WILD AND WONDERFUL FLORALS
Barbara Smith, the genius creative force behind Glasgow-based Wild Flower Workshop, thanks her background in illustration as to the reason she’s got confidence in her style and judgement, whilst not being constrained by convention. You can totally see this in her wonderful floral work, which is inspired by the constantly changing Scottish landscapes (anything but conventional, as we all know) and not constrained but enhanced by British flower seasonality. Celebrating the imprecise and overflowing nature of flowers in her gorge arrangements, the background in art makes sense – because her stuff is prettier than a picture…
WHO ARE YOU + WHERE ARE YOU BASED?
Hi, I’m Barbara. I run Wild Flower Workshop, a floristry studio based in Glasgow.
DESCRIBE YOUR WORKPLACE
I’m lucky to be able to work from home. When we moved in, we changed the layout a bit, ripped out the old kitchen and this is now my workshop. It has a huge window, lovely light and is a brilliant space for making and experimenting.
I have to keep it cold in here to keep the flowers happy, but lots of layers and plenty of cups of tea make it bearable. Oh and music. Dancing whilst making is the best way to stay warm!
WHERE/HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?
I’m quite new to floristry, I studied illustration at art school and I try to treat flowers as just another material to create a picture or atmosphere with. I love the creative process, from making a tiny textural detail to an enormous installation. I’m learning all the time and that’s what makes this job so interesting.
FAVOURITE WORK TO DATE?
Anything that I get to be a bit creative with or try something new. I’ll admit to being a bit of a control freak, so I’m always a bit in awe of any couple that allows me creative freedom!
WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
That’s impossible. EVERYTHING! It can be as simple as a walk in the woods watching the light through the trees. Seeing a painter use a colour combination I’ve not thought of. Or talking to someone who is really passionate about what they do.
DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL DAY
Up early. (I have two very small people with boundless energy). Coffee. always coffee. Some days I’m at home with the kids, so we build dens with blankets or run round the park.
When the kids are in nursery I can have meetings with new clients or get on top of my emails, foraging for interesting foliage, making flower orders or if I’m really lucky, making up the arrangements and bouquets the for that week’s wedding.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO GO?
I love taking the kids to Pollok Park, and they also really like the Transport Museum and Kelvin Grove. A trip to the beach with the promise of salty chips and ice-cream is the best. I love getting the wee ferry over to Millport for this, it feels like a mini holiday.
If Chris and I get a night out, I love sitting in old man pubs, drinking beer and eating peanuts. or going out for searingly spicy food that we just can’t cook at home. The tiny and brilliant Nanika in the Southside fits the bill.
FAVOURITE WEDDING VENUE?
To be totally honest, I don’t like the very ‘weddingy’ wedding venues. I get excited by a blank canvas and somewhere with really good light. Some of the former industrial venues in Glasgow are great for this.
Also somewhere that is in a wild and beautiful setting that isn’t too manicured. I like to make pieces that speak of the surroundings. For this, Crear has to be a favourite.
TRENDS YOU HOPE TO SEE THIS SEASON
Erm, I haven’t really thought! I think that there seems to be a constant push for your wedding to be ‘a little bit different’. I think that this can only be a good thing, I’m always up for a break with convention. Perhaps more alternative venues will be utilised. Less traditional outfits, perhaps things being a bit less matchy.
To be honest I’m always a bit wary of specific trends they can very quickly be done to death. I think couples should go with what they really like and what speaks to them and trusting the judgement of their florist or stylist can never be a bad thing. right?!
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED
Do what makes you happy. Trust your judgement. Be nice.