It is that time of year again. The annual rugby club ball is upon us and I have volunteered (or more correctly, I was skillfully cornered when I had had a couple of glasses of wine ...) to organise the flowers. The first person I call is my florist friend Jennifer (you may recognise Jennifer from my books.) Jennifer never lets me down. I will have a number of keen helpers on the day but it is great to know that I will also have Jennifer by my side.
With the English countryside basking in long afternoons of musky warmth with occasional lemony-light breezes, I decide to choose flowers reminiscent of a sun-drenched herbaceous border.
I half expect to see plump bumble bees buzzing around the tall urns of flowers.
On the tables we are having a mix of hand-tied posies in clear glass, flowerpot vases and taller wrought iron candle holders with a wreath of flowers around the top. Even our most nervous, inexperienced helper is pleased with what they can achieve, with some gorgeous flowers and just a bit of guidance.
I think it must help that we take the odd break for bacon butties, and then later on, coffee and cake. The only thing I forgot is the wine!
If you ever have to create a number of arrangements for an event there are two rules I would suggest you bare in mind. Firstly, use lots of contrasting foliage - at least 3 types - then before you even add the flowers it will be looking good. And Secondly, use containers that give you a limited space to arrange in. So much easier than looking at acres of oasis, wondering how on earth you can fill all that green foam!
Planning flowers for an event means strictly working out recipes and quantities before hand so that you are not over budget and you are confident everyone will have enough flowers to play with. Even then, it can sometimes be a bit hit and miss. I am pleased to say I get it just about right - the only flowers left over are a few blue delphiniums that didn't quite match.
Luckily they look just fine on my mantelpiece!