Book Review: Foraged Flora

On the shelves of our beautiful store you will find a range of books to delight flower and garden lovers. What better way to spend a lazy winter weekend than curled up with a hot cup of tea and a book filled with stunning imagery and inspiring words.

One of our favourites is Foraged Flora by Louesa Roebuck and Sarah Lonsdale, which focusses on the use of local and foraged plants and flowers to create beautiful arrangements at home. Each of the twelve chapters of the book are dedicated to a month of the year and include a variety of arrangements created from botanicals available during that time period.

Our Verdict: We love this modern and relaxed take on a ‘how-to’ guide, and the fact that the reader is encouraged to find beauty in the natural world around them.

As florists we see beauty in the different stages of a plant’s life and delight in an oddly formed bloom or leaf, and in this book the reader is tempted to do the same.

From collecting wildflowers from the roadside, garden grown roses or backyard branches, the beautifully styled photographs show the reader how to effectively style interesting botanical combinations in a relaxed manner. Foraged Flora makes both a gorgeous coffee table book and an informative read.

 

 

What is your favourite winter bloom?

My absolute favourite flower of the cooler months is delicious daphne. It blooms throughout winter and has the most divine fragrance. Daphne plants feature tiny clustered blooms in white, pink and lilac hues and lovely glossy green leaves.

What is your favourite way to use daphne?

Cut daphne is very short stemmed so is best used in petite posies or displayed en masse in a small vessel. Look out for potted daphne in our store over the coming months, which are delightful planted in ceramic pots at the front door of the home due to their gorgeous welcoming scent.

What tips do you have for taking care of cut daphne stems?

Cut the end of the stem on an angle and plunge into cold water in a clean vase immediately. Clean the vase and change the water every two days to increase longevity. The small blooms will start to drop as the stems age, so when changing the water give the stems a gentle shake to remove any spent blooms.

What are some other winter blooms you feel are particularly beautiful?

I have always loved anemones which come in vibrant shades of purple, magenta and red, and a stunning white variety with a contrasting black centre. Sweet peas are another old-fashioned favourite which are available in a wide range of colours and have a delicate sweet fragrance. I adore tulips particularly when they have aged a bit, and wildly cascade, twisting and turning towards the light like a French Impressionist painting. Double and parrot tulips are especially lovely when they are open, full and voluptuous, and are a bestseller in my store during the cooler season.

Our beautiful flower subscriptions give you the perfect excuse to stay indoors and out of the cold this winter. You can elect to have gorgeous flowers delivered and paid for weekly, fortnightly or monthly, making adorning your home or workplace with fresh and lasting blooms so effortless.

Home Flower Subscription

Inject your home with the sweet smell of fresh blooms weekly, monthly or fortnightly with our exclusive home flower subscription service. We will create a stunning seasonal bouquet unique to every delivery that will add the finishing touches to your home styling.

Office Flower Subscription

Show your clients that your business values quality, attention to detail and impeccable style with our office flower subscription service. Our gorgeous arrangements, styled to suit your space, will welcome your clients into your place of work and leave a lasting impression. Not only for offices, our beautiful blooms enhance all manner of workplaces, including restaurants, retail outlets, yoga studios, and beauty and hair salons.

Flower Subscription Voucher

Our flower subscription vouchers are a distinctive and impressive gift for that person in your life who has everything. Literally the gift that keeps on giving, a flower subscription voucher is a unique way to say ‘Thank You’, ‘Happy Birthday’ or ‘I Love You’ for months on end.

We can’t wait to be regularly enhancing your home or workplace with our beautiful blooms very soon!

 

Find out how to purchase here

 

Marsha and Jonathan’s wedding was one particularly close to our hearts as Marsha is the daughter of our wonderful delivery driver Randy. This lovely couple planned a beautifully intimate ceremony at Melbourne’s Treasury Building followed by a reception dinner in Sake’s private dining room with their closest friends and family.

Marsha and Jonathan were one of those wonderfully relaxed couples who indicated a preferred colour palette but really let us take the reins in terms of flower selection and style. Marsha carried an elegant bouquet of fragrant Tenderness roses in a delicate shade of soft pink combined with white hydrangea and roses, and the couple exited the ceremony to a shower of rose petals.

The newlyweds requested vibrant tones of hot pink, lime green, purple and burnt orange to enhance their reception space, and we obliged with a stunning mix of gloriosa lily, lisianthus, roses, dahlias and chrysanthemum disbuds. The stunning florals were styled down the length of the banquet tables and each guest was treated to a sweet posy of blooms at their place setting. Botanicals to match were styled on the event signage, and also the cake which featured a tier thickly covered in brightly coloured candy sprinkles. It is always such a thrill to receive positive feedback from our clients and we were so pleased to hear from Marsha following her big day: “The happiness of our day was so beautifully reflected through the absolutely gorgeous floral arrangements that you amazing ladies created for us.”

Thank you, Marsha and Jonathan, for entrusting us with the special task of creating your wedding flowers, and to the amazing Eric Ronald for capturing their day so perfectly and sharing these gorgeous photos with us.

