Wedding Florist, Lamber de Bie, Ireland

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Lamber.

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Wedding Trends 2011

Wedding Trends – 2011 – A Vintage Year

Vintage style bridal bouquet
Vintage style bridal bouquet in pinks and purple

Spending almost every sunday in January & February at wedding fairs in different hotels in the South-East in Ireland may result in aching feet and a sore throat, but it certainly is a fantastic way of getting up to speed with current wedding trends, as Lamber de Bie (Lamber de Bie Flowers) found out.

The main season for all the wedding fairs in the South-East of Ireland is always in the first two months of the year. Lamber and his team are attending wedding fairs in both Waterford and Kilkenny almost every Sunday during this time. Some of the hotels that Lamber de Bie Flowers were attending are; The Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny, Waterford Castle Hotel, Waterford, Langtons Hotel, Kilkenny, Woodlands Hotel, Waterford, Ormonde Hotel, Kilkenny, The Step House Hotel, Borris, Co. Carlow, The Lord Bagenal, Loughlinbridge, Co. Carlow, and many more. At the many wedding shows the wedding suppliers showcase everything that is current and ‘Must Have’ for prospective brides to be. Including an incredible selection of wedding dresses. Indeed the focus of the majority of the brides was the bridal fashion shows, which provided an ideal opportunity to have a sneak preview of what’s in fashion. Big skirts are very much ‘in’ but bodices remain fitted, and in the majority of cases, strapless. There is less intricate beading and glitz about. This seems to have been replaced instead by trails and fabric embellishments.

Vintage style wedding arch
Vintage style wedding arch at entrance to the church

And as for colour and styles, well vintage is without doubt the buzz word for weddings this year.

So what sums up a vintage themed wedding? Colour-wise: cream, ivory (never white) and all shades of pinks from pale to dusky with a splash of cerise. Green is also popular, particularly olive green and the soft grey/green of eucalyptus. Overall the look could be described as cottage garden, very flowery, natural and pretty.

Reception designs seem to fall into two groups, quirky or elegant. For quirky it’s ceramic jugs and pitchers, individual glass vases, bone china cups and saucers. A sort of mix and match, church hall/ marquee on the village green type of feel. On the elegant front, brides at the show loved the tall glass martini vases, filled with water and roses petals (in vintage pink of course). Storm lanterns and decorate birdcages also seemed to tick a lot of the boxes with many brides who were looking for a variety of designs for the reception, rather than repeating the same one all the way trough.

A contrast from the vintage muted shades is purple, a colour witch looks to be big over the next couple of years. A top table of trailing amaranthus and purple vanda orchids was one of the most popular items on display. – one bride even took her bridesmaids shoes out of the box so she could match them up (they went perfectly).

So to sum up the wedding look for 2011/12 – well, it’s very flowery, which is great for florists, with lots of pastel shades and natural greens accented with splashes of purple.

Amnesia wedding rose
Amnesia rose

Flower-wise, roses are going to be even bigger this year, in particular the more (and it’s that word again) vintage colours, such as Amnesia, Hypnose, and Amalia should fit the bill.

Away from roses, hydrangeas continue the cottage garden theme, along with delphiniums, gladioli and for something a little more up-market for the bridal bouquet, vanda orchids.

Who would have thought that just a couple of Sundays at the different wedding events in the south east of Ireland could provide you with such valuable insights!

http://www.lamberdebie.ie

Lamber de Bie Flowers are based in both Waterford and Kilkenny, Ireland and can be contacted trough their website; http://www.lamberdebie.ie

How to make a Christmas Door Wreath

How to make your own christmas door wreath

By Dutch Master Florist – Lamber de Bie

 

Decorate the door to your home with your own home made Christmas door wreath with a fools proof step by step guide by Dutch-Master-Florist, Lamber de Bie.

 

A beautiful wreath hanging from your front door is a wonderful welcome to all your family, friends and neighbors that will visit you over the festive christmas season.

With this easy to follow guide, anyone can make a magnificent door wreath and be the envy of all your neighbors.

There are a number of different base wreaths available to start making your own christmas wreath; You can use a metal frame that you can cover with moss or straw or even directly with noble fir, but the easiest option is to buy a ready made straw wreath base.

