Wedding Floral Tips - Useful information for couples

Over the years we have had so many meetings with our fabulous couples turning their wedding floral concepts into reality and although we do this on a regular basis each and evey wedding is different and we love being a part of this wonderful journey 

Once we have set up an initial meeting with our couples, most of which take place at the shop, we sit and discuss a range ideas and options and make lots of notes

With so much to plan for a wedding i'm hoping you will find some useful hints and tips in our "wedding floral tips" blog         

  • If possible, arrange a face to face meeting a zoom meeting or at least a phone call with your florist 

  • Have rough idea of what you would like - colour scheme, flower preferences (if any), theme (if you have one) popular choices recently have been rustic/natural/relaxed the style of your venue may influence your theme 

  • Pinterest - this is the perfect tool for creating a live mood board full of wonderful ideas I would suggest setting up a secret board, you may not know what you want initially, but we do tend to know what we don’t like!  Sometimes just searching your venue will reveal some great examples of previous venue dressing that may inspire you.
    We always set up our couples Pinterest boards as we quote, and if our couples have images on their own boards it’s easy to just send them over.

  • It’s good to take a few screen shots of designs you like maybe email these to your florist to give them the heads up if you don’t know, don’t have/can’t find any images you like - don’t worry we wonderful florists will always come up with ideas and options to get the ball rolling.

  • Make a few notes about requirements, the finer details can always be sorted closer to your date but for starters a few notes about what you think you may need will help e.g. couples floral, bridesmaids, flower girls, buttonholes, corsages (usually for mothers of the happy couple) thank you bouquets, venue styling, table decorations etc.

  • if you do have bridesmaids - think about repurposing their bouquets as table decorations after the ceremony/photos venues are used to doing this and not only it cost effective, it makes excellent use of the bouquets and when your fabulous bridesmaids go home their flowers are still nice and fresh, if you have a hand tied design yourself you could use this on guest/top table too, if you have bridesmaids dress fabric left over after alteration this can be used around the stems of hand tied bouquets.

  • if you use a low display for your ceremony this could be repurposed as a central display for your top table.

Help Choosing your Wedding Flowers

  • Keep to seasonal flowers where possible, be aware of peak periods such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day etc. flowers are at a high cost at these times

  • Buttonholes - for the groom(s) it’s nice to have something a tad different to the rest of the male guests it may be a slightly different bloom or a flick of fine ribbon to the stems that ties in with what you are wearing, the remaining buttonholes could match up with a flick of fine ribbon or a hint of bridesmaids dress fabric that matches the bridesmaids dresses, a small attention to detail but works really well.

  • Corsages - usually mothers of the happy couple have these,  it may be worth asking your florist to pop the design on a magnet attachment to save pinning through their outfit (always double check they don’t have a pacemaker fitted) the magnets work well on handbags too

  • Always have a rough idea of budget, this will help your florist when quoting, things change quantities etc but to have some idea of spend at the start is always advisable.

  • Flowers are perishable and we usually order our stock a few weeks before your date, we suggest a final meeting to finalise requirements around 12 weeks before the wedding. This is what we do other florists may differ.

We hope this list helps you - for more inspiration check out some of our own wedding flowers and arrangements.

If you are getting married and looking for a Wedding Florist then why not book your FREE wedding consultation with Penny Johnson Flowers today!

Help Choosing your Wedding Flowers

Get Creative with Flowers - Halloween Pumpkin

Welcome to part one of our 'get creative with flowers' series, where we share flower designs with our fabulous followers, hoping you will be inspired to get creative and have a go yourselves!

In this design we used biodegradable foam and cellophane, you could line your pumpkin with a recycled carrier (no holes) and then scrunch up a ball of chicken wire and carfeully place this inside the pumpkin, the chicken wire will anchor your materials in place.

