The Lonely Bouquet – Lonely No More

We recently participated in the ‘Lonely Bouquet‘ project and placed a pretty flower arrangement at a secret location in Dunstable.  Sneaking about early on a warm and sunny Saturday morning all seemed very clandestine.

The mission, to drop of the bouquet at the secret location, without being seen and with enough time to grab some photographs.

Here’s the arrangement in situ and awaiting someone to find it and give it a loving home.

The location was the bench near the Little Theatre in High Street South, Dunstable.  We returned to the shop and eagerly anticipated news of the Lonely Bouquet’s discovery after announcing it across social media:-

By mid morning we were thrilled to see this lovely post on Facebook from Laura Marie Moore who wrote ‘We have found it 💗 my 5 year old is chuffed to bits to be taking home this lonely boquet so she can take care of it. Thank you so much xx’


The post was shared widely and Laura also posted a lovely picture of her daugher with the flowers on the DLD Facebook page.

We’re so happy to have made someone smile, look out for more lonely bouquets in the future.

St Mary’s Village Carnival School Float Winner 2015

We’re thrilled to report that the Totternhoe Lower School float entry for the 2015 St. Mary’s Village Carnival Procession has won first place in the school category.

The children, staff and Parent’s Association truly outdid themselves this year with a superb float themed around ‘The Little Mermaid.’  The children had a great time dressing up with some excellent costumes on display.

With an astonishing level of detail the float received many complimentary remarks from those lining the route of the procession through Eaton Bray to Edlesborough.  A superb model of Ursula complete with tentacles loomed menacingly over beautiful coral reefs with King Triton standing guard and mermaids sitting in shells.  Everywhere you looked there was a feast for the eyes with no detail overlooked.

At the Cottage Garden we were again honoured to be involved, providing materials and work space for the Parent’s Association to meet, plan and work on their contribution.  There will be another chance to see the superb float at the Leighton Buzzard Carnival on Saturday 11 July 2015

Huge congratulations to all involved and a very well done for all your hard work. Here are some pictures from the day along with a short video.

Totternhoe Lower School Christmas Fair 29th November

Totternhoe Lower School will be holding their annual Christmas Fair on the 29th of November.  Why not pop down to this lovely village school just a couple of minutes outside Dunstable and join in the fun.  The event is always well attended and there are stalls, fun and activities for both parents and children alike.

For the children fun such as face painting, arts and crafts, a Rudolph game and adopt an animal.  There will also be a raffle, tombola and of course refreshments.  We will also be there selling a selection of our Christmas gifts and decorations.  For full details please see the flyer below.

Totternhoe Lower School Christmas Fair

Christmas Gifts & Decorations

We’re gearing up for Christmas at the Cottage Garden Flower Shop.  We have some lovely new gifts and decorations in from across Europe including Sweden and Germany.  A truly gorgeous selection of small to large gifts and beautifully crafted decorations.

We will also shortly be receiving our always popular light up Christmas Scenes from our German supplier and we’ll create a separate gallery when they’re ready for display.

As always we will be selling a selection of Christmas bits at the Totternhoe Christmas Fair which falls this year on 29th November and is well worth a visit.

List Of Wedding Anniversaries

Wedding anniversaries and their meanings by year.

Please find below an extensive list of wedding anniversaries, and their corresponding meaning.

If you’ve found this resource useful, please consider sharing or linking to it.

Other Resources:- List of flower names



Year Type
1 Year Paper
2 Years Cotton
3 Years Leather
4 Years Linen
5 Years Wood
6 Years Iron
7 years Wool
8 Years Bronze
9 Years Pottery
10 Years Tin
11 Years Steel
12 Years Silk
13 Years Lace
14 Years Ivory
15 Years Crystal
16 Years Topaz
17 Years Amethyst
18 Years Garnet
19 Years Aquamarine
20 Years China
25 Years Silver
30 Years Pearl
35 Years Coral
40 Years Ruby
45 Years Sapphire
50 Years Golden
55 Years Emerald
60 Years Diamond

Why Do flowers…?

Why do flowers...

