Dispatches from Dubin: Informal Florist

Contributor post by Emily Westbrooks of From China Village

Hello, Poppytalk readers! I'm back with more from Dublin!

A few weeks ago, I met up with Claire Ryan, the creative woman behind the Informal Florist, to find out more about her new and bustling floral design business.

We started our morning at Dublin's Smithfield Market - Dublin's go-to spot for wholesale flowers, fruit and vegetables. Claire introduced me to Joe Duffy, whose family has sold flowers in the historic marketplace for over 100 years. For weddings and other events, Claire orders her flowers from Joe and collects what she can from other growers around the country, and occasionally adds a few sprigs from her own garden.

As we were chatting, Claire explained that after several years working in the television and freelance feature writing business, she decided to try something different. In fact, after the birth of her son and her father's illness, she came to a realization that life is too short not to be doing something you love. She had always loved flowers, but never considered it as a career option. But in 2011, she dipped her toes in, selling arrangements at markets around Dublin. They were such a success she formally started the Informal Florist in 2011. Now she's knee deep in flowers and enjoying every minute.

Claire's style is loose and elegant, and she prefers to let the flowers do what they would naturally, falling with the curves of their stems. Watching her work, it's clear so much goes into creating the her perfectly imperfect arrangements. She tweaks and snips and allows the flowers to work together. Claire also trolls Dublin's markets for interesting vintage vessels for her arrangements, giving them a classically chic feel.

Inspired by Ireland's wildflowers, Claire put together a simple tutorial for a flat arrangement you could easily create and give as a beautiful gift! This arrangement uses the same colours as an Irish hedgerow - greens, pinks, purples, a little white and maybe a pop of orange. You'll need two sheets of newspaper laid perpendicular to each other.

Start by fanning out flat greenery as your base, then layer in your feature flowers, filling in with a sprig or two of color. Claire recommends using a sprig or two of each kind of flower, mixing different textures

Layer on pink and purple flowers, finishing with a little white and a bit of bright orange. When you've layered on your flowers, tie the bouquet with a piece of twine to hold secure. Pull the newspaper in to the sides of the arrangement, folding back each side to show off the center of the bouquet. Tie with a pretty ribbon and voila! You have a pretty, rustic, Irish hedgerow inspired bouquet to give as a beautiful gift!

Photos by  Julie Matkin
Emily Westbrooks is a Dublin-based creative and travel writer, artist and blogger. Raised and educated in Maine, Emily married an Irishman and moved to Dublin in 2008. She lives with her husband, Michael, on the northside of Dublin. Originally planning only to stay for a year, she now calls Dublin home. She loves exploring Dublin, adventuring through the hills of Ireland, and traveling around Europe,. And she really loves to write about her adventures, which she shares over on From China Village. She's passionate about design, and can't wait to change your perception of Irish craft and design.

Jan Halvarson

1 comment:

Monique said...

I like the natural aproach to your flowers.