Joseph Massie’s ‘Rosa’ exhibit at Chelsea Flower Show

Award-winning floral artist, Joseph Massie, created a show-stopping exhibit at Chelsea Flower Show for Queen’s 90 birthday.

The installation, commissioned by the RHS for the Queen’s 90th birthday, sees a swathe of 5,000 fresh-cut roses and 1,000 preserved rose petals suspended four metres in the air to create a romantic, sensory tunnel.

Joseph Massie 'Rosa' Chelsea Flower Show

Joseph Massie 'Rosa' Chelsea Flower Show

Joseph Massie 'Rosa' Chelsea Flower Show

Joseph Massie 'Rosa' Chelsea Flower Show

Joseph Massie 'Rosa' Chelsea Flower Show

Joseph Massie 'Rosa' Chelsea Flower Show

Joseph Massie 'Rosa' Chelsea Flower Show

Joseph Massie 'Rosa' Chelsea Flower Show

Joseph Massie 'Rosa' Chelsea Flower Show

Joseph Massie 'Rosa' Chelsea Flower Show

Joseph Massie 'Rosa' Chelsea Flower Show

Joseph Massie 'Rosa' Chelsea Flower Show

Joseph Massie 'Rosa' Chelsea Flower Show

Joseph Massie 'Rosa' Chelsea Flower Show

Joseph Massie 'Rosa' Chelsea Flower Show 13

Real Events – Jay Archer British Flowers Week

Jay Archer Floral Design

Lose Yourself in British Flowers & Midsummer Cocktails

To celebrate British Flowers Week (13th – 19th June), award-winning Hampshire florist and flower school owner, Jay Archer Floral Design, has teamed up with Winchester’s most talked about food and drink event organisers, Cabinet Rooms, to create some botanical cocktails using locally grown and foraged flowers.

Jay Archer

Floral enthusiasts and cocktails lovers will have the chance to sample the creations at a one-off tasting event inspired by Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

Cabinet Rooms UK

Some Enchanted Evening: A Celebration of British Flowers & Midsummer Cocktails will take place on Wednesday 15th June from 6:30pm-8:30pm, at the River Cottage Canteen in Winchester. Tickets cost £30.00 and include three cocktails mixed by Cabinet Rooms’ Gary and Marcus, the brains behind Winchester Cocktail Week and Ginchester.

Surrounded by the seductive sights and smells of a midsummer garden, guests will learn how to choose and arrange the best seasonal blooms, pick up tips on ‘growing your own’, and how to use flowers and herbs to create delicious cocktails, syrups and cordials.

British Flowers Week is the annual celebration of seasonal, locally-grown flowers and foliage that aims to raise awareness of the UK flower industry.

Jay Archer Summer Flowers

This year, Jay wants to ‘up the ante’ and spread awareness to a new audience: “I was looking for a way to get more people talking about British flowers, to enthuse and educate, but in a fun, informal setting.

She continues: “I’m a big fan of using flowers in cooking, and after hearing so much about Marcus and Gary’s events and mixology talents, a midsummer cocktail tasting seemed just the ticket.”

Gary and Marcus say: “A sense of discovery is at the core of what we do so we naturally jumped at the chance to work with Jay for British Flowers Week. We are very excited to help her bring a touch of midsummer magic to Winchester at this deliciously floral event!”

For more information or to book tickets to Some Enchanted Evening: A Celebration of British Flowers & Midsummer Cocktails visit Eventbrite or email:

Jay Archer Flower Halo

LOVE Letters by Paeony Floral Design, England

Lauretta of Paeony Floral Design in England shared a recent photoshoot with us. Lauretta says – The flowers and designs I chose to make was on a theme of literature based in the Library of Cusworth Hall in South Yorkshire.

As a florist who occasionally makes funeral pieces of letters was wondering wouldn’t it be lovely to use this method for weddings. As a lot of what has been featured in various weddings today are the light up letters saying Love or Mr & Mrs etc and I thought how about using letters made from oasis and creating a different style using textures and beautiful unusual choice of flowers.

Paeony Floral Design - Love sign made of flowers

For the LOVE letters the flowers I chose was Miss Piggy Roses, Splash sensation roses, green Cymbidium Orchids, Celosia and Abifloral textured with moss and Galax leaves. Brides and grooms could use this idea as a setting in front of their registrar or venue top table.

