So we're kicking off British flowers week with a little explanation of where we started. It's the first in a series of posts were using to celebrate all things British flowers, explain their value and tell you why we love what we do! So where did it all begin....? Well, a few years ago I began to show an interest in floristry, always a creative person, I loved the idea of painting a picture, or styling a sculpture with flowers. I have a degree in 3D fine art and installation techniques and this seemed a natural (excuse the pun) way to progress this interest post graduation. I began classes and fell in love with what I was creating week on week. At first I was using shop and market bought flowers in my displays, not thinking too much about it and just enjoying the process, it wasn't until I was short on flowers for a display one day that I wandered out into my mum's beautiful garden and asked if I could borrow a few bits to add some different textures and bulk up my display. I stood back and looked, and I started to see the contrast. The natural shapes, the soft textures, the tones, the twists of leaves and blooms as they fought to reach the sun before their neighbours. It looked natural, like it was meant to be. It enhanced my work and I quickly (I am a very impulsive person) started to avoid the standard straight perfect roses with no scent, the traditional carnations and crysanthamems you see everywhere and I realised I could get other things, more beautiful native things, straight out of the ground! Now I still use dianthus, but the variety available is astonishing and I love the late summer bloom of my own crysanths, russet and orange and not always perfect...which makes them more perfect to me! From that point my mother and I began our research, we knew relatively little about the cut flower growing community in Britain but we were enthusiastic and my mum is a fantastic and keen gardener. We soon met flowers from the farm and were spurred on by the amazing work they're doing. We began to find local suppliers and grow more ourselves, reading books on the many cut flowers we could try. Below I have listed the books that got us started. Next time I will be talking about how we progressed into a business who uses British cut flowers. This post will be available on Wednesday!