These straw bases are widely available from your florist or garden centre in a variety of seizes and are an in-expensive option. Make sure you choose an suitable size for your front door. Remember the finished door wreath will be approx. 3 to 4 inches wider after you add on the Noble Fir.

 

 

Next you need to get some fresh Noblis fir that you can get from your florist or garden centre and a hobby secretaurs and a roll of florist binding wire. A roll of garden twine can be used as a substitute for the wire.

What you need to make a christmas door wreath

 

Next we need to get some Holly with berries from the garden. However this evergreen Holly from my garden did not produce many berries this year and would also blend in to much with the green fir.

 

So I decide to cut some tips from this variegated Holly from my garden.

In order to grow a nice and compact Holly bush it is good to cut the tips of the branches every year, so your doing some important work to your garden at the same time.

 

Now we still have no berries on our Holly. So I decide to take some berries from my Cotoneaster bush. If you can’t find any berries in your garden you can always buy some artificial red berries from your local flower shop or garden centre.

 

Before we start with the making of our wreath we first have to cut our Noblis Fir branch into small twigs. Starting from the top of your branch (as in photo below)  cut off all the nice tips at approx. 4 inches long. You will need 2 to 3 large branches for an average door wreath.

 

Now we start with tying the florist wire firmly to your base, make sure the wire is wrapped over the wreath and from the centre of the wreath under the wreath back towards you.

 

Place the first of your noble fir on your wreath holding it in place with one hand. Start with the larger pieces on the outside and the smaller pieces on the inside of the wreath. All branches need to be pointing in the same direction facing up.

Next while still holding the branches with your same hand lift the wire over the wreath with your other hand and than bring the wire back towards you underneath the wreath. Keep your wire tight at all time and pull the wire firmly do your branches are tightly attached.

 

Keep repeating this process while still covering the cut end of the previously added twigs with the tops of the next layer, moving forward on the wreath by approx 2 inches every time. Remember to always lay every branch in the same direction.

 

When you are almost at the end -or where you began- you may have to cut the bottom of your stems so only the nice tops are viable.

Now secure the end of your florist wire with a so called “German Pin” These can be got from your florist, garden centre or hobby shop.

 

If you are hanging your wreath outside on your door or if you are making a wreath to put onto your table you can protect your door or table from rust and scratching by the wire by covering the the back of your wreath by a ribbon of plastic. Cutting a strip from a black bin liner works perfect.

 

Use the “German pins” on the inside and outside to secure your plastic protection.

Time to start decorating. First choose a nice christmas ribbon. Make sure it is a waterproof and wire-edged ribbon. The wire edge helps you to shape your bow and keep it looking well over the festive season.

We are first attaching a piece of ribbon that we will use later to hang the wreath from your door. Use approx 1 meter of ribbon, bring it around the inside of your wreath with the ends together at the back of the base.

Fold the ends together and attach the ribbon to your wreath using 2 “German Pins”. Keep the pins on the inside (not right at the back) to avoid scratching surfaces to your door.

 

This is how it should look from the front.

Now it’s time for the bow. Cut about 2 meter of ribbon and hold it in the middle lying over your index finger with your thumb holding it on the top. Now while holding the ribbon between thumb and index finger with your other hand fold the ribbon underneath itself , keeping your thumb in position and sliding the fold over your index finger and under neath the centre of the ribbon.  I hope this makes cense and I’m not making it sound more complicated than it really is. Next repeat this step with the other end of the ribbon and you should now have two loops as on the photo below. Repeat both steps to create your double bow.

 

When your bow is complete tie is in the centre tightly with a florist wire. Use this wire to tie your bow to the wreath over the ribbon you attached earlier to hang your wreath from.

 

Lay the straps of your bow across the wreath roughly dividing the wreath into 3 parts.

 

Now add small branches of Holly by pushing the ends into the straw base or by using the “German Pins”. Place two pieces, one on either side beside the bow and one piece at the bottom opposite the bow, again dividing the wreath into 3 sections.

 

Make sure you cut the ends of  your ribbon in a neat way just over the edge of your wreath. The easiest way to do this is by folding the ribbon lengthwise in half and than cutting it at an angle.