Also for the literature theme I came up with the idea of a prayer book spray which was in fashion 20 years ago, brides would hold a bible in their hand and flowers was designed on top of the book. So I came up with a modern up to date version using ribbon to tie on instead of wire the flowers I used was the Spray roses Splash sensation, galax leaves and theslpi bell touched with asparagus fern.

Paeony Floral Design - Pink Corsage for bible

The gorgeous grouped bouquet of Miss Piggy Roses, Celosia and Abifloral was an idea I wanted to show future brides that rather than the pretty country style look which is everywhere at the moment they could go bold and bright which is perfect for those who are choosing bridesmaids in teal coloured dresses.

Paeony Floral Design - Bouquet of Red Coxcomb, Roses and Berzilla

Paeony Floral Design UK

And finally the cascading bouquet, I’ve been dying to make one of these after seeing so many beautiful images recently. So my version was used with Eucharis flowers which is a flower not often used in weddings with Lysmachia and asparagus fern which went perfect with the dresses supplied by KMR Bespoke bridal.
With all the little details from all the suppliers involved with this shoot worked perfectly and the fresh approach of the photography Sarah who has been featured in Vogue Italia really did make this shoot romantic full of love.

Paeony Floral Design - White bridal bouquet

Paeony Floral Design - White Cascading bridal bouquet

Paeony Floral Design UK

The Creative Team:
Flowers – Lauretta Morley, Paeony Floral Design

Photography – Sarah at Folega Photography
Wedding photographer, Sarah Folega at Folega Photography: I used the beautiful dresses, the location and the natural light to create beautiful images that would showcase everyone’s exceptional talents.
Photographers Assistant Misty Rowe

Location Cusworth Hall
The Whiting Collection, a Literature themed bridal shoot based in the Library of Cusworth Hall in South Yorkshire.
A collaborative literature vintage themed shoot at Cusworth Hall, Doncaster brought together a group of suppliers. Cusworth Hall was a fantastic venue to hold the shoot with many of the shots taken in the Library which was in keeping with the theme.

Hair Alison at Jenner Hair
Alison, from Alison Jenner Hair Stylist: Due to the style of the venue and the dresses the hairstyling was kept simply elegant and classic. Sleek updos, with swirl detail complimented with an abundance of shine. Ranging from a very high neat stunning roll to low, clustered back detail, with lots of over movement. But still quirky and on trend.

Make Up Jenni at Make up by Jenni
Award winning professional make-up artist, Jenni Hughes of Make Up By Jenni: I created a modern vintage fusion look for this shoot inspired by the couture dresses of KMR. Focusing on flawless porcelain skin, expressive eyes and bold lips, Jenni used: Smashbox Primer, Crownbrush, HD Brushes, Chanel Blush in Rose Initiale, MAC Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle, Givenchy Lipliner Lip Rouge 5, Chanel Allure Lipcolour in Passion and Coromandel, Eylure Lashes, Drior Blackout Mascara and MAC Gel Liner.

Set And Styling Maria at Simply Something Blue
María, from Simply Something Blue Bespoke Wedding Planning and Event Management: I was in charge of styling the sets and creating a calm and attractive atmosphere. With such magnificent surroundings, colourful flowers and gorgeous gowns not a lot of detail was deemed necessary, and Cusworth Hall’s library, salons and gardens took centre stage in this cold spring day. Vintage details, such as the typewriter, old and upcycled books and library pockets with romantic quotes from some of my favourite books were sourced or handmade for the occasion for a subtle and unobtrusive literary theme.

