I’ve been asked to provide flowers for a green funeral this week – a hand-tied sheaf of seasonal flowers and foliage, with no stipulation other than it being natural and relaxed: exactly the brief which led me to set up Tuckshop Flowers, after witnessing the response to the flowers I created for my ecologically-minded brother in law, using his own wild, garden flowers for a very personal funeral tribute.

Green funeral flowers, eco flowers for funeral, flowers Birmingham.  Tuckshop Flowers.Rather than starting with a colour scheme, or theme, it is often liberating to simply take an open-minded and eagle-eyed wander to see what materials lend themselves to something beautiful.  This week, I spotted the fresh bright green nuggets of hazelnuts, as yet undiscovered by squirrels, dangling from the thicket of coppiced hazels.  Such woody materials are perfect for creating the backbone of a sheaf, supporting other less sturdy-stemmed ingredients, as well as providing textural interest with their creamy green knobblaciousness. These juvenile hazelnuts and the rich black purples of the hedgerow blackberries have given me ideas for the sheaf : purples and greens with counterpoints of texture, and trails of my rampant, thornless berry foliage.

Seasonal British flowers grown in Birmingham.  British flowers by Tuckshop Flowers for green funerals
The sea-anemone centre of a globe artichoke in flower.

For purples I’m pondering a few of my towering globe artichokes which are currently spectacular and abuzz with ecstatic bees, obsessed by their ultra-violet hearts, ringed with gold-tinged outer petals .  I’ve also got the wine-rich finely cut leaves of black elder, slender silver stems of lavender, and the chandelier-like  pheasant berry (leycesteria) all of which will help to create a tapestry of textures and forms which can be so hard to find in ‘off the peg’ arrangements, made using flowers bred for uniformity, refrigerated and flown in from the other side of the world.  For some people and for some tributes, such upright, perfect flowers, reluctant to sprawl and relax with a sigh, just don’t seem quite right; and these are the people I want to provide flowers for.

Seasonal flowers for green funerals, Birmingham.  Tuckshop Flowers
The chandelier flowers of leycesteria.

Always one to quickly tire of sameyness, what I  love about working with seasonal flowers is the fact that in a couple of weeks, given the same brief, the ingredients will probably all be different. As summer inches forward, so the range the flowers and foliage changes. The gathering drifts of crisp lime leaves in the streets around the Tuckshop already hint at the inevitable and inexorable creep towards the flaming colours of autumn.  Until then,  I’ll treasure my buckets of shocking pink cosmos & the daggers of gladioli, drink in the overwhelming scent of sweet peas and enjoy their vivacious fling while the generous abundance lasts.

In flowers, as in life, Carpe Diem.

Contact me to discuss green funeral flowers

Green funeral flowers Birmingham. Locally grown, chemical free. Tuckshop Flowers B30.


Inspired by nature

2 thoughts on “Inspired by nature

  • August 12, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading this Carole! Thanks for taking the time to write it, very inspiring and poetic! I particularly like this bit:

    For some people and for some tributes, such upright, perfect flowers, reluctant to sprawl and relax with a sigh, just don’t seem quite right

  • August 15, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    That bit pretty much encapsulates why I do what I do… I had some commercial roses earlier this year which I mixed with blossoms and all my usual rustic ingredients, and while they lasted well, opened beautifully, and didn’t droop or do any of those things for which people criticise commercial roses, they remained stiff and somewhat odd and just refused to ‘give’ a little! Very odd.

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