 

Now add small bunches of berries into the centre of your holly. The “German Pins” are the easiest way to do this.

 

Next we need to choose the rest of our decorations. For this wreath I have chosen 9 small natural cones and a small bunch of gold, glass baubles. I am using a hot-glue gun to add all these following decorations to my wreath. These glue guns can be bought from hobby shops and some DIY shops. Alternatively you can attach a florist wire to each decoration and push the wire into your straw base.

 

Be careful using your hot glue gun as this gets very, very hot to melt the glue.( do keep away from kids ) Add some glue to your cones and push into place and hold for upto 10 seconds.

 

Place the cones at the base of the Holly leaves, creating 3 neat clusters on your wreath.

 

Repeat the same with your gold baubles.

 

And this the finished product, you own christmas door wreath. When attaching the wreath to your door you can use a heavy duty staple gun to staple the ribbon to the top of your door, when your door is open so after christmas there are no markings on your door.

 

Here’s some examples of christmas door wreaths we have made for our customers at Lamber de Bie Flowers.

Door wreath with cinnamon sticks and dried fruits.

Wreath with natural cones, artificial red berries and red ribbon.

Elegant door wreath with white and silver decorations and white ribbon.

 

Hope you have fun making your own christmas door wreath and please leave a message to this post telling me how you got on.

 

For a look at the full range of Christmas flower by Lamber de Bie Flowers, click on the picture below.

 

Happy Christmas

Lamber de Bie

Dutch Master Florist

http://www.lamberdebie.ie

 


Mistletoe

Mistletoe berries from the European Mistletoe

Mistletoe

The name was originally applied to Viscum Album(European Mistletoe, Santalaceae), the only species native in Great Britain and much of Europe. Later the name was further extended to other related species, including Phoradendron serotinum (the Eastern Mistletoe of eastern North America, also Santalaceae). European Mistletoe is readily recognized by its smooth-edged oval evergreen leaves borne in pairs along the woody stem, and waxy white berries in dense clusters of 2 to 6. In America, the Eastern Mistletoe is similar, but has shorter, broader leaves and longer clusters of 10 or more berries. In the United States, Phoradendron flavescens is commercially harvested for Christmas decorations, as is Viscum album in Europe.

Mistletoe plants grow on a wide range of host trees, and commonly reduce their growth but can kill them with heavy infestation. Viscum album can parasitise more than 200 tree and shrub species. Almost all mistletoes are paracites.(A parasitic plant is one that derives some or all of its sustenance from another plant.), bearing evergreen leaves, and using the host mainly for water and mineral nutrients.

Most mistletoe seeds are spread by birds, In Europe mainly by the Mistle Trush.

Mistletoe was often considered a pest that kills trees and devalues natural habitats, but was recently recognized as an ecological keystone species, an organism that has a disproportionately pervasive influence over its community. A broad array of animals depend on mistletoe for food, consuming the leaves and young shoots, transferring pollen between plants, and dispersing the sticky seeds. The dense evergreen “witches brooms”formed by the dwarf mistletoes (Arceuthobium species) of western North America also make excellent locations for roosting and nesting of the Northern Spotted Owl among others.

European mistletoe, Viscum album, figured prominently in Greek Mythology. In cultures across pre-Christian Europe, mistletoe was seen as a representation of divine male essence (and thus romance, fertility and vitality), possibly due to a resemblance between the berries and semen.

Wedding Bouquet of Lamber de Bie Flowers

Mistletoe is commonly used as a Christmas decoration, though such use was rarely alluded to until the 18th century. Viscum albumis is the Mistletoe used in Europe whereas Phoradendron serotinum is used in North America.

American Mistletoe

According to custom, the mistletoe must not touch the ground between its cutting and its removal as the last of Christmas greens; it may remain hanging through the year, often to preserve the house from lightning or fire, until it was replaced the following Christmas Eve. The tradition has spread throughout the English-speaking world but is largely unknown in the rest of Europe.

According to Christmas custom, any two people who meet under a hanging of mistletoe are obliged to kiss. The custom may be of Skandinavian norign and is found in history as early as 1820.