Why not forage some foliages, twigs and cones? you could also add some dried material


  1. Hollow out your pumpkin
  2. Line to make water tight - a carrier bag with no holes is perfect
  3. Fill with floral foam or a ball of chicken wire
  4. Create the outline of your display with foliage
  5. Add your flowers
  6. Finish off by pinning a folded ribbon that compliments your flowers to the front
  7. Don't forget to topup with water!

Now stand back and enjoy your fabulous creation.

Halloween Pumpkin by Penny Johnson Flowers

2021 Christmas Wreath Tutorials

Back by popular demand...our festive Christmas Wreath Tutorials with Penny Johnson.

This year we have two options to choose from

On-site Classes

Join us here at PJF headquarters, in our newly refurbished class room, for a full step by step tutorial with Penny.

You will be inspired to create your very own large luxury door wreath, everything you need will be provided, and if you wish you can opt for a "pimp my wreath option" to add a unique twist to your design with an array of festive decorations, ribbons etc that can be added to suite your taste.>

Festive refreshments are provided and you will also have the opportunity to sit through a free step-by-step demonstration on how to create a fabulous centrepiece for you own festive table .

This will be a fun filled few hours and there is no previous experience needed as you are completely guided throughout, we guarantee you will be over the moon with your design!

Classes are priced at £45 per person, which includes all materials* and festive refreshments.

  • Monday 29th November,  6-8 pm
  • Tuesday 30th November,  6-8 pm
  • Wednesday 1st December, 2-4 pm
  • Friday 10th December, 6-8 pm
  • Saturday 11th December, 12-2 pm
  • Sunday 12th December, 12-2 pm

Places are limited so please book early to avoid missing out. 

* there will be an additional charge for 'pimp my wreath' options payable on the day

Christmas Wreaths

Postal Wreath Classes

Can't join us in Coleshill? No need to miss out, our postal wreath classes include everything you need to make a stunning wreath in the comfort of your own home. Including a full illustrated step-by-step instruction leaflet and access to our online tutorial in a box and posted direct to you.

When you purchase our 'make your own wreath' workshop you will receive the following:

The standard kit includes:

  • Ribbon colour of your choice
  • Mossed frame
  • All the required sundries, natural decorations
  • Prepared mixed foliages including, fragrant Spruce, Eucalyptus, Ivy, Holly and Fir etc.
  • Full step by step printed instructions leaflet
  • Access to our online video tutorial

If you would like to add a "pimp my wreath" option this can be added at a later stage as our christmas decorations are coming in over the next few weeks we will have lots of options for you to choose from

Available for local and national delivery, or collection from our shop.

Sample Wreaths and Ribbon Combinations

easter wreath

Easter door wreath After the success of Christmas door wreath DIY kits, as promised here’s a short demo of our Easter design. The basic technique is the same , binding foliage onto your mossed wreath frame, then decorate by adding some easter themed adornments. Our design has decorative eggs, bunny tails, Asparagus fern, fine sprays of dried scented lavender and hessian ribbon , for the foliage base we used Ivy and Eucalyptus combining the two foliages as we bound them on. Make sure you keep the frame afterwards and reuse for Autumn and Halloween, and before we know it Christmas. You could also bind on some artificial foliages and flowers for that “all year round” door decoration.

Click the photo to view the video

Cutting blooms for florists 'in my garden'

Create your own florists cutting garden

I very often get asked - “what flowers should I grow in my garden, that are suitable to cut for floral displays?”.

With everyone’s improving attitude towards carbon footprint, eco-friendly designs and love for nature, growing your own 'cutting garden' is proving to be increasingly popular.

You may want to design and produce your very own creations, be it to adorn your home, create a personalised gift for someone, or for the more adventurous, even provide flowers for a special event such as a wedding.

At Penny Johnson flowers we buy locally grown flowers whenever possible - we have English grown Tulips, Anemone and Daffodils in store this month - but as a commercial florist we still have to import blooms to enable us to provide all the designs we offer for general gifts, tributesweddings and exhibitions.

