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Early Autumn and celebrations 2021.

Updated: Jan 6, 2022

September is always one of the busiest months. I blame it on the Dahlias. I've yet to meet anyone that can resist them.

Dahlias cut flowers
Early September cuttings

But this September was special and we could be forgiven for thinking it was like the old days, Y'know before last year. We had events to flowers, classes and farm days and it was utterly wonderful!

In the gardens we began our new 'Farm Days', gardening together on Mondays. It has been a complete joy to have the plots busy again, chatter, laughter, food and a lot of beds prepared for winter.

Mulching and bed preparation

And we began a new year of the 'Grow Your Own Cut Flowers' Course in September, Cissy from Wildstems ran arranging classes in the studio and outside we held 'Dahlia Appreciation Club' where guests cut their own dahlias.

Soaking ranunculus and growing class
Inspecting soaked ranunculus corms in the Walled Garden.
Always lunch on the terrace nestled within the grasses.
Flowers lined up to choose from for bowl arranging class
All ready for a bowl arranging class with Cissy.
Bowl arranging flower class
Carolyn with her finished bowl arrangement.
Another bowl from the arranging classes this month
Dahlia cutting club
Charlotte with some of her Dahlia haul on the cutting morning.
Cutting dahlias,  cut your own
Dahlia Appreciation Club. Cutting flowers on a Saturday morning in the September Sunshine.

That was just at the Farm. The dahlias travelled. First there were weddings.

Beautiful Bride holding her bouquet dahlias
Another wonderful Charlotte (the head properagtor and chicken guru, are all Charlottes wonderful?), her daughter Phoebe, a fellow Dahlia lover married in September.

And then some fantastic briefs from the London Stock Exchange Group for their European Investment Forum with Judge Business School where we decorated the Ballroom at the University Arms Hotel with autumn vines, conkers, grapes and damsons and Cissy installed a fantastic hedgerow growing out of the huge Oak fireplace. All collected from within a few miles of the plots.

Delicate vines and September harvests dressed the table in an understated installation. Delegates found it ‘a delight and an enchanting talking piece’! All collected from our gardens and around the plots.

Installing a wild hedgerow arrangement
Cissy in her natural habitat creating naturally wild installations.

The next evening at Kings College, branches were woven with old mans beard, grapevine and dahlias. It was magical. And when Cavendish Ladies Choir sang 'money money money', it was so clever and so beautiful, we all had a little cry.

At the Fitzwilliam Museum, we were privileged to flower the first events for as long as anyone could remember for the Frieze Masters Dinner and the next week for the exhibition celebration ahead of the 'Gold of the Great Steppe' opening. It’s easy to take the institution’s we have in Cambridge for granted but not at these events.

For the Frieze Masters, Cissy weaved her magic with rich darks and hot pinks then we used gold dahlias, rudbeckias and coreopsis for the, well Gold themed dinner, in brass vessels, earthenware bowls in an archeoloigaical nod with a smatter of liquidambar (Liquid Amber geddit, gold, oh nevermind) leaves chasing down the table. It was very special.

Finally and certainly not least, my favourite house and gallery, Kettles Yard held it's first patrons dinner in a very long time, and it was so good to be back delivering flowers and arrangements to the house extension.

Flowers in Kettles Yard.
Bowls arranged for the Patrons Dinner at Kettles Yard.

It was one of the best autumnal Septembers in Cambridge and a culmination of a lot of work.

We are back in November with the 'Late Autumn Grow Your Own' Class, lifting dahlias, mulching and planting tulips. Farm Days are in full stride and it's on the home run to Wreath Classes and Festive Kits. Do join us won't you?


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