British Flowers Week 2017 — Day Two with florist Jennifer Pinder
June 20th, 2017
It’s Day Two of British Flowers Week, folks!
Meet Jennifer Pinder and feast your eyes on her three signature designs celebrating U.K.-grown flowers.
Passionate about British Flowers, Jennifer’s wild, luxurious and deeply romantic floristry style lends itself perfectly to using homegrown blooms. Each of her three stunning designs showcases the natural beauty which British cut flowers and foliage exude.
Jennifer has made the transition from working as a lawyer in London to becoming a full-time florist in Kent.
Championing British flowers, her business has bloomed with the help of her meticulous focus on posting beautiful images on Instagram.
She’s wowing brides-to-be and florists alike with her stunning natural floristry style.
Jenn says: “I’ve always really liked gardening. But it was only when friends were getting married and my own wedding that I encountered floristry for the first time.”
“I then decided that flowers would become a hobby and I started doing floristry courses for fun. I learnt a lot and they were especially good for grasping the basics. I helped at friends’ weddings and actually did my own wedding flowers, gradually I started to think about whether I could make a business out of this new passion.”
“The real trigger for me changing my career all comes down to Instagram. I’d started an account, which was flower based, when I was a lawyer. It didn’t build up a huge following, but it built up enough of a following that I was getting floristry enquiries. So that gave me the confidence that if I did leave my job, I would have some work coming in.”
“Like lots of people, I discovered that an office job wasn’t for me. I was desperate to leave but didn’t know what I could even do. So it was a very lucky coincidence that I found something that I really, really loved.”
At the end of 2014, Jennifer left her job as a lawyer, set up her business The Brixton Flower Club, went full-time as a florist and started taking on small weddings.
“I was living in Brixton at the time and was working in my kitchen. Then, in January 2016, my husband and I moved to Kent. I wanted to have a studio and a big garden to be able to grow flowers. In my garden, there are now masses of roses, gorgeous foliage and shrubs and I have a separate plot where I grow annuals. At the moment I also use imported flowers but I’m aiming to use just British flowers within the next two years.”
Read more about Jennifer’s approach to designing with locally-grown British flowers.
There are three entries to Jennifer Pinder’s designs for British Flowers Week:
Showstopper Design | Rustic Bench Nestled in a Meadow Setting
Pink foxgloves and scabiosa, purple alliums and salvia, pastel coloured cornflowers, lilac delphiniums, geraniums, white orlaya grandiflora, cow parsley, nigella and irises, plus brizia, ivy and mint…all play important parts in this wonderful installation featuring an old rustic, weathered bench nestled in a meadow setting.
Jennifer says: “I feel the design represents my own personal journey of finally being amongst the flowers. This is my ideal setting, sat outside, reading a book, with flowers all around me.”
Technical Design | 3 Styles of Buttonholes
Drawing on the rich and long history of buttonholes, Jennifer has created three styles of buttonholes from various eras, with different symbolism behind each of them.
There is much speculation but the tradition of buttonholes is thought to originate from Ancient Greece, when male members of the wedding party would wear small bunches of flowers, usually with fragrant herbs to ward off evil spirits. Here, stems of homegrown mint and lavender have been mingled to create a scented nosegay.
Signature Design | Urn Design
Known for her natural, rambling floral creations, Jennifer has created an exquisite urn design using chicken wire.
She says: “This is what I love to create the most – big things, especially wild urns. They’re what seem to drive people towards me and so it makes sense for me to create one for my signature design!”
Foxgloves, roses, peonies, delphiniums and orlaya grandiflora in a muted colour palette of white, cream and soft pink have been beautifully arranged, with cornflowers adding a dramatic splash of deep burgundy. And a wonderful variety of foliage in contrasting hues add texture and movement to the design.
“I offer 100% British wedding packages and for my other weddings, I use as many British flowers as I possibly can. I feel it’s worth going the extra mile to get them when you can.”
“For wedding consultations, the couple are able to choose a very loose colour palette, either pale colours or dark and vibrant. That’s how tight I allow their brief to be because I like the flexibility to choose the flowers. And that means that I can use British flowers, because I’m not tied to a certain type, like peonies. So, if they’ve finished early, I can use something else instead. I’m really obsessed with colour. I like to check the flowers and make sure that everything sings together on the day.”
“If florists are interested in using more British flowers, my top tip is to get your couples to trust you to choose varieties without their involvement and then you’ll find sourcing flowers a lot less stressful. You’ll go to your flower market or grower, look at what’s best and that’s what you’ll take home with you.”
“You just can’t beat the truly natural shapes, colours and scents of the flowers that aren’t mass-produced. For me, nothing compares to using homegrown flowers to create something beautiful. That’s why I’m a florist and why I plan to be a florist for the rest of my life. When I leave a wedding and I know I’ve done a great job, that I’ve nailed it. Well, nothing beats that for me.”