TBR loves… Irises

With striking uniqueness and beauty, irises have rich meanings and they can convey deep sentiments. With over 200 varieties in a wide spectrum of colors, the iris, which fittingly takes its name from the Greek word for “rainbow,” can be found in virtually every part of the world, growing both naturally and in farms. While garden irises can come in any of these many varieties, the flower’s cut versions are mostly blue (the most popular type), white, and yellow.

The iris’s history is rich, dating back to Ancient Greek times when the Greek Goddess Iris, the messenger of the gods and the personification of the rainbow, acted as the link between heaven and earth. Purple irises were planted over the graves of women to summon the Goddess to guide the dead in their journey. Ancient Egyptian kings marveled in the iris’s exotic nature, and drawings have been found of the flower in a number of Egyptian palaces. During the Middle Ages, the meaning of irises became linked to the French monarchy, and the Fleur-de-lis eventually became the recognized national symbol of France. From their earliest years, irises were used to make perfume and as a medicinal remedy. Today, they are primarily seen in gardens, in bouquets, and in the wild all over the world.

There are some gorgeous names for the different variants of iris, here’s a couple of our favourites from those listed on the RHS website:

Beach Girl

Amazing Grace

Mystic Dragon

Evening Drama

Queen of Angels

Uncle Charlie

Blonde Bearded Lady

Vision in Pink

Last Hurrah

Starlight Express

Through its intricate history, the meanings of the iris has come to include faith, hope, and wisdom. Depending on factors such as color and region, irises may bear additional meanings as well. In some parts of the world, the dark blue or purple iris can denote royalty, whereas the yellow iris can be a symbol of passion. Irises may also express courage and admiration.





British Flowers Week 2015

New Covent Garden Flower Market, the team behind the ground breaking annual campaign to promote British flowers and foliage, have announced that British Flowers week 2015 will run from 15 – 19 June.

Now in it’s 3rd year, British Flowers Week is the national celebration of seasonal, locally grown flowers that is uniting the UK cut flower industry and inspiring the public to think about where their flowers come from.

British-­grown flowers are estimated to represent just 15% of the £2bn worth of flowers sold in the UK every year, and yet they have the multiple benefits of being seasonal, fragrant, freshly picked and quite simply, beautiful.

Today, British flowers are enjoying a long-awaited resurgence in popularity prompted by the boom in artisan flower growers and the success of programmes the BBC Gardener’s World’s Rachel de Thame, Sarah Raven and Allotment Challenge judge Jonathon Moseley.

During British Flowers Week 2015, growers and florists across the country will be staging pop-up shops and demonstrations, creating window displays and special British Flowers Week bouquets, decorating hotels, restaurants and events with British flowers.

TBR’s favorite British Flowers include: peonies, ranunculus, stocks, tulips, agapanthus and gyposphilia.

Keep up to date with all the action by following #BritishFlowersWeek


TBR loves… Cornflowers

We’re setting up a Pinterest page this week and the first board we’ve put together is of some of the bridal bouquets we’ve created. I came across a couple in which we’ve included Cornflowers, and it reminded me how much I love their vivid blue colour.

Originally a wild flower that grew in corn fields (hence the name), the number of cornflowers in the UK has been decimated as a result of industrial farming, so it’s a blessing that they are now being cultivated as ornamental flowers for garden and as cut stems for people like us.

As well as the vibrant cornflower blue we all know – also called Blue Boy or Blue Diadem – cultivators have developed more colours and you can now get cornflowers in white, pink and lilac. But our favourite is black, known as ‘Black Ball’, which is a gorgeous and dramatic very dark purple/red.

The cornflower has a lovely common names in folklore: Bachelor’s Button. It was worn by young men who worked in the fields, and if the flower faded quickly, their love was unrequired.

It is the national flower of Germany. The story goes that as the Queen of Prussia was fleeing from Napolean, she hid her children in a field of cornflowers and kept them silent by weaving them wreaths of cornflowers.

They flower in June, so keep a look out for these beauties.