Ellie Jauncey and Anna Day – aka The Flower Appreciation Society – are the rising stars of London floristry. Originally trained in textiles and illustration, and with a base in hip Hackney rather than chic Chelsea, this duo’s relaxed and decidedly pretty displays are in demand. They’ve worked on projects for Marc Jacobs, Sienna Miller and lifestyle brand Toast, as well as having an ever-growing list of wedding bookings. We asked Ellie to give us some tips for creating great displays at home.
What flowers are you excited about at the moment?
“English dahlias. They’re the best late summer jewel for us. They are amazing – really structured but like pom-poms, and you can get them the size of your head! They’re so beautiful and in an amazing array of jewel-like colours. They’re probably our favourite flower at the moment, and you can still get them into October.”
Do you have any favourites for autumn?
“We try to buy English, even at this time of year. In summer the market is full and stacked, and in winter there is less to choose from, but you can still get roses and delphiniums. And the English season for Hydrangeas is September to October, so we love to buy those too.”
Do you change your colour schemes or style for autumn?
“I don’t think we start getting too autumnal. For us even the foliage we like using is all the bright summer greens. In the winter it gets quite dark and there’s much less choice. We can use berries and things, but we’re not that drawn to wintery flowers.”
Do you have any tips on how best to combine colours?
“We have a vague rule of keeping cool colours together and warm colours together. Sometimes that goes out the window and we do a total mix. But if you want a simple guide to follow when you’re buying flowers then group whites, lilacs, creams, blues and pale greens. Or do muted dusty colours, like oranges, pinks, and corals. Also we try not to put too many primary colours together. Red and yellow together tends to look a bit strong, so veer towards softer colours rather than anything too intense.”
What about displaying flowers? Are jam jars still in?
“The jam jar has a bit of a bad reputation for being vintage and twee, but you can make it look clean and contemporary by just using a couple. Bottles and jars are perfect, and there are some really beautiful ones out there with lovely geometric squares or nice lines on the glass – we really like the shape of Bonne Mamman jars. And of course it’s also a really nice way to recycle.”
You’re well know for your amazing collection of swan vases. Where do you pick them up from?
“Being really considered about how you display flowers is important. We always encourage people to scour car boots or charity shops – everything we have is old or second hand, whether it’s a jam jar or a Dartmouth swan planter. People can think car boots in London are too expensive but we’re always finding great stuff at the car boot in Stoke Newington by our studio. It’s just keeping an eye out for slightly different vases.”
Any florists’ tips you can give away?
“We try to use oasis as sparingly as possible as it’s not that environmentally friendly, but it’s vital if you’re doing something really big as it creates a structure for you. If your vessel isn’t see-though you can put it in there to build things up and make a taller display. It also lets you put flowers in strange objects. We bought a mad old white soap dish at a car boot which you’d never think of putting flowers in, but by adding a little bit of oasis at the top it works.”
What flowers do you like to have at home?
“We always have the left-over flowers at home, but I don’t buy flowers for my house! After a wedding or an event we can be left with hundreds of flowers that we take home, but when you work with them – it’s a bit like being a chef – you don’t need them at home in the same way, because we see them everyday. It’s a different relationship.”