Sarah great to have you back can you tell us a little about you and ‘Simply By Arrangement’
Always great to be here at Middleton Lodge. So I little about me - with a workshop, garden and home set in the Yorkshire hillsides that inspired many great writers, we are passionate about bringing the most beautiful seasonal flowers to the North of England and beyond. Our floral designs are wildly abundant, reflecting our own love of the English garden, each one full of texture, movement and life – almost as if still growing. We design for weddings, events, homes and magazines, and we teach others how to ‘do the flowers’ and how to make designs that tell the true story of the flowers they contain.
Can you let me know how you have over the years helped to be as environmentally friendly as possible?
As well as growing our own flowers here (without the use of pesticides) we have always used predominantly British grown flowers. Additionally our designs for weddings are done without floral foam and we teach all our classes without using any floral foam. All of our floral green waste goes back onto our compost heap.
You are running a workshop at Middleton for professional florists on how to be foam free. What is foam free?
Foam Free means to make floral designs that don’t contain floral foam (which some people might also know as Oasis). Way before floral foam was invented florists designed with more natural mechanics such as moss, containers holding water, chicken wire etc. The class we are running at Middleton Lodge with Kirsty of The Wilde will focus on these techniques showing how we create arches, wall features, table centres and huge urns.
Why is it important to be foam free?
It is well documented that floral foam contains harmful plastics which will never ever be broken down, and which eventually (and after not a great deal of time) find their way into the ecosystem. It is suggested that all aquatic life forms will have ingested floral foam. Additionally, floral foam is a single use plastic which has no other potential use once the flowers inserted into it have died.
How long have you been running your business foam free?
We have been in business for the last 6 years, and for most of that time our designs have been foam free. There have been rare occasions in the past when it has been necessary to use foam (such as on upside down beams in barns midsummer) but, in the past couple of years, as environmental concerns become ever more central to everything that we do, we are striving to never use foam again. That venues such as a Middleton Lodge are taking progressive steps to ban the use of foam on site is extremely helpful as designs for weddings will have to be done with this in mind and couples will have to understand that timescales on their dream designs might be a little different.
We have recently released our eco statement on our website and are always thinking of ways to be more green, do you have any further plans to improve your footprint?
Travel is something we are looking at too. Most of our weddings are in Yorkshire using locally grown flowers. As a relatively small business it is much easier to adopt new plans but we are aware that not everyone can do this, and what really matters is that many people try to do at least something.
Do you have any other workshops planned at Middleton lodge estate?
We have a class booked on October 12th ‘The Knackered Florists’ Retreat’
Thank you very much Sarah, we look forward to welcoming you back soon!