Victoria had the honour and pleasure of being invited to design a table at the recent Art of Dining: Best of the Best 2019 event at the NGV. The spectacular event, which consisted of an exclusive black-tie dinner followed by a public exhibition, showcased the work of Melbourne’s leading creatives. Each designer took on the honourable task of creating a unique table setting inspired by Tiepelo’s The Banquet of Cleopatra, a key painting in the NGV’s collection which depicts a lavish banquet.  

Opulent and abundant, the Victoria Whitelaw table featured a 6ft tall metallic gold stand extravagantly styled with a stunning combination of seasonal blooms and foliage including arcs of rosehip, autumnal hydrangea, luxe phalaenopsis orchids, hanging amaranthus and persimmon branches. Two spectacular taxidermy peacocks perched amongst the design which consisted of a botanical colour palette of coral, apricot, burnt orange, burgundy, blue and green. 

Metallic gold crockery and cutlery with elegant glassware was set amongst a sea of navy blue velvet, with each plate finished with a matching navy velvet napkin adorned with a cluster of blooms a peacock eye feather. The lavish table setting was complete with navy velvet chairs, each chair back beautifully styled with blooms, cascading foliages and peacock feathers to perfectly complement the main arrangement 

This was such an amazing event for the whole team to be involved in, and it was an absolute honour to have Victoria’s remarkable design featured alongside the work of such influential local creatives.  

 

 

It has been an exciting and busy start to the year at the Victoria Whitelaw School of Flowers with the addition of new lessons to the schedule, fresh educators to the team and classes steadily growing in size.

Although we have several talented teachers at the Victoria Whitelaw School of Flowers, Victoria oversees and teaches many lessons herself and enjoys being able to share her passion for flowers with her students. Victoria reports that the Beginners Guide to Floristry is the most popular class at the School with many students choosing it as a starting point to learning to work with flowers. In this beautiful class students learn how to create an arrangement of gorgeous seasonal blooms and foliage using the grid system, a technique which can easily recreated at home.

Click here for more information

One of Victoria’s favourite lessons to teach is the 6 Week Floristry Masterclass where students learn the techniques required to kickstart their floristry career or broaden their skillset for arranging flowers at home. Victoria adores getting to know her students over the course of the Masterclass and seeing their confidence grow from week to week. Being able to share her love for flowers and her floristry skills with an audience who are eager to learn brings Victoria much pleasure.

Click here for more information

A recent addition to the Victoria School of Flowers schedule is the much sought-after Wonderful Weddings with Victoria class. This class commenced last year after receiving many requests for Victoria to share her wedding flower knowledge and techniques. In this beautiful class Victoria teaches her students how to create a natural garden style collection of complementing wedding accessories, including a trailing wedding bouquet with matching buttonhole and wrist corsage. Specialist techniques are taught to perfect your bridal set including wiring, taping, construction and finishing.

Click here for more information

The Victoria Whitelaw School of Flowers is hosting a very special floral class on Saturday 11th May in celebration of Mother’s Day. This class still has some availability and provides the perfect opportunity for you to spend a beautiful morning with Mum. Together you will try your hand at arranging gorgeous fresh blooms whilst enjoying a delicious high tea complete with French Champagne. Also included is a special gift for your Mum from Victoria. What a magical start to a special Mother’s Day weekend!

Click here for more information

Victoria and the Victoria Whitelaw School of Flowers team hope to see you in class soon!

 

Choosing a wedding venue is such an important job for newly engaged couples and trawling venue after venue looking for ‘the one’ can often be a time-consuming process. Holding your wedding in Melbourne city comes with many benefits, from a larger choice of suppliers with lesser transportation fees than a country wedding, to guests more likely and able to attend. Although we love a venue that can cater for both your ceremony and reception in one, holding your wedding in the city means that guest transportation is simpler, and your guests will easily be able to taxi from ceremony to reception if required. Not to mention enjoy a glass of champagne in your honour at a local bar between venues if time allows.  

Here we share with you three venues based in inner Melbourne which we just love to work at, and we know you’ll love too.  

Luminare 

Managed and catered for by The Big Group, you can rest assured that your wedding celebration will be unforgettable, from the delicious cuisine to the flawless service. Guests make their way into the venue via a mysterious entrance in a South Melbourne lane and are transported to an urban rooftop venue which is incredibly light filled during daylight hours and surrounded by glittering city lights once the sun goes down. With the option for a ceremony on the sky deck which features breathtaking views over the bay, couples can entertain their guests at Luminare all night long.  

Chic minimalist décor offers a blank canvas just waiting to be styled to perfection. With Luminare’s high ceilings, our number one recommendation is to suspend a floral installation from the truss system. A ceiling installation either over the dance floor or perhaps over a central bridal table, fills the large space creating depth and wowing your guests. Combined with matching blooms on the dining tables, through to the bar area, and out onto the city deck, Luminare is transformed into the ultimate in sophisticated city elegance.  

