Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Vintage Flowers

A friend of mine recommended this book to me...
She told me she had been able to buy her bargain copy from The Works (A high street discount book and art supplies store). Whilst shopping in Bristol with my daughters, we popped into The Works there...but sadly no copies of the book were available. None at Clarke's Village, Street...The Bath store was the same story...I also asked at Waterstones, but they didn't stock it either. I'm not sure why its so scarce, as it was only published in 2011.
I then tried on-line at Amazon...I was able to order a copy, but 4 weeks later and no book, they finally got back in touch to tell me that they couldn't fulfil my order and so were cancelling it...
Maybe it just wasn't to be?...
Until, that is, our jolly jaunt down to Poole at the beginning of last month! On the off-chance I thought I'd just check in their branch of The Works...And there, in the Hobbies section, were three copies of Vintage Flowers! I grabbed a copy, not believing my luck; Price: Was £25.00, Now £5.99...I took the book to the cash desk and was told they'd been marked down further and were now £4.99!
More an inspirational book, than a 'how to', the creative florist and author of the book ,Vic Brotherson, makes the sometimes daunting prospect of flower display seem accessible to all. The simple text and beautiful photographs showing vases and containers many of us may already own at home, means the task appears achievable using her style. With no real need for expensive shop bought blooms, a few stems from the garden will suffice, and so the results are not about any financial outlay, but more about having fun!
Vic is the owner of Scarlet & Violet, nominated by Time Out as one of London's best specialist shops. In her book she says that "I have never been formally trained and learnt 'the rules' entirely through working in flower shops and from admiring and reading endless old flower books. Technicality certainly isn't my strength, but this lack has worked to my advantage and allowed me to explore ways of using flowers in a less inhibited style than I might have done had I been taught."
What I love about this book is her use of old containers - some almost outshine the flowers they hold...
I always thought when I opened my little shop that I'd be able to offer a few small posies for sale amongst my merchandise. I dreamed of filling the odd chipped cup, lidless tea pot, or redundant vase with water and to arrange simple flowers from my garden. Sadly a low footfall means many of the arrangements would go unsold, so there would be a lot of wastage. Occasionally I've added floral accents - such as the watering cans shown on this post, but have not really gone for it in a big way.
I think if I had not been able to sew, I may have been a florist ...I love flowers, colour, and  gardening too...It may have been a natural progression...
Anyway, inspired by my new book Vintage Flowers, I thought I'd create a simple country style posy today...
I decided to use an old vintage tea pot as my container, with a similar glazed design to some jugs in the book. 
All the flowers came from our garden and include apple blossoms, cowslips, bluebells and pulmonaria. 
Like spring sunshine!

I've had my parents-in-law and sister-in-law staying with us for a few days...
My sister-in-law bought me a lovely bouquet of exotic flowers. 
Proteas from South Africa are amongst them.

Call me old fashioned if you like though...I don't think you can beat simple spring flowers from your own back yard!...Placed in a tiny vintage pressed glass vase that was passed-on by a friend...(thank you Helen! x)
Thank you too, to all who visit my blog and for the comments some of you leave here. I'm taking a short break from my blog to free-up some time to think. 

Take care,

Niki x  


  1. Hi Niki

    so pleased you like the magazine - we haven't forgotten the giveaway magazines we promised your followers, we will send you some asap, now that things have calmed down a bit. We are so pleased by the response we have been getting - thanks for all of your support, Nicole, Pretty Nostalgic

  2. Anonymous10:37 am

    Beautiful arrangements Niki. They certainly cheered me up, I'm looking out onto another wet day, will the rain ever stop?!

  3. Your book looks so pretty and inspiring and your teapot arrangement is beautiful. I hope your 'thinking time' helps. I really enjoy reading your blog and seeing your lovely pictures. Take care of yourself.

  4. What gorgeous arrangements, yes, the best are the ones from our own gardens.
    Love the book, will have to see if they have copies in our branch.
    Carol xx

  5. Love the flowers from your garden!! so cheerful. Enjoy your break..............but come back soon, love reading your blog and seeing all the pics.Sue x

  6. I love to get flowers and herbs from the garden and arrange them together-well not arrange in a professional sense!
    When I had my little shop I tried selling flowers for a little while but ended up taking more home than I sold-lovely for me but not shop till!
    Happy Thinking.
    Warm Wishes,
    Callie x

  7. Dear Niki,

    vintage flowers is such a wonderful book. I`m desperately seeking it but here in germany it is not available and amazon couldn`t help me. My sister has an own little book shop but wasn´t able to find the book in her listings.
    Would you help me to buy this book? If you ever come back to your book store? Naturally I would pay for book and postage and I would be glad to send you one of my very old french bottles from la lorraine as a gift. You can see an example on
    or I could you offer some very old art nouveau vintage pots which you can see under
    Please, let me know if you could help me.

    best greetings,
    Tanja from germany

  8. I would never think to connect vintage with flowers. How unusual and interesting.

  9. Beautiful posies Niki :o)

    I used to be a florist. Nothing could beat the smell of walking into work everyday and smelling the most gorgeous floral scents that have been lingering in a closed up flower shop all night long.....MMmmmmm. :o)

    I recieved my copy of Pretty Nostalgic. Thankyou so much Niki! I thought it was much more like a book than a magazine! It is beautiful and I hope to do a blog post about it next week. :o)

    Have a lovely break Niki. We will miss you and your beautiful posts!
    Take care.
    Love Donna x


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx