Heavenly Petals – A Florist in Chelmsford – The Beginning
My great love affair with flowers and foliage began some years ago and purely by chance.
I had not grown up in a family home that enjoyed gardening – cannot even remember my Mum having flowers in the house – in fact I think the first time I ever had any involvement was when I needed to organize flowers for my wedding! And even then it was a friend of a friend who came to our home and kindly agreed to do them for me. I remember the only information in the world I could give her was the fact the colour of the bridesmaids dresses were peach and champagne – I knew absolutely nothing about flowers or even what flowers I would need for the wedding party!
Some years later, totally stuck as to what to buy as a birthday gift and feeling worn out and bad tempered, from the relentless hours of walking in and out of shops looking for perfect gift, in an act of desperation I found myself wandering into a florist shop to find that ‘something special’
And I sure did! On opening the shop door my senses were immediately overwhelmed by THE most amazing perfume and colours I had ever come across! The blaze of colour and heady perfume was a complete head rush! I really did not want to leave that shop and kept the florist talking far too long as a way of staying in there as long as possible without making myself appear a complete idiot! I left that shop with a gorgeous gift bouquet, a huge smile on my face, a promise to myself that from then on I would have fresh flowers in my home every week (and I did – and still do!)
Sometime later I was to learn that the heavenly perfume in that shop was produced by the mix of eucalyptus foliage, bunches of dried lavender and stocks to name but a few. Nowadays, I always ensure I have huge bunches of eucalyptus in my workshop and it never fails to give me the same uplifting feeling as I open the door each day to be greeted by that unique fragrance.
The Dream Of Heavenly Petals Was Born
From that moment I was hooked, I not only wanted to work with flowers I needed to! I had always had a creative streak in me and loved coming up with ideas and designs when doing handcrafts, so off to college I went, firstly completing City and Guilds for Wedding Floristry and Techniques which I passed with Distinction (that had me doing my whoopee dance!!) and from there off to Writtle Floristry College for a further period covering three years to complete their Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced certificated courses for wedding flowers, funeral flowers and general floristry such as gift bouquets, formal arrangements etc. To this day, I still attend Writtle’s advanced programmes as styles, techniques constantly change and update just like fashion and hair styles!
In 2012 I had the opportunity (via Writtle College) to be part of the massive floristry volunteer group to produce the Medal Winners bouquets for the 2012 Olympics, it was wonderful to be part of that special time and we were all delighted when we received certificates to recognise our work, signed by Sebastian Coe himself!
Study done the idea of Heavenly Petals was born, and the decision to become a florist in Chelmsford which is my family’s home town. I started by using my Heavenly Petals Facebook page to advertise my work, which then lead to the work increasing mainly by recommendations.
Hard Work With Great Rewards
No doubt about it, floristry is not just about pretty, fragrant flowers, it’s heavy work at times, consumes numerous hours, sometimes hours of frustration to ensure when designing that the idea comes to perfection, more often than not working through the night when doing wedding flowers because I am insistent the blooms must be at their most fresh condition for the event.
But I am more than compensated for what this work does for me. I have met many lovely people who turn from customers to friends, receive the honour of being trusted to be part of someone’s important day, and the sheer happiness of doing work that I absolutely love! Days where I get to deal with tears of joy, and some, tears of sadness – either way I am so privileged to be there with beautiful flowers, together with a big smile or on some occasions a big hug if it’s needed.
With love Ed
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