There’s plenty to inspire green-fingered visitors to London this summer, with the city’s parks and gardens in full flower, and the entrance to The Egerton House Hotel festooned with wisteria and foliage. In honour of London in bloom, renowned florist Jane Wadham is facilitating two flower arranging workshops in July at the hotel. Official florist to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Jane has a wealth of experience to share. Here, we ask her where to enjoy London’s most sensational florals this summer.
Where are your favourite spots in London for enjoying summer blooms?
“June is the perfect month for exploring the capital’s blossom-scented gardens and leafy parks. For me, both St James’s Park near Buckingham Palace and the Chelsea Physic Garden, which has sat beside the Thames since 1673 and was originally a medical garden for apothecaries, are my favourite places to wander at this time of year.”
How can aspiring florists learn the art of bouquets in London?
“We are lucky to have a great many flower schools in London, for those wishing to either extend their floristry skills for personal use or launch a career with flowers. One can, of course, take a floristry NVQ and there are other qualifications available at Southwark College.”
“This summer, I am hosting two fun sessions at The Egerton. My students will make a gorgeous seasonal arrangement of English-grown flowers to take home, after enjoying flower-inspired cocktails and a delicious afternoon tea that’s infused with edible blooms.”
Where are London’s best shops for blooms and equipment?
“To purchase London’s loveliest blooms, visit the flower stand outside The Conran Shop on the Fulham road, where they have a gorgeous array of seasonal flowers. Inside, the shop offers a stylish range of garden tools and accessories, decorative vases and plant pots. There is also a great flower stall on Marylebone High Street that’s run by a gentleman called Peter. He’ll find you what you want. Shop flower arranging equipment on line, too. It’s so easy.”
Which flowers are at their best in the UK right now?
“There is a vibrant bouquet of blooms in season in the UK and London at the moment. In particular, look out for pretty peonies and night-scented stocks, as well as cheerful corn flowers and sweet peas.”
Where can you recommend for delicious summery refreshments?
“There are so many incredible options in London, meaning it’s not always easy to choose. My personal favourite—and maybe it’s because I have both worked here and stayed as a guest, viewing it as a home away from home—is The Egerton, just off the Brompton Road. This summer, the hotel is serving an elegant Summer Garden Afternoon Tea and invigorating floral cocktails. They have even created a temporary summer garden to help our struggling bees.”