01 April 2009

Wild thymes

Mrs. Macbeth was lying in wait for me on my way home from the gym.

“My dear, we must, must, must settle your flowers. The time is drawing near and I must know what you want.” Mrs. Macbeth is the responsible for all floral arrangements and decorations at St. Peter’s Church. She is actually quite an amiable person, truly quite lovely, warm and funny. But, when she is on a mission, she is a force to be reckoned with.

It seems that the flowers for our wedding have been top of Mrs. MacB’s list for quite some time. I appreciate her attentiveness, but have found myself welting under the “Decide now!” pressure that ensues whenever we encounter one another in the village shop, at church or in the street.

There was no escape. This time she had caught unaware and unguarded. And without my D.E.B. there, to charm and diffuse the situation. Thankfully, I was a bit more prepared this time.

Normally, when Mrs. Macbeth has caught me, I have become an incoherent jumble of nervous, barely capable of stringing a complete sentence together. “…Tulips?” I’d stammer meekly. “Oh, no! ” Mrs. MacB. would exclaim soundly. “Hy, hydrangeas?” I’d try again. “Goodness no!  That’s a late summer flower!” she explains. “I really like Lillies of the Valley, they…” I struggle to find my voice. “My dear,” she’d break in firmly. “You really must go away and think this through. Every flower you seem to want is for a different season than the one your wedding’s in.”

Today, however, I was prepared. On Tuesday, the D.E.B. and I visited a lovely little florist shop in the tiny Warwickshire village of Kineton. The shop, which is called “Flower Thyme,” is run by a petite and perky woman called, Jill. Jill is a bundle of energy, and her bright, blue eyes sparkle when she smiles. 

“Helloooo!” she greeted us at the door of her shop with a big smile. She remembered us from our brief meeting at the Wedding Fayre at The Glebe Hotel last month. “Let’s talk flowers!”

In my next life, I’m going to be a florist. (And without my hayfever and pollen allergies.) What a great life. Surrounded everyday by nature’s beauty, sounds pretty fabulous to me. It seems a great job, and Jill clearly loves it. She had stacks and stacks of photographs for us to look at, and well as several fresh bridal bouquets for me to test-drive. (Which I enjoyed immensely.)

I immediately fell in love with a beautiful nosegay bouquet made of lisianthus, ranunculus, roses and freesia. The flowers were all in shades of ivory, with touches of green provided by tiny springs of eucalyptus and lamb’s ear. Although I had walked in determined to order lavender roses, I kept being drawn to the white lisianthus bouquet. “I think that’s the one for you.” Jill smiled broadly, eyes twinkling. I had to agree, there was something so elegant about the creamy, white flowers.

I loved the bouquet as it was, but requested a few add-ins: instead of lamb’s ear, I have requested springs of English ivy, myrtle and rosemary. I chose myrtle because I’d read somewhere that Queen Victoria had myrtle in her bridal bouquet (myrtle and orange blossoms, in fact).  If it was good enough for her, than why not?

As for the rosemary, apparently, in ancient times, brides carried this herb in their bouquets to ward off evil spirits. (Hey, whatever works.). And, of course, as Ophelia says, “Rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” (Had to get some Shakespeare in there, somewhere.)

The D.E.B. liked the look of lisianthus as well, and decided to have that as his buttonhole flower. (His groomsmen will wear lilac lisianthus in their buttonholes, the D.E.B.’s will be white.)

We had such fun together picking flowers with Jill, and she informed us that she has a wealth of experience dealing with “church ladies” in charge of flower arranging. Jill reckons she’s mastered the fine art of working with women like Mrs. Macbeth: “Oh, you know. Their hearts are in the right place. They just really care a lot, that’s what you’ve got to remember. They want your day to be as beautiful as we do.” Jill said.

She added: “I know the best way to handle ‘em. Drop the flowers off, and run away as fast as I can!”


Victoria Plum said...

Flower Thyme did the flowers for my wedding and they were PERFECT! I wanted flowers that looked like I had just scooped them up from a cottage garden on my way to the wedding ... and that is what I got! I was so pleased with them ... I have just found out that one of my oldest friends (and my bridesmaid) is having a double wedding with her sister in Luddington in August - I'm full of wedding excitement all over again!!! :)

An American Girl in the UK said...

Thanks, Vic-Plum! That is such good news. Jill and her team seemed truly excellent. I'm thrilled to know my feelings about them were right. And what do you know? Great minds DO think alike!!! :)

Christiana said...

Hey, I didn't know where how to contact you so I thought I'd leave a comment. Have you thought about blogging for Weddingbee? I really enjoy your expat blog and it'd be neat if you blogged over there as well.