Davina & Hannah here - On Saturday we hosted the first Seeds and Stitches Summer Solstice dinner party with some close friends. It was wonderful (more on that later!), and the perfect excuse to play with flowers. We experimented with a few different floral ideas, mining both of our gardens for greenery, 2 hydrangea plants and the local market for summer flowers.
Using garden greenery for party decoration looks surprisingly sophisticated and relaxed. It's also free (or at least very cheap) and looks gorgeous literally all year round: using whatever is in abundance in spring and summer time and holly and evergreens in the winter time. We only used garden cuttings from hedges and trees that were large and established, and could have done with a prune anyway. We bolstered our greenery with some brighter seasonal blooms from the market. We used Floral wire for all of our displays.
To welcome our guests we hung a jar of flowers and fragrant rosemary on the front door. We wrapped floral wire around a jam jar, and attached some sticky pads to the back of the jar to prevent it from bashing against the door, and hung it out of the letter box.
Table Centre Idea:
We collected long branches of leaves from our gardens, choosing leaves that were thick and closely spaced together, and used floral wire to bind them into a long green and leafy table centre. We attached hydrangea heads but they wilted within about 20 minutes, so opted to put our hydrangeas in little GU jars and nestled them in the greenery. We learned many lessons on the fragility of flowers that day! Our next hydrangea wreath all be made with dried hydrangea heads!
We also made simple little floral crowns by joining two long pieces of greenery or flower stems together with wire to make a circle, then adding smaller flowers and Rosemary to add colour and texture (again using florist wire). This meant as guests tucked into their evening feast, they were treated to the occasional heady waft of Rosemary emanating from their floral crowns as they ate. It was divine! In fact, Rosemary was the winning element is all of our decorations; maintaining its colour, shape and smell much longer than all of the other flowers, and adding a frothy layer of texture to the floral displays. It also grows abundantly on gnarled old branches in Hannah's garden so was readily available. It will play a big part in any future party decorations!
As well as making the meal vegetarian and seasonal, we tried to keep our floral theme in evidence too. Our friend Nadeen infused Rice Pudding with Lavender and served it with Lemon biscuits; a wonderful combination of creamy and crunchy, floral and critrus. Yum. We also bought some Courgette flowers from Brockley Market, filled them with goats cheese, sprinkled with olive oil and baked for 20 minutes.
So, this isn't our typical Making Monday tutorial, but more of an ode to the joys of faffing around with garden greenery and flowers. We attempted to make our first floral wreath at this party, and have learned so much! (sorry, wilted flowers. You died too young as a result of our ignorance, but your deaths were not (totally) in vain! We have learnt!) We are looking forward to having another crack next time….
We’ll share some photo’s of the party later in the week.
Did you end up celebrating the Solstice at all?