What's it like to work with flowers?

We've chosen to begin this blog with the question we get asked more than any other. What is it really like being a florist? 

The lens of social media is indisputably kind to floristry, as it is to many other photogenic professions. The truth is that floristry is a beautifully hard job. Much of your time is spent hauling, sweeping, lifting, carrying, sweating, conditioning (not that kind) and getting up really early. But this profession also gives you the opportunity to create something beautiful, often in a team with great people. At that point all of the tough parts seem pretty insignificant. One thing we definitely agree on is that floristry is a way of life. 

We asked Petalon founder Florence and three other florists we love to sum up what it's like for them.

 

Florence Kennedy, Founder of Petalon 
Gus Cavanagh, founder of Augustus Bloom
Ellie Jauncey, co-founder of The Flower Appreciation Society
Emma Weaver, founder of Palais Flowers

 

What's your favourite thing about working with flowers?

Florence: The challenge. Every arrangement I make I learn from. What works and what doesn't work, how the flowers play off each other and compliment one another, from their form, their texture or their colour. For me the constant learning and unending possibilities of so many types flowers is the greatest joy. 

Gus:
I love the thrill of the chase. Tracking down the perfect blooms and praying they stay alive for the event.

Ellie:
The flowers we work with. We get to work with something that is already so beautiful and we are very lucky to be able to do so!

Emma:
I love experimenting with colour and texture, photographing arrangements to capture them forever then throwing the real one in the bin! 
 

And your least favourite?

Gus:
I hate the stressful anticipation before a job. When you are about to give away something you have created, that can feel very personal to you and hoping that the client likes it as much as you do.

Ellie:
Cleaning vases and smelly water buckets.

Emma:
The constant shock at how expensive flowers are despite growing EVERYWHERE

Florence: 
Part of a flower's beauty is its fleeting existence but for me this is also the hardest part. Not being able to keep something that you find so beautiful - you can't hang an arrangement on your wall forever like a painting.
 

One word to describe what floristry is really like?

Ellie & Anna:
Varied

Gus:
Emotional

Emma:
Rollercoaster

Florence: 
Intense


Fancy learning a bit of floristry yourself? We've got a couple of workshops in the calendar for September

 

Florence Hill