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Arts and Crafts with Camilla Carter

As we embark on a true British summer, what better subject to cover than flower arranging? Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a garden that produces beautiful blooms all year round. Much to my husband’s annoyance - it’s a running joke that I am the resident garden-flower-stealer! - most of the smaller flowers in our garden get fed to our two pet tortoises (they are particularly partial to pansies and geraniums).

I’m lucky enough to have the most wonderful neighbours on Cambridge Market who create beautiful flower displays, and this has inspired me. It’s fun to pick up a bunch of mixed cut flowers and settle them into a vase for some quick cheer on the table – but why not try something a little more artistic? An excellent arrangement or bouquet will contain lovely flowers, but will also reflect the personality and taste of the arranger.

The basics of a floral display involve combining a selection of dark and light flowers to add extra eye appeal, with sprinklings of little white flowers and greenery – white enlivens any flower composition. Branches of laurel, beech, silver birch and hazel are ideal for filling out bouquets.

Camilla Carter, Knitting Needle Lane (13566849)
Camilla Carter, Knitting Needle Lane (13566849)

Did you know that the earliest known flower arranging dates back to ancient Egypt? Egyptians were decorating with flowers as early as 2,500 BCE. They regularly placed cut flowers in vases and highly stylized arrangements were used during burials, for processions, and simply as table decorations.

Find out more about Knitting Needle Lane at knittingneedlelane.co.uk

Course Work

Would you like to hone your flower arranging skills? Thanks to the team at Cambridge Flower School, you can become a professional: they run a regular Floristry Career Course at their Newton HQ.

Billed as “a foundation for those looking to build a new career in commercial floristry”, the course promises practical experience of commercial floral design and all you need to know to set up your own floristry business, from buying flowers and costing to designing, creating a website and marketing. You even get a starter toolbox, Cambridge Flower School apron and comprehensive course manual, covering all the theory elements.

Each day covers a different aspect, including gift floristry, funeral, corporate and an introduction to wedding floristry, and all the flowers, foliage and sundry items are included.

Floristry Career Courses at Cambridge Flower School Course run August 5-9, September 9-13, October 14-18 this year and January 20-24 2020 - further dates to be announced in due course. See thecambridgeflowerschool.co.uk

Book of the Month

On a mission to “show how simple it is to bring a floral boost into your home”, florist Anna Potter has just published The Flower Fix, a guide to “bringing the wild inside with modern arrangements”. Known for weaving foraged stems and found objects into her arrangements, Anna is the founder of Swallows & Damsons, flower shop and darling of Instagram (it’s got more than 180,000 followers and counting).

The Flower Fix by Anna Potter, White Lion (13566613)
The Flower Fix by Anna Potter, White Lion (13566613)

The Flower Fix: Modern Arrangements for a Daily Dose of Nature is out now in hardback, published by White Lion and priced £20.

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