Dresses Kelly at KMR Bespoke Bridal
Bridal Designer, Kelly from KMR Bespoke Bridal Designer: The Whiting Collection is KMR Bespoke Bridal Designers debut 2015 collection of bridal gowns. The collection is named after my late Grandmother who inspired me from a young age to become a designer. Three of the collections gowns were used in this preview shoot at Cusworth Hall; Grace, Ivy and Annie.
Grace is an elegant floor length bias cut ivory silk crepe and guipure lace gown. A high illusion neckline is finished with bound silk crepe detailing and delicate cap sleeves. A KMR signature of a keyhole back opening paired with a detachable lace train creates a stunning back. The gown is finished with a silver crystal embellished waistband.
Ivy is a stylish ivory embroidered lace and silk crepe backed satin gown. Elegant lace sleeves and a deep V-shaped neckline at the back of the gown are finished with a delicate scallop lace edging. Creating a figure enhancing silhouette the gown has a bias fishtail skirt with a train to add a feminine touch. The gown is finished with delicate covered buttons and rouleau loops down the back.
Annie is a sophisticated strapless gown with a sweetheart neckline. The elegant circle skirt is made up of layers of silk taffeta and silk chiffon with a beautiful train. The bodice is finished with delicate pleated silk taffeta, a plunging back and fastened with rouleau loops and covered buttons. The gown is finished with a stunning silver crystal motif on the waist.
There are three other gowns in KMR’s 2015 bridal collection. As this was a preview shoot of the collection the final three gowns will be revealed soon.

Headpieces Lottie at Lottie Loves Vintage

Cake Emma at Bibbidy Popity

A Passion for Peonies by Neill Strain

While in London I had the pleasure of accompanying Paula Pryke to her visit with Neill Strain. Neill has the most lovely shop in the Belgravia neighborhood of London ~ highly recommend visiting if you are ever in the neighborhood. (It’s just a few blocks away from Harrod’s).

Paula Pryke and Neill Strain in front of his shop in London

Neill Strain & Paula Pryke

Neill was hosting a special flower show at his shop called ‘Passion for Peonies’ as part of Chelsea Fringe. The Peonies he had on display were absolutely breathtaking ~ take a look:

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies Display

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies Display

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies Display

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Bartzella Peonies


Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Bowl of Cream Peonies

Bowl of Cream

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Charlie White Peonies

Charlie White

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Commander of Performance Peonies

Commander of Performance

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Cytherea Peonies


Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Delaware Chief Peonies

Delaware Chief Peony

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Diana Parks Peony

Diana Parks

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Etched Salmon

Etched Salmon

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Garden Treasure

Garden Treasure

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Lemon Chiffon

Lemon Chiffon

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Mackinac Grand

Mackinac Grand

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Mary Jo Legare

Mary Jo Legare

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Mme. Claude Tain Peonies

Mme. Claude Tain

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Moonrise Peonies


Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Moonrise Peonies


Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Mother's Dream Peonies

Mother’s Dream

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Pink Dinner Plate Peony

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Red Grace Peonies

Red Grace

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - Salmon Dream Peonies

Salmon Dream

Neill Strain - Passion for Peonies - White Cap Peonies

White Cap

You can read more about the inspiration for Passion for Peonies and see more pictures on Neill’s blog.

Another two shots from my visit to Neill’s Shop – the entrance is always changing and the Flower Bar is always full of a lovely selection of flowers:
Entrance to Neill Strain's Flower Shop

Neill Strain's Flower Shop in London

The Flower Bar – a selection of flowers are always on display here

Holiday Wreath Inspiration

I sure have noticed a lot of posts with holiday wreaths this year, have you all noticed them? The variety of designs is just amazing and I’ve seen plenty that I’d be proud to hang on my front door!!

grey christmas wreath with succulents

Designed by WILDHEART

red and green holiday wreath with cinnamon

Designed by Miss Pickering

christmas wreaths by London designer

Designed by Wild at Heart

red and green christmas wreath

Designed by Miss Pickering

red hydrangea flower wreath

Available at Dutch Flower Line

green wreath with fruit wreath

Designed by Miss Pickering

Blue Spruce and pussy willow holiday wreath

Designed by Miss Pickering

magnolia leaf wreath

Available at Dutch Flower Line

banksia protea flower wreath

Available at Torchio Nursery

Looking back on 25 years by Paula Pryke

Hi flower friends, I have an amazing post to share with you today! Floral Designer and Businesswoman extraordinaire, Paula Pryke, is celebrating 25 years in the industry this fall and she has been kind enough give us a glimpse into her journey. I hope you feel inspired as much as I have and enjoy her words of wisdom.

Paula Pryke

Image from Flowerona

When I was growing up as a child in a rural community in the UK I found I enjoyed arranging wild flowers and flowers from my Mother’s Garden rather than doing the housework! I was also aware that if you placed a vase of flowers into the room after a quick round with the duster and the vacuum cleaner, the room came to life and my Mother’s gratitude was greater! Later I went to a boarding school which was set into an amazing landscaped estate of 500 acres where my love of nature and the seasons was sealed. Back then the global flower industry was only worth a few billion. Opportunities to see floral design were confined to the Church, Garden centres or a few plain looking high street shops.

