Last January on one very hot summers day, The Flower Seekers travelled down the south coast to visit us in our Berry flower studio.
I met the wonderful Sonya Gardiner a self-confessed flower lover, editor and owner of the magazine, writer Beth Abood and Lean Timms photographer in the studio as I prepared for a wedding being held the following day.
It had been such a hot week in the lead up to Sonia’s visit that I had hired a cool room to keep all my flowers happy and looking their best for the weekend ahead after a Wednesday morning trip to the flower markets. While it can be a lot of effort hauling buckets of flowers to and from the studio in the days leading up to a job, there’s no way I could do without the cool room at the height of summer. On days when the heat is a major factor I spend a lot of time running my eye over the flowers, recutting stems, spraying the flowers with my trustee sprayer and even putting ice cubes in the water if the heat gets too much.
When it’s overcast (like it was the day The Flower Seekers visited) it is incredibly muggy so the trips to the cool rooms were more a drain on me than the flowers! But as I brought all the buckets of flowers out of the cool room and back into the studio for the day’s work my mind was taken off the job at hand while I chatted and laughed with The Flower Seekers team as Lean captured it all through her lens.
I had been following The Flower Seekers Magazine for some time so it was real honour to have the women behind the magazine visiting me in my flower studio.
The magazine is created for flower lovers. It showcases Flower farms, Florists and artists working with flowers as their creative medium.
I personally get a lot of inspiration from The Flower Seekers magazine, all the articles give an insight to the creatives journey with flowers and the images are always drool worthy.
I was delighted when Sonia wanted to feature the Flower’s On the Mill studio in her magazine.
The colour brief for this wedding was pastel tones with a darker purple through the arrangements and for this wedding we used really beautiful flowers – roses and hydrangeas – our go to’s.
I never tire of a full flower with lots and lots of petals; old fashion garden style flowers tend to be my favourites. We tied these florals in with soft lemon toned orchids, prickly pear, lisianthus, baby’s breath and tuber rose.
Our signature style is a contrast of soft garden style florals and unusual textures to create interest and challenge the idea of a pretty floral display. I loved the bounty of flowers we had on display from the markets this week. The cool and calm sherbet lemon tones of the orchids mixed with the large and punchy vibrant lilac coloured roses, all with the mottled mid-summer age of the hydrangea made for a winning combination.
As I got to know my flower seeking friends a little more, I went about styling the flower studio for the shoot. I like the studio to look worked in, a splash of water on the floor, having leaves and cut stems scattered here and there does not worry me. In fact, I kind of like it to look a little messy, I feel it gives the room a bit of a creative buzz.
The studio has a lot of character. The big bay windows are my favourite feature of the room.
The room has been loved by many and is a little worn around the edges. It’s the perfect space to create.
When I am styling my flower studio for a shoot I tend to create a base using flowers either of the same type – such as roses – or flowers in the same colouring. Then I add and change from there. I will put flowers next to one another and see if they complement each other and continue switching and changing until I have the room just right.
Height is important too. I like to mix up my lows and highs, with some things in the foreground and some in the background. Also, I don’t like things to look too even. A sporadic mass of roses her and something over in the far corner is fine.
I don’t like to complicate things too much – and this is how I like my flower arrangements too. I think the flowers are so beautiful and often speak for themselves without me manipulating them too much.
Usually, I will keep my favourite few special stems right until the last moment so I can make sure they are the show stoppers and give them a special spot in the arrangements.
We are lucky our flower growers know the types of flowers we like, for us, it is always so important we receive a really high-quality product. We were over joyed with the selection we had on the day.
I never tire of the studio looking full like this and it smelt so great with the mix of locally grown roses and buckets of tuber roses too.
Oh and right at the last minute, before The Flower Seekers were about to leave, we had a visit from Gus who wasn’t shy to meet our friends get in front of the camera and let Sonia and her team know which flowers were his personal favourites on the day.
This Flowers on the Mill shoot was featured in The Flower Seekers Autumn 2018 issue.