Ethical Floristry Eco Christmas Wreaths

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Ethical Floristry Eco Christmas Wreaths

Making Environmentally Friendly Christmas Wreaths

WORDS: Kathryn Cronin
PHOTOS: Ricky Bache


The sentence - “The decisions that we make every day add up” - and its consequences have been swirling like the winter weather ever since I heard it uttered by an environmentalist earlier in the year.

For me, it’s time to take to action. It’s about nudging things in a direction that may not be perfect but it is at least a start.

I have used floral foam rings in the past to make Christmas wreaths. It sounds like a confession these days but if you have been trained as a florist, it will have been impossible not to have come across it. Floral foam has been the stalwart of floral designs for decades now but of course it has not always been so.

While it was an absolute innovation in its day, in the 21st century there is more understanding about the environmental impact of floral foam. Most people when asked what floral foam is made of will have no idea it is essentially a form of plastic. In a year when single use plastic has been highlighted as the biggest contributor to the planets plastic problem, the single use of floral foam is the obvious plastic waste issue in floristry the world over.

There is always resistance to change though however obvious it seems to stop using floral foam. One unnamed famous florist told me they were a “proper” florist so could never stop using it as it was so deeply embedded in the workflow of a modern large scale floral practice and the cost of change would be untenable for customers.

I am the first to concede that new design thinking is required to achieve what you can do already with floral foam. Some current design’s would be down right impossible. Consumers have choices. Often when individuals are given the information on which to make those choices, they would rather you avoid using foam too. Generally, I would hope consumers would want to be part of the solution rather than a net contributor to the plastic problem.

The good news is that there are alternatives that are not other floral foams (much more research and development is required before these approach a sustainable option). Before the advent of floral foam, florists used containers with water and chicken wire. Moist moss gathered from certified growers is an excellent medium in which to create bases with frames of willow and other woods. Even wire frames can be recycled. It is all about how we use and then reuse the planets resources. Jute string can be used to bind these materials. All completely recyclable. And if that is all sounding a bit basic, the floral designs that can be created using these environmentally friendly materials are beautiful, original and authentic.

Before the advent of foam, florists used containers with water and chicken wire.

Quite a few Christmas wreath frames are now built from willow and wood and are beautiful and completely biodegradable. Wire frames may not degrade like their wooden counterparts but they at least they can be reused and many of my customers return them to me every year for that purpose.

Transport is another environmental issue. Many are aware of carbon emissions from vehicles and planes so it is very obvious link that if transport is involved, and the more distance that a particular foliage or flower travels, then the more carbon is being used.

This is the first year that my Christmas wreaths have been created using pine sourced locally in Cheshire. Of course it was easier to press a button on the wholesale site but I wanted to start somewhere. It takes time and energy and effort to source locally for seasonal and sustainable materials. No-one may even notice but I know there has been less impact from me using that pine than in others years when I was less aware and frankly less bothered.

Many ethical florists, myself included, are using natural materials to create Christmas wreath designs. Each Christmas wreath is a unique one off piece that is gathered from and inspired by the countryside that surrounds me. Our wreaths never cost the earth literally and many are choosing to embrace both local and seasonal ethical floristry for their Christmas decorations. What Christmas wreath will you choose this year?

The fierceblooms blog has been going for about 3 years now. In this section of my site, I write about my exploits and passion to grow British flowers in my canalside cutting garden with other articles and videos on how I use them in my floral designs. I am thrilled that the blog has reached the voting round of the 2019 UK Blog Awards in the primary category of Green and Eco.

May I please ask for a little bit of your time to vote for me. It would mean such a lot to me if you did - all you have to do is click a little heart next to my name - here is the link.

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More of my flower arranging work can also be viewed on my floral design portfolio. If you fancy getting creative then why not book to attend one of my fierce flower classes in our local village hall featured below.

2021 Flower classes

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British flowers are key to my wild garden style floral design for both aesthetic and environmental reasons.

fierceblooms

About Fierceblooms

more about Me

Iam an artisan florist growing British flowers with a design studio and cutting garden nestled beside a historic canal in rural Cheshire.

If sustainability is important to you, if it matters that your flowers are as lovely to the environment as they are to look at, then I am a kindred spirit.

Get in touch to discuss your wedding or event. You can also be inspired and learn what informs my original designs by attending one of my flower classes . Update - 2020 FTF classes in our local village hall have been cancelled due to Covid, but get in touch with me regarding live on-line 1-2-1s.