“The mistletoe is still hung up in farm-houses and kitchens at Christmas, and the young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under it, plucking each time a berry from the bush. When the berries are all plucked the privilege ceases.”

Mistletoe leaves and young twigs are used by herbalists, and it is popular in Europe, especially in Germany, for treating circulatory and respiratory system problems. Use of mistletoe extract in the treatment of cancer, however clinical evidence does not support claims of anti-cancer effect for mistletoe extract.

The sticky juice of mistletoe berries was used as adhesive to trap small animals or birds. In South Africa it is called “Bird lime” in English and voelent in Afrikaans. A handful of ripe fruits are chewed until sticky, and the mass is then rubbed between the palms of the hands to form long extremely sticky strands which are then coiled around small thin tree branches where birds perch. When a bird lands on this it gets stuck to the branch and is then easy to catch by hand.

Lamber de Bie.

http://www.lamberdebie.ie

Kilkenny Stores make it to Final Round of National Retail Awards

Kilkenny Stores make it to Final Round of National Retail Awards

■    Two businesses ranked in Ireland’s Top 50 Stores for 2010

Embargoed 8 November 2010 – Two local retail businesses in Co. Kilkenny have received national recognition at the Retail Excellence Ireland Awards 2010 – the country’s largest and only dedicated retail industry awards. The award was presented on Saturday night by the Minister for Labour Affairs, Dara Calleary, T.D., at a gala event held at the Radisson Blu Galway. Hosted by TV and radio personality, Miriam O’Callaghan, the Awards were attended by more than 500 representatives of the retail industry in Ireland.

The award recipients in Co. Kilkenny were:

■    Lamber De Bie Flowers on Ormonde Street – runner up in the Best Small Store category; ranked 25 overall in Ireland’s Top 50 Retail Stores for 2010

■    Carraig Donn in MacDonagh Junction – runner up in Best Large Store category; ranked 26 in Ireland’s Top 50 Retail Stores for 2010

 

O’Briens Wine, Beer & Spirits on Sandymount Road in Dublin claimed the overall title of National Store of the Year 2010 while Topaz was named Best Employer and overall Company of the Year at the Awards, which seek out, recognise and reward those retailers deemed to deliver the highest standards in Ireland.  Applegreen won the award for Business Growth while O’Briens Wine, Beer & Spirits won Industry Leader.

 

Chairman of Retail Excellence Ireland, Kevin Jephson said: “When individual retail stores across Ireland submit an entry to these Awards they are signing up to a thorough and extensive competition process – one which collectively contributes to maintaining and raising the standards of Irish retailing to the benefit of businesses and consumers alike. It requires a big effort on the part of owners, managers and employees so I want to extend my thanks to all those who participated,” he said.

 

Chief Executive of Retail Excellence Ireland, David Fitzsimons, said: “This year we received more than 400 entries from every corner of Ireland so I want to congratulate these Kilkenny stores on their achievement. It is a big honour to receive this accolade and we hope that these stores will display their awards with pride,” he said.

 

Established 13 years ago by industry group, Retail Excellence Ireland, this Award scheme is the only one of its kind in the country, rewarding excellence across the entire breadth and depth of the retail industry and not just one particular sector.

 

The award process is based on a thorough store review conducted by a fully trained assessor, which is subsequently assessed by a panel of 10 independent judges who determine the top 50 retail stores in the country and ultimately select the final winners in each of 12 categories.

 

For more information on the award process or to see a full listing of award winners and Ireland’s Top 50 stores, log on to: www.retailexcellence.ie

Retail Excellence Ireland is the not-for-profit organisation representing more than 580 companies – 8,500 retail stores – more than one third of the total store numbers in the Republic of Ireland. REI’s members collectively employ approximately 100,000 people across all retail sectors ranging from pharmacy and fashion, to grocery and homeware.

 

 

 

 

Lamber de Bie Flowers, Kilkenny

 

Lamber de Bie Flowers

http://www.lamberdebie.ie

 

 

New E-Commerce Web-Site Live Today.

New E-Commerce Web-Site Live Today.

www.LamberdeBie.ie

Our new e-commerce site is live.

Lamber de Bie Flowers is launching their new e-commerce website today to the World Wide Web.

