With a roster of weddings, in-store displays and celebrity clients, florist Philippa Craddock is someone who knows how to use blooms and stems to make an impact. Recently tasked with her biggest project to date – the flowers for the royal wedding – we took a few minutes out of Philippa’s busy schedule to talk all things floristry. Plus, discover how to learn the art of flower arranging yourself at one of her workshops.
1. What do you love most about being a florist?
The immense variety across all the different projects we are commissioned for, meeting incredible growers worldwide, working alongside true creatives, seeing all my favourite blooms come back into season again and then simply playing and working with flowers on a daily basis. I feel very lucky and recommend floristry to everyone.
2. Do you have a favourite flower to work with?
It changes by the season and day. At the moment, I particularly love working with large branches of foraged greenery, placed in oversized vases. And the lower and smaller off-cuts are great for petite bottles and vases. Simple and effective.
3. How do you choose the best-suited vase for a particular type of flower?
Always opt for a vessel with a narrower neck to its body. They are so much easier to use and display flowers and foliage at their best.
4. What’s the secret to a successful wedding-flower scheme?
Stick to seasonal flowers, so they always look perfect. It means you are most likely to be able to source locally (we often use international growers, but always buy from regional farmers whenever and wherever we can). Focus on a few key designs, rather than lots of smaller ones. And, well in advance, pull together a simple mood board with the types of styles and blooms you like, checking all the colours and textures work well together (if you struggle with this, a florist will definitely be able to help).
5. If someone has a modest budget for wedding flowers, what are your top tips for ensuring it still looks beautiful all day?
Potted plants are a super way to make a smaller budget work really well, and then just keep the cut flowers for the bridal bouquets. All the plants can then be given to guests at the end of the day, or planted straight into your garden.
6. You’re a self-taught florist, what advice would you give someone wanting to try their hand at floristry?
Choose a selection of floristry books, read the bits that are most interesting to you, and then lots and lots of practice.
5 questions, 5 minutes
Favourite Summer reads? Piles of home, lifestyle and travel magazines.
Top three Summer songs?
- Via Con Me – Paolo Conte
- Cold Little Heart – Michael Kiwanuka
- Minimum – Charlie Cunningham
City break or beach escape? Beach escape
Bath or shower? Bath
Early rise or lazy lie-in? Early rise
For firsthand tips and tricks, join Philippa and her team across London in her series of pop-up workshops, including one- and five-day courses. From Hackney to Soho and Mayfair, learn about everyday flowers, wedding designs and large-scale installations, or hear talks from local growers.
Philippa’s White edit
Discover what Philippa is coveting from our current collection.