The Deck at Circa 

Situated in St Kilda overlooking bustling Fitzroy Street and the stunning Port Phillip Bay, The Deck contains the perfect mix of city style and beachside charm to woo your guests. Make your way up the expansive staircase into a room with floor to ceiling windows accompanied by a spacious timber deck perfect for both saying “I do” and dancing the night away.  

With a neutral colour palette The Deck offers another blank canvas to be styled to your heart’s desire. With stunning textures such as the raw timber deck and furniture, laser cut sliding doors, and the quirky pool, this venue can be dressed as much or as little as you like. Make the most of the unique feature that is the pool, by floating candles, flowers, your initials or even giant inflatable swans (yes, we have done all of the above)! Transform the predominantly white indoor space by decorating the large tiled pillars with layer upon layer of lush foliage and seasonal blooms, which will feature as both an impressive centrepiece as well as a photo back drop for your guests. Take these themes out into the bar area under the marquee and on to the deck and you have yourself a stunning city venue with a point of difference.  

Carousel 

Located overlooking Albert Park Lake and the city beyond, Carousel offers uninterrupted views of Melbourne’s best features. Managed and catered for by Food & Desire, some of the best in the business, your wedding is guaranteed to be incredible. Carousel’s entrance is flanked by sparkling turquoise tiled ponds, taking you through the centre of the venue via the dancefloor to the lake-side deck where many a beautiful ceremony has been conducted. At dusk the deck is transformed into the perfect place to toast the happy couple overlooking Melbourne’s sparkling cityscape.  

Styled in versatile neutral whites and greys, Carousel shines with an injection of lush floral styling. Whether you choose classic whites and greens, or a splash of vibrant colour, impress your guests with a fabulous ceiling installation over the dancefloor, leading through to a gorgeously styled ceremony arch on the deck. Combined with blooms to match on each of the dining tables, the lounge spaces and the entrance foyer, Carousel is immediately brought to life.  

Happy wedding planning from us all at Victoria Whitelaw Beautiful Flowers! 

With Mother’s Day once again upon us, in this blog we give you our favourite gift ideas to spoil Mum on her special day.  

Mother’s Day Champagne Celebration Lesson at Victoria Whitelaw School of Flowers 

The Victoria Whitelaw School of Flowers is the perfect place for Mum to get her flower fix whilst learning the tricks of the trade from our talented teachers. On Mother’s Day weekend you can bring Mum along to a very special lesson where together you will get creative with flowers whilst sipping French Champagne and enjoying delicious high tea. This lesson also includes a special gift for Mum to celebrate Mother’s Day. 

Click here to book our Mother’s Day Champagne Celebration lesson at Victoria Whitelaw School of Flowers 

Beautiful Flower Subscription Gift Voucher 

We provide a range of gift vouchers but our favourite and most indulgent is a voucher for our beautiful flower subscription service. Last year we launched this exclusive service where a stunning floral arrangement can be delivered to Mum weekly, fortnightly or monthly for as long as you desire. We will create a stunning bouquet unique to every delivery which will add the finishing touches to Mum’s home and remind her of just how special she is to you long after Mother’s Day has been and gone.  

Click here to view our flower subscription voucher 

Also available are gift vouchers for lessons at the Victoria Whitelaw School of Flowers which are perfect for the hands-on Mum, or vouchers to simply be spent in our beautiful store where Mum can personally select her favourite blooms or a treat from our range of luxurious candles, body products and giftware. Our vouchers are beautifully presented in a mesh wrap finished with a cluster of seasonal blooms and can also be paired with a beautiful posy or boxed bottle of Veuve Clicquot for an extra special treat 

Click here to view our range of gift vouchers 

Luscious Orchids & Seasonal Plants 

For the Mum who has everything, we cannot go past an elegant arrangement of crisp, white Phalaenopsis orchid plants. This variety of orchids not only look beautiful but require little maintenance so are perfect for the time-poor or those lacking in a green thumb! They are also fantastic value with plants properly cared for blooming for months at a time. Our orchid plants can be presented in vessels which complement Mum’s décor ranging from classic moss-lined glassware to elegant traditional urns.  

Another lovely living option is the cyclamen which is available in a range of beautiful colours from classic white to pretty pinks and ruby reds. Cyclamens are available in a range of sizes and finishes including gift-wrapped in our signature black embossed paper with layers of tissue and satin ribbons for a more affordable choice.  

Click here to view our range of plants with more vessels and varieties available in store 

Stunning Bouquets of Fresh Seasonal Blooms 

Flowers are the traditional Mother’s Day gift and this year our favourite of the season is wonderfully fluffy French tulips. This stunning variety of locally grown tulips are a soft pink hue with tight buds which open to layer upon layer of raggededged petals. We will also be stocking roses and standard tulips in every colour imaginable which are always a Mother’s Day bestseller. Beautiful peonies will once again be imported from France and it is best to pre-order these as they always sell out.  

Whichever your choice, our gorgeous blooms can be styled in a vessel of choice or gift wrapped in our signature black embossed paper with layers of tissue and finished with satin ribbons.  

Click here to view our selection of cut flowers 

We look forward to assisting you in selecting a gorgeous gift sure to impress your Mum this Mother’s Day.