On the weekend, my mum and I were invited down to Marks and Spencer in Milton Keynes, to take part in a one-to-one flower arranging session at their newly revamped flower section, aptly named “The Flower Shop”.
Marks and Spencer is most definitely one of my favourite high street stores. I adore their cruelty free beauty and toiletries collections, and I spend a small fortune in there when it comes to Christmas presents each year. Of course their fashion is lovely too. If you spot me out and about in my pink coat, it was a Marks and Spencer Christmas Eve online sale bargain that I grabbed at 50% off!
When we arrived at the Milton Keynes store, we were greeted by a lovely lady called Emily, who is one of the flower arranging experts in store and she taught us all about how to arrange flowers and create a beautiful bouquet.
Mum and I were allowed to each pick our favourite bunch of flowers from their selection in store, then Emily took the bunches apart to show us how to put them together again.
Each and every stem was laid out on the table. The next step is to take the lower leaves off the stems to leave you with a fresh flower, and make it easier to piece the bouquets together.
Emily showed us how they initially take one main flower to use as the focal point of the bouquet. The other flowers are then added in a spiral around this main flower, and it continues until you have completed your bouquet.
Once you’re holding your completed bouquet, it’s a good idea to pull up a few pieces to add a variety of heights in your bunch.
When you’re ready to tie your flowers together, you can take an elastic band, place it around one of the thicker stems, pull it up towards where your hands are holding the flowers, then wrap the entire elastic band around the stems about twice, and then fix it into place by wrapping the other end of the elastic band around another stem. (Not sure if that made sense, I’m sure you could YouTube that technique if you’d like to give it a whirl!)
Mum and I each had a go at putting together our own bunches. It’s certainly trickier than you think. I found myself concentrating hard on what colours and shapes to put together, whilst trying to hold it all together when adding the new pieces in. Here’s a snap of our bouquets, mine on the left and mum’s on the right.
When you have your flowers nicely secured, it’s time to trim those stems. Usually when I receive flowers, I end up sitting on my kitchen floor with my scissors struggling like mad to cut the stems. Emily had these super easy-to-use secateurs which made cutting the stems a breeze. So I’ve definitely added a pair of those to my wish list!
Top tip: Emily told us that it’s best to cut the stems on a slant, to help prolong the flowers’ life.
Once everything is tied together and looking beautiful, it’s time to wrap that bouquet. Emily cleverly folded the tissue paper and cellophane around the flowers and created a little “bubble” by the bottom of the stems. This bubble is able to hold a little bit of water. So once tied, wrapped, secured and placed into the box shaped bag, Emily made a little hole between the flowers and carefully poured a little water into the bouquet to ensure they are carried away with their water-filled bubble – how clever!
Every bouquet also goes away with feed to ensure your flowers stay looking their best.
The Flower Shop within Marks and Spencer Milton Keynes is filled to the brim with the most gorgeous blooms. You can choose from a vast array of flowers, plants and gifts. From teeny tiny little pots, to taller bigger plants. Whatever the occasion, they have something for it I’m sure. I just love receiving flowers and plants for birthdays.
The very generous team at Marks and Spencer Milton Keynes also gifted us some rather delectable sweet treats to enjoy too. The packaging on these is absolutely stunning! (See piccy below). So bright and beautiful. I love it.
On Mother’s Day we tried each of these (with Dad’s help too!) and they are all delightful. The Handmade Nougat is the softest, tastiest and quite frankly the best nougat I’ve ever had. The nougat flavours include pistachio, hazelnut & sour cherry, raspberry & almond.
The Rose & Violet Creams are lovely, the rose ones taste a bit like Turkish delight, and the violet flavour is like a subtle Parma Violets taste (I love Parma Violets) – so if you love those flavours, you’ll love these. They’re a really yummy and quite uniquely flavoured treat to enjoy.
The Peach Bellini Truffles are quite chocolately but definitely have a peachy taste to them, very creamy too. A real indulgent treat. A perfect accompaniment to a glass of fizz – mum’s choice of fizz for Mother’s Day was Asti.
We loved the Sea Salt Caramels, they had a nice smooth filling and a good balance of the caramel and sea salt flavours. The chocolate outer was a decent amount of chocolate too, no thin chocolate layers here!
Pink Marc de Champagne Truffles…as with everything else, these too were an absolute delight. They’re dusted with a lovely coating of freeze dried strawberries. Inside is a whole load of truffly goodness. It’s an indulgent chocolate but not too heavy compared to some. I’d happy receive a box of these as a gift.
What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning! If you’re after a blooming lovely treat for yourself or a loved one, I really recommend popping by The Flower Shop within Marks and Spencer Milton Keynes. I think you’ll be really impressed with how the area has been revitalised.
As mentioned, they really do have a huge selection from smaller blooms to bigger plants, so I’m sure you’ll find exactly what you need. If not, the Flower Shop team can order online for you right there in store. Perfect.
Plan your visit to the Milton Keynes Marks and Spencer store online here: www.marksandspencer.com
*Thank you again to the lovely Marks and Spencer team for inviting both myself and my mum down to this one-to-one flower arranging session, we had such a wonderful time and picked up some brilliant tips.