Sarah Loughrey-Jennings, owner of Hiding In The City Flowers, shares her passion for Brit-born blooms - as well as her tips and ideas for including them in your wedding day
Back in the day, Jane Macfarlane-Duckworth pulled up outside my shop in her hatchback and opened the boot to buckets brimming with interesting and unrecognisable blooms. I was like a kid in a candy shop and it was from that moment on that I fell in love with the natural charm of British flowers.
The eclectic mix was like nothing I had ever seen before – the variety of heritage stems looked as though they had been gathered up from a beautiful, mythical garden (not something you’d expect to find in East London at all). Jane is the founder of The Flower Union, a collective of florist companies who are all about bringing people together through the love of British grown flowers and she is also the person who made me truly care about championing British florals.
When looking for buds for my wonderful clients, I set off at a ridiculously early hour with a vat of coffee and the dog riding shotgun to the New Covent Garden Flower Market so I can get the best picks.
For me it’s my preferred place to go for amazing quality flowers that I can hand select and I love the fact that they have suppliers specifically dedicated to providing British florals. But, funnily enough, it’s not all about the florals, if you’re familiar with our designs you’ll clock on to the fact that we love a bit of green here at Hiding HQ.
Foliage is the first element we decide upon when putting together our displays. Thankfully, we are totally spoilt by the suppliers that cater in foliage – the boys down at market are great at bending over backwards to help me get special bits and pieces that will make the couple’s day really unique.
Foliage is bang on trend at the moment for weddings, with even the Pantone Colour of the Year being a vivid shade of green, so with that in mind, we have definitely seen a rise in brides being keen to have foliage feature in everything from bouquets to buttonholes.
As well as an overwhelming love for greenery, my brides have also been asking for more traditional, British buds too. The humble English garden rose has continued to be a firm favourite in the world of weddings, with the industry now no longer being dominated by the mighty ‘David Austen’ Rose we are seeing similarly fluffy rivals being supplied by smaller growers in the UK.
The aesthetic of ‘hand-picked cottage garden’ florals continues to bloom and we’ve been making bouquets with foxgloves and buttercups alongside heritage varieties of roses and I’ve also been popping in types of grasses to create loose, flowing bridal bouquets.
Tropical buds are still big and rampaging through the fashion and interiors world, so we do still get people asking for on-trend tropical designs and that’s when we’re forced to source from abroad, but we’re sneaky and have worked out how to shoe horn in British foliage that can give a tropical look too.
There are so many ways to work all of the varieties of British flowers – we can create a bright and beautiful display for an outdoor summer wedding or a more luxurious look for a country manor venue. With gorgeous heritage flowers, the possibilities are endless…
Images throughout: Georgina Harrison, Roberta Facchini, Hannah Sweeney, Rebecca Goddard Photography.