25 years ago I was just embarking on my career with flowers and little did I know how it would change my life! I had originally trained as a history teacher having been inspired by my own teacher at school and the historic parkland and house where I had been schooled. Three years into my career of teaching, I just knew it was not where I wanted to be 25 years down the line. One Valentine’s day I journeyed from East London to Heathrow airport in the West and everywhere I went I saw florists delivering roses. It was like the rest of London was this sepia grey with the red roses shouting out to me! This epiphany movement ended up on me enrolling on a Constance Spry four week flower design course and from that moment I was hooked.

purple and burgundy flower arrangements

Returning to teach at school I was staring out the window looking at the fall leaves and feeling the call of nature! At the end of that academic year I took a part time teaching job at The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, famous for training Naomi Campbell and Russell Brand and worked for three days a week in a shop in central London. This also allowed me to take a floristry evening course to learn more about the basics. I had recently married and my husband encouraged me to start my own business. I felt ill-prepared in experience terms but what I lacked in that department I made up for in enthusiasm and hard work. My original shop was in a secondary site and so I sought out contract work and also business accounts. My husband is an Architect and I found that new buildings and recently refurbished buildings were a good source of business for me. I also worked in an area that at the time was not very sophisticated and rents were quite cheap so I found myself working with a lot of creative types, such as photographers and stylists.
I worked on a massive advertising campaigns for BA, lots of Financial groups and Banks and did masses of editorial work. My shop became a mecca for lots of interesting creative characters and I realised that although I was not very experienced, people liked the way we arranged and presented flowers. I did not think of myself a trail-blazer at the time because there has always been a healthy amount of competition in London and I was just busy dealing with the day-to-day business of running a busy flower shop.

Three years into having that little shop, three things happened that changed my fortunes. The first was one of my customers, also ran a publishing company and she was so impressed with what she used to see on her forays into the shop on Saturday that she offered me the opportunity to write my first book which was entitled: ‘The New Floral Artist‘. I can’t believe that I have two more books coming out shortly which will make it a total of 17 titles! These books have been translated into Hebrew, Japanese and 12 other languages!

Through the photographer of the book, Kevin Summers, I met one the Great Britain’s most famous Cookery writers, Delia Smith and she offered me the chance to work with her on her books and TV series and also to publish a monthly article on flowers in a magazine run but her and her husband. This enabled a lot of people to learn more about flower design and enjoy flowers in their own homes.

mantle decoration of orange flowers

The third event that really changed the nature of business was a recommendation by Ilse Crawford a style guru who at the time edited Elle Decoration. She recommended to Terence Conran that he pay me a visit at my store which he did. He declared it the best flower shop outside Paris and I began to work with him on his restaurant and design empire.

The books led to demonstrations and The Flower School and wider exposure around the world. The magazines led to a wider audience in the UK and a huge interest in floral design. The regular supply of flowers to the restaurant trade gave me a regular turnover and back in the 1990’s these had huge budgets so I became and I got known for modern displays of wonderful flowers. I am still more into the elegant understated look than the opulent flowers everywhere approach! I have just completed a “How to plan your wedding” book which is out in January and I am working on a new Wedding Flowers book which will replace my old title that has been in print for ten years! The new Paula Pryke Wedding Flower Book will be published by Rizzoli in the US and will be my 17th flower book!

During the last three decades the flower industry has grown into a global multi-national business worth over 100 billion pounds. In those 25 years, I have opened and closed nine shops; eight in the UK, seven in London and one in the Seoul, Korea. I still still have the fantasy of having a flower shop and standing amongst all these beautiful creations, chatting to my customers and making beautiful flower designs! The reality of a flower shop is quite different and you do literally become a slave to your own creation. Since I started my first flower shop the retail world has changed dramatically and although there is still some demand for beautifully arranged quality flowers, most of my colleagues in London and now I have gone down the bespoke Atelier route rather than a retail outlet. My business now is based around business contracts, special events and my bespoke gift and internet orders. Many of my contracts, which I have had for twenty odd years and include some great fashion houses and city institutions as well as restaurants.