Why Do Flowers Smell Fragrant, Have Bright Colours & Pollen?

Quick Answer:- To attract birds and insects which carry their pollen for fertilisation.

Perhaps the best place to start when answering this question is to clarify that a flower is part of a plant that has no other purpose than to ensure pollination. A plant, that, like all over living things from bacteria to complex life such as ourselves, wants to reproduce. Pollination is the process which enables fertilisation, the plant world’s version of sexual reproduction.

20070612-2adq8001-1However, unlike us, plants can’t simply uproot, pop down to the local bar and search for a willing mate. Instead they have evolved various methods of ensuring transportation of their pollen from male to female.

While some plants rely on the wind, or water to carry their pollen, other have evolved to attract other carriers such as insects and birds. The pollen itself is rich in protein and within the flower, nectaries secrete sweet, sugar rich nectar. Two things that birds and insects are very fond of.

20070410-IMG_5673Of course with millions and millions of flowers producing both pollen and nectar clearly they need to employ further methods to attract their preferred pollinators. Whilst we may advertise, offer coupons, discounts and special offers plants have evolved other methods.

One of these methods is the production of scent which can attract pollinators from far away and hence the reason that flowers smell. Of course they don’t always smell nice to us, they only have to smell nice to the pollinator that evolution has deemed the most successful for any given plant.

IMG_51292006As the pollinators gorge on pollen or nectar, the pollen itself sticks to the pollinators’ bodies, and in a further crafty move, the nectaries are usually located deep within the flower to ensure the pollinators have to brush past as much pollen as possible.

Thus, now laden with pollen the pollinator will travel to the next flower and when it reaches a female of the species some of the pollen it has carried with be deposited and hopefully begin fertilisation allowing the plant to reproduce.

Incidentally, wishing to avoid being eaten by animals, many plants will give off unpleasant aromas, tastes or even toxins if their leaves and stems are broken.



Why do flowers have leaves?

Quick Answer:- Flowers are parts of plants which in turn have leaves to absorb energy from the sun to produce food.

20070524-2ADQ7214When answering this question it’s important to clarify that leaves and flowers are both parts of plants. Therefore the question really should be why do plants have leaves?

The answer to this question is that leaves are designed to absorb sunlight and through the process of photosynthesis create food for the plant in the form of starch which is synthesised from water and carbon dioxide.

Leaves are therefore often broad and flat in order to absorb as much available sunlight as possible. However, water is also lost through the leaves via transpiration therefore a balance needs to be struck to ensure the plant doesn’t simply dry up and die.

20070524-2ADQ7210Leaf sizes and shapes have therefore evolved to ensure plants can flourish in their given habitats. Pine needles for example are thin and covered in a waxy substance to minimise transpiration, the wax also helps to avoid snow accumulation. Pine trees can therefore grow in areas of low water supply such as rocky mountain sides with shallow soil.

20070430-IMG_5879Plants that grow on the rainforest floor with limited amounts of available sunlight but plentiful water supply often have very broad leaves in order to absorb as much sun as possible with little fear of drying out.

Why are most leaves green? Chlorophyll is the green pigment present in leaves which absorbs light during photosynthesis.

Why do flowers droop/wilt?

Quick answer:- Because they need water and nutrients to maintain their rigidity.

It’s the turgor. Plant cells contain vacuoles which are membrane bound compartments containing water and nutrients. Turgor or turgidity describes the pressure of the contents of the cell, up to ninety percent of which can be taken up by a vacuole, pushing on the plant cell wall.

20070603-IMG_7150Whilst water can move freely in and out of the vacuole, nutrients can only move in and are then trapped. They are pushed or pumped in by molecular pumps. Through the process of osmosis water will move into the vacuole providing the concentration of nutrients is higher inside the vacuole than out. As the water enters the vacuole it increases the hydrostatic pressure, or turgor giving the plant its rigidity.

Flowers or plants that have been cut no longer receive enough energy to power their molecular pumps to replace the nutrients within the vacuole. The existing nutrients within the vacuole are exhausted, the solution becomes no more concentrate than that outside the vacuole and water no
longer enters the vacuole through osmosis. The pressure within the cell (turgor) drops and the plant loses its rigidity and droops and wilts.

