firenzaflowers firenzaflowers

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Fiona Pickles  Seasonally led, nature-inspired & garden loving florist working in a large, dramatic & unstructured style. Huge installations are ‘my thing’

Demonstration urn - a blend of flowers from my garden, lichen covered branches and bracken from the grounds of my Welsh hotel and Welsh foliages from attendees at today’s workshop for Welsh members of @flowersfromthefarm with @tyfucymru . We chatted about social media, how to find your style and differentiate yourself, foam free floristry and mechanics, as well as the design and thought process behind making a large urn like this. Tomorrow its bouquets .... #nofloralfoam

Well I’m back from holiday and back in the land of insta 👋 We went to Mallorca, an island I’ve loved for years, with stunning landscapes, vistas and flowers. It was a bit of a roller coaster week though if I’m honest, mostly stunning, relaxing, beautiful and restful but amidst all that, there was the utter tragedy of the storms and floods which we stumbled into on the day we were travelling to our second hotel. In the scheme of things, obviously anything we went through is nothing compared to those affected, people lost their lives, homes and livelihoods, which puts absolutely everything firmly into context. A very stressful day was had, driving across the country through devastation and disaster (I was even interviewed on Channel 4 news 😳) but we finally arrived in the most wonderful, inspiring oasis of calm, complete with white rabbit roaming free in the grounds 🐇. The planting was jaw droppingly gorgeous and gave me lots of ideas and inspiration to have a go here in Yorkshire. I most definitely intend planting gaura en masse since seeing how stunning it was (and from all the comments on my stories I think many more will try it too 🤣👍) I already grow a few but Gaura hedges and huge swathes of it are utterly mesmerising.
In other news I’m off to Wales today (to teach) and am getting a bit of a complex about being a harbinger of doom - the storms seem to be following me everywhere I go 😳 Hope everyone in Wales is ok - so looking forward to being there again 💫.

Tuesday saw the second of my two foam-free, large installation classes with British flowers. We were back at the wonderful @holmeflowers again, I talked everyone through my thought processes and shared all my tips and hints on working without foam, yet creating large, natural designs. It was another lovely group of people, thank you all so much for coming so far to be involved xxx
Then on Wednesday Holly @belle_andbeau had her Wild and Wandering Fine Art Wedding Workshop around our installations. This was created with chicken wire, artemisia and honesty and will dry/die elegantly 🤣 Tablescape by @l27weddings

Close up of those stunning roses from my oversized mantelpiece demo piece last week. I’m heading back up to @holmeflowers this morning to start setting up for the second of my ‘Foam-free Large Installation’ classes. Many more of these beauties have been picked - how blummin gorgeous are they? So looking forward to meeting everyone tomorrow - safe trips all😘 #myfloraldays #inspiredbypetals #seasonspoetry

I do love a gravity defying urn 🤣.
Since you all seemed to love the workings of my mind in previous posts😳 I’ll share a little more. I work with negative space a lot, leaving the centre free, the area that most want to fill first. It gives space and shape to a design. And work with as many curves and bends as possible and no foam. Oh and Isn’t this just the BEST time of year for interesting colours and textures? This was at @rivercottagehq last September, I can’t believe it’s a year since I was there. A magical time in a magical place. 💫 image @jobradburyphotography

Well I have FINALLY got the pictures of the @castle_howard Flower Festival up on the website. The brief was ‘Bring the wild outdoors inside the house’ ✅👍. I also wanted to use solely British flowers and no floral foam.
There are lots of unseen pics, behind the scenes and chats about the inspiration in there so do take a look. What an amazing (and extremely intense🤯) few weeks back in June that was. This scene was amongst my favourites (although to all the hay fever sufferers picking it, not so much 🤧 🙈) I love hearing which pieces spoke to people, one of my favourite moments was when a guest turned the corner to the Antique Passage and gasped (in a good way!) . I’ve had so many lovely comments (then and recently) about it and it’s just great to revisit it all again. Which was your fave? (Link in profile if you need reminding🤣) Images on the website from @cag_photo @jannelford @hannah.straughan @annaheartsflowers @annadbell_branchout

