At the Flower Market as well as flowers, foliage and plants, there's also an incredible range of sundries, including tools.
Whether it's basics like scissors, secateurs and stub wires or a specific size of round metal pin holder, you'll find them all at Whittingtons at New Covent Garden Market. It truly is a treasure trove full of floral essentials!
Here's an overview of just a selection of useful floristry paraphernalia to help you create your stunning designs. And we've also included some mechanics and sundries too for good measure...
If super sharp scissors are your preferred choice for cutting, there are several types available with an assortment of different styles and grips. And you can never have enough pairs, as they always somehow seem to manage to do a magical disappearing trick from shops and studios!
Knives, Secateurs & Wire Cutters
If however knives are more your scene, then you'll find both standard floral knives and penknives. Plus of course long-bladed knives for slicing effortlessly through floral foam. For woody-stemmed foliage and thick-stemmed flowers, there are strong secateurs. And let's not forget wire cutters, which as well as great for cutting wires are also handy for snipping silk flower stems.
Ideal for making your job easier when you're removing foliage and thorns from stems are a variety of strippers. Called either stem strippers, thorn strippers or foliage removers, try them out to see which works best for you and speeds up your conditioning.
If hot glue is your preferred adhesive, then you'll find guns and glue sticks aplenty. Hot glue guns are not only useful for glueing components like cinnamon sticks together for decorating seasonal wreaths, but also when making designs using silk flowers.
Floral Glue, PVA Glue, Spray Adhesive & Glue Dots
When hot glue isn't suitable, take your pick from floral glue, PVA glue, spray adhesive and glue dots. Use cold floral glue for glueing together fresh or artificial materials. And the spray variety is perfect if you'd like to add a touch of glitter to a design.
Staplers & Staples
Whether you're looking for a run-of-the-mill stapler for tasks such as attaching cards to cellophane or securing pleated ribbon, or a staple gun for fastening fabric to a wooden floral arch, we've got you covered. Plus, of course, there's every staple size you'll ever need.
Tapes for Wiring Stems
Whatever your preference tape-wise when it comes to wiring flowers and foliage for designs like buttonholes, corsages, flower crowns and bridal bouquets, you'll find several types by the box load. Select the waxy crepe paper texture of Stem-Tex in moss green or white, or Floratape in dark green, or the smooth surface of green Parafilm.
Pot Tape, Anchor Tape, Floral Fix & Wreath Wrap
Waterproof pot tape and anchor tape for securing floral foam into plastic bowls, trays, saucers and candelabras can be found in one of the many aisles. Choose from 6mm or 12mm widths. There's also floral fix for attaching plastic frogs or pin holders into containers, or candles into candle holders. Plus there are rolls of wreath wrap for backing wreaths.
Strings & Wires for Binding
There's a wonderful selection of sundries to use for binding your designs including garden twine in natural and green, bindwire in two different colours, plus slightly thicker rustic wire in natural, green and brown.
You'll find clear adhesive tape for bouquet wrapping, making support grids across containers and, of course, lifting lily pollen off clothes! Plus, there's brown and clear parcel tape for, amongst other uses, making up delivery boxes.
No matter what your wiring needs, you'll find every gauge imaginable at Nine Elms - whether it's delicate silver rose wires for buttonholes or more robust wires for large flower stems.
Round pin holders, sometimes referred to as frogs, in an array of assorted sizes and materials are just the mechanics you need to create natural vase arrangements. You'll be spoilt for choice with the selection!
If you use flexible aluminium wire when making your flower crowns or candelabra garlands, then you're in luck. There are both standard and flat types in various colours.
There's metallic reel wire and bullion wire in abundance and in virtually every colour under the rainbow! How about using it for suspending blooms in a flower curtain or hanging glass tealight holders from centrepieces?
Select from this lovely collection of pins for buttonholes, corsages and securing ribbons in place. You'll find pearl-headed pins in different colours, plus diamanté and diamond pins too.
Single, double and triple brick green and black plastic trays for floral foam are in plentiful supply.
You'll also find other specially designed saucers and bowls for arrangements using floral foam, from shallow to deep, small to large. Bulb bowls are ideal for using inside hat boxes. And they also apparently fit snugly into the top of old milk churns!
At the Flower Market, there are so many different types of floral foam in all shapes and sizes, from standard bricks, jumbo blocks and designer boards, to spheres, cylinders, rings and garlands. Amongst others available are foam-filled trays and frames ready-prepared for designs like pillow, heart and cross sympathy designs, marquee-pole arrangements, pew ends and bouquets. And as well as green foam for fresh stems, there's brown foam for artificial or dried flowers. By the way, you'll also find bricks of floral foam available at The Flower Store, part of Bloomfield.
Use long phials with spikes to include short-stemmed flowers like Vanda orchids in your designs, or short phials in different capacities for keeping single-stemmed thirsty flowers like hydrangeas fresh. The latter also come into their own camouflaged with an aspidistra leaf as a mini watertight container for a napkin decoration. Just add flowers and foliage...
At Whittingtons, there are shelves upon shelves of ribbon to choose from and here's just a very small selection - poly ribbon, satin ribbon, wired and unwired organza, plus grosgrain. Can you spot the ribbon shredders too?! At the opposite end of the market, you'll also find a wide range of ribbons at C Best.
So, you see, whatever your floristry needs, you'll find all the tools you could ever wish for under one roof at New Covent Garden Market! And let's not forget sundries and mechanics like chicken wire (which is proving to be a real hit at the moment for that Constance Spry-esque look to vase arrangements), canes for supporting orchid plants or individual amaryllis stems, raffia, cellophane, balloons, spray paint, tissue paper, wire rings for wreaths...the list goes on!
We hope you've found this month's Florist Guide useful. As always, please do ask away below if you have any questions or would like to make any general comments. We'd love to hear from you...