So whilst a cut flower may be in a vase with plenty of water, once the nutrients are consumed water will no longer enter the cells of the flower. Using flower food in the water will replace some of those nutrients, prolonging the flower’s vase life.

Why do some flowers bloom at night?

Quick Answer:- Their preferred pollinators are nocturnal.

The flowers of some plants will only open at night as they have evolved to attract particular pollinators, usually flying insects, which are nocturnal (only active at night) such as moths.

For an explanation of a plant’s desire to attract pollinators, go to the section on ‘Why do flowers smell?’

Why do some flowers close at night?

Quick Answer:- To protect their reproductive organs.

There is no definitive answer to this one, botanists are still theorising as to the exact reasons.

The most common theories center around the idea that the plant is protecting its reproductive organs and conserving energy.

Flowers that emit scent for instance need only do so during the day if their pollinators are diurnal (active during the day.) Therefore closing their flowers will preserve scent for the following day.

Some flowers are also vulnerable to nocturnal, plant eating creatures which can damage the internal structures of the flower. Closing the flower may therefore give added protection.

Protection from cold nights and dew has also been postulated. Damage from the cold or dampness may inhibit the plant’s ability to reproduce.

The actual mechanism employed by most plants to close their flowers at night is known as nyctinasty, driven by a combination of change in light, temperature and the plant’s internal clock.

St Mary’s Village Carnival 2014 – Winners Best School Float!

We are so excited to have again been associated with Totternhoe Lower School’s winning float entered in this year’s procession at the St Mary’s Village Carnival.  We were again happy to provide space and materials at the shop for the Parents Association to put together all the beautiful and creative work they had made with the children.

This year’s float was based on the Wizard of Oz and featured some fantastic artwork including a wonderful rainbow made up of the pupils’ hand prints, a superb Tin Man and a fantastic Scarecrow.  There was the Emerald City, Dorothy’s House, a twister and lots of other beautiful artwork. The children really got in to the spirit of the occasion and dressed up in some excellent costumes.  A huge well done to all those who took part, their hard work was rightly rewarded and we’re so happy for the children and parents.

Here are some pictures of the float with the parents and children preparing for the procession.  The float can also be seen at the Leighton Buzzard carnival on the 12th July.

(Update 12th July, We’re pleased to announce that Totternhoe School float won second place at the Leighton Buzzard Carnival!)

(Update 22nd July, More photographs and video added.)

(Click images for larger versions.) Visit

Tin Men, Carnivals, Weddings And Funerals At The Cottage Garden

It’s all go at the shop at the moment.  We’ve been busy sending out some truly beautiful flowers for weddings, funerals and every day occasions.  We also have some interesting visitors at the shop at the moment…  (See the gallery below.)

The time has come for the St Mary’s Village Carnival on Edlesborough Green (5th July) and we have again offered the shop as the base of operations for the Totternhoe Lower School Parents Association (PA) to put together and store some of the props for this year’s float.  With the children creating pieces at the school the PA have also worked evenings at the shop to make this year’s entry extra special.

This year’s theme for the float is The Wizard of Oz and the PA have so far created some extraordinary models, including two characters from the story,  the Tin Man and the Scarecrow.  Created and built at the shop with materials mostly supplied by ourselves the models have been keeping a beady eye on and have garnered many complimentary remarks from our customers.

If you’re visiting the carnival keep an eye out for the Totternhoe Lower School Float as it’s shaping up to be a cracker.


Totternhoe Lower School Summer Fair

Totternhoe Lower School will be holding their annual Summer Fair on Saturday 7th June.  There will be lots to do and entertain children and adults alike, including Face Painting, Roller Bikes, Plants for sale, Coconut Shy, Tombola and a special Victoria Sponge ‘Bake Off’.

For full details see the flyer below.  Please come along and enjoy a few hours of fun, entertainment and refreshment in this lovely village location.  (Lovely pub right next door!)

Totternhoe Lower School Summer Fair