Tag Archives: chelsea flower show

Summer time at Tulipana

Our blog this time could not be more different from the last. With scenes of snow a distant memory and fellow gardeners and florists trying their hardest to preserve their flowers and plants. Some flowers have been spectacular but for others? Just too hot!!  We have however been kept busy with the arrival of the ducklings.  Our family, 11 in total hatched one very hot day a few weeks ago right by the riverbank in our new garden.  Very exciting and so cute.  But watching them does make you lose an awful lot of time.

Ducklings sitting together
Eleven summer ducklings

The RHS flower shows were spectacular this year, all exhibitors saying the same.  “Didn’t think we were going to make it, it’s been a tough year with the weather”. And so it has continued.  Team Tulipana went to Cardiff, Chelsea and The Gardeners World at the NEC.  My personal favourite, Cardiff.  Set in the castle grounds it was beautiful. Very accessible and very reasonably priced.

Chelsea as always never ceases to amaze.  This year Mrs. S won some tickets via Twitter and donated by David Austen Roses.  Thank you so much, we had a fabulous day, even if we were a little  stressed navigating around London. Not an awful lot of directional skills between the pair of us but we did it!

Our new rural garden outside the workshop is taking shape.  We have been able to source most of our materials for the Swindon Marriott each week.  Their specification is botanical, natural and seasonal. This week the lobby arrangement entitled FOUND was exactly that.  All either found or grown locally, and long may it continue – it’s so rewarding creating and recycling.

On a final note,  The Summer Floristry Workshop has been moved to Great Shefford Village Hall due to increasing numbers.  There are still places available and a percentage of the proceeds are going local charities. I am sure the evening will be lots of fun so if you are free give either Nicola  (07766050175), or myself (07525711170) a call.  The cost for this is £30.00.  Full details are on the Facebook page.  Our other workshops are available as usual at www2ivyhouse.co.uk

Flower of the month: Protea

This month’s flower of the month is protea, which is both the botanical and common name. It’s also sometimes called sugarbushes. It represents change and hope.
The genus originating from South Africa was named by Carl Linnaeus in 1735 after the  Greek god Proteus. Most proteas can be found south of the Limpopo river, and in the 17th Century they attracted botanists visiting The Cape of Good Hope.


This month we celebrated the Queen’s 90th birthday. Our very own Claire Satchell provided a very patriotic display at the flower festival in Christchurch, Derry Hill. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Royal Birthday June.jpg

It’s been a busy month, and we have been moving premises !!
From July we will be working from our new workshop at Greenbridge. Lots of space, but give us a week and it will certainly be filled!

Tulipana Workshop

On a side note, I am intending to run Christmas wreath making classes in the month of November. If you’re interested, please give me a call. It would be good to judge numbers. Class sizes will be limited, so it’ll be good to know how many to run!

Meanwhile, I am having withdrawal symptoms and missing the Chelsea Flower Show coverage on the BBC. My favourite garden of the show was The LG Smart Garden. Bringing the inside to the outside, this garden beautifully demonstrates how technology can form a wonderful part of garden life, as well as in the home.

The LG Smart Garden
The LG Smart Garden. Picture from RHS Chelsea website.

And finally, here are just some of our deliveries of sympathy tributes to Johnson & Daltrey. Independent Funeral Directors based in Wootton Bassett and Calne. Offering a friendly, personal and caring service.

Flower of the month: Clematis


The flower of the month this time is the CLEMATIS…..Belonging to the buttercup family you will find approximately 300 species, which mainly originate from China and Japan. The entire genus contains essential oils and compounds which are an extreme irritant to the skin. It is therefore advisable to wear gloves whilst pruning. Despite its toxicity, the North Americans use small amounts of clematis for the treatment of migraines. It is also one of the constituents of Bach’s Rescue Remedy.


Wedding Garden & Enterprise Works

Our Wedding Garden at The Marriott Hotel Swindon is now coming into full bloom. Here are a few picture of a recent wedding. Beautiful photographs, taken by Glenn Stanley of Your Digital Memories.

The wonderful garden furniture was made by SEQOL’s Enterprise Works.

Here is a little bit about this local based company that provided us with amazing service and a fantastic product. But, as we found out, they do so much more, as they explained:

“Enterprise Works continues to operate from its same site in Gipsy Lane, Swindon, and since 2011 we have become part of SEQOL, a social enterprise community interest company providing a wide range of health and social care services on a not-for-profit basis in Swindon and Wiltshire.

Enterprise Works has been based in Swindon now for over 50 years, providing supported employment specifically for adults with disability or long term health conditions which have proven to be a barrier to them entering the mainstream employment market.  Using this criteria, we continually recruit staff into paid trainee roles which provides them with technical skills, but also with a broad range of competencies such as communication and teamwork skills to improve their prospects for longer-term unsupported employment.  Working with our business partner Pluss, we also provide support in terms of further education and skills in their search for permanent employment beyond SEQOL.  Employment candidates are mostly referred to us by the Pluss agency, but may refer or apply directly to work at SEQOL, or may come from our links with other business areas within SEQOL.

