We talk to Kate from The Stockbridge Flower Company about her career and love of wedding displays.
How did you get into the floristry industry?
My first memory of liking flowers was entering the miniature garden contest at the local flower show. It has taken me a quite a few decades to make floristry my career but it has been well worth the wait.
I studied Textiles followed by Marketing at University. Seduced by the offer of a company car, I went to work in operations management for a large food retailer after I graduated. Twenty years and two children later, it was time for a change. I took the plunge and was lucky enough to be on the last floristry course at Telford College. I made some wonderful friends there and we still help each other when we can.
I followed this with night classes and courses with some of the country’s top florists. In lockdown I had time to keep up with new trends and techniques with online courses.
I love being a wedding florist. Like any job there are less fun parts – its hard work physically and the hours are pretty anti social. However having the opportunity to work with exquisite flowers, lovely people (at a joyous time in their lives) in some of Edinburgh’s most beautiful venues more than compensates for that.
What inspires you?
My main inspiration comes from wandering around Edinburgh. The buildings are amazing and there are so many beautiful gardens filled with gorgeous plants - from hollyhocks in my neighbour’s garden to the majestic trees in the Botanics. I also love a good period drama and can’t wait until season 2 of Bridgerton.
What are your three favourite flowers?
Roses - There are so many reasons that I love roses, they are romantic, they come in so many varieties, colours, gorgeous scents, sizes and textures. Locally grown are especially good in the summer but they are available all year round and are fairly reliable in how they look and behave in arrangements.
Delphiniums - Blue is my favourite colour. Delphiniums come in an array of gorgeous hues from the palest powder blue to deep violet. Delicate varieties such as volkerfried are great for bouquets or metre long dewi are perfect to fill large urns and arches.
Peonies - These ethereal beauties are here for a fleeting season from the end of April to the middle of July. They are perfect for romantic weddings with their layers of petals and beautiful pastel shades. Their flower meaning is said to be ‘ a happy marriage’ and prosperity.
Who’s wedding would I like to design for?
Oh I‘d have to find a time machine and pop back to design flowers for the Queen’s wedding. I love watching The Crown (Netflix) and the stars of the show for me are the fabulous flower arrangements they are classic, elegant and timeless. If Princess Charlotte is looking for a florist in a few years time I’m available!
What's on trend at the moment?
Sustainability, locally grown flowers and environmentally friendly methods of creating arrangements is the only way forward.
What types of wedding displays are proving popular at the moment?
After all these months in lockdown couples are celebrating in style with gorgeous ceremony focal points such as arches, mantle or staircase displays.
What parting advice would you give wedding couples when thinking about flowers and dressing the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh?
The rooms in the Royal College of Physicians are splendid. They are filled with so many exquisite details that I feel flowers are a way of making them feel alive rather than to competing with what’s already there.
The other thing to bear in mind is the size of the space and to make sure that the scale of the décor fits, something that may look big on a table at home may appear to shrink!.
Rich cinnamon, oranges and peaches are very on trend at the moment and compliment the colour palette in the Great Hall of The Royal College of Physicians perfectly.