Florists, like gardeners, often take their professional inspiration from the pioneers of the past. We love the colourful personalities from history whose skill, flamboyance and determination popularised the gentile arts, like floristry, for the masses. Nowadays, beautiful flowers are part of all our occasions, from weddings to funerals; they’re not just a luxury for the wealthy.
Constance Spry [1886-1960] was one such pioneer, a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur in the world of floristry who drew inspiration from the Dutch 17th and 18th century flower painters [and used]…. unusual plant materials to offset her flowers”.
Her life and work was the key note for a well-known local Spring Flower Show this month, held each year at the Georgian country estate of Boconnoc, not far from where I live, near Lostwithiel, in Cornwall.
I entered three competition classes titled ‘Fun with Flowers’, ‘Inspired by Candles’, and ‘Back in Time’ and was thrilled to be awarded a Commended for my Fun entry and Very Highly Commended for my tribute to Constance Spry (a woman after my own heart known to raid attics, hedgerows and vegetable gardens for pieces to include in her work) ‘Back in Time’.
After a busy build-up to the Easter weekend with my flower orders (flowers are so much a part of spring), the end of the month was quieter, so I took the chance to get the mop and duster out and give my workroom a good old spring clean in preparation for the summer wedding season.