2015 proved to be our strongest year since before the recession, both in commercial terms and also for the number of trainee staff we progressed into unsupported long term employment, and so far 2016 is performing to an even higher level.

Within Enterprise Works we operate a retail and trade timber yard, a timber manufacturing workshop, a signs and graphics workshop and an assembly function.  We also place trainees into other areas of SEQOL including the care sector, catering and administration.”

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Finally: TEAM TULIPANA @ RHS Chelsea… We had a fantastic day at the  show. Here are a few pictures. OK, quite a few! But the last few are of an exhibit from one of Tulipana’s very own team members.

Students from Bath University got a ‘Gold’ at the show with their exhibit of Carmen Miranda. Well done everyone. Great job.

Flower of the month: Forget-me-nots

Forget-me-nots are from the myosotis family, of which there are over 200 species, although only those grown in the Northern hemisphere are called  forget-me-nots.
They can be annuals or perennials and thrive in shady, wetland areas.  We were asked to include these in a tribute this month and I learnt that these flowers were a symbolic and important connection to the Alzheimer’s Society.


Forget-me-nots in wreath tribute


Henry IV adopted this flower as his symbol during his exile in 1398, and retained it until the following year on his return to England.


The Wedding gardens at the Swindon Marriott Hotel are progressing nicely, cannot wait for all the new trees and shrubs to bloom, but definitely signs that Spring is on the way.  New shoots on the Magnolia tree and Black Sambuca!  This is stage 2! Patio now being laid whilst we await the pergolas and seat.


Wedding Gardens At Swindon Marriott Hotel


The Photo Shoot for the new Marriott brochure went well. Phew!  Really big thank you to Mike, my supplier at E. Billett and Son. Nothing is too much trouble and he supplied stunning Arum and Cala Lily’s for these arrangements.  Looking forward to seeing them in the brochure.


Finally, we are on countdown to The Chelsea Flower Show. Can’t wait! There should be some stunning pictures next month.  Team Tulipana is off for a jolly, or should I say Business Meeting? But more exciting, is the fact that one of our team members has a flower exhibit.  Don’t know who’s more excited me, or her.  Not allowed pictures yet as top secret, but there will be…..

The traditional Sussex trug

We are introducing a new line featuring the traditional Sussex trug, which makes a beautiful base for our flower tributes. Sussex trugs are boat-shaped wooden baskets, handmade out of willow and chestnut for the handle, and can last a lifetime. The word trug comes from the Anglo-Saxon ‘trog,’ which meant ‘boat shaped vessel.’ They have been made in Sussex since around the 1500s but became famous after Thomas Smith of Herstmonceux showed them at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and received a large order from none other than Queen Victoria. Legend has it that Mr Smith loaded the trugs into a wheelbarrow and walked the order to London himself as safe delivery was so precious to him. Prized by gardeners, they have received another boost more recently following their appearance on The Chelsea Flower Show in ‘A Trug Maker’s Garden.’

Trugs on display amongst flowers and trug maker's shed
A Trugmaker’s Garden by Future Climate Info, which won Gold

Meanwhile, congratulations to our brides this month, Cricklade Hotel and Country Club was the perfect setting.

Usually in our blog we feature a flower of the month but this month it’s with a caution! Featured on the news and on Facebook, the giant hogweed is very pretty, but it is to be avoided at all costs, it burns! I didn’t know this and perhaps you didn’t either.

Giant Hogweed
Giant Hogweed – nice to look at but steer clear at all costs

Featured flower: Alliums

This blog’s featured flowers are the alliums. It’s hard to believe they are from the onion genus, their appearance is stunning! Alliums can flower from spring until around September, depending on the allium species. And here they are, lining the paths at Buscot Park near Faringdon in Oxfordshire.

Lilic alliums on the paths of Buscot Park
Alliums at Buscot Park

Buscot Park is a beautiful National Trust property with a country house built in the 1780s. It’s right on our doorstep here in North Wiltshire and well worth a visit.

Meanwhile, our installations this month were predominantly of English flowers, an abundance of beautiful fragrant blooms.

Purple and pink flower art piece
Install of English Flowers at Cricklade Hotel

Inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show, itself unbelievable, as always! If you haven’t seen The Perfumer’s Garden In France by designer James Basson, check it out . You can smell it! Or bring the beautiful scent indoors with L’Occitane fragrance.

Pathway through James Basson's beautiful Perfumer's Garden A Perfumer’s Garden in Grasse by L’Occitane, designed by James Basson

Here at Tulipana, June and July are busy wedding months for us so we would like to wish our brides and grooms a very Happy Wedding Day and our fingers are crossed for beautiful  weather. They have promised us photos and we look forward to posting these later.