We are very conscious about the environment and I suspect as time goes by more fresh stock will become available locally as more farmers set up growing flowers commercially.

This also goes hand in hand with the products we use, since opening our shop we have wrapped flowers in tissue and brown paper and tied together with raffia and natural twine, more recently we decided to wrap our hand tied bouquets differently, swapping the traditional cellophane for a more eco-friendly paper wrap, that has proven to be quite popular, although some biodegradable cellophane is still used

Moving forward we will try to reduce the amount of single use plastic we use, this will take some time, but we are determined to make a start and substantially reduce this over the next few years. Offering natural willow base designs for funeral tributes is also something we have done since we began some 17 years ago, but now we are even more aware of the importance of sustainability and these designs I'm sure will become even more popular.

This little blog is about flowers and foliages you can grow in your gardens and in containers for your own use, I've added a list of suggested flowers and foliages for each season, there are so many this is just a taster. Our spring floral workshop will introduce natural frame work and spring seasonal flowers and foliages, I hope this helps get your creative juices flowing and inspires you to have a go at planting at least a couple of flowers/foliages that you could utilise in your very own designs.

 Spring Garden Flowers for Florists

The cut flower that springs to mind for March is the fabulous Narcissi. commonly known as the daffodil, they remind us that spring is on its way and warmer times and lighter nights are ahead, thus bringing a smile to those who love them, like I do. There are many varieties available and they come in shades from pale lemon, creams to vibrant yellow - some even have the most adorable scent. Some blooms are forced for early blooming but for the month of March this is definitely the flower.

April brings more gorgeous flowering bulbs into our lives such as Tulips, Muscari, Anemone, Ranunculus, Bluebells, and Crocus all work in floral designs along with Hellebores, lush green foliages and vines that will be due for cutting back in your garden at this time. Frames can be made with the cut vines and willow, adding further stems of pussy willow to create a natural frame for your spring floral arrangement, be it a circular wreath, heart shape or just framed over a container vines and willow are so versatile.

May brings warmth into our gardens and the flowers really start to bloom, adding texture, depth and colour to your flower displays for me May, begins the “wedding season” delicate blooms of Lily of the valley are ready for the picking and although they may need a little help from a fine florist wire for support, Convelaria majus is one of the most beautiful scented blooms, they are also very expensive to import for commercial florists, so to grow them at home is very cost effective. Weather permitting, peony will also begin to bloom the end of May into early June, when it is usually at its best

  • Hyacinths
  • Muscari
  • Narcissi
  • Bluebell
  • Crocus
  • Hellebores
  • Pelargonium attar of rose
  • Euphorbia
  • Pussy willow
  • Magnolia
  • Tulips
  • Anemone
  • Ranunculus
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Forget me knot
  • Cornflowers

Summer Garden Flowers for Florists

Pure lush in the garden at this time, bursts of colour and scents an Aladdin's cave for florists- June is the usual month for Peony, another wedding bloom favourite and has been on trend along with Eucalyptus for quite some time now, it is also the best time for cutting Roses. Early English garden flowers such as Delphinium, Larkspur, Antirrhinum fabulous flowering vines such as Jasmine and Clematis, Astrantia, Godetia, Campanula Nigella early flowering Hydrangea to name a few, also cut those blooms ready for your dried flower collection.

August historically known for being a dry month (although recent years this has not been the case) Roses, Cosmos and Sweet Peas are ready for the picking along with Dahlias , these are a particular favourite of mine , so many varieties in all shapes, sizes and colours they add pops of colour and great texture to floral designs.

