All things floral with Bronwen from Partridge and Peony
I first met Bronwen the owner of Partridge and Peony at the Hi Ho Silver #hihoandco event held at Oxleaze Barn in Gloucestershire.
Bronwen and I were there as sponsors for the event and had our display tables next to each other. I spent much of my time admiring all the beautiful dried flower arrangements she had brought with her. In fact I loved her arrangements so much, I thought it would be interesting to feature the lovely Bronwen and her floral business here.
Tell us about you
My name is Bronwen, I’m 21 and I live on the Norfolk/ Suffolk border. When I’m not being a florist, I love country pursuits, walks with my camera, cooking, reading old books, spending time with the people I love and watching box sets!
Tell us about Partridge and Peony
I qualified as a florist in 2019 and opened my little shop in north Norfolk a few months later. Fast forward nearly 2 years and I’m based online working from my shed in the garden, happy days! I work on my own so everything from paperwork to scrubbing buckets, social media, enquiries, delivering, 5am trips to the wholesalers, making all my products, photography... is all down to me, so a lot to juggle really! I love my job and sometimes an extra pair of hands from my lovely mum, helps keep things manageable.
Tell us about the different flowers that you use
I started drying flowers by accident really, just as a way to use flowers that had gone past their best or that had been left over when I had my shop. I started by hanging them up to cover a large beam in the middle of the room for decoration and found that actually some flowers kept their shape and colour well, put them in a vase and realised quickly that there was a demand for everlasting arrangements. I have continued to dry most of them myself now, only buying in grasses such as Pampas. They have only gotten more popular in the last few months.
Why are dried flowers so versatile?
Dried flowers, as long as they are kept dry and aren’t knocked about too much, will ‘live’ forever. Keeping them out of direct sunlight is also a good tip to keep their colour as much as possible. I always suggest displaying dried blooms inside as they don’t like to be exposed to the elements! As for their uses, bouquets, vase arrangements and wreaths are of the most common choices, along with just foliage bunches like Eucalyptus to add some everlasting interest. Dried flowers have also been a popular choice for weddings in recent years, particularly as lots of venues don’t allow plastic confetti to be thrown anymore for obvious environmental reasons, so dried petals are a really good eco-friendly alternative.
Can you share with us some tips for flowers in our own home?
My tips for keeping your flowers looking their best is to always use a clean vase or jug, whatever you want them to go in, as these are a perfect bacterial breeding ground if they are not bleached between uses.
Another is to cut your stems at an angle, this allows them to drink easier and remove all the foliage (leaves) below the water line, this stops them from going slimy and making the water all gross!
Fun fact, flowers hate draughts, direct heat and Ethylene- so keep away from your fruit bowls.
Changing up your flowers with the seasons is not only a fun thing to do, keeping things fresh and interesting but is also a great way to bring whatever is outside, in.
Take a look in your garden or open spaces and try and imitate what’s outside, to bring cohesion into your homes.
The spring and summer months are always abundant with blooms, bulbs and greenery. A great way to enjoy all the different colours and forms. Whilst in the autumn and winter is a great opportunity to use foliage, seed heads and evergreens inside.
I’m a huge wreath fan, always have been, and completely agree with the Americans and their ‘Door rings’ that are on all year round, changing with the different times of year, this is something I’d love to encourage more in the UK.