Q. How would you describe your floristry style?
A. I would describe my style as colourful, romantic, garden-style florals.
Q. How long have you been doing floristry? What’s your background?
A. My career in flowers started after I graduated form art school in Aberdeen in 1997. As a shop florist I learned everything from washing buckets, sweeping floors to creating and delivering bouquets and arrangements. I then moved to Texas in 1999 where I became head designer in an upscale independent florist in a prestigious area of Dallas. Everything is so much bigger in Dallas including their flower budgets. It was a great opportunity.
Switzerland came next where the style was completely different again, then back to the UK in 2007 where again I was still learning different ways and trends.
Q. Where do you get your inspiration?
A. My initial love of flowers comes from my maternal Grandmother. She had the most abundant beautiful rose garden. I’ve always loved the idea of a secret garden, so I adored the nostalgia, quirk and intrigue of classical English gardens; the flowers heady with scent that attract bumble bees and butterflies. I’d adore it if a bumbler landed on one of my bouquets… result!
Q. What are your favourite flowers/colour combos?
A. I cannot resist those rich, velvety, jewel tone colours. Deep bordeaux, raspberrys and hot pinks, but then also vibrant autumnal colours too. I just love them all, except yellows and oranges, although it depends what they are next too, but then again if they were garden roses I would just have the whole lot!!
Q. Where does the name Velvet Broon come from?
A. Velvet Broon is a name that represents down to earth luxury. Velvet is my favourite material, so I have always tied my wedding bouquets with velvet ribbon. Broon is Scottish for brown. My flowers may be luxurious but the wrapping will be plain and simple brown craft paper.
I suppose the name also represents myself as I’m a down to earth person that adores opulence and extravagance.
Q. What do you love about wedding floristry?
A. Wedding floristry allows you to be part of a special time in someones life. The excitement of being included in the planning of a romantic, beautiful day is such an honour. The challenge of figuring out what flowers to include and then planning how they will look and go together is so much fun. A girls wedding flowers will be the most important representation of herself in flower form for all to see.
Q. Where are you based and which areas do you cover?
A. I’m based in Fleet in Hampshire, a county that borders Surrey and Berkshire. Sussex isn’t far either and I’m less than an hour from London.
Q. Which local venues do you frequent?
A. I’m a preferred supplier at Tylney Hall. I’ve also worked with Froyle Park, The Elvetham, The Four Seasons, Highfield Park & South Down Manor. This year I look forward to doing weddings at Millbridge Court, Burley Manor, Stanlake Park Wine Estate to add to the list.
Q. We see you specialise in equine flowers. That’s quite niche! What can you tell us about it?
A. Equine flowers came about as I own two horses. I came to realise that there would be absolutely no way that my daughter would get married without her ‘first loves’ there. They play such a huge part in ones life and it makes sense that they should also come to the wedding all flowered up and gorgeous. Because they are more sizeable than the average family pet it means they need larger flowers and more of them.
Who ever said ‘less is more’ ? Not me!
Q. What does the future hold for Velvet Broon?
A. In the future, I’d like to just continue what I’m doing but more of it. I adore doing the bridal bouquets of course, but the larger installations are both a challenge and enjoyable in equal measures. These command a bigger budget naturally, which is great having the freedom for creativity. It also means I can invite a freelancer to help which entails lots of flower discussions. I used to think that doing bridal flowers would be stressful. Having said that, my natural ability to ooze excitement and enthusiasm with my down to earth character seems to attract brides of the same nature. Because of this all my brides have been an absolute pleasure to meet and know.