  • Roses
  • Garden pinks
  • Early Hydrangea
  • Poppies
  • Sunflowers
  • Tagqetes
  • Nicotiana
  • Zinnias
  • Dahlias
  • Nigella
  • Lavatera
  • Godetia
  • lavender
  • campanula
  • Astrantia
  • Mint
  • Trailing vines
  • Clematis
  • Jasmine
  • Peonies
  • Phlox
  • Sweet peas
  • Larkspur
  • Delphinium
  • Hydrangea
  • Scabious
  • Snapdragons
  • Cosmos
  • Foxgloves

Autumn Garden Flowers for Florists

Over the past few years September has been a sunnier month our summer blooms have continued to flourish in our cutting gardens until the first frosts in October. dahlias are also in abundance in September along with Achillea, Sea Holly (Eryngium) and Verbena. Delicate Zinnia will also grace us with their presence in September.

October / November - flower of the month of October Dahlia The variety “cafe au lait”   has proven to be particularly popular with weddings over the past few years, its neutral shades and large bloom are great for creating big wedding designs, such as arches and large hanging floral displays , autumn blooms , November is limited for florists choice cutting blooms

  • Roses
  • Dahlias
  • achillea
  • Verbena
  • Eryngium

Winter Garden Flowers for Florists

December / January is a quiet time in the flower cutting garden , herbs and gorgeous winter foliages such as Viburnum, skimmia, Laurel, Myrtle and Rosemary along with traditional Holly, winter berries, mistletoe some hardier blooms such as Cosmos, Hellebores and winter heather will adorn any festive table, add to the most glorious design lead winter door wreath. Cut branches from trees such as Ash, Beech, Oak and Maple will add structure to your designs and are perfect for creating frames Honesty and snowdrops add a delicate bloom to your arrangement.

February - longer days begin in February, Hellebores, Crocus and Rosemary are perfect for that rustic/ natural theme, in simple jars decorated with twine and hessian these are very popular for “rustic” wedding venues such as barns, tipis and marquees.

  • hardy annuals Cosmos
  • herbs and foliage
  • Pelargoniums
  • Viburnum tinus
  • winter flowering Honeysuckle
  • winter Heather
  • winterberry
  • Magnolia
  • Laurel
  • Myrtle
  • Viburnum
  • stems of Rosemary
  • dried dill
  • branches of Sage
  • dried flower buds from Oregano
  • branches of Oak, Ash, Beech, Lime and Maple
  • Honesty
  • Snowdrop
  • Crocus Joan of Arc
  • Cyclamen
  • rosemary officinalis
  • Hellebores
  • vine
Pantone colour of the year 2020

Classic Blue - Pantone colour of the year 2020The sky is the limit for 2020

This year we are all going to be feeling, smelling and seeing blue as the Pantone colour for 2020 is Classic Blue!

Here at Penny Johnson Flowers we will enjoy being surrounded by this beautiful colour in many different guises, and teaming this with complementary colours.

So which flowers are we talking about? Delphiniums, hydrangeas, veronica, Eryngium (thistle) are top of the list and really lend themselves to delicious theming with greys and blush coloured flowers and foliage, all on-trend for 2020 Weddings. Our pInterest page has some wonderful examples, but we'd encourage you to let your imagination run wild with the versatility of this colour scheme. Grey tone foliage such as eucalyptus will not only display the blues beautifully but will give add height, texture and aroma to bouquets and displays.

Book your wedding consultation today with Penny Johnson Flowers and enjoy discovering the variety of scents, sights and touch of the flowers that will be sure to play a starring role in your wedding.

Delphiniums, a classic cottage garden flower, come in a range of blues, including the new pantone Classic Blue, a shade which encapsulates the sky at dusk is the front runner of this new decade offering reassurance and confidence. Majestic and spiky, bold and beautiful and they blend easily and complement other British garden favourites and evoke an earthy floral musk.

Hydrangeas are outrageously beautiful in all colours, but especially the beautiful blue that is a firm favourite with all. Native to Asia and the Americas, mop head hydrangeas are the most recognisable and popular hydrangea due to their large puffy flower heads which distinguish them from other flowers.

Veronica, also called Speedwell, has long spikes of small petals in purple, blue, pink, or white and blooms from spring to autumn.