The large foam-free installation from our class on a Monday. The chair was an accident but I actually quite like it for its sense is scale? I took the class through all my thought processes, ditherings, deliberations and managed to only say ‘is this a bit weird’ once 🤣 (those who know me know how restrained that is 🙄) I deliberately wanted the tree to still dominate and not just become swamped in flowers. Yes, I could have let the class loose, cover it from head to foot and the rest of the room for that matter, but that’s not me and I’m not sure how much they would have actually learned from that. My work is large but very restrained, each branch and flower is placed, considered, moved (many times in some cases 🙄) and then when it was right (and wrong) I explained why. My main aim at the start was to create and then maintain the beautiful arcing curve to the left. (not as easy as it sounds, areas of beauty and beautiful statements can so often get overlooked and disappear) I worried. It felt very bright for me, but I love it now - I think 🙈 ..,
So there’s a small insight into the workings of my mind 😳🤯 and a flowery tree in a barn 🤣 oh and no foam! 🐳

Beautiful evening light falling on one of my foam free demo pieces from Monday at @holmeflowers .
I had a quiet moment with this after everyone left, which was actually pretty magical and took 3,215 close up photos of that rose cluster in the centre 😍.
Guiding everyone through the intricacies of stopping the whole thing falling forward without the easier option of working short or flat against the wall was such huge fun. Thank you all for coming, to @pickedatdawn for extra flowers and @violet_and_willow @flowersbykatiewhite and @aelisabetflowers for their 💪 and as ever to Wendy and Sue for being utterly brilliant #britishflowers #forflowerlovers #britishflowersseptember

And why not fill a huge barn with British flowers 🤷🏼‍♀️. All ready for our wonderful guests on the first of my two foam-free, large installation classes. (And yes I KNOW portrait images are better for insta, but it was simply too wide 🙄🤣🙈).
Oh what a wonderful day we had at @holmeflowers Most of these beauties are grown by them, with some extras from me and @pickedatdawn . I must admit I possibly now take for granted the utter beauty of English grown flowers to a degree, but when people who don’t always work with them see them and are so surprised and full of awe at them, it reminds me how lucky I am to be able work almost exclusively with them now. Huge thanks to my fabulous team of @aelisabetflowers @flowersbykatiewhite and @violet_and_willow for their hard work and general loveliness 😘 and of course to everyone who attended yesterday. We’re back again next week for the next one💃

I love taking any ingredients and making them appear to have grown there. This was from a wonderful 1-1 here with @theflowerpressblog earlier this week, with Flo giving it the once over (she’s just thinking ‘where’s my chair gone 🙈🤣).
I’ll be teaching this on Monday too, all without floral foam (which is our industry equivalent of plastic pots if you’re in the UK and saw @themontydon on Gardener’s World last night?) I’m not so sure Mr P appreciates installations appearing everywhere, but he never says anything 💚 #patienceofasaint

Preparations are well underway for the first of the foam free installation classes next week. Flowers are ordered and @holmeflowers are having to perform all sorts of feats of engineering for this one 😳 (sorry all🙈).
I’m packing the van with every container, bucket and basket I can find and that will continue all weekend. Thankfully the storms are getting it all out of their system this week and Monday looks nice 👍 (Did you see the trees that came down in my stories? Some serious equipment needed to remove that bough in the garden 😩 ) Safe travels to all our guests and see you on Monday 💃💫💃. .
That’s my weekend sorted, what about you? Keep me entertained during my van packing and let me live it vicariously through you 🤣 🚙

Prepping for tomorrow’s 1-1 with garden roses, flowers from @theyorkshireflowerpatch and my lunch 🍑 🤣. (The scabious at the back is trying desperately to see the 🍑😉)

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