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Magnificent Blooms With Blume

Bold and beautiful blooms inspired by nature and seasonality with London floral designers Blume

With Mother’s Day on the way this Sunday, there are few more uplifting gifts than a beautiful bunch of flowers. Toast.Life chats to Elspeth Tull, founder of leading floral design and creative planning studio Blume, to hear about the inspiration behind her bold and beautiful blooms, her thoughts on spring trends, plus her top tips for creating a truly beautiful bunch.



Flowers always seem to be the perfect gift, whatever the occasion; whether it’s for Mother’s Day, a birthday or pretty much any celebration in between, fresh flowers always work a treat. If a friend needs cheering up, beautiful blooms are sure to do the job, and if you want to say ‘thank you’ when a simple card just won’t do, then a fabulous floral arrangement will always bring a smile to your hosts’ face. Equally, if you’re expecting guests then fresh flowers add instant style, a sense of occasion and celebration and a welcoming ambience. They are aromatic, colourful and uplifting, and somehow always feel like a treat.

Blumes Elsbeth

“I first fell for flowers a few years ago when I was working for an interior design company - being surrounded by beautiful interiors, flowers were a natural part of the styling process and I would find myself arranging floral vases for our clients and for photoshoots” explains Elspeth Tull, founder of leading floral design and creative planning studio, Blume.

“Then my sister got married a couple of years ago and I fell in love with everything wedding; from styling and designing the flowers to creating the stationery. From there I did a couple of workshops where I started to learn the techniques of floral arrangements which allowed me to fully explore with gorgeous flowers, play around with composition and develop my style.” 

But flowers had not always been Elspeth’s one true love; at university she studied business management with retail with the sole intention of becoming a fashion buyer, which had been her dream from the age of 15. After graduating she got a trainee fashion buyer position, which involved spending buying seasons in the likes of the Ralph Lauren, Moschino and Max Mara showrooms, ‘ogling gorgeous clothes’. A couple of years later Elspeth moved to Bristol, which is when she started working for interior designer Emma Sims-Hilditch, and after 4 years she decided that it was time to follow her passion for flowers. Elspeth completed a career change floristry course back in the summer of 2018 at Tallulah Rose Flower School and landed her first two weddings almost immediately.

“When I first decided to go into floristry I toyed with different names. I called myself Flowers and Style and then Elspeth Louise Flowers, but I knew neither of them were right. I knew I wanted to be taken seriously as a business so knew I needed a strong brand identity” she explains. 

After working closely with a creative consultant to help define the brand identity of her new business, Elspeth launched Blume in November 2018, and hasn’t looked back since.

“I love that no day is the same - one day I could be running a flower workshop in Kensington, the next in Clapton meeting a bride for a consultation. And I obviously also get to work with beautiful flowers all the time!” she smiles.

Blume Bouquet Summer

The Blume creative team are based between London and Kent but deliver events across the UK, so whether you are getting married in Hackney Town Hall, or throwing a birthday party in a historic venue in the Cotswolds, Blume are more than equipped to help. Blume’s style is informal and wild, bold and romantic, natural and professional. They are passionate about working with seasonal flowers, and work with local growers where they can. This gives them the freedom to create unique designs with no boundaries, created by minimum stem quantities, whilst their expertise and professionally trained team monitor the flower market to ensure consistency and quality control of the flowers, so that their product is second to none

 Blume Arch

“I am inspired by the natural forms and shapes of the flowers I get from within the UK. I think it’s important to let the flower do what it wants to do, rather than try to manipulate it into a certain shape” Elspeth explains.

“There are also so many inspiring artists and florists who I follow on Instagram. Florists all over the world, from Korea, Australia and America, all doing something different, which is great.”

As well as offering exceptional floral design, Blume's creative planning service also considers the overall event design, not just the flowers. Elspeth and her team work with clients to decide on props, colour themes, stationary design and so much more, to create truly unique events that are cohesive and beautiful. Each floral display that they create is inspired by nature, and their approach to floristry and event management combines meticulous planning with thoughtful creative design, ensuring each bespoke project exceeds expectations.

“Creative planning came from an idea that I had when planning my sister’s wedding. I did all the coordination of the suppliers involved, dressed the venue, designed and styled the tables etc, and I had a lightbulb moment and thought - this is what I want to do, I want to design events.” explains Elspeth.

“Then when I gave it more thought, I realised that it was a really niche role that only certain clients would be able to afford, so I then decided to incorporate my passion of flowers into the business.”