Eryngium (Thistle), common name Sea Holly, makes a striking addition to a bouquet or flower arrangement as these thistle-like flowers are made up of tiny flowers packed together in a tight cluster, surrounded by a ruff of spiny bracts. The flowerheads last well when cut and can also be dried.

If these flowers are not your favourites by now, we are happy to discuss your likes and dislikes and take into account the season. It’s worth knowing that the pantone blues can also be achieved by using a floral dye by applying it to roses for example - so the sky really is the limit.

Valentines 2020

Valentines Flowers Coleshill, Birmingham, UK

Who will you favour as your Valentine this year?

Who doesn’t enjoy being remembered by a loved one on Valentine's Day? Here at Penny Johnson Flowers we have a range of Valentine’s gifts for everyone, from stunning romantic bouquets of all different colours including rainbow roses, to gin, wine and chocolates, balloons, prosecco and even gift packs of locally brewed beer. Whether you order online, on the phone or in person we can deliver the perfect gift to your chosen one.

Before choosing your perfect valentines bouquet, check out the meanings of roses and tulips:

A red rose was traditionally used to openly express feelings of love, while an orange rose symbolised passion. In ancient Greece, the rose was closely associated with the beautiful Olympian Goddess of love, Aphrodite, who was known to represent love and beauty, but did you know that she was also linked to pleasure, passion and procreation? Signature romantic dozen rose bouquet couldn’t represent your deep and abiding love for someone more clearly. If red isn’t your colour, throw caution to the winds and choose our lilac, pink or white signature romantic kisses or even our delicious rainbow roses, sure to make an impact and lasting impression.

Bouquets are presented in our Signature Penny Johnson Flowers Gift Wrap And Gift Box. If you want to show someone that you are thinking of them, maybe you have admired them from afar, we have the perfect gift combination. A single red rose sends a powerful message and who wouldn’t love our Be Mine Giftset consisting of a 12 Red Rose Bouquet, "Happy Valentine's Day" Balloon, Plush Teddy Bear and a Box of Belgian Chocolates?

Our six romantic kisses rainbow bouquet is the perfect gift for the #lgbt community - inspired by the rainbow flag, these beautiful multicoloured roses are dyed with the different colours of the rainbow to celebrate all types of love and diversity.

For pet lovers (these stems are safe for our furry friends) why not take a peek at our Scarlet Kisses Giftbox in kind-to-the-planet packaging which includes a card with your personal message and features 5 red large headed roses in a burgundy sketch gift box - 7 days of gorgeousness guaranteed.

Let’s not forget tulips which are the the world’s third most popular flower and symbolise undying, passionate love and perfect, enduring love between partners or family members. The national flower for Iran and Turkey, and the unofficial emblem for Holland, many people favour these boldly coloured flowers for their beautiful cup shape and they also come in varieties that have pretty fringed or feathered edges. Associated with the 11th wedding anniversary, red tulips will tell your loved one that you long to be with them.

Gin and flowers in Coleshill

Shakespeare Gins

Here at PJF head quaters we have been licensed for many years, and very often send out a bottle wine/ prosecco, champagne with a beautiful floral gift.

This year we  are pleased to announce we will be stocking the fabulous Shakespeare Distillery Gins 

Pop-up Gin Bar - 28th November

We will be launching our "Gin and flowers" designs at this weeks Love Coleshill late night shopping and Christmas light switch on event , which takes place Thursday 28th November. For one night only we will be opening our beautiful little shop as a bit of a Gin bar:-)

About Shakespeare Distillery

Shakespeare Distillery is an artisan spirit producer, established in 2015. Everything we produce is in small handcrafted batches, ensuring we can devote our time and attention to creating the best tasting spirits around.

Being based in Stratford upon Avon, we wanted to create something authentic to our area and what is more authentic to us than Shakespeare? Of course we couldn’t distil the bard himself into a bottle but we could look at the Tudor period in which he lived and bring the essence of this into our spirits, the first of which is Stratford Gin.

