bridal flowers

March Meet the Maker....

The March Meet the Maker Instagram Challenge was developed by Instagrammer Joanne Hawker, in which a topic related to your business is allocated to each day of the month. I’ve decided to take part this year, and it’s a great exercise as it really makes you think about who you are as a business, and what motivates you. Here’s the story so far (see also my Instagram at Instagram.com/mossandmushroom

Joanne Hawker’s Meet the Maker Instagram Challenge ( Instagram.com/JoanneHawker )

Joanne Hawker’s Meet the Maker Instagram Challenge (Instagram.com/JoanneHawker)

Day 1:

I'm a bit late to start March meet the maker, but i'll do a couple of posts today and tomorrow to catch up! Day 1 is favourite make; for me, i just love working with unusual flowers like the amazing king proteas for Aoife's wedding or the gorgeous echeveria I used recently. I also adore wildflowers, and wildflower-style bouquets and arrangements just make my heart sing.

Day 2:

Day 2 of "March meet the maker" (2 days late, but I've never been the punctual type!); how I started. I was working in scientific publishing for years (I have a degree in zoology and a masters in computer science, fact fans), but at the height of the bust my company decided to move all their production to India. Feeling a bit burned by the experience, I decided i wanted to be in charge of my own future from then on, and start up my own business. I always wanted to try floristry, so I used some of my redundancy cheque to enrol with the legendary Kay’s Flower School, and in September 2013, I launched Moss and Mushroom. Here I am on my first day of trading at my stall in Nenagh Indoor Market in October 2013, where I met so many lovely people that I still call friends. It was a steep learning curve, and I'm still learning, but I'm pretty happy with how far I've come since then, and I'm excited for the future ❤🌷

My first day of trading at Nenagh Indoor Market, October 2013

My first day of trading at Nenagh Indoor Market, October 2013

Day 3/4:

I'm cheating slightly by combining day 3 and 4 of March meet the maker, but the topics are flatlay, and tools & materials, and this pic covers both (with the exception of the flowers of course). I took this pic on the workbench in my shed; not the most elegant of flatlays, but a true reflection of my workspace. Pictured are a smattering of my most essential tools; florist tape and wire, ribbon, pins, scissors and knives, florist glue, thorn strippers, gloves, hand cream (vital!), all surrounding the most treasured of my tools, my gorgeous japanese pink teflon-coated carbon steel blade Sakagen florist scissors - these babies may look cute, but they literally MUNCH through the thickest of stems (and make the most satisying sound in the process). They are simply the cats pyjamas ❤

Just a selection of my essential tools…

Just a selection of my essential tools…

Day 5, details.
Close-up of some stunning Irish-grown heather and eucalyptus by Irish Green Guys - amazing quality and fab to work with.

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Day 6:

Day 6; full-time/part-time? Technically I am part-time, as the sprouts are still young and need me to be around, but if you're self-employed, there's really no such thing as full-time or part-time. It consumes me most of the time; if I'm not actually working on a wedding order, I'm cleaning up after the last one, or I'm planning for the next one, budgeting and doing up flower orders, answering queries and writing up quotes, updating my website/social media/webstore, doing accounts or planning promotions/wedding fairs.
The pic is a close-up shot of one of my fave flowers from last year, a red charm peony from Laurie and Edwards elopement bouquet.

Peony “Red Charm”

Peony “Red Charm”

Day 7:

Day 7: Less glamourous side. Every florist gets the same line, "oh I'd love to be playing with flowers all day like you!" So would I, if that was all it was! Most weddings frequently involve late nights, early rising, heavy lifting, balancing precariously on ladders, wearing 5 layers in the winter cold or freaking out in 30-degree heat trying to keep your precious blooms from wilting. It's processing bunch after bunch of flowers to make sure they're at their best, stripping stems of unwanted leaves, snipping the ends and willing them to thrive. Scrubbing buckets, sweeping up mountains of discarded stems and leaves and a whole bunch of other stuff you will never see. And it's all worth it to see the look on a bride's face when you present her with her wedding bouquet - you forget everything else. Pic of sprout #3 and some tenacious blooms in my driveway 💚🌷

Tenacious blooms in my driveway - nature will always find a way….

Tenacious blooms in my driveway - nature will always find a way….

For the love of Moongates....

Irish weddings are evolving at a rate of knots in the last few years. Until very recently, couples had very few options other than churches and uninspiring registry offices to seal their union. Now that the law has changed, civil and humanist ceremonies have become incredibly popular in Ireland, and couples have an infinite number of options when it comes to choosing a location for saying their vows; from traditional hotels to jaw-dropping clifftops, and tranquil lakeshores to lively wildlife parks.

For those that want a civil or humanist ceremony, the only limits restricting your choice of décor are your budget, and the weather if you want to do it outside! But in my opinion, the moongate is truly something special, and suitable for all locations, both indoors and out. By standing in front of it while saying their vows, the couples are framed visually within a ring of beautiful flowers and foliage, and it makes for wonderful photos.

According to Wikipedia, the moongate has its’ origins in traditional Chinese garden design, and was generally found in the gardens of wealthy nobles, with every element having a different spiritual meaning. In the late 19th century, moongates were incorporated into the gardens of Bermuda, and it is considered good luck for couples to walk through the moongate on their wedding day in that country.

I fell in love with the idea of the moongate from the first time I saw them - the symbolism of the circle reflects the circle of life, as well as the gateway from the single life to the married one. Embellishing that circle with beautiful flowers - what’s not to love? And, once the ceremony is over, it makes a wonderful backdrop for group photos, and even as a flowery photobooth!

If you’d like a moongate for your wedding, just get in touch via https://www.mossandmushroom.com/getintouch/, and we can take it from there!

Cheers, Liza @ Moss and Mushroom

The moongate for Sam and Nick’s wedding, on the shores of Lough Derg at Annacarriga, Killaloe, Co. Clare

The moongate for Sam and Nick’s wedding, on the shores of Lough Derg at Annacarriga, Killaloe, Co. Clare