From our website you are able to order flowers for delivery anywhere in Ireland, Northern Ireland and anywhere in the UK for next day delivery.

For delivery to anywhere else please contact us and we will be delighted to look after your needs.

After lots of preparations we are proud to introduce you to our new 24/7 online store. At www.lamberdebie.ie you will be able to shop from a large, and ever growing selection of flowers, bouquets and arrangements for every occasion.

We promise all our online customers the same attention to detail as well as the same approach of 100% satisfaction guaranteed for all our customers as well as for those lucky recipients of our flowers as we have been doing over the past 10 years in our 3 retail stores in Waterford as well as in Kilkenny.

Approx. one year ago I followed a number of courses in web design, not with the intention of creating our own but to make sure we would find the right partners in creating our new online flower web site.

12 Years ago we launched out first web-site and have learned trough trail and error, some times they were expensive lessons and other times, often with the help of friends we improved our than web presence.

This time, wanting to create e modern E-commerce site, we chose to work with a Waterford based company called Smartweb to whom I was introduced by Gavin Dixon. We have been using Gavin’s Company “BITS”(Business IT Solutions) for many years.

I met first with Eugene Silov, from Smartweb early this spring. The first number of meetings were about the layout and content required and that meant that I spent hours and days looking at websites from florists and other online product sellers. There was a lot of R&D (Rob & Duplicate) as well as finding solutions on how to implement our own ideas.

Our website is developed so that I control the input all products, descriptions and price as well as most other content. This was, and will be very time consuming but will be the only way I can guarantee that the site will be up to date always.

As our web site is now live our next step is to create a suitable google-adwords campaign in order to drive more traffic to our site as well as discussing further plans with Eugene for our site as I believe any store needs to be updated to keep it fresh.

We are 10 years in retail at the end of this month and I know that this is only possible trough constant improvement on the stores, services and products, this same approach we will use towards our online sales of flowers.

On our new site you will also find a selection of photos of wedding flowers we are creating. These will be continuously updated.

If anyone needs help with the development of an online store I would be more than happy to recommend Eugene from Smartweb. I look forward to working with both Bits & Smartweb in the future to constantly improve our service.

We sincerely look forward to any comments on how we can make the experience of shopping at our online store better.

Send us your comments to info@lamberdebie.com .

Web Design Smartweb Waterford Ireland

Premier IT Support Solutions – BITS South East Ireland

Lamber de Bie.

Dutch Master Florist

Wedding Master Class with Tara Fay

A Wedding Masterclass for brides Lough Eske Castle Hotel,

Sunday 26th and Monday 27th September

Ireland’s top celebrity wedding planner Tara Fay to show brides how to plan

the perfect day.

Workshops and demonstrations by Lamber de Bie – Dutch Master Florist.


Lough Eske Castle, which was recently voted the Irish Wedding Venue of the Year by Irish brides, will

provide brides-to-be with the opportunity to learn from the wedding planner celebrities turn to.

The stunning hotel – Donegal‟s only five-star hotel and winner of the World‟s Best Luxury Country Hotel

2009 – has teamed up with Ireland‟s top wedding planner Tara Fay to deliver a two-day Wedding

Masterclass that will cover the A-Z of wedding planning.

A range of specialist talks and workshops will be given to brides-to-be by some of the top wedding service

providers in Ireland, including bridal fashion from Sharon Hoey, hair and beauty by Michael Leong and Zoe

Clark, photography by John Ryan, floristry by Lamber de Bie as well as food and wine, ceremonies,

stationery, cakes, jewellery, honeymoon advice and the all important first dance.

The masterclass will begin with a champagne reception and talk from Tara Fay on all the requirements for

planning the perfect wedding.  Award winning fashion designer Sharon Hoey will then follow with a bridal

fashion workshop before the Lough Eske Castle Executive Chef and Sommelier host a dinner presented in

the style of a wedding breakfast and share their food and wine expertise.

Day two comprises a series of workshops covering a range of topics as well as one-to-one consultations

with the top industry specialists.  The event concludes with a „first dance‟ workshop and afternoon tea and

wedding cake.

