Natural heart with red ranunculus and eucalyptus - funerals, weddings, events and flower workshops

Caroline of Forbes Flowers, Aberdeenshire, came to Tuckshop Flowers last week to do a floral workshop on natural funeral flowers and it was such a pleasure to share ideas, experiences and techniques.  The woven heart tribute above is just one of the pieces she made during our two days and I love it.

When people ask me to create funeral flowers for someone they love, the conversation is usually about so much more than flowers.  It’s about the person they lost, their stories and what made them special.  Often I think how much I would have enjoyed meeting the one who has died, as there’s usually a love of flowers, of natural beauty, or an underlying kick against conformity which makes me smile.

I seem to gather life stories as frequently as I gather flowers – I felt really quite moved recently as Bridie’s daughters told me how Bridie had grown up in Ireland with a mother who bought flowers from farmers in the outlying countryside and sold them in the town to support her family.  It sounds a romantic idyll, but I know that there is much more to making a living from flowers than wafting around in a bonnet with a trug over the arm and have at least an inkling of how hard that must have been at times.  Wild country style arrangements in Bridie’s favourite vases, with blue to reflect the colour of her eyes, were what her daughters wanted to decorate the room for the funeral tea, and I created a woven, mossy heart in Ireland’s colours with golden spring narcissi, white heather and the green bells of winter hellebores to put on the coffin.  Both of these choices felt right.

I’m always very much aware just how much faith people are putting in me and my flowers when they ask me to create arrangements as there is no Tuckshop Flowers catalogue with off the peg designs.  It’s a privilege to be given the responsibility and trust to get these important flowers right, and to think about how they work to reflect the essence of the person.  Sarah wanted catkins for her dad as he had wallpaper in his bedroom with a catkin design; Toni’s mum who had lived and raised a family in New Zealand before coming back to her home town for her final years had ferns woven into her casket spray as a nod to her Kiwi adventures; Ash wanted tropical-looking lilies in a wreath to surround the leopard print shoes which were his wife’s trademark footwear.  There isn’t just one way to get funeral flowers right – it’s different every time.  It’s so important to talk and to listen to the ideas that come from the partners, friends and family who knew the person deeply, rather than showing a catalogue and asking which design they’d like.

If you’d like more information about natural funeral flowers or floristry workshops, get in touch.

Weaving flowers into a life story

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