My Studio And Canalside Cutting Garden

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See how to 'do the flowers' or visit my magical places on our very own video outlet here on the fierceblooms site - fierceTV
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@fierceblooms

While Mothers day 2021 may not be what any of us really want, there's just 1 more sleep to our first reimagined Mother's day online flower class......
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No year is ever the same, no season is ever exactly the same either, and while very few of us would wish 2020 back (I am thinking of a beautiful lockdown bride in particular here), there are things that have changed that are making everyone really think.
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One is our world and how we are in that environment. Our Nature and Nurture online floral classes reflect that. Are you curious about creativity? We really want everyone to be an eco florist, not just ethical green wash, but to buy only what is locally grown, to understand what is authentically of its seasonal time.
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Our wild garden style booklet is written, packed with sound advice from a flower arranger who grows her own flowers. The cake is rising.
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If you want our Nature and Nurture floral design principles to be winging their way to you, or your mum, or anyone you would like really, DM for details. They'd be most welcome to join us, virtually for now, in our Cheshire cutting garden next to the Shropshire Union canal on Monday or Tuesday.
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#ecoflorist #onlineflowerclasses #springbouquet #wildgardenstyle #slowsimpleseasonal #homegrownflowers #ayearinmygarden #flowerworkshop #grownnotflown #gardengathered #realflowersoftheseason #onlinefloristry #seasonalfloweralliance #learnfloraldesign #ecoflowers #floristrycourse #flowerschool #gardeninspiredfloristry #floristrystudent #aseasonalyear #thefloralseasons #britishflowers #sustainablefloristry
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There's a gathering at the Wharf this Monday and Tuesday.....
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There'll be tea and Welsh cakes - well, once you've made one batch, it's easy to make the next one.....
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....and it's the same with making bouquets, once you've found a way to think about them, to understanding your way to creating with the things growing around you, they're easy.....and I'll show you an easy way to wrap your spring bouquet too...
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Come to Cheshire in the North West of England this Monday and Tuesday, there's a few seats, virtually for now, but with all the clever cameras and sound, it feels like you are right here. See our canalside cutting garden, still damp and cold but starting to spring. The beautiful @smithandmunson tulips have arrived (ours are just peeking), so like proper school, our online flower school is back again on Monday. DM for details.
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It is the day of yellow and Daffodils and celebrating being Welsh.....
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Its the first day of March and I am resolved in a Fawlty Towers-esq fashion to not mention the war - or the rugby on Saturday even ha ha 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿....
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Rather I am dreaming of warm Welsh cakes cooked on a Welsh steel griddle that my father made me.
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That heavy bake stone holds heat like nothing else I possess. That steel holds so much more than heat. Home and hiraeth and love and laughter are melded into that steel just like the scent of daffodils drifting over all of Wales on dydd Dewi Saint.
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This Welsh girl is wishing all her followers a very happy St David’s Day today.
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It appears the only thing the rabbits don't like...
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...are the daffodils! So, there's going to be the odd daffodil bouquet this spring!
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...and the season is marching on with just over a week to go for our wild garden style online floristry classes with British flowers, of course. Will you be joining us?
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Nurturing our wild garden is my focus right now......
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.....or is my wild garden nurturing me? Things in life are often the other way round. In late winter, as my potatoes are chitting on the Wharf's window ledge, there are patches of frothy cow parsley shooting and bulbs braving the Cheshire weather.
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Most gardeners are already planning, weeding, sowing, if not quite digging for the season ahead. Our floral seasons are carrying on, whatever else is happening. So, I have decided to take a leaf out of its book, if you'll pardon the pun.
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Along with our garden, we've been carrying on too. We're daring to be different, and reimagining how we do our flower classes for a more sustainable mothers day.
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Our wild garden style "Nurture and Nature" booklet is written and our mothers day bouquet class is coming up soon. In this world of ours that is feeling disconnected and isolated, we want our "online" to be so so much more than the click of a button. I think it matters to nurture both our environment and ourselves. I think it matters to use local seasonal, and in our case, British grown flowers. And more than ever, I think it matters to keep creating.
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I hope you do too. DM to join us
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#flowerclass #britishgrownflowers #slowsimpleseasonal #homegrownflowers #ayearinmygarden #flowerworkshop #grownnotflown #gardengathered #wildgardenstyle #realflowersoftheseason #seasonalfloweralliance #learnfloraldesign #floristrycourse #flowerschool #gardeninspiredfloristry #aseasonalyear #thefloralseasons #britishflowers #sustainablefloristry #onlineflowerclasses #mothersdaybouquet
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Where do you get your inspiration?....
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.......was a question I was asked just the other day. The answer is both short and long, appears both superficial and deep. It is both simple and complex......
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....and I think to do it justice, to hold the authentic discussion if you will, it is beyond the written word even. It is a conversation, an engagement if you will, with the things that matter to you. Then, and only then comes the how. How to translate that into your floral design.
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The swallows will be swooping when next I can gather the stems for this spring bouquet from our canalside cutting garden. DM if you would like to converse with us.
