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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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For some, a second bank holiday brings with it an extra day of anxiety as you wonder how to fill the 24 hour void that desk bound coffee fuelled typing usually fills. If you’re not content to lie horizontal letting gravity slide pizza down your throat, here’s our plans for your second Bank Holiday of the month.
“Only last night I found myself lost / by the station called King's Cross. / Dead and wounded on either side / you know it's only a matter of time.” [Pet Shop Boys - Kings Cross] It’s the night after the play and I’m standing at the bar of ‘The Big Chill House’ on Pentonville Road in Kings Cross. It’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ (#TBT) and happy hour is definitely over.
Ceramics with charisma. Local pottery genius, Laura Bird has of course graced the digital pages of It’s Nice That, sold out in Anthropologie* and taken her seat at many a London ceramics stall since just recently starting her career in ceramics. It’s no surprise she is well loved: her unique and gentle humour exudes from every jar, planter and candlestick holder, adorned with cheeky expressions and impish grins.
Having worked in hospitality with a keen artist’s eye, the Arts Building knew Emma was perfect to take over the space. They were after a morning to night eatery for the neighbourhood, one for local residents and workers alike. Knowing the street’s reputation as a bit of a foodie strip, the menu had to be up to scratch for it’s discerning super-taster of a community. Yes, we’re a hungry bunch in Stroud Green.
At the time of writing this the menu has just been released for Food by Feast’s new supper club. I imagine, however, that by the time you read this every dining space will be swiftly filled. If you aren’t acquainted with the duo yet (tsk), they’re the genius collaboration of Cordon Bleu chef and food writer Olivia Potts and Guardian food writer and cook, Kate Young. Having successfully completed the likes of a Gilmore Girls supper club to rapturous applause and smacking lips recently, the latest menu experience is Twin Peaks inspired and looks equally witty and delectable.
Sound healing in Stoke Newington. This Thursday 18th May, The Mystery School of Sound are running a de-stress gong bath experience in Stoke Newington Ramadan Mosque. Alongside guided meditation, healing process and gong performace, you’ll get a mini intro to healing traditions of the druids and hermetic teaching.
Patron Cave a Manger’s pop up cinema are shacking up at The Rose and Crown in Kentish Town to screen The Artist. Soak up the atmoshpere of the Festival du Cannes with swanky popcorn and elegant cocktails. Get red carpet ready for this special screening of The Artist - the ridiculously popular award winning silent French film that everyone fell in love with.
Unfortunately rising rents are affecting community spaces in Stoke Newington and their availability. St Mary’s Centre currently provides a space for projects including the Foodbank, Hackney Migrants centre and the Night Shelter but they're at risk of losing their space. To help raise funds to redevelop the space and increase awareness, they are organising a weekend food market in Stokey. The pop-up food market is a launch event for their huge fundraising drive to rebuild the community rooms attached to St Mary's Church in Stoke Newington.
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“All My Single Cylinders, All My Single Cylinders”. Two girls, sick to the back teeth of Tindering and Bumbling about the bars of London, decided to create their own speed dating night. Involved in the biker community of East London they have created a special series of nights combining live music, motorbikes and speed dates. Bolt Motorbike Shop of Stoke Newington is their latest venue, providing a more intriguing backdrop for your date night and quashing the usual awkwardness of sparse, brightly lit speed dating scenarios. You can admire the motors, enjoy your free drinks and listen to some live music with some top notch handpicked company.
In case you’ve never had a piirakka, (also known as Karelian pasties, pies or pirogs) they’re a delicious Finnish treat that you need to try immediately. Whether savoury or sweet, they’re basically a light pastie made with rye flour and a pretty unique variety of filling options. Meet Aapo Nieminen, a native Finnish local who grew up with piirakka. After getting tired of asking friends and family to bring him these naughty little pasties whenever they visited he came up with a plan. “They are an important part of everyday finish life. One day I thought why not just make them yourself?”
The lycra is optional. Coffee however, isn't. On Friday 197 cyclists descended on Sardinia to compete in the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia. For those of you that don't have wardrobes filled with lycra you might never of heard of it but Think Tour d'France but in Italy. Still drawing a blank?
Naked Dough have appeared like a pair of beautiful fairy godmothers to lead me to an actual edible cookie dough dance party. Plus they didn’t even tell me what I should wear, they genuinely don’t care. Naked Dough is a new restaurant serving edible cookie dough from tubs, cones and even carry home pots. The ingredients are raw egg free and the flour is heat-treated so you need not worry-like-Edwina-Currie about salmonella and stomach bloat (unless you’re gluten free of course. In which case I’m sorry you’ve stumbled upon this torture page of an article).
Ten years ago MINT Vintage first opened in Covent Garden before moving on to the more creative surrounds of Stoke Newington, pioneering fashion forward vintage. Every piece is hand selected and sourced from all over the world, ensuring every garment is trend driven but timeless and always unique. This May they’ve decided to transform their world in to an “oops we were trying to make corduroy and came up with denim” dreamland*.