Wild Garden Style Floristry

My Wild Garden Style Floral Design Philosophy

In Fierce Influences, Fierce Thoughts by FiercebloomsLeave a Comment

WORDS: Kathryn Cronin PHOTOS: Ricky Bache
Florals root us in the seasons and the earth. When I think about floral design from my canal side garden, it reminds me of the precious and transient nature of things and I live the better for it.

The Earth laughs in flowers.Ralph Waldo Emerson

Heritage matters to me. I look to the past to inspire my designs for the future. I am drawn to the so-called wild garden style of floral design. I have used this style to influence my choice of seasonal blooms, including growing my own tulips for drama and romance in springtime creations. My own floral design philosophy continues to evolve and change as the seasons do. I suspect it always will. A tulip at the height of summer feels misplaced. That is when I grow scented sweetpeas for my bouquets.. Those frilly blooms may be small in comparison to other florals but they more than make up for it in their fragrance.

There is always so much more to learn from and be inspired by. One thing is always there though, a constant if you like, and I am pretty sure it will remain as long as I design. Being a hopeless romantic, I’m drawn to reflect that in my floristry. I adore the new trend for wild garden style designs, the ones with fabulous foliage and big blousy blooms in a whole range of colours. Red is a particular favourite of mine. Mix these big blooms with tantalising textures and you have a piece of botanical art that evokes a mood and creates an atmosphere.

Each Fierceblooms floral design is intended to give a glimpse of natures’ seasons to its recipient. To create a piece of floral art that will elicit an emotional response.

My aim is to create floral art that will elicit an emotional response.

There is another key element without which I think there is something lacking in any floral piece – something truly seasonal. In our global society, anything can be sourced from anywhere at any time, but at what price for the planet?

There is a life and a emotional connection that only exists when seasonal florals are used be that for a joyous event like a birthday – in winter, spring, summer or autumn, or on sadder more reflective occasions.

Supporting all that is British is hugely important to me and that includes British Blooms. I use as much foliage and as many flowers that I have sown and snipped in my garden right beside the canal as I can. I can really relate to the phrase “grown not flown”. Cutting snow white magnolia branches in my own garden for a spring wedding bouquet, adding lilac grown from my own trees to hand ties, is a unique joy. In summer, Tanacetum flowers are everywhere while in autumn I have my own small patch of dahlias. Frustrated by my inability to source the narcissi and tulips I wanted, I planted hundreds last Autumn. I have plans to expand my own floral cutting patch, adding to the scented pelargoniums, pungent rosemary, alchemilla, dill and numerous varieties of mint that I grow there already. Now I am far from saying that I am self sufficicint from the Dutchman. But who knows, one day perhaps I can say “fierceblooms grows her own”.

All my designs include something seasonal sown and snipped from my garden by the canal.

There is one final element that completes the alchemy in my view, scent. Everyone lifts their flowers to smell them. Scent is as important as sight in my view and while tricky with imports, this delight can be achieved using locally grown florals.

I am inspired by numerous florists. Paula Pryke is an inspiration and I have pored over her super helpful books time and time again. Neil Whittaker and his fabulous installations are both innovative and unique. Zita Elze floral embroidery is a sight to behold. I love the new romantic style of Jay Archer, Jo Flowers, Scarlet and Violet, the blue carrot, Catherine Muller, Joseph Massie and Swallows and Damsons. All have their own unique style but shares a common rootedness in nature and a more free flowing aesthetic that is wildly romantic.

I adore the new movement that looks to be underway in the UK to grow back our floral industry. I have been lucky to hear Georgie Newbery of Common Farm flowers speak. I have a trip planned to Green and Gorgeous (very excited). The great British florist has shared some great “how to’s” on YouTube. I also must mention our American cousins, Floret Flowers – a gorgeous flower farm based in Mount Vernon, north of Seattle that has inspired this budding flower farmer.

Scent is as important as sight in my view.

No one is an island mind you. I believe you can always learn and improve by immersing yourself in the best of the best. And that’s the basis for sharing my Fierce Events. In Fierceblooms out and about, my aim is to share my insight and learning gleaned from a visit to a beautiful and inspiring garden, or thoughts from floral workshops, even when I take part in NAFAS competitions, I plan to share it all!

The spirited curation that goes into each and every Fierceblooms floral design aims to evoke that wild spirit of nature, to encourage us to stop in that moment, to literally smell the roses even if only for a short moment before we rush off somewhere else in our lives. All of my designs include something seasonal sown and snipped from my garden right beside the canal. My inspiration though, is always rooted in the past, that very first glance, that very first drift of scent from the geraniums from standing at the door at my grandfather’s glasshouse.

I would be delighted if you would have a look at some examples of my work on my wild garden style floral design portfolio page and let me know what you think.

You can also read more from Fierceblooms on the floristry blog.

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