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#springbouquet #inspiredbypetals #wildgardenstyle #slowsimpleseasonal #homegrownflowers #ayearinmygarden #flowerworkshop #grownnotflown #gardengathered #wildgardenstyle #realflowersoftheseason #onlinefloristry #seasonalfloweralliance #learnfloraldesign #ecoflowers #floristrycourse #flowerschool #gardeninspiredfloristry #floristrystudent #aseasonalyear #thefloralseasons #britishflowers #sustainablefloristry #onlineflowerclasses
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Growing wild garden style bouquets...
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.....and like every other grower of seasonal British flowers up and down the country, I am sowing seeds for our canalside cutting garden. Rather than germinating too many though, I now have a method after ending up with hundreds of plants and no beds left to plant them! So I have learned over the years that if I sprinkle enough seeds to cover a single small pot, it is more than enough for 4ft blocks of different types of home grown garden flowers.
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After a disastrous "weeding" of one of our flower beds, or perhaps a stroke of genius on his behalf dear reader, the darling Scot proved he is unable to tell an emerging flower from a weed. The flower beds are not covered in anything, I want them to be be beautiful and plastic free. And having just the bare earth means there's always lots of self sown plants free from mother nature. So as it's just me on the weeding front, I am also filling our cutting garden with perennials, bunnies willing. We're playing to our strengths here though. He is, after all, far better at the IT.
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And if you'd like to experience our extended zoom platform incorporating multimedia, multiple camera angles, great sound technology, and a few flowers, DM for details of our classes.
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#gardengathered #gardeninspiredfloristry #littlegardenstories #slowsimpleseasonal #realflowersoftheseason #wildgardenstyle #ecoflowers #gardenbouquet #onlineflowerclasses #learningfromnature #seasonalfloralstyle #naturalflowers #authenticflorals #gardengrown #floralstories #akinderwaytoflourish #seasonaltales .
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Delivered by a beautiful canal boat.....
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.... my fid. A what? A fid, a tool, a rather old fashioned tool, but a tool none the less, used to work with rope.....
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.....we grow flowers right next to the historic Shropshire Union canal. We live in an industrial Wharf, with Jacobean gable end walls, and stone finials. Beauty and aesthetic with function at Bridge 14. That is where you'll find us, with all of the nostalgia of the Cheshire countryside that surrounds us. You'll find us crafting and making our wild garden style floral designs.
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One of @country_cut_flowers rope wreaths hangs on our door. Our friend Emma appreciates that history of crafting, handed down by her uncle to her.
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A grateful thank you always to @coalboat_alton and @fuel_boat_halsall, for passing slowly on their beautiful historic narrow boats. Frankly , they make our day whenever they pass our Wharf. And although you can't physically come here right now, you can escape here to one of our classes from your very own chair at your home.
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If you want to learn how to craft your own bouquet of flowers, DM me for our classes. I can promise you'll adore the canal, and the beautiful narrow boats that pass here, oh and did I mention the swans? See our stories....
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#inspiredbypetals #wildgardenstyle #slowsimpleseasonal #homegrownflowers #ayearinmygarden #springbouquet #flowerworkshop #grownnotflown #gardengathered #wildgardenstyle #realflowersoftheseason #onlinefloristry #seasonalfloweralliance #learnfloraldesign #ecoflowers #floristrycourse #flowerschool #gardeninspiredfloristry #floristrystudent #aseasonalyear #thefloralseasons #britishflowers #sustainablefloristry #onlineflowerclasses
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The reason I know that spring is coming is....
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...the rooks are attempting to rip off the chimney cowls. You know, the covers at the top of the chimney pots.
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It has me thinking of making, as clearly the enterprising pair are thinking of their next nest. Some of their predecessors were not as efficient in their design and came tumbling down into the Wharf. That's what put the cowls there in the first place.
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Learning how to make things well is an age old tradition. Here at our Cheshire canalside garden, we craft bouquets. Our purpose is encourage an enthusiasm for design, but not any old design. Wild garden style floral design that uses garden gathered materials, that make our wild garden style bouquets, well, wild. There is nature in the crafting and nurture in the giving.
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Escape to our Wharf from the comfort of your own home to learn how to craft bouquets, with nature and nurture and the hope of the spring season. DM for details.
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Home grown flowers for a Saturday at home........
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The Wharf feels like a boat today. It is built slightly lower than the canal, so when the wind is whistling across our cutting garden, as it is right now, we're looking at waves through the goods entrance, now our low window. And just like a choppy sea, I suspect it far too tricky to navigate.
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So I braved the elements to check on our bulbs. Yes, they are still there. This is good because I want our grown not flown flowers for our online flower classes. And whatever the weather and whatever the circumstances, our flower workshop will still be happening.
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Join us for some online floristry in our boat like Wharf. We'd love to have you aboard. DM for details.
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In ever hopeful anticipation of spring, and bouquets...
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"Are you Fierceblooms?" was the shout from the canal tow path. I almost didn't hear knee deep in weeding as I was.
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"I recognise the hat!" was the next sentence (my current favourite green one in case you're wondering). And then we had the lovliest of conversations about her plans for flowers and growing.
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Isn't it a small world?!
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A spring bouquet for this Sunday morning.....
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My fingers are emitting sparks of fire in anticipation of the labours to come.......
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Monday is the first of our "Nature and Nurture" series. Valentines reimagined. In a year where I have no doubt I am not the only one who has never cried so much, nor loved as much. Flower arranging classes for the the love of, well love.
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We'd love to welcome you at ther wharf, virtually for now. DM to join us.
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