The Tudor period was a significant time for spirit production, it was a time of change, the monasteries had a stranglehold on distillation (the process used to create an alcoholic spirit) and its primary purpose in their hands was medicinal. Thanks to Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries the Tudor period became a time of great discovery, experimentation and innovation within the world of spirit production as people soon discovered it could be a very nice recreational drink too. Thanks Henry!

At Shakespeare Distillery we aim to recapture this period of innovation by fusing traditional and in some cases forgotten ingredients with modern techniques to create exciting new spirits.

We will be stocking the following Gins in bottles, and gift sets :

Shakespeare Gin

Stratford Gin - is our Signature and award winning (IWSC Silver Outstanding) product. It’s a London dry style with a strong juniper base, combined with the flavours you would find in the Tudor herb garden such as Old English Lovage, Rosemary, Rose, Sage and Lemon Balm as well as the more classic gin botanicals of Coriander, Angelica and Citrus, creating a distinctive and truly delicious gin. (45% ABV)

Rhubarb Gin- Rhubarb was commonly used to cure ailments in Tudor times and has since become a British favourite. We blend Rhubarb juice with our award-winning Stratford Dry Gin to produce a deliciously tangy full-strength gin. Nothing artificial goes into our gin, each bottle contains over 40% real Rhubarb juice, we don’t over sweeten it, so you taste real gin with a mild tang of Rhubarb, a delightful combination. (40% ABV)

Elderflower and Quince - The newest edition to the range.  We blend our award-winning Stratford Dry Gin with the quintessential British flavours of Elderflower and the noble Quince; no fruit was more highly prized in the Tudor period. Subtle apple notes from the Quince fuse with the mild sweetness of Elderflower to create a deliciously fruity, full-strength gin. Nothing artificial goes into our gin, we don’t over sweeten it, so you taste real gin in every mouthful. 

New Place Edition, Mulberry Gin - Shakespeare famously planted a mulberry tree in the gardens of his home ‘New Place’ in Stratford upon Avon, where one still stands to this day. This special edition of our Mulberry Gin Liqueur uses the Black Mulberries that we are privileged to be able to harvest from this tree which we steep in our award-winning Stratford Dry Gin for several months to create a deliciously deep, rich and fruity style of gin.

Neutral wedding flowers by Penny Johnson

natasha and mathewNatasha and Matthew's big day back in September, the couple chose beautiful neutral shades.

Natasha picked a gorgeous natural,relaxed design, housing a selection of ivory blooms including  Eucalyptus,Astilbe, Hydrangea florets and beautiful single and spray Rose blooms. Matthew's buttonhole was made up using mini blooms that were taken from Natasha's bouquet (a nice touch)

The bridesmaids bouquets were simple designs of made with delicate sprays of Gypsophila, as were the groomsmens buttonholes.

They chose the fabulous @shustokefarmbarns  as their venue and continued the natural relaxed feeling throughout  clear vase displays on each table with fresh blooms to compliment theme, and huge rustic wreath suspended from the central pulley, creating a fabulous focal point

Thank you to Kayleigh Pope for sharing the photos they look beautiful.


Penny Johnson Christmas Workshops 2019

Join us at Coleshill Town Hall for a fabulous event packed full of festive creativity. You will learn how to create a large  botanical style luxury  door wreath.  in our relaxed and friendly workshops we give clear step by step instuctions throughout this three hour event , inspiring you to add your own personal touches to your design. Penny will also be demonstrating some beautiful table displays , and garlands, that you will be able to recreate at home. 

Everything you need is included, light snacks and beverages, mulled wine and mince pies too - £45.00 per person (£20.00 non refundable deposit to book, balance on the day)

These events were very popular last year so don't miss out and reserve your place today.

Sun 1st December 2pm - 5pm

Weds 4th December 6pm - 9pm

Thurs 5th December 6pm - 9pm