I am currently working as a flower consultant for a famous London department store and so I have be analysing all the reasons why retailing flowers have become so much harder even if you have the benefit of a prime site with lots of foot-fall. 25 years ago you could not really buy flowers anywhere else than in a flower shop, nursery, garden centre or a flower stall. Twenty years ago the Supermarkets came into the flower business and now they are really the major players for cut flowers for the home and also the gift market. These giants were attracted to the mark-up that flowers offered them and they have become very good at understanding the floral business over the last 20 years. They have also offered good value and long lasting flowers to their customers which has made bespoke floristry and top quality flowers look prohibitive to your everyday flower buyer. The relay organisations such as FTD and Interflora got bought out by the Corporate world and have forsaken the small independent florist. The Sympathy flower business has also been bought up by huge multinational companies and what was a lucrative and necessary party of the flower trade has dwindled because of their control on the flower purchases. Also there has been a strong trend to make a donation to a charity at a funeral rather than buy flowers. Whilst I understand this shift in thinking, there is nothing sadder than a funeral without any flowers. All these factors have meant that it is now very hard to survive as florist on the high street. Added to this, the flower industry and in particular the wedding flower industry has been attracting lots of new companies who just wish to work on events and weddings. Many of these work from home with limited overheads and can offer very competitive rates to secure work. One consistent trend I have seen over 25 years is how many people in our industry do not charge enough for their labour and designs and this can devalue the business and the talents required.

flowers and oranges for a display

Now everyone who consults with a floral designer is quite savvy about flowers and through pinterest, blogs and the wedding media. This has meant that the client likes to be more involved in the creative process. This can be an advantage but I sadly think it makes more people opt for something they feel safe with and less open to the one-to-one creative process with their floral designer. It also means that a lot of people come to you with ideas and budgets that really don’t match rather than let you guide and help them! It also can mean in a crowded market that too many floral designers are quoting and advising on the same weddings causing the Bride and Groom to become totally confused and wasting a lot of our time. There has also been a much greater emphasis on order takers, event planners, venues or concierge companies wanting to organise the whole event and take a commission from all their vendors. At one time, I liked to think that people chose me for my artistry or because they liked working for me. Now I know that it is because they will cream off 15% or 25% from my work. Even Royal Palaces are in on the game. Sadly these hidden commissions mean that your clients enviably pay more for their weddings and it can also lead to unscrupulous practices or less talented florists being recommended for work because they are prepared to compromise their clients wedding and pay a higher commission. The other recent trend at the top end of the market is the use of faux flowers in flower decoration! The demand for the flowers to look even more fantastical has led to the use of artificial flowers being added into flower displays! I try to avoid this at any costs but I admit it can be effective in moderation!

purple pink and blue large flower arrangement

Working in London too, we also have massive congestion meaning we spend too long on the road getting in and out of events. We also have difficulty parking and the overhead of the Congestion charge as all added costs to our work. 20 years ago you could park pretty much anywhere in London and deliver flowers. Now you pay up to £12 an hour and run the risk of £60 parking fines every day! Logistics have become much more costly and complicated. When you add the 20% VAT we also have to add to our flower costs here in the UK, it has made the product so much more of a luxury that the market has become quite divided. More often I am working for the international world traveller with many homes across the globe than the ‘ordinary’ local customers who wanted a treat or a beautiful gift. These overheads and the increasing cost of the flowers have made keeping on top of the profits even more challenging and margins have been squeezed.

However, despite all of these headaches of running a business involving the beauty and fraility of fresh flowers, I would not have changed anything! I have met some wonderful people and designed flowers all over the world! I have gotten to work inside some of London’s most beautiful landmarks and I have worked with the movers and shakers of Great Britain. I have worked in Palaces, on Super-Yachts and on a whole lot of loading bays!!! Recently I have been a consultant to a Crystal Cruises so I have become very familiar with how to get flowers delivered to any port in the world and I have been able to arrange flowers while sailing down the Panama Canal or past the Statue of Liberty! The flower industry has grown out of all recognition and ordinary people’s lives have been enhanced by the beauty of regular flowers in their own home. Running any business over 25 years requires adapting and moving to changing trends. I have been amazed by how many florists here in Britain and abroad and have been influenced by my work and how many have become floral designers and gone on to enjoy a life with flowers. I still enjoy teaching and passing on what I have learnt to the next generation. This weekend I have been judging The British Industry Wedding Awards and it is great to see new talent. I was a little disappointed not to see more original work but maybe we have got Pinterest and the bloggers to blame for that!
Deep down when I am back at the flower market with just the raw material and I see lots of my contemporaries still up early and still eulogising about a new variety or a new colour, you realise what an addiction the flower business is! As Vita Sackville- West said, “Flowers really do intoxicate me!” It has been such a pleasure to work each day with such outstanding beauty.
Who could ask for more?
The Paula Pryke Flower Design Diploma starts on the 4th of March 2014

