Foodies love to entertain, and when they do it’s not just the ingredients that are the focus of attention. Entertaining has even greater significance during the recession, as the home and hearth become the pivotal points of reference, comfort and communality. Creating a lovely table, with family china, country flowers and cosy accessories is the best way to prepare the setting to entertain friends and family, with minimum fuss and expense.
There is one florist we know who can be relied upon when you want to buy or create a beautiful flower arrangement, from seasonal, home grown plants, flowers and greenery at extremely reasonable prices. Wendy Lewis worked for the designer Terence Conran for 25 years, but then decided to take a giant career leap into the world of floristry. She trained with Jane Packer, and now works from a real shepherd’s hut which is stationed opposite Cobbs Farm Shop, near Hungerford.
Arranged just outside its steps you will find a little auricula theatre carefully positioned on a wooden step ladder, small vintage porcelain teacups containing hyacinths, fritillaries and tulips, envelloped in garden moss, and white, scented jasmine plants looped round steel arcs. There are topiary frames, fresh herbs and all kinds of primulas and violets. Near the wall are positioned tall galvanised buckets of lilies, roses, pussy willow and peonies. The colours are pale, subdued and very soft, the whole palette ranging from cornflower blues, to blush pinks, ivory whites, powdery lilacs and pale, sage greens.
At Christmas you must make a trip to see Wendy’s wreaths, they are made from locally foraged pine cones, berries, twigs, trinkets and leaves. You will see old, terracotta tom planters filled with nodding, white snowdrops and bright red holly berries arranged around twig hearts.
In the Summer, there are old French wooden market crates stacked full of lavenders, and old bakery trays filled with small pots of alchemilla mollis, alliums, old, cottage roses, and rusty buckets containing giant hydrangeas, with creamy pompom flowers splayed open towards the sun. Every angle is a picture, every step is a magazine front cover.
Inside Wendy’s hut you will see the working paraphernalia of her trade: brown paper, multi-coloured ribbons, raffia, green oasis and an array of vases, trugs and containers. You will want to come here and just stand and stare for a few minutes, breathing in the scent, filling your senses with the delight and peace that is this therapeutic floral sanctuary.
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