Blume Tablescape

Blume Floral Ceiling Garland

Blume’s creative planning is a service which includes creative direction for events, shoots and weddings, prop selection/sourcing and styling, stationary design, budget management and supplier coordination, on the day styling, project management and more. Elspeth has worked as a design project manager consulting and producing creative projects across the UK and Ireland, with work featured in renowned national and international style titles including Homes and Gardens, House and Gardens and The English Home Magazine.

“I worked on the Mary Poppins premiere launch at the Rosewood Hotel at the end of last year, which was fantastic. Seeing my flowers photographed with the likes of Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda was pretty epic!" she enthuses. 

Elspeth and her team work on weddings and a multitude of different events, from private celebrations and brand collaborations to corporate events and workshops, where groups (such as hen parties, corporate teams, festivals, creative education and more) can create gorgeous hand-tied bouquets, flower crowns or festive wreaths and learn specialist techniques, tricks of the trade and how to create their own bespoke gifts or products.

“When I get an event enquiry, I try to and meet up with the client as it is so important to get a feel for what they are after in person, that will either be at my studio or I love to try and meet them at their venue. I will then create a proposal and a mood board which I share with the potential client. We will then have a bit of back and forth until they are happy” explains Elspeth. 

“Weddings in particular tend to be booked so far in advance, so I usually say that we will hone in on the finer details one month prior to the wedding, just in case they've changed their minds on colours - which can often happen!”

 Blume Wedding Bouquet

Of course weddings and events in general can be an expensive business and flowers have a reputation for swallowing up a large chunk of the budget, but according to Elspeth this doesn’t always have to be the case, and when it is – it’s for good reason.

“This is a tricky one. It’s sometimes assumed that as soon as someone says 'wedding', suppliers get dollar signs in their eyes and add on a few zeros, but unfortunately flowers are expensive. Of course, there are cheaper flowers available and there will be florists who love to use those types of flowers so there are opportunities to spend less. The types of flowers I love to use (typically) are anemones, peonies, roses, dahlias which can be quite pricey, but I believe in providing quality arrangements to my clients” she explains. 

“What I think some people might not also bear in mind is everything that goes into organising an event, all they tend to see is the end product but there is so much involved in the running up to the event! From writing the proposal and calculating costs, to visiting the venue and going back and forth over emails. Closer to the event we'll head to the market at the crack of dawn to pick up the flowers, and then spend the next couple of days conditioning and arranging. Then we'll head over to the venue to set up and then more often than not head back the next day or even hang around till late to collect!”

Blume Autumn Wedding

Blume Forest Wedding

Elspeth and her team are gearing up for another busy year; they’ve got plenty of weddings and events on the cards and they’re also going to start to selling flowers from the shop below their studio in Brixton. Elspeth is also looking to hold more workshops which appeal to non-florists, like masterclasses on how to arrange a table vase. So, whilst the arrival of spring may herald the start of an incredibly busy time for Blume, it also marks the start of several new floral opportunities too.

“For me, tulips and daffodils mean winter has officially gone and we can now start to see flowers from the UK. As I've said, I love using flowers from local growers and spring is the first opportunity after the cold winter that I can do this” explains Elspeth.

“I don’t really follow floral trends but there’s definitely a push for more tropical plants this year, like lace leaf. At the moment there’s definitely a trend for florals which are inspired by Dutch art which I love, celebrating the natural forms and shapes of the flowers, rather than forcing them into unnatural stuffy ball shapes” she adds.

“I think there will also be a big push on using locally grown flowers this year. With Brexit looming we don't know how that’s going to affect the import market. It may affect costs, availability and accessibility, but we just don't know. For the past couple of years there have been more and more people growing their own flowers - some just a small patch in their back garden, others a full-grown flower farm. Using local growers mean you get a huge mixture of flowers, you get much more interesting stems and you aren't governed by minimum stem quantities. As such, the arrangements are far more natural, free and exciting. I think we will see much more of that this year.”

Elsbeth's Tips On How To Create A Beautiful Bunch 

  • Choose seasonal flowers: tulips, ranunculus, poppies, hyacinths

  • Go foraging - for interesting foliage and mix in with shop bought flowers, it will make your flowers much more interesting!

  • Buy some floral tape - and create a crisscross shape on top of the vase, it will allow your stems to stay put when arranging

  • Cur Your Stems - Ensure you cut your stems diagonally, so the flowers absorb as much water as possible and bleach your vessels before you put your flowers inside. Any bacteria will decrease the lifetime of your flowers

  • DIY Wrapping - If you buy your flowers from a supermarket, get rid of the wrapping and buy a craft bag and place into it with some tissue. It will make so much more of an impact! Write the flower names on a little label and attach to the bag for an extra touch.

 


If you’d like to work with Blume on your next event you can find more information and contact details on their page in Toast.Life’s Little Black Book

 
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