I have been thinking about my little business lately and how I take it forward. What it all comes down to really, is how I make my bouquets. If I am buying in from other growers, I contact them at the weekend to see what they might have for the next week. Then I might collect things from local growers or take delivery from those further away. As the walled garden develops I will pick from there. I think about colours and focal flowers initially...Roses, Peonies at this time of year....Lupins, Alliums, Dahlias, Tulips, Amaryllis. Some of these I grow, some I collect from other growers but they are the centerpieces....Then when it comes to making the bouquet I walk around the garden and pick; focal flowers, special pieces of foliage and look through the borders for other flowers that I want to use. At this stage I am considering colour, texture and shape. I like to use flowering shrubs, grasses, seed heads and blossoms which signify the season. Ideally I like to make my bouquets in the morning... I like to walk in the garden, all is quiet and contemplate who I am making the bouquet for and look at what materials I might use, how I want it to look. This is why I say "slow flowers". I don't want to be in the position to be making hundreds of bouquets as this would prevent me from working in this way. Each bouquet I make is a unique creation, a gathering of nature on that particular day in that particular year, for that person. Each bouquet is made as if I was making it for a friend, everyone is special. It is very difficult to work in this way if you don't grow ...you have to grow somethings as they aren't available commercially but also because you need to have access to materials which aren't straight...aren't commercially perfect...like fruit which is grown in a garden and not for a supermarket. Beautifully blemished. Also I have the pick of a whole range of materials so you can consider subtle colourations, tinges and tones which work together to make a whole. Outdoor grown plants are better for this as those grown undercover tend to be more uniform. I do buy in from growers that grow under glass and this is a great help as the focal wow factor flowers are usually of excellent quality, can be brought on early or late extending the season a little and prevents damage caused by extreme weather. However I like to use garden elements as well because it changes the overall aesthetic.
The flowers in these pictures have all been assembled this week....late June 2016 and when I look back through my gallery I can see how the season and my garden have changed from year to year. The wet season and cold spring nights have damped somethings and brought on others.
Japanese Ikebana is a contemplative system/style of floral art which majors on shape and space and encourages quiet contemplation and focus during the selection and assembly of materials. Colour is important to me but the creative flow is deeply enhanced by reflection and inspiration from nature. I can build whole bouquets around an individual stem of significance! And so that is how I like to work, with flowers grown slowly and with love, assembled with thought and care, then enjoyed with joy and to the full, in the spirit of their giving.
My story in flowers started as a child growing a tiny patch of London Pride Saxifraga...also known as Whimsey or Look Up and Kiss Me! Fast forward to 8 years ago when I started a City and Guilds training in floristry. I qualified as a florist and then to deepen my growing knowledge and skills I trained in horticulture as well. I trained under a WRAGS scheme at Darsham Nurseries and at Somerleyton Hall. Developing a passion for both growing and designing/arranging British garden flowers, I planted a cutting garden. Having become increasingly concerned about where and how flowers are grown, coupled with a love of British grown flowers. and natural styling, I now specialise in growing and using beautiful British grown flowers to make romantic natural designs. for weddings, events, gifts and much more.