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Spring in Bloom

February 27, 2019

Based in the quaint English village of Ditchling, East Sussex, sits the Florist belonging to the lovely Rebecca Cragg. Upon entering the shop all your senses are hit. The fragrant smells and vibrant colours of the flowers, the cool set-up of the shop and finally, Becky’s big smile and warming personality, that makes you instantly know you are in the presence of someone who knows her stuff and loves what she does.

Flowers, ivy, string, brown paper and scissors all laid out on a table during flower arranging

We start the day with a cuppa (obviously) while chatting to Becky about her awesome shop and how she got started.

Florist Rebecca Cragg having a cup of tea out of a white mug

“I have a confession to make and that is I completely fell into being a florist by chance. Six years ago, I really needed to do something for myself – I didn’t have a hobby and needed some time away from my fashion career. With that, I decided to search for beginner’s courses in floristry and found The Sussex Flower School. Being completely in awe and addicted to being surrounded by fresh flowers within the first hour is a massive understatement. I completed more and more courses at the flower school and all of a sudden my dream was to do this full time.”

For Becky, this wasn’t easy. It involved moving back in with the parents (which was tough on both parties at times), saving for what felt like an eternity, a lot of long days to get the shop ready for launch and building up a customer base. But boy was it worth it.

We read an interesting quote which we recited back to Rebecca to get her thoughts:

Flowers are kind of a big deal. They’re a constant, reliable presence at some of life’s greatest moments and most challenging trials.

“In my line of work I get to meet and work with so many different people; locals who come in for bespoke bunches for loved ones, customers organising big life events, hotels and restaurants who want flowers to complement and decorate their venue, and every arrangement is so personal to the person or business. It’s also really nice to work with my customers to create something special for them and help them bring their vision to life, while still allowing myself to be creative and put my own stamp on it.”

Plants in pots of all different colours arranged on a ladder style shelf

We asked Becky what her top flower recommendations were for spring:

“Hands down Tulips. You can pick them up fairly cheaply, they come in every shade & colour you could want and they grow to follow the sun. A fun experiment is to move your tulips to different locations around the home as the flowers will grow to where the light falls.

Controversial or not, but I’m not a massive fan of Lily’s. A lot of people and animals are extremely allergic to the pollen and they can make quite a mess when knocked, which happens a lot if they are on a coffee table or central place in the house. Therefore, I tend to stay away from them, but I’m always happy to order in for customers as and when requested as they are a popular choice for big occasions.”

A collection of different coloured plants and flowers available in Rebecca Cragg’s flower shop
Beautifully bright coloured flowers in steel vases

We also asked Becky for her top tips to keep your flowers fresh, to help them last longer:

  • • Make sure you remove any low-lying leaves, as these can wilt and die when submerged in the water and grow bacteria that poisons the rest of the flowers.

  • • Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle to ensure maximum water uptake.

  • • Preferably put them in a vase that’s not too wide at the top as flowers like structure and this stops them flopping over the side.

  • • Take your time arranging them, after all it’s fun and you want to enjoy looking at them.

And finally, she rounds off with some misconceptions about florists…

“I think the main misconception is that we are trying to rip you off, but this simply isn’t true. With the rise of supermarket flowers being so readily available and cheap when compared to a florist we do seem expensive, however supermarkets can buy in bulk whereas we are small and independent, and with that we build up close relationships with our suppliers, source only the best flowers and become specialists in our area. My main aim is to make my customers happy by producing an end product that suits their brief, using the best possible flowers that are beautiful to look at.”

You can check out Becky’s work at rebeccacraggfloraldesign.co.uk, on Facebook at facebook.com/rcraggfloraldesign or on Instagram @rcraggflowers

Photo credit: Rebecca Claire Photography.

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