Making it Rain: Floral Workshops with Helena Willcocks

Written by: Sophie Taylor

Have we told you lately how much we love Helena the Allotment Florist?

For the non affiliated, she is a multifaceted Wood Green based bespoke florist with an eye for detail and a passion for ethical practice.

Having studied floristry at the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers, Helena worked in various florists around London before deciding to venture out on her own.

North Four, North London magazine, helena willcocks, allotment florist, organic, terrarium, workshop, floral, bouquet, centrepiece, wreath, jam jar, wood green

Whilst working she had seen a worrying amount of flower deliveries flown in from all over the world, coated in preservative chemicals complete with a healthy carbon footprint.

Her company, The Allotment Florist is a fresh alternative to these more unethical attitudes, with an organic approach to floristry where she grows as many flowers as possible in her own allotment.

I absolutely love growing flowers, arranging them and just being on my plot surrounded by them.

North Four, North London magazine, helena willcocks, allotment florist, organic, terrarium, workshop, floral, bouquet, centrepiece, wreath, jam jar

What’s next? As Helena helpfully points out, wedding season is almost upon us so she has been hard at work digging away to get things growing for throwable bouquets and instagrammable centrepieces a plenty.

Unfortunately there has been a distinct lack of rain so far this year. Helena has therefore been spotted performing a rare and intricate rain dance around her plot, singing like a cat and invoking a Wood Green centred downpour of epic proportions. Fingers crossed she says, for the sake of all the young seedlings needing a good start in life. #makeitrain

If you’re looking to organise pre wedding festivities, Helena also runs private hen parties, which can be held at whichever venue takes your fancy – you can go to her or she will more than happily come to you and your band of merry women. 

North Four, North London magazine, helena willcocks, allotment florist, organic, terrarium, workshop, floral, bouquet, centrepiece, wreath, jam jar

However! If you’re not getting married any time soon, you don’t need to get all bitter Betty about it. For all the single pringles / happy-with-things-as-they-are-thanks, Helena has set some new dates for upcoming workshops that have no nuptial heavy premise. If you just feel the need to get creative and learn a new skill you could try one or all of the following:

Jam Jar Floral Workshop

16th May 7pm-9pm

Learn how to condition and prepare your blooms as well as how to use colour, texture and shape at a jam jar workshop. You will be provided with a beautiful selection of seasonal flowers as well as all other materials to fill your jar. This is a great workshop for beginners to learn the basic techniques you need to make the most of your flowers at home. Get more details and book here.

North Four, North London magazine, helena willcocks, allotment florist, organic, terrarium, workshop, floral, bouquet, centrepiece, wreath, jam jar

Hand Tied Floral Workshop

25th May 7pm – 9pm

Come and learn how to make your very own floral bouquet. You will be provided with a beautiful selection of seasonal blooms as well as all other materials needed.

Helena will teach you how to master the technique of spiralling stems, gift wrapping and aqua packing. You will then go away with your very own masterpiece as well as the new found confidence to make your own at home. 

P.S. I’ve heard on the grapevine that our Helena likes to provide a few homemade treats for true bouquet making energy. Watch out for what delights she may have brought along. Get more details and book here.

North Four, North London magazine, helena willcocks, allotment florist, organic, terrarium, workshop, floral, bouquet, centrepiece, wreath, jam jar

Terrarium Workshop

30th May 7pm – 9pm

Find out how to design, plant and sustain your very own beautiful terrarium. You will be provided with everything from the vessel to the succulents, showing you the steps to create your own miniature garden. They make a lovely addition to your home or to give to someone special as a gift. At the end of the workshop, you will leave full of tea and biscuits, and clutching your own unique work of art. 

More details and book here.

Find out about the time we did a terrarium workshop or read about how we made festive wreaths last year. 

North Four, North London magazine, eroc, skateboarding, skater dog, french bulldog, frenchie, skateboard, halfpipe, interview, internet sensation, instagram star, tony hawk, fanbase
Lifestyle

Who is Behind Eroc the Skateboarding Dog?

