Getting to Know, Kirsty from the Wilde

With the Kitchen Garden now complete, we’ve been busy creating a series of workshops as part of our #MadeAtMiddleton event series. We chatted to our florist, Kirsty from The Wilde all about her inspiration and creativity for the workshops.

Tell us about your background…

I have always been inspired visually. After studying Design Marketing at University, I worked in Graphic design and brand management, the further I progressed the less creativity I found.

I then moved back to the North from Cambridge and after having my son made the choice to follow my love of flowers and try and make it work as a business.

When did your love for floristry begin?

I have always loved exploring gardens and flower markets. About 10 years ago I started an evening class in floristry but didn't last long! I wasn't inspired at all and the 'rules' didn't fit with the natural aesthetics I wanted. The final straw was when the lecturer was unhappy with my Christmas table centre attempt because I hadn't included baubles or tinsel!

Where do you find your inspiration?

The floristry industry is changing so much, there are so many amazing designers and many now view it as a design led art form rather than a homely hobby, it is much more dynamic. I find my inspiration outside of the floral world too, fashion and interiors massively shape my designs and colour palettes. Nature is also a big influence, observing interesting lines and shapes and how things grow naturally is reflected in my work.

Your favourite seasons?

From an abundance of flowers point of view, I love late Summer, my cutting patch will be full of gorgeous dahlia, cosmos and herbs to add to my work. Personally, I love Winter, long walks wrapped up warm foraging for my Christmas wreaths - plus weddings are slightly quieter so I get to have the odd weekend off!

After attending a floristry workshop what should you learn?

I set up my workshops so that when you enter you are immediately inspired by buckets full of the most gorgeous seasonal flowers.

Before a single stem is touched I gather people together and we just observe the flowers, we look at the textures and colours and I ask people to take note of which ones they are instinctively drawn to.

Then I tend to do a demonstration in stages but it’s very relaxed and conversational and I talk through the process.

My main hope is that people leave my workshops with the confidence to try and trust their own instinctive style, rather than creating to a strict recipe and design.

Winter or summer wedding?

Impossible to choose! Right now, I am working on two gorgeous Summer weddings for the weekend and I am enjoying the lightness and colours so much - but there is something special about dark and moody Winter florals with lots of candles and foliage...

And what do you do when you’re not working with flowers?

In the Summer I am usually in my garden and orchard, I find gardening is my time to switch off. I have an exciting project for The Wilde next year that means that the growing side of my business will hopefully increase meaning lots more beautiful flowers.

Otherwise I try to spend my days off with my children and two dogs - but my real indulgence is a few hours to myself wandering around dusty antique shops, though I tend to only buy things I can fill with flowers!