The UK still imports around 80% of the cut flowers bought at our supermarkets and florists but the value of British grown flowers cannot be overstated. As well as supporting British farms and growers, their growth also supports our decreasing local wildlife and declining biodiversity supplying bees, insects and birds with a vital source of food. It was so wonderful to see the magnificent British flowers at the recent coronation.
With this in mind, we were delighted to welcome Kathryn and Ricky from Fierceblooms to Toolerstone in mid-March.
As sustainable seasonal eco-florists, Kathryn and Ricky kindly donated their time to run a Mother’s Day Bouquet floristry workshop using beautiful seasonal British flowers.
The fragrance in the glass room was fabulous as the flowers and foliage, including some from the Toolerstone gardens, were being formed into gorgeous hand tied bouquets. We have kept some of the blooms from the floristry workshop in our refectory and 2 weeks later the scent remains and they are still looking beautiful.
Kathyrn had a professional career that took her around the world but her love of flowers and the inspiration for her Cheshire canal side cutting garden were firmly imprinted by the memories she has of time spent as a child with her grandfather in his garden.
We asked Kathryn for the motivation behind the name of her business – after all Fierce isn’t normally a word one would associate with delicate botanicals and floral design!
Kathryn explained, “I believe beauty is unbridled, wild, yes, even fierce. It is a curved stem that does not conform to supermarket perfect. Fierce florals are unique, each stem curated and nurtured with love. It is using foliage in a way that Constance Spry pioneered, letting each piece have its space and designing with it the way it wants to go.
Wild garden style floral design is about evoking the wild spirit of nature. It is about the spirited curation inspired by nature and the seasons. So rather than having angry overtones, the term fierce is about living our lives in a more authentic and fully engaged way.
Wild garden style designs are loose and emboldened. They aim to defy expectations of composition, form and colour. It is about knowing the rules to break them in creating one-off pieces of art rather than an assembly line of florals.”
Kathryn was able to convey her ethos and style ideas to enable our attendees on the workshop to understand the principles behind sustainable flower growing, the varieties used and the skill of informal hand tied arranging.
Our attendees were treated to an amazing afternoon tea by our resident chef, ‘Barbara Darling’ and our much-loved garden tour by head gardener Simon. With professional training in both garden design and horticulture, Simon has been developing the gardens at Toolerstone for over 10 years. Our four acres of formal and informal areas evolve throughout the seasons so there is always something wonderful to admire and learn about.
As we head towards summer our outdoor workshops feature more regularly on our calendar and encompass floristry workshops, gardening workshops and plant workshops. With a dedicated teaching greenhouse, chalet style rustic ‘brew shed’ and outdoor kitchen serving delicious wood fired pizza we are the perfect rural escape!