It is now March and we still have snow! However our Demonstrators on this snowy evening certainly brought us a taste of Spring. “Pyrus”, based in East Lothian, was set up by Fiona Ingles and Natalya Ayres to promote a more natural approach to floral design. Although their business is mostly weddings and corporate events, they came to Aberdeen to share their enthusiasm for all things floral with us.
Twenty years ago, 45% of flowers purchased in this country were British grown, a proportion which has now dropped to around 5%, but as more people become aware of the environmental costs of the imported flower trade, this is starting to increase again and a search of the internet turns up a good number of British growers. Fiona and Natalya have branched out into flower production on the estate at Coulston and hope to grow a lot of their own material in the years to come.
Having arrived with a quantity of foraged material and British cut flowers the girls set about creating some designs for us. Contrast in texture is an important element of their work and their first arrangement was set in a low urn. Based on a loose diagonal a selection of evergreens filled the urn, pieris (in flower), and camellia with its shiny green foliage formed a contrast; hellebore and delicate groups of snowflake added more interest to the design.
“Vintage” is a popular trend at the moment and Natalya and Fiona shared with us an easy way to create this effect. In a group of clear glass kilner jars they placed loose handtied bunches, this method created a more coherent effect than trying to arrange the individual flowers in the jars and could be adapted to any container. Another technique shared with us was an adaptation of Kokedama where moss covered oasis spheres looked great either on their own or with the addition of flowers, twigs and blossom.
A bit of fun with plant material next as hats were decorated with all sorts of floral material, it might be just the thing for our afternoon tea later this year!
As a finale we were shown how large impact displays, suitable for the more unusual wedding settings, could be created from the natural material around us. A large churn was used as the container and filled with a fantastic mix of lichened branches, blossom, garrya eliptica, pieris flowers and many varieties of daffodils bunched at different levels through the design showed how much is possible even at a time of year when the plant kingdom is just starting into growth.
It was a delight to welcome Fiona and Natalya to the flower club, their passion all things natural shone through and their enthusiasm for their work was infectious. We wish them all the best in developing their own cutting garden and perhaps they will return to Aberdeen in a different season to show us more of their “Natural Approach”.