handtied bouquet of orange fall flowers

orange fall flower arrangement

modern flower arrangement

heart wreath of colorful flowers

Fabulous Florist :: The Real Flower Company, West Sussex and London

The Real Flower Company

Your name: Karen Watson
Your Business name: The Real Flower Company
Your Location: West Sussex and London

peach and white bouquet

How did you start your business?
I worked in the fashion business for many years and had an allotment growing cut flowers and vegetables (when it was deeply unfashionable in the mid 1990’s!)

I used to attend amazing fashion shows and visit showrooms in Milan, Paris and New York in my role as Buying Director at Harvey Nichols and the flower displays were always amazing. I actually loved working in the fashion business but, after studying floristry by correspondence course in my spare time, I had decided that I needed to work with flowers full time.

I left Harvey Nichols and set up a floristry business selling to clients in the fashion, music and publishing industries.

Having decided to open a shop in London I was looking for a source of garden roses and I met 2 growers who had recently set up a company to market their stems, primarily to the trade. They asked me to join forces with them and, after a spell advising them, I agreed.

petite flower arrangements

How many years have you been in business?
The Real Flower Company is now 10 years old.

What is your design aesthetic?
Natural, organic, wild and abundant but beautifully presented.

I always view our designs as though I am the sender or the recipient. Flowers are an expression of emotion and it’s vital that the right emotion is conveyed.

white and purple bouquet

How do you create your style and where do you draw your inspiration?
Our designs are inspired by seasonal English gardens, woodland walks, seasonal bounty and all things natural and we aim to let the unique beauty of the individual flowers and foliage we use shine through in our bouquets and arrangements. We celebrate the imperfections of flowers and of course, scent is everything in our creations!

That said I draw inspiration from everything. I always carry a camera and sketch books, a hangover from art school where studied fashion and textile design. Mood board and designing ‘collections’ are a big thing for me…it’s very similar to the way I worked in fashion really.

Flowers are transient and I love the fact that they move and change shape and develop after a bouquet is delivered. They have a life force and even after the petals drop off they can still look amazing.

herbs and flower bouquet

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
Our signature flower is the garden rose and with that comes the most amazing colour palette.

Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
All of the above in our case! We have always traded online and send out our bouquets and arrangements all over the UK. We have shops in London, within Selfridges store and in Midhurst in West Sussex (recently given the status as one of the best 100 shop outside London by Vogue). Our studio is based in West Sussex and this is where we produce all of our designs for our website. We make and dispatch all of our own work there. Our weddings and event work is either produced in our stores or at our design studio.

pink and textured bouquet

Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
The majority of the flowers that we sell are grown on farms that we work with to grow to our requirements. We ask them to plant specific flowers and foliage for us and work with them to develop our portfolio of scented roses, flowers, herbs and foliage in the colours and varieties that we want to work with.

We also offer floristry courses in bouquet making, wedding work and Christmas wreaths.

english floral design

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
Well definitely scissors, thorn stripper (for roses!), camera and ipad.

What’s your favorite flower?
I love roses of course but they they have to be garden varieties and scented) but I also love hellabores, delicate woodland narcissi, spring lilac, flowering jasmine…the list is endless!

pink and blush bridal bouquet

Your contact information:
The Real Flower Company
Karen Watson
Tel: 01730 818300

pink and white arrangement

Fabulous Florist :: Joseph Massie Creative

flower umbrella

Your name: Joseph Massie
Your Business name: Joseph Massie Creative
Your Location: Liverpool, England, UK

How did you start your business?
Even when I was in high school, I knew I wanted to run my own business. I’d been involved in an enterprise scheme during my education, and just knew that it was the right path for me. However, I also knew I didn’t want the responsibility of starting my own venture before I was 25 ~ as a young designer I knew I had a lot to learn, and I wanted to learn without the responsibility of a business at the same time. I decided to devote my teens and early twenties to education ~ learning from premier national and international designers, traveling the world, and competing in design competitions.

