This post comes from our UK PR Manager Lisa! Follow along with her on Instagram @freepeopleuk!
Whenever we have events in our London showroom and need some beautiful fresh flowers for that perfect finishing touch, the first person we call upon is the lovely Victoria Clarke. She has a way of putting flowers together with such love you can’t help but smile. Victoria left her job 12 months ago to become a florist and start up her own business, Foxgloves and Glory, and she hasn’t looked back. Always super busy, but yet she always breezes into the showroom looking nothing but glam with an air of calm and happiness about her!
Her passion for flowers is infectious, and she always gives the best tips and advice, so we asked her to come in and give us a tutorial on how to make a holiday wreath at home. Check out her tutorial below, and be sure to scroll through to read our interview with this fabulous florist!
Oasis wreath base
Ribbon or a piece of vintage fabric
Foliage – I used pistachio & asparagus fern for their different textures, but you can use anything, ivy and pine look amazing together.
Berries – I used viburnum and peppercorn, but why not forage some rose hips or berried ivy, both look beautiful in wreaths.
Succulents – prep by removing all soil and the root ball and placing a stick (wooden bbq skewers are perfect) through the base so they are well anchored.
Dried hydrangea heads — I picked these from my garden and hung them upside down over a radiator for few days until they were crispy.
Gold Leaf – I sprayed these leaves gold myself, but don’t limit yourself to the traditional festive colours – neon brights against greens look insane.
First things first, you need to soak the wreath base for about 10 minutes. This will ensure all of your foliage stays super perky for the whole season. While that’s soaking you can start prepping your foliage and berries by cutting your stems into pieces about 4-inch in length, making sure one end has about 2cm of bare stem.
Working in one direction, start adding your foliage into the oasis base at a slight angle. I always work clockwise by filling the outside edges first, before working my way in to the middle. Once the whole base is covered in greenery (you won’t want to add anything else because it looks so lush!) you can start to decorate!
I LOVE succulents in wreaths; their silvery purple tones work amazingly against all the greenery. Cut the stick that you’ve anchored the planys to so it’s just long enough to sit firmly in the base. By adding each succulent at a different angle as the last you’ll create a great shape.
Next you can start to add your hydrangeas by placing them between the succulents and pinning them in with wires. To make a pin, simply fold your wire in half and trim the ends so the pin is about 2 inches long. Place the pin directly though the hydrangea head and push into the oasis. I usually do this 2 or 3 times to ensure they don’t move.
Berries last brilliantly in wreaths. They add a solid texture and are easy to prep and add. Dot them around your wreath in small or large clusters, making sure they are snuggly placed (you may need to pin the peppercorns in as their branches can be brittle, but the extra effort is worth the effect)
Finally some gold! These gold leaves are the perfect finishing touch and work best when added so just the tips are poking through. To hang your wreath, thread a piece of ribbon or a strip of vintage fabric though the wreath and tie in a loose knot. Or as an alternative, pop a pillar candle in the middle and use as table centerpiece for a holiday feast!
When did you start becoming interested in the flower world?
Since forever! I grew up on a farm and within it my grandmother had the most beautiful cutting garden. My earliest memories are running around it picking flowers to take back for my Mumma to put in her collection of vintage teapots and marmalade pots. I now have those pots and use them for events.
When and how did you start your business?
I started the business last year after completing a career conversion course. A couple of my friends asked me to flower up their weddings and it just snowballed from there by word of mouth and the amazing-ness of social media. It’s been the most incredible 12 months and I can’t wait to see what unfolds next.
What have you learned about yourself since starting Foxgloves and Glory?
That I can find inspiration in everything and anything – often to the extreme, I have to rein my ideas in a lot of the time!
What is a typical day like for you?
Well its starts super early, usually around 4am so I can get to the flower market to buy/place my orders. I’m a morning person so I love the market and like to spend at least a couple of hours looking at stock and talking to my suppliers about what they have coming in that week. On my way back I’ll often pop in and check on my installations – at the moment it’s Christmas so I’m constantly checking that my trees have enough water and if my garlands need extra foliage. I’ll then head back to my studio at home and start prepping my daily orders and planning logistics for any upcoming events. I’m more a project manager than a florist, if I could just play with flowers all day I’d be in a constant state of euphoria! My afternoons are then split equally between delivering, answering emails, booking freelancers and quoting jobs. I’m usually setting up events in the evening but on a rare night off my boyfriend and I will head to our local pub to plan our house renovations and plot our wedding next year!
What’s the best piece of advice that’s ever been given to you?
Concentrate on your product and everything else will follow.
What are three things you can’t live without?
Black eyeliner, flowers and carrot & fresh ginger juice – I’m equally obsessed with them all
What do you do to relax?
I run, I love it and wish I had time to do it every day. I also love cooking and can get totally engrossed in a cookbook for hours. A Modern Way to Eat By Anna Jones and Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour are my current faves.
Say you have a one way ticket to anywhere in the world… where are you going?
South America; I’d start in Buenos Aires and head north until I hit the coast
What does being “free” mean to you?
Being able to make your passion a way of life.
Photographs by Frances Davidson.