Andrew Turner, General Manager of Lough Eske Castle said that this event is the first of its kind to be held

in Ireland and has been designed to provide all brides-to-be with access to the very best of advice and

helpful hints and tips.  “Every bride wants and deserves the perfect wedding and as the top wedding venue

in Ireland, we wanted to do something to help brides-to-be create their dream day. The inspiration for the

Wedding Masterclass came from our own Lough Eske Castle brides, many of whom said they would have

really valued the opportunity to attend an event of this type.

“Organising a wedding is often a daunting task for brides-to-be. This two-day masterclass aims to help

brides take the pressure off the process by pointing them in the right direction helping them to plan their

perfect day while learning from the best in the business.  Each bride-to-be is free to select the workshops

which best meet her needs and she can make appointments to talk with the industry specialists privately on

the day.

“We‟re delighted to be partnering with Tara Fay.  As the leading wedding planner in Ireland, she has a

wealth of expertise and experience to share with brides-to-be, whether that is for planning small intimate or

larger weddings.  Tara will be hosting a number of talks throughout the two days and will also have time to

spend with brides on an individual basis.”

Celebrity wedding planner Tara Fay, who has planned more than 1,000 weddings, said that the wedding

masterclass will be invaluable to brides at every stage of the planning process.  “This event is about giving

brides-to-be the confidence and the ability to plan the day of their dreams no matter how big or small and

irrespective of budget.  Brides often find themselves bewildered by advice from family and friends and

sometimes need to take time out to think about what they truly want and then how to achieve it within

budget.  This masterclass aims to provide just that along with a chance to talk individually with each of the

speakers who will work with the brides-to-be to identify the things that will personalize their wedding and

make it a real day to remember.”

All brides-to-be and their guests are welcome to attend the event for one or both of the days.  Tickets for

both days, including one night‟s accommodation for two people sharing a deluxe guestroom including

breakfast, are priced at €175 per person sharing; or €250 per person sharing for both days and two night‟s

accommodation.  One-day only attendance (Sunday or Monday) is priced at €75 per person, per day.

To find out more or to book a place, please contact Lough Eske Castle Hotel on 074 97 251 00 or visit

http://www.solislougheskecastle.ie

International Woman’s Day

8 March International Woman’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) is marked on 8 March every year. It is a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women.

Started as a political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries (primarily Russia and the countries of former Soviet bloc). In some celebrations, the day lost its political flavour, and became simply an occasion for men to express their sympathy and love to the women around them – somewhat similar to Western Mother’s Day and St Valentine’s Day mixed together. In others, however, the political and human rights theme as designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.

The IWD is also celebrated as the first spring holiday, as in the listed countries the first day of March is considered the first day of the spring season.

International Women’s Day is marked on March the 8th every year.

It is a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women.

The Story of St. Valentine

The Story of St. Valentine

By Lamber de Bie Dutch Master Florist

Every February the fourteenth, chocolate, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones across the world, all in the name of St. Valentine.

But who is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this day.

The history of Valentine’s Day — and its patron saint — is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men — his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.

According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first ‘valentine’ greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl  “who may have been his jailor’s daughter” who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed ‘From your Valentine,’ an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It’s no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.

In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the seventeenth century. By the middle of the eighteenth century, it was common for friends and lovers in all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By the end of the century, printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged.

According to the American Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year in the USA alone, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending day of the year after Christmas.

In addition to the Ireland and the U. K. Valentine’s Day is celebrated very big in the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, and Australia. Countries like Holland and Germany are only in the last few years getting into sending Valentines greetings. And still in very small numbers at that.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentine’s cards didn’t begin to appear until after 1400), and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum.

However the largest percentage of all valentine greetings are still sent by women, Irish men are getting more romantic. Valentines day is the one day that we will see at least as many men in our flower shops as we see woman buying flowers.

Lamber de Bie

Dutch Master Florist

A Taste of Christmas – A wonderful night.

The night started off with a performance of  the Newtown school music group.

First up: Kevin Dundon, Celebrity Chef.

Cooking up a storm.

Tanya, Mashy, Lamber, Margaret.

And then it was time that Lamber gave all his work away.

And here are some of the lucky winners.

Lamber de Bie – Dutch Master Florist at the Taste of Christmas in Ardkeen Quality Foodstore, 3rd December 2009.

A great Night.