green white and yellow bouquet

Little did I know, but when it came to start my business, Joseph Massie Creative, I’d already created a nice little platform for myself in the professional market. Honestly, without being aware of it, every time I was entering a competition, such as RHS Chelsea Flower Show, that was building my reputation, and over time I’d built up quite a competitive history. I’ve now won ten national competitions here in the UK, including five RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medals, and finished top three in both the World Youth and European Youth championships. Its now a case of developing and building from that history.

How many years have you been in business?
Only 8 months and counting! I started the business in January 2013, and I absolutely LOVE it.

flower sculpture yellow

What is your design aesthetic?
My aesthetic is 100% contemporary ~ I love art, I love design and I wholeheartedly encourage pushing the boundaries. I like to create pieces that have an impact, that affect the space that they’re in. Our work is our couture; often bespoke, technically excellent, and visually resplendent.

It was a conscious decision earlier this year to mark a distinction between our art and design services ~ two from our eight primary services which we offer. I now create mixed media art works, installations and take part in exhibitions, right alongside our design services for commissions, corporate work and events. I find this balance keeps me in both business and creatively satisfied. It’s the right mix for right now.

flower purse

How do you create your style and where do you draw your inspiration?
My style has definitely evolved over the years, moulded by the tutors I’ve learned from, but I’ve been able to take my education and channel it into my practice. I really took some time to create a vocabulary for my design work ~ what materials I like to use, what glassware we’ll incorporate, what scents and textures are a prerequisite ~ and that is so important as a young designer. You have to know what you stand for and what creates your signature piece. It’s about identity and about what you’re showing the world.
Inspiration is key to my work and our practice ~ often when I’m perplexed with a specific project or struggling with an unusual brief, I just need to find that one thing I can connect it to. You know ~ whether it’s a scrap of fabric, an old movie or cologne ~ it can be anything! But once I’ve found that key, the ideas flood, and the whole process is pretty effortless. I’ve never struggled for inspiration, and I’d always encourage others to look outside of their comfort zone. Look at fashion. Look at architecture. Head to a gallery. Go outside your comfort zone and push your boundaries.

yellow flower sculpture

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
Here in the UK, we’re having a resurgence of fabulous “just picked”, loose, natural designs that are cropping up in magazines, in the blogs and on television. I think it’s a great response to the recent and current economic climate – theres really this revolution into crafting, knowing where things are sourced from and making your own from what you know; really counting on what you can feel rather than what you’ve been told. As a designer you have to know what trends are popular, but also know how to incorporate them neatly into your work. You should never sacrifice your aesthetic for a trend ~ it’s a poor trade off.

Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
We’re currently studio based, in a cool brick building, right in the heart of Liverpool city centre.

Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
At JMC, we offer eight primary services: Flowers + Art, Design, Corporate, Events, Lifestyle, Education, Literature and Styling & Visual Merchandising. Due to my successful competition platform in the UK and Europe, I started out hosting a lot of educational events – demonstrations, workshops and seminars – which I love presenting, alongside writing and of course my art and design work.

Now, due to demand we’re branching out into corporate work, event design, lifestyle and styling and visual merchandising too. It’s a lot of fun and a lot of work too, but I like having a varied schedule ~ one week can see me competing at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, followed by a high profile design commission, before flying out to China for a tour of educational events, full of workshops and seminars. It really is that varied!

yellow flower sculpture

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
I love working with Japanese secatuers ~ they’re just exceptional.

What’s your favorite flower?
I’m afraid I don’t have one specific flower I love ~ it really does change from season to season. I’m generally more fond of quite unusual blooms ~ the rarer or more exquisite the better. At the moment, it’s the incredible Cafe au Lait dahlias.

yellow ranunculus bouquet

Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
We’ve actually just relaunched our new website ( so be sure to check out our work. Also, in 2014, we’ve got a few international tours in the pipeline, so if we’re presenting any educational events in a country or city near you, you’ll hear about it first through our newsletter (which you can subscribe to on our site) or at our blog ~ the Notebook.

