A trip to the cutting garden with Elder & Wild
Back in June, I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Becky from Elder & Wild in her beautiful cutting garden, and it was just a dream. Becky has such a variety of British grown flowers, the smell of the roses and chocolate scented cosmos (yes, that’s right, a flower that smells of chocolate!) hits you as you meander through the garden. Becky really knows her stuff when it comes to British Blooms and we’ve had a little chat with her to find out more….
How did you become a florist?
I took a bit of a round about way into floristry. My background is in fine art and whist I was working for an arts venue in Nottingham I started growing my own flowers in a tiny patio space and discovered the joy of arranging with my own, home grown flowers. I was growing so much from that tiny space that friends jokingly told me I should open a flower shop! At the same time I discovered Floret Flowers blog which was all about flower farming on a small scale and arranging with what each season brings, as soon as I started reading it I was hooked. Not long after I had quit my job and we started looking for a bigger space to grow flowers. We bought a plot, started growing, arranged our first few weddings for friends and family and it took off from there! In fact our first ever wedding for our friends Ruben and Octavia was even featured with Save the Date!
What makes you different from other florists?
We’re growers as well as florists (the term for this is farmer-florist), and this means that using seasonal, British grown flowers is central to what we do. I don’t import any flowers which is incredibly unusual for a florist! This means we’re completely guided by the seasons as to how we work with flowers and this allows for a beautiful spontaneity to our arrangements that is impossible to replicate one event to the next. Instead of browsing the auction sites I walk through the flower beds and cut what I need and there is a wealth if other growers in the region that I can call on for extra blooms when needed. Our work takes us from seed to bouquet as we carefully curate a selection of flowers and foliage with unusual colours, incredible scent and elegant forms in our cutting garden for your big day.
How would you describe your floristry style?
I have a very naturalistic, garden style of floristry that celebrates the fleeting beauty of the flowers we grow and directly reflects the seasons. My arrangements tend to be a little wild and loose whilst still striving for a kind of elegance. I let the natural form of the flowers guide how an arrangement flows, I have a real love of stems that are a little curvy or unusually shaped! You also won’t find me using floral foam in my work or chemicals in my cutting garden as I’m committed to working as sustainably as possible.
What is your type of bride and what are they often looking for?
I often attract couples who are looking for something less formal, a little different and love that my style of floristry takes a more relaxed, wild form. I work with with colour palette, style and texture rather than focusing on specific flowers as this gives me the freedom to be more creative with what’s seasonally available and leads to a more bespoke, personal style of floristry, unique to each couple. This means we attract brides who place more trust in us as florists and who are looking for a style of floristry that stands apart from convention. The cutting garden and the fact that the wedding flowers we produce are grown right here in Nottingham is always something that our couples mention as something that drew them to Elder & Wild.
You mentioned the ‘Free & Wild’ package, what does this consist of?
We have two different floral services available to couples, Fully Styled and Wild & Free.
Our Fully Styled service encompasses absolutely everything you might need from the daintiest buttonhole to large scale installations such as arches, it also includes complete set up, delivery and set down with a consultation conducted face to face. This is a fully bespoke wedding floristry service that covers all bases and comes with a minimum spend.
Wild & Free is our scaled back service that offers bespoke floristry for smaller weddings and modest budgets and is designed for couples who don’t mind getting a bit creative with their florals. This service offers bespoke personal florals (bouquets, buttonholes etc) arranged by myself with the option of ordering buckets of loose flowers and foliage for our couples to arrange their own table centres. This is all ready to collect from our studio the day before your wedding. Our buckets of blooms are perfect for relaxed arrangements in jars or bottles and are very cost effective. It’s also a great way to involve family and friends in your big day by roping them in for an afternoon of flower arranging. We wanted this service to offer something more flexible, whether you just need a bouquet and buttonhole for an elopement or you’re a couple who would love to have a go at arranging whilst leaving the important arrangements to me.
What flower trends are you seeing for 2020?
Dried flowers and suspended floral designs are definitely a trend that we’ll see more of in 2020. I’m seeing more couples who want to make a bigger impact with wild floral installations, which is great because I love a huge install! There is definitely more importance being placed on sustainability in all areas of life, weddings included, so I think we’ll see this as a trend going forward. Sustainable floristry techniques and British grown flowers are definitely of the moment!
What makes the perfect bridal bouquet?
The perfect bridal bouquet is something that has been designed with care and attention and which delights the bride it’s been made for. I’m biased but I definitely think that you only get a bouquet that’s truly unique when it’s filled full of gorgeous, seasonal flowers. Oh and scent! What is a bouquet without scent?!
Lastly, what is your all-time favourite flower?
When people ask me what my favourite flower is I find it so hard to answer as it changes with the season! So in spring I’ll be head over heals for ranunculus, but then the garden roses and peonies start flowering and completely steal my heart, then I get completely obsessed with the dahlias in late summer, and so it goes on! If I had to choose only one it would have to be scented garden roses (but hellebores come in a close second!).
Swoon-Worthy Wedding Flowers Galore…