FLORIST INTERVIEW

 

Brigitte Girling creates rambling, beautifully crafted floral designs that evoke the sense of romance of wandering through a field with your heart filled with love. She shares below a glimpse into her life and what has become her passion.

 

 

 

FLORIST

Bridgette Girling

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OM

Did you always dream of being a florist and how did your journey begin in floristry?

BG

" No, I didn't always dream of being a florist but I have always loved flowers and gardening. My grandfather (mum's side) and my granny (dad's side) were both passionate gardeners. My granny was also a very accomplished flower arranger and had her own beautiful cutting garden just outside her back door. As a small child I used to marvel at the bees and butterflies swirling around her flowers. Not surprisingly my mum is a very keen gardener and spends much of her time tending her plants. She is also an amazing flower arranger (although she doesn't think she is!). She has a very natural garden gathered style so I suspect her influence on me was enormous. I have always loved gardening but I came to floristry over 10 years ago now after a career as a teacher. I just suddenly realised I really wanted or needed to work with flowers. It was the best thing I ever did!".

OM

Where is your shop located and what style would you say bests describes it?

BG

"I don't have a shop. I work from my studio at home where I can dive into my garden at any point if I need a little extra interesting twiddly bit to bring a design to life. ".

OM

What does a day look like in the life of Bridgette?

BG

"Goodness this is a really hard question because each day can be so different and certainly changes enormously depending on the season. But as a general rule there are some constants that have to be achieved…the boring bits such as emails and paperwork, cleaning buckets and tidying up the workroom. Then there are the wonderful parts to the day such as collecting flowers from my local growers - they are amazing I just give them a colour palette and a budget - when I arrive there I am so excited to see what they have cut and gathered for me! Then of course there is the making and creating. I have to create something everyday - its like an itch or a compulsion - so if I don't have a workshop guest that day or wedding or event to pull together I always try to make something with left overs or with bits from the garden. There is always something to do in the garden too of course - sowing, planting, weeding, watering - that is a full time job on its own. Interspersed with all of that is the daily dog walk - we have a puppy at the moment and I am missing my long hikes across the fields and down country lanes…it really helps me keep in touch with how each season is progressing and I always come home with something I will use in my next arrangement. I have snips in my pocket next to the dog treats! But it won't be long before she is able to join me on long rambles and I can't wait! ".

OM

What inspires your creativity?

BG

"Now that's a much easier question! Observing and working with the changing seasons, overgrown rambling gardens, the hedgerows and woodlands and using locally sourced British flowers whenever I can. Wonky stems, interesting curls, floaty, dainty flowers and twisty tendrils all inspire me. I like to think of my work as celebrating and reflecting romantically neglected gardens. I like each flower and piece of foliage to have its own place and be celebrated in each design. Every stem is there for a reason. I want people to really look at each flower and be able to admire its singular beauty. Because the natural world inspires me and my work in every way, I work without floral foam and I try to be as environmentally aware as possible - I think it's important."

OM

What are your top three flowers to work with and why?

BG

"Oh dear we are back to the hard questions again! This changes almost everyday as the season progresses and new things become available to me. But if absolutely pushed I would say Cow Parsley (in fact many plants considered weeds are among my favourites), hellebores and fritillaries (don't make me choose between them!) and garden roses and dahlias. Arghh but what about all the others!!! Blossom, sweet peas, foxgloves, annual phlox, Tiarella - I could go on and on!"

OM

What is your favourite perfume?

BG

"Maybe lilac - no honeysuckle - definitely honeysuckle oh and that is one of my favourite flowers too!".

OM

If you were a flower what would it be and why?

BG

" A hellebore - a stalwart in the darkest season - pumping out beautiful bashful blooms for months on end. They don't expect to be noticed, or scream for attention but if you spend some time getting to know them you begin to wonder how you could possibly get through winter without them!"

OM

What is the highlight of your career to date?

BG

"I am not sure I have a particular highlight. In fact I would say simply finding a job that makes me so happy is the real highlight. I love the flowers of course, I love the freedom I have to choose what I do, I love being creative everyday and I love the people I have met along the way many of whom will be life long friends. I feel very lucky".

OM

What advice would you give to people new to floristry?

BG

" Freelance - work for as many different people in different areas with different styles as you can - you will be constantly learning whilst also honing your skills and working out your own floral style. You will also make great connections along the way!"

OM

        Do you have a favourite moment in your studio or shop you would like to tell us about? 

BG

" My favourite moments in my studio are when my workshop guests tell me they have had the best day, feel more confident, feel recharged and refreshed - that definitely makes it all worth while!"

OM

Thanks to Brigitte - you can follow her on instagram on @mossandstonefloraldesign

 

 

 

 

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