We’re delighted to be featuring interviews with each of our five British Flowers Week florists, starting off with Graeme Corbett from Bloom + Burn.
1. Why are you excited to be involved in creating a British Flowers Week installation at The Garden Museum?
Bloom + Burn is still a relatively new business. I started out in January 2016. Before that I was working with the incredible JamJar Flowers and had the opportunity to work on a few events at the Garden Museum as part of their team. It feels like a huge moment for me and my business to be involved in this event and to be creating something in this wonderful space. As an event and wedding florist, my job is often to bring someone else’s vision to life. It’s rare that you get to be in control of every stage of a design. So that’s what’s really exciting about this project.
2. Why do you feel that British Flowers Week is important?
Until I became a florist I had no idea what a tough job it is - early starts, long days and a race against time to create something beautiful before the heads start to droop and the petals start to drop. I think campaigns like British Flowers Week highlight not only the work of the designers, but also the growers who put so much love and hard graft into growing every single stem. I hope it helps people to understand the industry a little more and to see that they are paying for so much more that just the flower.
3. Please could you share with us some details about your installation?
The structure of my installation will be made with a collection of Dutch flower buckets. These are the buckets used to deliver the flowers to New Covent Garden market from the Dutch auctions. I have chosen the Dutch buckets as my base as I want to reference my reliance on the flower market all year round. I use British flowers as much as possible during the growing season but I often have to mix them with imported blooms to meet the design briefs of my clients. The buckets will create a pyramid structure, each bursting with a bouquet of blooms. I started out working almost exclusively on wedding flowers but have recently been working with brands on press events and styling, so my aesthetic has developed and I am injecting much more colour into my work which I hope to show in my installation.
4. The theme this year is Memories. Please could you tell us what your memories are and how they're reflected in your installation?
I have called the installation ‘Leave you in yesterday’ and it’s based on the lyrics of a song by one of my favourite singers, Clare Maguire. We often think of good memories and try to ignore the bad ones, so I wanted to acknowledge a bad experience that led me to change direction in my life and ultimately lead me to working with flowers. I love that as florists we get to create fleeting moments of beauty, but ultimately you have to enjoy them while they last and move on to the next thing.
‘Although I don’t think about it much, you sometimes cross my mind. But I leave you in yesterday, one more time.