Your contact information:
We’re also on:

flower purse

Visiting Only Roses, London, England.

logo for OnlyRoses
flower shop delivery car
The first shop I visited in London was OnlyRoses. My curiosity was peaked, a shop that only sells roses? In addition to only selling roses, they specialize in only selling Ecuadorian Roses. To those of us in North America this may not seem very surprising, since most of our roses do come from South America. However, from what I was told and saw in England, it is very unique to specialize in Ecuadorian Roses. Most roses there are grown either in Europe, Kenya or Ethiopia. You may be wondering what the difference is? Ecuadorian Roses are much larger roses, their blooms can be twice the size of the others!

OnlyRoses flower shop London
rose ball arrangements OnlyRoses

I met with Rebecca of OnlyRoses to get the scoop on the shop. She told me how the owners, Sabine and Anian, travelled to Ecuador on their honeymoon and fell in love with the roses while visiting a rose farm. They both had an entrepreneurial spirit and when they returned to England they decided to open OnlyRoses and provide the gorgeous Ecuadorian Roses to Londoners.
In their words, “OnlyRoses specialise in the ‘World’s Finest Roses.’ They are the World’s Finest because they are grown at high altitude up in the mountains in Ecuador, the perfect climate for these roses. OnlyRoses fresh-cut roses come in over 250 beautiful varieties. The roses are sourced from four ethically working farms in Ecuador in accordance to strict social, labour and environmental standards.”
Sabine and Anian are concerned about the environment and to off-set the carbon dioxide emissions produced by flying the roses to the UK they launched a reforestation project in Ecuador. In the past four years they have planted over 800 trees and travel to Ecuador regularly to check in on the program.

OnlyRoses Union Jack Flag made out of roses
In addition to the fresh Ecuadorian Roses, OnlyRoses now offers a unique preserved rose called Infinite Roses. Now I’m one to stay away from anything not-fresh, but will tell you these roses are cool – I loved the variety of colors they come in.
In their words, “What’s more, OnlyRoses have recently created the “InfiniteRose”. InfiniteRoses are real premium Ecuadorian roses that have been preserved in natural oils, and last up to a year. There is no need for water or refrigeration to keep them looking exquisite. They come in all natural, as well as many unusual, vibrant colours, including black, deep purple, royal blue and hunter green. InfiniteRoses can be fashioned into the most stunning exquisite arrangements. ”

OnlyRoses is launching in North American this fall! They will be based in Chicago, Illinois. You can read all about it here.

Pink rose arrangements by OnlyRoses

Contact Information:
0207 373 9595
Facebook: OnlyRosesLondon
Twitter: @OnlyRoses

London stores:
OnlyRoses Earl’s Court:
257 Old Brompton Road
London SW5 9HP

OnlyRoses Knightsbridge:
3 Hans Road
London SW3 1LJ (opposite Harrods)

rose flower arrangements by OnlyRoses

Visiting New Covent Garden Market, London

We visited New Covent Garden Market while in London, such a fun place! The rows and rows of supplies, I was quite enamored with the large props available. Lots of pretty flowers to look at, as usual it was the hydrangeas that were the most eye-catching.

How pretty is this arrangement by Pinstripes & Peonies. They had a display at New Covent Garden Market showing some of their work. I like how the lavender roses add an interest twist. Never would have thought about mixing those with the orange and yellow, but it really works.
orange roses yellow roses purple roses

The supply department was amazing .. we had so much fun perusing the aisles and looking for cool props.
London Florist Props

florist hard goods

florist hard goods

I loved the large urn on the right side, it was huge! Tried to order some to be shipped home, but looks like that isn’t going to happen. Anyone see these available in North America?
London Flower Market Supplies

Need some seashells?
lots of seashells

I haven’t seen this many large props for sale in one location before… want those tall white vases!
florist hard goods

Now the rows and rows of flowers:
New Covent Garden Market

London Flower Market

Dutch purple and antique hydrangea

red and yellow pincushions and ilex berries


cup of flowers filled with bulbs

More of the flower arrangements displayed by Pinstripes & Peonies.
cyclamen skimmia roses

flower arrangements with purple vanda orchids

white flower arrangement anemones paperwhites and skimmia

red flower arrangement anemones red rose illex berries

The hot pink garden roses that went home with Emma and I – had to buy some David Austin English Garden Roses while in England, right??
David Austin hot pink garden roses