FLORISTS AND FLOWER GROWERS IN CORNWALL
It really feels like spring has finally arrived. Daffodils are out in force, magnolias are in bloom and the hedgerows are looking far greener than they have in months.
We have asked a few of our favourite Cornwall-based florists and flower growers about what inspires them, their top tips and what they might recommend for the perfect Mother’s Day arrangement.
3acre Blooms is run by sisters Emily Talling and Lucy Beckley who grew up in Cornwall. Fascinated by flowers from an early age, they would often spend hours in the garden making daisy chains and flower crowns.
They have now joined forces and developed a cutting patch and gardens on the north coast, and create floral designs for weddings and events. They are soon to launch a new monthly meet-up: Blooms and Babes is a chance for parents and carers to get together and create a little flowery treat to take home whilst their babies play.
Emily and Lucy recommend following your eye and to pick blooms you are drawn to. “Taste is so personal and unique and whilst trends come and go, most of us will always have a favourite bloom that means something special.”
Vanessa Collins is the person behind The Flower Mill Cornwall. She uses only flowers and foliage naturally in season, grown either in Cornwall or the UK, and provides a full floristry service using freshly picked flowers that have been harvested at just the right stage to ensure maximum vase life.
“Inspired by nature, grown with love” describes Vanessa’s approach perfectly. From March to November, the majority of blooms used for her creations are grown by her or other local growers to reduce “flower miles” and avoid harmful pesticides.
For Vanessa, spring is all about the exuberance of colour following the darker days of the year, and a time to enjoy tulips, blossom and ranunculus.
Mari Owen at This Rugged Coast specialises in artisan wedding flowers which are mainly grown at Roswartha Farm, near Goonhavern. For Mother’s Day flowers, Mari suggests taking a moment or two to add value and love to the humble bunch by combining supermarket stems with foraged finds to create a unique bouquet:
“Select British flowers where possible – ranunculus, anemone, alstroemeria, tulips and daffodils – as they provide a truly seasonal option, with excellent environmental credentials, optimal freshness and supporting the revival of the British flower industry to boot! Once home, unwrap them from their cellophane packing, remove the bottom inch of stem and place them in water, in a cool place. A good long drink will help your flowers last.
“I find foraging for materials from the hedgerows and wild spaces a meditation at this time of year. Use your scissors carefully, consider the shapes, colours and textures before snipping, my aim is to leave no sign that I have ever been.
“Lay your materials out and select any twiggy branches and foliage to create your frame, begin to add the flowers, pay attention to colour, and consider grouping flowers together in clusters.
“When you are happy with your bunch, tie firmly with some strong string, and consider how to re-package your gift, a beautiful piece of ribbon in a contrasting colour might be perfect, or maybe rewrapping in simple brown parcel paper, a pretty piece of patterned tissue paper can add a pretty touch or even a piece of hessian sacking tied with bakers twine.”
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Run by Becca and Maz, The Garden Gate Flower Company‘s approach is to create “individual, natural, wild and wonderful” arrangements for weddings and special events both in Cornwall and beyond. Seasonality plays a major part in what they do, as the blooms they use are grown on Becca’s family farm in Fowey.
Check out their website for this year’s events, and details on their one to one classes, which can be tailored to your particular needs and interests, from managing a cutting garden to creating hand-tied bouquets and alternative options to flower crowns.
Philippa Kay opened Recipe for Flowers in the heart of St Agnes, in November 2016, after graduating from Bath’s Tallulah Rose Flower School. Her love of flowers started at an early age, and she has memories of picking short-stemmed Cornish field anemones at her granny’s flower farm in Penzance when she was tiny.
Philippa has recently launched a delivery service enabling her bouquets to be enjoyed throughout the UK and will host her first workshops later this spring. She describes her new venture as “a flower delivery business with a local flower shop ethos. It’s very personal.”
Every bunch is styled and tied by Philippa or her team and each is unique. Flowers are positioned alongside foliage and finds from hedgerows, cliff tops and coast paths, and wrapped in recycled hessian sacks sourced from Origin Coffee. A couple of designs have been created specifically for Mother’s Day this year, as well as a ‘Hot Pink’ British Bunch from which a percentage of profits will be donated to charity.
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Run by Alex and Jeremy Simmons, Wadebridge Flowers is based at Hawksfield on the A39 Atlantic Highway, just outside Wadebridge. Their mission is to provide “fresh, simple, stylish flowers which are always beautifully presented’.
They create arrangements for weddings and funerals, run workshops (keep an eye on their website for 2017’s events) and also provide flowers for TV and film. You may have seen some of their flowers in the latest Poldark.
As well as selling a selection of flowers and plants, visitors to the studio can also be tempted by a constantly changing range of candles, pottery, baskets and small pieces of locally-sourced furniture.
Scilly Flowers specialises in sending scented flowers by post. The Julian family has been sending gift boxes of their blooms from Churchtown Farm on the island of St. Martin for more than 25 years, and delivers all over the UK using 1st class post.
As the traditional flower crop of the Isles of Scilly, scented narcissi flourish outdoors in the farm’s small, sheltered fields all through winter and are available to order from October to April. From May to October scented pinks take over.
Bunches are simple but beautiful, and the order process could not be easier, you just need to choose how many stems you’d like to send. Prices start at £11.50 for 12 scented narcissi and includes P&P.