It’s a bit of a joke in my family that I treat Marks & Spencer like my corner shop. I’m always popping in and coming out with much more than the proverbial ‘pint of milk.’
So, it makes perfect sense that it’s my first port of call for any special occasion or day – and with Mother’s Day fast approaching its been great to work with them on this special campaign.
First up I was invited along to a lovely Mother’s Day flower arranging evening at The Ivy in Chelsea where along with their own flower expert Simon Richards and blogger Rona Wheeldon of Flowerona we were shown how to create some lovely bouquets and arrangements using, of course, the mothers day floral offering from M&S.
We were shown a variety of different ways to arrange some of the classic flowers sent on Mothers day: a few bunches of white and yellow Narcissi, some Fairtrade roses and a more mixed bunch including tulips, stocks and lots of foliage.
But, I thought I would show you my way with these flowers too – now I know I am no expert but I have done a evening floristry course (more as a hobby), helped with a friends wedding flowers and even arranged my grandads funeral flowers and wreaths. I would say it’s a passion of mine and something I like to do at home or for gifts but, as a career, I think I would be pretty bad at being a florist (those early starts, cold hands, long hours …) so here goes: Marks & Spencer Mother’s Day flowers my way.
MOTHER’S DAY FLORAL IDEA ONE: NARCISSI
M&S WAY: At The Ivy event we were shown a modern way to arrange the delicate Narcissi flowers – as tall bouquets in shorts vases. By gathering the flowers together and securing with an elastic band at two separate points (which you hide under ribbon) and cutting the stems straight to enable them to stand. I think arranging them this way would look great lined down the centre of a table, say for Mother’s day lunch – plus they smell amazing and last for ages.
MY WAY: I think for my mum or step-mum this style of flower arranging would be far to modern for them – so I would still keep the ribbon tie (with the elastic underneath to hold in place) and cut the stems down to just above the lip of the jar. This small apothecary jar is the perfect ‘chubby’ size to hold such a plump bunch too.
MOTHER’S DAY FLORAL IDEA TWO: FAIRTRADE ROSES
M&S WAY: Marks and Spencer roses are grown to strict Fairtrade standard in Kenya and come in 3 springtime shades: soft white, candy pink and sunshine yellow. At The Ivy event we were shown how to create a hand-tied bouquet.
Firstly, you prepare the roses by cleaning the stems (meaning to remove all thorns and leaves from the bottom two-thirds), then the trick is the cross two roses at a point slightly higher than the middle of the first stem. Then turn these stems keeping a firm grip and then add another rose at the same point, and to continue adding the one by one with each turn (in the same direction).
To finish you tie the stems together just below the crossing points with some elastic – and again cover with twine, string or ribbon. And, then wrap in paper or tissue lined cellophane.
MY WAY: These roses are extremely great value – at £25 for 22 roses – and they last for at least 10 days. So, a brilliant price if you want to add-on some others treats like biscuits, chocolates or beauty products. Now, as I have my mum, step-mum and mother-in-law to buy for Mothers day (and grandma gifts too!) it can work out quite expensive.
So, I split the bouquet and made three smaller versions of the original – just as we were shown – and wrapped them in the same paper and cellophane. And, I have to say am pretty pleased with the results. I also think this ‘smaller’ bouquet is ideal for Miss Marnie to carry and hand to her grandmothers, especially if accompanied by some chocolates and a home-made card.
MOTHER’S DAY FLORAL IDEA THREE: MIXED BOUQUET
M&S WAY: For our last flower arranging lesson of the evening we were given free rein to create a much more rustic bouquet and arrange in this lovely muted blue metal jug for a vintage feel. You would think this one would be the easiest – but actually this style of floristry is the one thats requires the most creative flair. As it’s really not about ‘shoving’ them all in a jug or vase and hoping for the best.
This is when the ‘arranging’ really happens. The most important thing is to prepare the stems, remove any leaves so they don’t sit in the water and I guess give it go. Think about where to place the flowers to give them the best view and place the foliage around to fill the gaps and add fullness to the bunch.
MY WAY: More rustic, hand-tied flowers are personally my favourite to receive – especially more wild looking flowers – you know the sort that look like they have been picked from a country garden. So, thinking now about myself for Mother’s Day (and why not ..ha ha) I would absolutely love Miss M to hand me a soft, messy and ‘blousy’ bouquet tied with some ribbon or string just like this. And, some Rose and Violet creams would be much appreciated too (I know these ‘perfumed’ chocolates divides people but I love them!)
And, if thats not enough I have rounded up my 9 favourite Marks & Spencer gifts from the Mother’s Day home selection if flowers aren’t your thing or, to add to your bouquet of choice (although check out the floral hampers and gift sets on offer – they are extra special this year.)
** All gifts from a selection in-store and online
V.I.BE HONEST: This is a sponsored post working in collaboration with Marks & Spencer – but all pictures, words and thoughts are of course my own.
To find out how I work with brands please read more here