Our exclusive meeting with Eroc: the Beyonce of the skateboarding dog world. Eroc the french bulldog is making waves. With fans like Tony Hawk, BBC Radio and over 30k followers on Instagram (and counting), Eroc has also become something of an online sensation. His viral status comes and goes, randomly popping up on online social media channels every now and again to generate hundreds of thousands of views and clicks via the likes of Buzzfeed, Time Out and rogue iPhone filmers.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, protest, opinion piece, lifestyle, trump, women's march, brexit, riots, uprising, human rights, march, rally
Lifestyle

Protest is Dead! Long Live Protest!

We all have our own ways of dealing with life when things get shitty. Having a big cry and getting it all out can be incredibly therapeutic, and even more so when we find ourselves repeating the same line over and over through the tears. “He’s a dick!” or “I’m not a bad person!” These little lines of reinforcement help us push through the crappy feeling. Sometimes we might even revert to a hearty little stamp on the floor / kick of some unsuspecting object. It feels surprisingly satisfying when the rage sets in and we feel helpless.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, trio da kali, musicians, live music, gig, stoke newington, the old church, tickets, events
Culture

Contemporary Malian Sounds in Stokey

This Friday sees the release of Malian master musicians, Trio Da Kali’s new album Ladilikan. Fusing rich, expressive vocals with traditional instruments like the balafon and bass ngoni, this is a beautiful mix of ancient Mande culture and contemporary Malian sounds. Luckily for us North Londoners, we have the opportunity to see the trio play live in the rather fitting ethereal surrounds of Stoke Newington Church next month. 

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, sylvanian familes, store, monsell road, finsbury park, toys, toyshop, collectibles, rare, dolls
Lifestyle

On your Doorstep: Inside Sylvanian World

Walking along Monsell Road in Finsbury Park, we spy the charming exterior of a shop looking like something out of a children’s book circa 1932. Beneath a green and white striped awning, a whimsical new world of mini animals awaits. Once inside we stumble about the store in hushed awe, reaching over a book of minuscule carpet samples/ family of miniature otters to tap a tiny bell.

Read More...
North Four, north London magazine, outdoor cinema, pizza, sodo pizzeria, snug, events, refreshments, foodie, picnic
Events

Kids and Big Kids: Pizza, Curry and Open Air Cinema

Whether you’re looking for something to entertain your kids, your friends’ kids or that particularly large man child in your life, you might just have lucked out. Snug are hosting an open air screening of The Incredibles next Saturday evening. There will be tasty sourdough pizzas from Sodo Pizza (Upper Clapton) and ultimate authentic curries from Rice n Spice, Northwold Road.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, vegetarian restaurant, ceremony, veggie, cuisine, risotto, dish
Eat & Drink

Ceremony: A New Take On Veggie Cuisine

Coming soon to a Tufnell Park near you is a whole new vegetable patch of delights / wheat field to run vicariously through. It’s time to get excited for Ceremony: a brand new bar/restaurant serving modern British veggie cuisine. Although the website remains tantalisingly mysterious, you can glean more info from their well stocked insta.

Read More...
Spring Kind, Pit Party, North Four Magazine, Music, North London, London
Culture Eat & Drink Events List

Top 4 Weird Things to do This September

Sound baths, pit parties, fake cheese and nipples, these are a few of our favourite things, said no one ever. Bored of drinking down the pub every evening? Unlikely, but bare with me. Sometimes you just want to let down your hair, shake it off and do something down right odd of an evening... followed by a pint at the pub.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, texlationship, online dating, illustration, iphones, texting, tinder, julia potocnik
Lifestyle

Dating North London: IRL vs Textlationship

It’s been a few months since the last instalment of Online vs Offline. I deleted Bumble, Happn and Tinder, flirted with the idea of match.com, went to a friend’s wedding, heard the vicar call my name instead of the Bride’s and reflected briefly on the crushing inevitability of my own spinsterhood before realising everyone was laughing in the pews and I should probably join them.

