A post not about wedding flowers in Kent for once!
A couple of weeks ago it was my best friend's 30th and another friend wandered off into a beautiful Brighton Wood for an engagement shoot with a guy who I have known since I was 11. I mean I remember him discovering John Mayer and singing along to Jack Johnson with me (who I discovered, naturally).
'Playing' with Leftovers
One of the absolute BEST things about being a florist is having leftovers to play with. It is difficult to give yourself the time to make the most of them and have a proper 'play' sometimes. I try to do it as much as I can but if there are leftovers after installing a massive wedding then sometimes sleep takes priority I'm afraid...
'Playing' with flowers is an, umm, interesting phrase. It can be a tad grating to hear my job summed up as 'playing with flowers' because actually it is very hard work. Back breaking in some cases (more on that from me soon). A day of flowering is basically like being at the gym all day (sadly I don't look like I spend all day in the gym!). And then there are constant emails flooding in which I can only really sit down to one day a week. This isn't a moan, I'm so happy to be on my feet most of the time and not stuck behind a desk! But 'playing with flowers' is a bit misleading as there is a lot of lugging around buckets of water.
So why do I do it? Because actually when I am left with the flowers and my camera it does feel like 'playing'. I love it. And the more I do the more I fall in love with it. I could make more money doing countless other things but I'm afraid I have found my 'thing' now and the flowers are stuck with me come what may. On the Saturday morning I made these bouquets it was sunny, I snipped some bits and bobs from my garden and went to work, music playing with occasional breaks to throw Matilda's ball. Free to create whatever I wanted with my lovely friends in mind.
And so for Kate and her engagement shoot: a quirky bouquet filled with darkness and light. She has plenty of time for something more traditional and pastel at her beautiful upcoming wedding! A touch of eucalyptus, as I know that will be one of her key features, and romantic roses. The brightest white hellebores and the darkest plum scabious and ranunculus. Lots of texture and special ingredients.
For Sophie, something cheerful and Springy. Pale yellow daffs, sunny ranunculus and contrasting ruffled pink ranunculus. A quick handover before a Brixton night out on the town with way too much to drink! Keeping it simple for Sophs because I love her and just wanted to give her something to make her smile! She has been a huge cheerleader for my business since day one.
How lucky I am to be able to have these ingredients on hand to create beautiful things like this for neighbours and friends when I have the chance.
But it would be disingenuous not to mention the hardest thing about floristry, well for me anyway, which also relates to friends... I work most weekends. I'm at an age (30 gahhhhh) where people are getting married and I have had to turn down invites to weddings far more times than I would have liked. I probably do see my friends as much as I would with another job, but it is much harder work - often I will drop into something in the evening after a 4am start. A long day!
Overall it is worth it and I am happier than I have ever been. My old friends are so wonderful and encouraging (you know who you are) and I have met new friends on this flowery journey too (you also know who you are). Hopefully this is a little window into the realities of balancing work ('play') with real play. Possible, but you need to be determined and have supportive and understanding friends!
For Kate and Sophie (and Camel). Love to you all xxx