A couple of weeks ago I was looking for things to do in my holidays and googled ‘London flower market’. The first result was a place called New Covent Garden which seemed to be a wholesaler and basically looked like the dream; a huge warehouse, crammed with flowers which are sold for super duper cheap prices. I was sold! I read that it was open from 4am and to come early to get the good stuff so a couple of days ago we set our alarm clocks nice and early, lined our cars with bin bags and buckets of water and set off, yawning.
It was completely overwhelming! There were vases big enough for me to hide in, amazing props, beautiful cake stands, tissue paper, ribbons, basically anything anyone would ever need for a floral display and then some.
AND THE FLOWERS! My goodness, they were amazing! Right here was a room full of the most amazing flowers I had ever seen and they were cheaper than garage flowers. We bought a huge bunch of thirty white roses (and each one was bigger than my fist!) for thirteen pounds!!!! I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to spend all of my student loan right there and then.
Although I had been wanting to go to this market for weeks and weeks, in the end our reason for going was a little sombre. My Granny died last week and so we needed funeral flowers. Although a death in the family is naturally going to impact anyone, I must say I feel so at ease with her death; my Granny was a very strong, fiery woman and I think it was distressing for everyone- including her- to see her fading physically and mentally. It feels good now that we can remember her for her strength without being confronted with her distressed weakness. That may be selfish, I don’t know, its true. So like I said, the actual death didn’t affect me hugely, what did was the absolute trust from my parents. I was utterly honoured that they would allow me to do the funeral flowers when I had no floristry experience. I was so touched to be able to do something for them on a day which was incredibly challenging for everyone.
I chose a mixture of whites and creamy-whites and then contrasting bold and delicate foliage. It was so amazing to put them all in buckets and just have them in our living room. I went between thinking it looked like I owned a florist to thinking Mr Gatsby had visited. As the funeral was in the morning I worked on the flowers at night time under the watchful eye of Tomcat- florist extraordinaire.
I think I did her proud.