Neill Strain Floral Couture

Introducing Our New Spring Collection for 2024 "Songs of Spring"

Neill introduces us to his fabulous new Collection of lush and opulent bouquets and arrangements for Spring 2024, sharing his inspirations for the designs, choice of blooms and how he sources these magnificent, new and rare flowers from his growers. Entitled "Songs of Spring," the Collection captures the uplifting sense of growth, hope and abundance of the season as found in nature.

As winter melts into spring bringing fresh green shoots that burst through the ground and blossoms that adorn our trees, I find this awakening, nature's rebirth, a time of great inspiration and creativity. Spring flowers are undoubtedly the most lush and fragrant, and the joy they bring us after the harsh months of winter is immeasurable. Hence, working with these blooms and creating designs that portray the uplifting feelings that spring represents is a significant moment for me. 

Neill Strain Floral Couture Belgravia Spring 2024

Throughout history, spring has been a constant source of creativity and inspiration for writers, musicians and songwriters. From Vivaldi to Rodgers & Hammerstein and Frank Sinatra to Bob Marley, so many artists have been awakened with a creative fervour to produce symphonies and songs that echo the joy and vibrancy of spring’s blooming landscapes. Their melodic tunes and lyrical verses inspired me to name this year's Collection "Songs of Spring" as each design has an alluring rhythm and resonance of its own. 

Neill Strain Floral Couture Belgravia Spring wreath 2024 

I am excited to introduce this season a completely new design, a spring wreath which can be hung on a door, like a Christmas wreath, or on a wall indoors or out, or even placed on a table. Exceptionally elegant, this wreath suggests a bed of spring growth, with delicate fragrant blooms, Muscari 'Grape Hyacinths,' Narcissi, Leucojum (resembling Snowdrops) and fresh green shoots emerging in abundance from a ring of textured twigs and moss. Decorative eggs and a few feathers gently remind us of Easter enhancing the reassuring sense of rebirth and new beginnings.

Neill Strain Floral Couture Belgravia Spring bouquet 2024

In addition to our impressive hand-tied bouquets, I have created two hand-made basket arrangements, one lavishly ladened with our lush spring blooms and the other with a new mini Phalaenopsis Orchid that boasts dozens of glorious heads. A Petite Couture design together with our own branded fragranced candle, No. 11 (named after the floral scents in the Belgravia boutique at 11 West Halkin Street) make a perfect gift for Easter or at any time or occasion during the season. We also created an exquisite design with a set of glass bud vases to fully showcase the captivating beauty and charm of each of our fresh spring flowers.

Neill Strain Floral Couture Belgravia Spring flowers 2024

As always, what makes our designs even more remarkable is the choice and quality of our blooms. Thanks to my long-term relationships with our incredible growers, we are able to source some of the best, newest and most rare blooms. For instance, our spray or "Tarsettas" Narcissi "Soleil d'Or" are very special because not only do they have exceptionally large heads for a spray but they are grown in an unusual way for sustainability. A big wooden box is filled with seashells and the large Narcissi bulbs, already containing all the nutrients they need, are placed amongst the water-holding shells. The bulbs drink up the water and the shells can be re-used. Another particularly sustainable grower is Van Noort who grows our Hyacinths "Polar Giant" and "Yellow Queen" in water with no soil. The bulbs are carefully inserted with pins by a machine that was designed by the grower especially, so that they can rest firmly in a bucket of water for one to 2 months, allowing roots to develop and flowers to grow stronger and bigger than normal thanks to the constant, ample water supply. 

Neill Strain Floral Couture Belgravia Spring Basket 2024

Our impresssively full blooming white "Stepman" and cream "Primrose" Lilacs (Syringa) are very special and have their own special story. These plants need milder temperatures than most, so our grower keeps the plants in pots on an island off the coast of the Netherlands. In winter, he transports the plants by boat back to his heated glasshouses on the mainland to start their spring growth. Once they have grown thick with leaves, while the outdoor temperatures are still very cold, they lay them on the ground outside and cover them with hay. With no light or warmth the plants’ leaves drop and after a couple of weeks the grower brings the bare plants back into the warm glasshouse. Given this shock treatment, the plants now focus on creating big beautiful blooms as their survival mechanism under stress is to produce flowers which will turn to seed and therefore continue life the following season. This is how our grower produces tall, long stems of Lilac with massive, fragrant blooms and only a few leaves, perfect for our designs. The plants, once the flowers have been cut, are returned to the off shore island to recuperate during the year.

Neill Strain Floral Couture Belgravia Spring 2024

Our white "Liberstar" Tulip is also rare and special for its unusual star shaped petals. And its ability to not continue growing taller in the vase as do other Tulips. This new breed took 15 years to create by the century-old family-owned breeder and grower, Borst, and I love its delicate shape. Ranunculi and Anemones, both quintessential spring flowers, thrive in the milder winter temperatures of the Mediterranean. So I sourced the biggest and most beautiful Ranunculi "Cloni Super Cream" and "Yellow" from the northern coast of Italy and white double Anemones from the south of France. To guarantee their freshness, they are transported to us by land within 24 hours as are all our flowers.

Neill Strain Floral Couture Belgravia Spring 2024

My love of Orchids has led me to discover many rare varieties of these tropical blooms which I use frequently in my work and this Collection is no exception. The pale yellow "Detroit" Phalaenopsis is very rare as is the "Yellow Henna" Vanda. They both are of an unusual colour with only limited availability reserved for just a few designers. The Orchid planter's Phalaenopsis "Sandra" from Optiflor is a stunning new "mini" variety profusely abundant with dozens of blooms.

Neill Strain Floral Couture Belgravia Spring 2024

There are many other delightful flowers in the Collection such as Viburnum Opulus Snowball, Luna Trendsetter Spray Roses, PomPom Gerberas and lovely foliage which all add to the intricate tapestry of colour and texture, promise and radiance. I hope these "Songs of Spring" will bring you the same joy and uplifting emotions that I experienced while designing with them. 

Florally yours,

Neill x