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She’s a natural
Florist Kitten Grayson’s signature style of refined yet wild blooms and sculptural installations has made her a go-to for luxury private events. Passionate about nature and a champion of all things sustainable, here she shares her brand philosophy.
From a very young age I was drawn to the outdoors. It sounds absolutely bonkers but I grew up in Somerset and always had a very strong connection to nature and trees, so a career in floristry was an obvious progression for me. My grandmother is an artist and I would be running wild while she painted wild meadows and walled gardens. What I do is almost like carrying on that legacy.
I’ve been working in the industry for more than 15 years, and trained at Wild at Heart then Scarlet and Violet. Ever since Instagram appeared floristry has become really popular, which can only be a good thing as more people have found a connection with nature.
Our brand is very theatrical, and based on what’s available in season. When I’m designing I tend to go for one key flower en masse, to dramatic effect – I think of it as floral set design or sculpture. I’m a plantswoman as well so I’ve done a lot of gardening and garden maintenance. I know how plants like to grow so I imitate that with flowers. It’s a very natural look with plants in groupings.
When I’m doing an installation I see it as painting with flowers. I aim to create beautiful worlds of flowers for people to immerse themselves into. We use big structural trees to create height and drama, and don’t mix different flowers up too much because then they can get lost. It’s more about choosing a few key elements and letting them sing.
I like to get to know my clients and build a picture using their lifestyle and personal nostalgia as inspiration. No two jobs have ever been the same and we pride ourselves on making sure we deliver what our clients want.
Sustainability is incredibly important to us. We use lots of plants that clients can take home and reuse, either have them planted up or give them to friends. We also look at composting all of our waste. We try to use English bloom in summer where we can, and eventually will use no pesticides and recycle the flowers back on to the land. If you can grow English flowers and then return them to the earth then you are contributing to the natural circle of life.
We are currently working on a huge project with biodynamic farmers Fern Varrow, growing thousands of flowers outside Reading for Heckfield Place. We’ve planted 26,000 tulip bulbs and that will provide the hotel with flowers for six weeks in the spring, along with narcissi, paper whites, roses, alliums and foxgloves.
We love working with Marble Private, they are a great team and lots of fun. One of our favourite jobs of 2018 was a private party at Aynhoe Park in the Cotswolds. It’s an extraordinary property and our client was a natural visionary. Her brief was all about apples. I know lots of apple farmers from Somerset and hung masses of apple branches everywhere and built apple-inspired structures on the tables and covered them in candlelight. It was just magical.
We try not to follow trends and instead provide people with beautiful flowers in our signature style. However, the movement towards sustainability, using English growers, and not using Oasis where possible is an important movement that we hope is here to stay. We’ve got a beautiful planet and we need to look after it.