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A look back at 2023

Updated: Jan 18

Photo of Julie and Isabelle from Violet & Vine

2023 was our busiest year to date as a wedding florist in Lincoln.

We dressed several new venues such as Irnham Hall, Allington Manor, Harlaxton Manor and Abbey Farm Weddings and enjoyed returning to our old favourites, Doddington Hall, Aswarby Rectory and Hazel Gap Barn.

We enjoyed some floristry firsts. We made a flower curtain to hide large TV monitors in St. Peter’s Church, Eastgate, Lincoln. This was the first time we’d done this type of installation and it looked beautiful. It was tricky to transport and we spent a good while untangling the long flower strings so if we were to do another in the future we would probably set it up in situ.

Another first for us last year was to use hiking boots as a flower container for a couple who loved walking.

It was a great year for outside wedding ceremonies. There is something quite magical about being in the open air for your wedding and the nature-inspired flower and foliage arrangements we do for these complement the outdoors so well.

We were also delighted that the wedding of my daughter Jess and our own Isabelle was featured in Rock My Wedding in October, a year after their beautiful Aswarby wedding. It was amazing to see the wedding (and Violet & Vine's floral arrangements) featured on their wonderful website.

We made a number of flower collars for our couples’ beloved four-legged friends.

It is so nice that couples are including their pets in their celebrations as they are such a huge part of our lives. We said goodbye to our lovely golden retriever, Charlie in March last year. Many of our couples will remember him as he loved meeting people and would often escape from the kitchen (he was self-taught in the art of opening doors) and force his way into consultations to say hello!

I was lucky enough to meet a few of my gardening and flower heroes last year.

In March I went to a talk by Nancy Birtwhistle who was promoting her new book, The Green Gardening Handbook, at the Humber Bridge Garden Centre. She has a gardening club on Instagram and I have learnt so much from this and the book. Much of what she advises reminds me of things my mum used to say and do.

Here in Lincoln, we have a wonderful independent bookshop, Lindum Books and they organise lots of author talks. In May I went to The Collection (where most of the talks are held) to hear Arthur Parkinson talk about his latest book, ‘Chicken Boy.’ I really enjoyed listening to his podcasts with Sarah Raven and reading his books on gardening, ‘The Pottery Gardener’ and ‘The Flower Yard’ and though I don’t have any chickens, his talk was fascinating and I loved that he had brought some hens along with him. It was an absolute pleasure to meet him after. He signed everyone’s books and drew a different chicken in each one too. Again, I have learnt so much from his Instagram stories and posts, as he is such an inspiration for gardening with colour. He mentioned that he was writing two books at the same time, ‘Chicken Boy’ and ‘Planting a Paradise’, yet another invaluable book for growing plants in containers. His gardening books are full of beautiful photographs that he has taken and Arthur drew the illustrations for ‘Chicken Boy’ himself.

In May I ticked another thing off my bucket list and went to Perch Hill, the home and garden of Sarah Raven. I have wanted to go for years and when I saw that Willow Crossley was going to be there I immediately booked it. I was not disappointed. Willow’s talk was interesting, her demonstration was useful and she is just as lovely in real life as she is in her social media and training videos. I did her training course in Creative Academy a few years ago and would recommend it to anyone wishing to go into event floristry. Her IGTV demonstrations are equally good. Sarah Raven was a mine of information and it was the icing on the cake to be given a tour of the garden by Sarah herself, with Willow and Josie, Sarah’s head gardener joining us. The setting of Perch Hill is incredibly beautiful and the views are stunning.

Sadly we lost our number one fan in August.

Joan, my mum-in-law was an avid supporter of Violet and Vine from the day we started. She would travel from Doncaster to Lincoln to join us at wedding fairs in the early days and though she was in her mid-eighties at the time she would regularly comment on our social media posts.

We had a beautiful ‘Celebration of Life’ for her and decorated the tables with foliage and flowers that we know she would have loved, most of which were picked from her beloved garden. She was a true nature lover, be it plants or animals and we will truly miss her.

Photo credits (middle photo): Steven Haddock

If you’re looking to create your wedding flower vision for 2024 or beyond, get in touch


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