Today, it gives me great pleasure in featuring a very talented florist, Philippa Craddock.
You may remember that last month I featured Philippa’s beautiful floral designs in a blog post about Snapdragon Parties’ stand at the Designer Wedding Show…
Well, I was blown away by her arrangements, so I asked if she’d like to do an interview for Flowerona.
And I’m delighted that she accepted…
Could you tell us what prompted you to become a florist?
After the birth of our first child, I launched our plant gift service delivering boxes of gorgeous potted plants throughout the UK.
Soon after launching, we were asked to appear on a television programme to supply our potted plants as wedding table centres. The producers also asked us to provide the bridal flowers.
Following on from there, we were asked to create flowers for a number of weddings and events, and the floristry side of our business was born. Our floristry work is now the largest part of the business.
When did you start your business and where are you based?
I started Philippa Craddock Flowers in 2009. We’re based in the heart of rural Sussex and are privileged to be in a unique spot surrounded by gardens and woodland at Pheasants Hatch.
From here, we work throughout London and Sussex, travelling further afield for specific weddings and events, including Continental Europe.
What kind of floristry services do you offer?
We supply weekly flowers to boutiques, hotels, salons, bars, restaurants and private homes.
We offer bespoke, in-depth wedding and event consultations, where we design everything from bouquets through to styling the whole wedding and event.
Our consultations take place at Pheasants Hatch, either outside in the gardens on glorious days or beside a wood burning stove with tea and cakes on gloomier days.
It’s so important to chat through design ideas in a relaxed, friendly environment so I can really get to know each client. They experience a truly unique and personal service and in turn, we create their perfect design scheme.
We have a wide range of props available for hire, each of which I have personally sourced worldwide, from candelabras to urns and vases to votive holders.
And we regularly contribute to magazines, supplying top tips and flower arrangements for photo shoots.
Could you tell us about some of your recent commissions?
A gorgeous bride recently asked us to include her husband-to-be’s favourite vegetable, broccoli, as a surprise in their wedding flowers.
We experimented with different varieties to ensure the designs remained elegant and the broccoli was only first noticeable to the most attentive of guests – with the view of it then becoming a talking point.
We used purple sprouting, the designs worked a treat and the groom was utterly thrilled!
One of our clients has recently asked us to create flowers for a catwalk show in May. The show will also incorporate a ballet.
We will be using flowers to create a huge vertical installation, an incredible wall of flowers. We’re all very excited about this project.
How would you describe your style?
Often our brides have chosen their dresses from these two incredible designers and I feel we have a natural similarity in style with these classic and iconic brands.
Could you tell us about your ‘Plant Gifts’ range?
City Chic is our original collection, offering seasonal plants potted in our signature white opal glass pots and presented in our rather grand aubergine and lime gift boxes. They make the ultimate statement.
Our Country Cottage collection draws inspiration from traditional English and French country homes, potted in our hand painted clay pots and presented in 100% recyclable gift boxes. They are beautifully classic designs, with a rustic edge.
Gifts from both collections are finished with tissue paper, satin ribbon and a card which can include a personal message.
What is your favourite flower?
I’m often asked this and it is forever changing, depending on my mood at the time. At the moment though, I just love ranunculus, for their perfectly beautiful petals and full heads.
What are your plans for 2012?
We have so many exciting plans for 2012.
Later in the year through our website, in addition to our plant gift collections, we will be offering our customers sumptuous bouquets, presented in fabulous style, with easy online ordering and nationwide delivery.
We’re on the finishing straight with our new studio and courtyard of outer buildings at Pheasants Hatch.
As soon as these have been completed, and we have landscaped the surrounding gardens, we will be opening our flower school.
From our school we will offer relaxed, fun days, where students can learn how to create a variety of flower designs in a cosy space.
We have some amazing weddings and events this year, which I’m hugely looking forward to working on with my team, including fabulous collaborations with the likes of the White Gallery London, which showcases the world’s finest bridal collections, and we will be back at the Designer Wedding Show in October.
News of everything will be available through our seasonal newsletters and on our blog which we regularly keep up-to-date.
Thank you so much to Philippa for all her help in compiling today’s blog post. I really enjoyed putting it together and seeing her truly stunning floral creations…
(Images : Anthony Craddock/Philippa Craddock Flowers)