Read More...
north four magazine, north london, stroud green, cheese
Eat & Drink Events

Stroud Green Market Opens This Sunday!

Gluten-free cake consumers, vegan cheese enthusiasts, craft beer connoisseurs, lovers of pies and drinkers of tea; your time is now. Buy food of a quality & variety you can’t easily find in the shops, from organic meat to vegan cheese, fish caught that morning to pickles which have been fermenting for months, at Stroud Green market.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, the finsbury, finsbury park, n4, music venue, gigs, folk
Events

Free Cake and Gin Soaked Folk Pop

Who’s up for free entry, free cake and free folk (except for a jaunty little hat that is passed around for donations)? Get down to The Finsbury this Wednesday eve for a little mid week hootenanny and celebrate some of the best in new live music from the ‘acoustic, singer-songwriter & indie-folk scene’. Host with the most, Zoe Konez (“Ridiculously talented, Konez handles her guitar like she was born with it” - For Folk's Sake) will be deftly introducing each act from gin soaked folk popster herself, Penniless Cove to German indie band, Kalon.

Read More...
Lifestyle

Lamps, Records, Frenchies: The Big London Flea

What if you could mix the joys of your local Sunday car boot and all it’s dog perving potential with your favourite vintage clothes shops and high end antique markets? Within the sparkling depths of Dalson’s former ABC cinema, you’ll find The Big London Flea: London’s largest indoor vintage market.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, oslo, hackney, restaurant, brunch, menu, interior, review, food, drink, venue
Eat & Drink

The Great Big Nordic Brunch Off

Well, last Saturday morning gym memberships gave way to lie-ins and sleep finally bowed down to some serious carb cravings. Finding ourselves at Oslo later that morning, it was a case of hangover meets diet, salmon vs chorizo. If you’re not feeling too peckish, Oslo isn’t the place for you.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, art exhibition, painting, photography, smoke, stoke newington, salon, private view
Culture

Art, Cocktails and Mysticism in a Hair Salon

Joni Belaruski’s following has accompanied the artist from her Northern Irish roots and drummer beginnings with punk folk favourites, The Great Malarkey, to a plethora of London gallery shows. This September sees the painter join photographer Karla da Silva at The Beaucatcher Salon with new show, Jupiter Waiting For The Moon. Belaruski's paintings are at times dark and playful, while da Silva’s dreamy imagery is other worldly, creating both mystical landscapes and colourful smoke-filled portraiture.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, andy warhol, factory, studio, artist, pop art, photography, film, screening, screen test, sixties
Events

Andy Warhol Comes to Dalston

Get your glad rags on darlings. It’s time for a happening in Dalston. Farrs School of Dancing are recreating Andy Warhol’s Factory next Sunday with live performances, music, films and.. well, not quite silk screening but some good old school colouring-in to get stuck into. This is your chance to finally wear that suede fringe bolero and feather boa combo you gleamed from Crisis last October. The best dressed will receive their fifteen minutes of fame, in true Warholian screen test style.

Read More...
Eat & Drink

Pet Nat Party All Night Long at Yield

Until five minutes ago I would’ve believed Pet Nat was a holistic dog food brand / veterinary business in Wood Green. I’m half right actually*, but in the boozios world it’s a fizzy wine. Pétillant Naturel is light and fizzy, usually pretty low on the alcohol scale and rather sweet. Think the opposite of a dry red wine.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, beyond the binary, bonnie and the bonettes, camden peoples theatre, gender stereotypes, come as you are festival, theatre, live art
Culture Lifestyle

Beyond The Binary: Gender Specific Expressions That Need to Do One

As part of our Beyond The Binary series we asked stars of the upcoming Come As You Are Festival which gender specific expressions that really grind their gears. We started with Man Up! whose first answer came from the title of their show.

Read More...