Since starting her floristry career in her teens by taking a Saturday job in a flower shop, Carly Rogers is now pushing boundaries to create dazzling artistic installations. From large-scale themed events to weddings and enormous one-off pieces for prestigious venues.
Her extensive experience in the floristry industry and fine art background is a magical combination of skill sets. And her eye for design goes beyond the traditional floral arrangement and tells a skilfully crafted story.
Carly says: “When I was around 12 years old, I started helping out on Saturdays and after school at a florist in Putney, where I grew up. I continued working in flower shops, whilst I was studying a Textiles Degree at Winchester. And when I left college, I worked as a junior at a top London florist for about a year.”
“A Master’s Degree in Fine Art Printmaking at the Royal College of Art was the next step. A lot of work on the course was photography based and I took fine art close-up photographs of floral foam and other floristry materials. I was really into the idea of making still life images with flowers and floristry materials. And at that point I was looking at floristry more as conceptual.”
“The idea when I finished studying was to have a studio. I started my business in 2005 and I realised that I loved the business side. It really surprised me, coming from an art background! I started taking on contract work and doing weddings, then building up from there.”
“I've got a railway arch in Camberwell, where I work Monday to Friday and weekends when we have weddings. I've got a team of brilliant freelance florists and we now do a lot of event work. For the last two years, we’ve created installations for London’s Sketch restaurant’s prestigious Mayfair Flower Show. And this has led to more commissions.”
“The commissions tend to be project-based, which is very similar to how we worked at art school, having a project and building up to a large scale event."
"I love the transient nature of this kind of floristry work. You invest a lot of time and effort into creating an installation, which is on-site for a limited duration. Then you move on to the next thing. That’s what gives this kind of work energy.”
“And what I find really interesting is that apart from the odd new variety now and again, the flowers change very little. You're working with the same material that people have been working with for 100s of years sometimes.”
Carly Rogers & the Flower Market
“I love the Flower Market at New Covent Garden Market, the amazing selection of flowers which you can see, touch and smell. Also a huge part for me is the social aspect, bumping into the same people and catching up with them.”
“Since my very first trip when I was a Saturday girl, I've always bought from the Flower Market. My team and I come daily and we mainly buy from Zest Flowers, Bloomfield, Pratley, Porters Foliage and GB Foliage. They are so helpful and friendly and go out of their way to assist you whether you have a small or big job.”
"I feel like I'm a bit of a late starter when it comes to British flowers. But I've been using them more and more over the last few years and am now totally in love with them! They just seem to have more personality than a lot of imported flowers. The stems are less regular and the shapes less angular. And when you start mixing them up they just come alive. "
“For Chelsea Week this year, we created an arch for the Albert’s Club in Kensington. It was inspired by Victorian cottage gardens and we used purely British plants.”
“This week we'll be using lots of gorgeous British flowers and foliage in our contract work which include private members clubs, restaurants, boutiques and banks. And for the opening of a ‘Celebration of Botanical Art’ exhibition at The Garden Museum in London, we created this installation of flowering tree trunks using seasonal British flowers and foliage.”