of the post.

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Seasonal flower arranging

Last week I set off at a very early hour for the Lincolnshire countryside to a place called Doddington Hall where I would spend the day with a group of likeminded ladies learning about cut flowers from Rachel of Catkin Flowers.  On the way I picked up the lovely Dasha Caffrey, wedding photographer and one of the lovely businesses you can find on The Natural Wedding Company directory, who took all these stunning photos.

Rachel from Catkin Flowers

Catkin cut flower workshop

Seasonal flower arrangement

If you are a regular reader of the blog, you might remember that I ran a competition to win a place on this cut flower workshop, and I was thrilled to be joined by the lovely Nik who won the competition and writes a blog called Little House In Town.

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Cut flower workshop

Back at the beginning of April I ran a competition in conjunction with Catkin Flowers to win a place on an upcoming (and exclusive to The Natural Wedding Company) cut flower growing and arranging course.  The very lucky Nik won the competition, but for those of you still keen to come there are an additional 8 places now available.

If you’d like to join myself, Nik, and Rachel from Catkin Flowers for a lovely day of learning how you can start your own cut flower garden and how to arrange with homegrown flowers, then read on…

Who’s the workshop for?

Have you ever dreamt of starting your own small cut flower garden?  A little patch where you can pick your own, homegrown flowers to put in bunches around your house?  Have you ever dreamt of learning how to arrange them in pretty bouquets, perhaps to give as gifts to family, or maybe for yours or a friends wedding?

Catkin Flowers cutting garden

If you answered yes to any of those then we’d love you join us on this workshop.  It’s also a great opportunity for readers of The Natural Wedding Company to get together for a fun day with like-minded people – whether you are married, engaged or just a lover of seasonal cut flowers.

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It’s been lovely announcing all these lucky winner’s over the past few weeks, but today’s competition winner is particular exciting because I’ll get to meet them!  Myself and Rachel from Catkin Flowers have collaborated to put on an exclusive TNWC cut flower growing and arranging course, and one lucky person is winning a free place.

Rachel found it incredibly difficult to select a winner from all the lovely entries, but if you did enter and aren’t the lucky winner who’s name is below, you can still join us for the course.  Shortly I will be posting details of how you can book your discounted place on this exclusive course, where you’ll get to learn about how to start a cutting garden and how to arrange with cut flowers.

A huge congratulations to Nik – we will be in touch about your free place on the course and look forward to meeting you.  Rachel loved that Nik wanted to learn how to grow cut flowers to give to her family and friends, and that she could see the benefits of cutting garden to local wildlife – hopefully after coming on the workshop Nik will be able to get growing!

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Catkin Flowers cut flower garden workshop

I am so excited to be sharing this competition today – I’ve been working with the lovely Rachel from Catkin Flowers to put together a bespoke cut flower growing and arranging workshop just for my readers.  Whether you’re getting married, recently married or just would love to spend a day learning how to start your own cutting garden and putting together your own arrangements (that you get to take home!) then maybe you’d like to join us.

This fabulous workshop is exclusively for The Natural Wedding Company readers, you’ll learn how to create a hand-tied bouquet and buttonholes, as well as getting some top tips on growing cut flowers.  In a couple of weeks I’m going to have 8 tickets for sale at a special price, but today I have 1 place to be won!  I can’t wait, because I get to go too, so I really hope that I’ll see you there.

Catkin Flowers seasonal wedding bouquet

The workshop is taking place on Wednesday 4th July from 10am – 4pm at Cakin’s HQ at Doddington Hall in Lincolnshire.  It’s about 7 miles from Lincoln Station, so perfect if you’re travelling by train – I can probably pick some people up as I’ll be driving.

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spring wedding flower symbolism

With Valentine’s Day tomorrow I know I ought to be showering you all with romantic, heart-shaped, red rose inspired ideas.  I’m hoping that because you are here, reading this blog, you know that I like to try and go about things a bit differently.  I’m not hugely into Valentine’s Day and all the fuss that comes with it, so I was quite delighted when an email from Rachel at Catkin Flowers dropped into my inbox about the romanticism and language of flowers.

I shall hand you over to Rachel from Catkin Flowers

Since antiquity, flowers have accompanied us in every major event in life -birth, marriage, holidays, illness, and death and are intimately woven into our culture and traditions. 

Flower symbolism began with ancient religions where many flowers were originally linked to ancient deities and Medieval gardens were often created with both the symbolic meaning of flowers and spiritual symbolism in mind.  Even Shakespeare liked to use flowers and plants as images to illustrate his ideas.  Almost 200 different flowers, herbs, shrubs and trees are mentioned in his plays.  He mentions roses more than 100 times and lilies nearly 30 times.

the language of flowers

It was during the Victorian times that the use of the symbolic meaning of flowers to represent emotions was developed to a high degree.  Due to the strict protocol of the times, emotions, wishes and thoughts were not openly expressed between men and women. Instead, an elaborate language based on flower symbolism was developed.  Gifts of either single flowers or bouquets conveyed clear messages to the recipient.

So have red roses always been the flowers of love?

Valentine's Day red roses

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