Monday, 5 September 2011

DAY-lee-ahhhhhhhh! Floral geekery from Gayle Evans of Bloomin'gayles

Back in the summer a flame-haired, whipper-snapper of a florist turned up at Bush HQ on the night of our Boutique Launch. The flash mob technique slightly startled me - I wasn't totally expecting her. Instantly she turned one of our 1st floor rooms into a scent packed boudoir of vibrant colour. Gayle then produced a mini top hat made of petals and colour punch bouquets poured forth. I was taken with her, smitten. A talented chancer springing beautiful surprises.

Gayle's mini-top hat made from - um, some kind of petal! Gayle's in Barcelona - so hang on for this...

Flowers and haberdashery - Gayle's treasures...

Bouquet with cute thrifted brooch and lace
Hence I have asked her to share a bit of botany on an adhoc basis - today the Dahlia, tomorrow could be a triffid or a Venus Fly Trap! I'll just see where she goes...

I have an unconditional adoration for most flowers so when asked which one I would name as my fave I become a tongue twisted, indecisive wreck of a florist! My reaction much like a mother of quintuplets would have if asked which child was her favourite......hmmm... In saying that I have softer spots for certain blooms and Dahlias are most definitely one of them. I always find myself becoming impatient for the arrival of them on the market and can’t control my girly squeal of delight and sealionesque clap of hands when I catch the first glimpses of them... perfectly formed and packing a serious punch of colour, if you’re looking for dainty and demure for your wedding flowers then these ain’t for you, but if you wish to sucker punch your wedding guest right in the mooey with intense colour and texture then read on.....

Bouquet by Bloomingayles
With their assortment of colours and petal structures I personally can’t grow bored of or see what isn’t to love with a Dahlia. Available in tones all the way from brash whore shoe reds to pastel peach shades. The only colours absent from their repertoire are the usual suspects black and blue, infact in 1826 A prize of one thousand pounds was offered to the first person to cultivate a blue dahlia, but no one has as of yet. Now the different forms you can choose from...... well you have the simple daisy-like form, the tightly revolute ‘pompom’ globes full of petals, the spiky and spidery ‘cactuses’, the ‘waterlilly’, the ‘orchid’, the ‘collarette’, formal, informal and the ‘lacinated’ with it’s curled tubed petals reminiscent of sea anemones....*swoon*

Did someone say Blue Dahlia?
Seen the length and breadth of England sitting pride of place in garden borders from July to October they hide behind their quintessentially British cottage garden facade when actually hailing from South America.....smuggled into Europe and renamed by a Swedish man..what a shocking revelation no?! Farmed centuries ago by the Aztecs like the Irish farmed potatoes Dahlias were prized not only for their beautiful bold blooms, but their tasty tubers. Although I’d not recommend eating them at home as they have been many a different cultivar since the Mesoamerican age! The tubers proved to be invaluable in the first world war due to the antibiotic compounds in the skin and high natural glucose starch within the tuber itself bringing the world it’s first insulin of sorts for diabetics called ‘Atlantic Starch’ or ‘Diabetic sugar’.

Bouquet by Bloomingayles
These clever and beautiful blooms are also considered a biological marvel...while most other flowers have two genes which affect their looks, the Dahlia has eight hence my yawn worthy list above, though not all are available on the market for us florists so do check with yours before you become too attached to an internet image when researching possible flowers for your wedding!
Blimey - we're both Librans
Now to get all Kate Middleton on you. For those wanting to know what Dahlia’s meaning is in the language of flowers then you have a list to chose from...gratitude, dignity, instability, elegance and misrepresentation. Plus as an added bonus incase of pub quizzes the Dahlia is the flower for the star sign Libra. Which on a personal note may be why I love them so being an elegant, dignified, gratuitous, misrepresented, instable, Libran myself!

Gayle Evans

Many thanks to EFC Photography for the images from the 1st July, many thanks to Gayle for being my first contributor!

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