Meet The Maker: Elder & Wild
Homegrown, natural looking, wild flowers have definitely made a big comeback. Brides are keen to explore a more laid back approach to their bouquets and wedding day blooms so it’s lovely to work with passionate flower growers like Becky at Elder & Wild. Here, we meet her and chat all things flowers…
“Our lovely little floristry business was founded my myself, my husband Samuel, who is also an architect, and our fat little tabby cat Margot. We are farmer-florists which simply means that we grow flowers as well as arrange them. We have a cut flower garden where we grow most of the beautiful and unusual flowers we use in our work and what we don’t grow we source from other British growers.
I have always loved to grow things, particularly flowers, but my background is in fine art. I would grow masses of flowers in our tiny rented garden and started to get hooked on certain flower farming blogs. I couldn’t believe that people could grow flowers for a living! And so the idea of a career change into flower-farming began and I eventually quit my job in the arts to start Elder & Wild. We bought a house with a modest plot that was overgrown with brambles and elderberry bushes (the inspiration for our name) and the cultivation of the garden began. We now grow and arrange seasonal cut flowers for weddings, events and the home from our little Nottinghamshire plot. It’s hard work but I wouldn’t change what I do for anything!
Our growing season always starts in June when we sow biannual seeds for an early spring crop the following year. September brings with it the most productive time for our cutting flowers and the start of thinking about spring bulbs. Late autumn is for planting bulbs, winter is our down time. We take a break, catch up on admin and do all those garden maintenance jobs we just didn’t get the time for during the busy summer months. February is when the seed sowing begins again and carries on right through to March and May, repeat sowing seeds so that we have a constant supply of our favourites! Then after that, when the greenhouse is crammed full of little plants, we set about getting them into the beds. The process of sowing, and planting lasts all spring and into early summer by which point the garden is really starting to gather pace and there are flowers everywhere! I usually forget to stake some of the taller varieties so we literally have to wade through flowers during some months! Before we know it, it’s high summer, the dahlias are out and we start sowing seeds for the following year and it starts all over again. Somewhere amongst the chaos there are weddings and events!
Our vision for Elder & Wild is to deliver something that is beautiful and sustainable. From seedling to bouquets, our blooms are grown, cut and arranged on-site the natural way; without the use of harmful chemicals or industrial processes. This is something we are quite passionate about, and constantly strive to be better at in each area of our business. Our style has a ‘just picked’, rambling and wild feel, which comes from our desire to work with nature and give it space to breathe. Each season brings its own cocktail of colours, scents and textures, and growing naturally means working seasonally. We design arrangements that make the most of the florals and foliage available throughout the year and so this means that when you come to us for flowers we will build an arrangement around those elements of texture, colour and style rather than specific flowers. Because, although the garden is bountiful, it delivers and blooms in its own time. The week of a wedding, I will walk the beds and pick what is looking its very best to the specific colour palette and style required; we let the season pick the flowers rather than the other way around which leads us to create unique floral compositions. This is what it means to truly arrange with the seasons.”
Get in touch with Elder & Wild to find out more…