This post is all about my love for foraging! An opportunity for me to sell you the rewarding benefits of this hobby of mine.
I absolutely love using foraged flora in my arrangements, and I'm about to tell you why...
First and foremost, a walk through the local countryside is the best way to observe our ever changing seasons. It is not unheard of for us Brits to complain about the weather...
It's either too cold or too hot.
Well yes the weather is changeable, but we don't suffer weather extremities like others and yet we have four very distinctive and beautifully transitional seasons through the year.
Our weather can sometimes be erratic too, which often brings new and different changes each year, with some seasons overlapping and transition periods lasting longer than others.
I feel lucky to live here in the U.K and be constantly inspired by my natural surroundings.
Heading out for a wander among the trees and plants is a ritual for me, it's a habit, and one that never ceases to surprise me. Breathing in the fresh air and surrounding myself in nature is a pretty spectacular way to start the day.
During the busy months when it is difficult to find time for myself I can sometimes lose focus which can lead to a block in creativity. However, a slow stroll around the local landscapes is all I need to get back on track and fill my head with incredible inspiration.
Through the year, I aim to portray the four seasons in a collection of inspirational photoshoots. These shoots are an opportunity to be limitless in our imagination and free to do something extraordinary. These projects allow me to take full advantage of the what our countryside has to offer.
Back in the Winter Kathryn Hopkins (Good friend and photographer hero of mine) and I collaborated on a 'Lady of the Sea' shoot. It was a perfect example of the creativity and freedom of these projects and the first port of call was location scouting. We were in search for not only a space but also a 'mood' to inspire the concept. We headed for the coast and found some incredible colour and texture within the bleak Winter riverscape.
After a slightly nippy and blustery morning on the Essex Estuary I found a treasure trove of beautiful water worn objects and wetland plants, all of which helped me to envision the arrangements I would create for this shoot. With my background in design, the process of putting together a mood board and colour palette which tell a story is an integral part of creating floral designs, and foraging is the at the heart of this process.
As a florist I am lead by the seasons and what they have to offer. Being in touch with seasonal availability allows me to plan and create arrangements which will not only be at their best but will depict a moment in time. Whether it is an early Spring bouquet which is full of fresh new greenery, pastel petals and blossom, or the faded caramel blooms, berries and deep leafy hues of Autumn. My love for this job stems from the ambition to create a visual diary of ever changing transitional arrangements which depict the great British seasons.
The Summer seasons are abundant with vibrant fresh greenery and open blooms, but by Winter everything shrinks back to reveal it's delicate and textural beauty.
I take inspiration from all of it, and sometimes just a small part of it. Perhaps it's the grasses which stand tall and sway in early Summer, or it could be the dried seed pods of late Autumn which cling to their branches... all of these things conjure ideas in my mind and dictate how my arrangements will be composed.
Mimicking our natural landscapes in my arrangements is the best way to serve the flowers and foliage I use. I owe it to them to ensure every stem goes out in style... looking their best and feeling at home.
I take these trips at least once a month, so as not to miss out on the subtle changes and fleeting flora. I often visit the same spots every time, which allows me to appreciate natures redesign of the space. However I also love to explore new landscapes too, going on short trips or holidaying means new and very different scenery.
I visit my mum who lives a short distance from the Peak District, with it's rounded hills and valleys, the panoramas are breathtaking. During my last visit in early December, the peaks were carpeted with beautiful ferns in hues of copper and brown, these incredible scenes are what encourages my artistry.
Foraging has become somewhat of an obsession, but a healthy one... and one which has shaped and evolved me and my business. It is reflected in my style, and it is what makes me, well... me!