Thursday 23rd May

| BY Helena Fletcher

With Chelsea Flower Show in Full Bloom, We Bring You the Insta-Florists You Should Be Following


It’s that time of year, the wisteria and blossom are out in force and the skies are getting (we hope) progressively bluer. The annual Chelsea Flower Show opens to the public, after the press and the Royal Family transcended to the the Royal Horticultural Society’s event on Monday. The winners have been announced and the medals have been awarded, with 2019’s gold winners including Mark Gregory’s Welcome to Yorkshire garden, the Resilience Garden, the M&G garden and the Morgan Stanley garden; all giving total gardening goals in a way only Chelsea can. Can’t make it all the way to West London? Here are some of our favourite florists to follow on Instagram to satisfy all your botanical needs and brighten up your news feeds.

Fjura | @fjura_

“Fjura” – the Maltese word for flowers, and the name of Simone Gooch’s floral design studio, a subtle nod to her family’s Maltese heritage. Established in 2005 in Sydney, Gooch moved to London a decade later in 2015. Working without a bricks and mortar store, she creates arrangements and installations all made to order and delectably documents her work across her Instagram.

Fjura’s arrangements are free-flowing and almost appear as if naturally occurring phenomena in their curated organic-ness. Alongside private clients, she has worked with a roll call of our favourites in fashion, adorning the stores and events of brands including Gucci, Burberry, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Roksanda and Jimmy Choo, as well beauty brand Glossier and the auction house Sotheby’s. In addition Gooch is the floral and event director of Pleasure Garden Magazine, a biannual publication to look out for.

Photograph by Derek Henderson 

Sage Flowers |

Bidding goodbye to their careers in biology and restaurants, Romy St Clair and Iona Mathieson started Sage Flowers. Bored by the monotony of the same old arrangements being offered time after time and their penchant for more unusual species and forms they’re re-writing the rules of classic floristry. You might have seen their eye-catching arrangements created for the Babyface x Converse Spark Progress event, done workshops for Bossy Ldn x Napapijri, installed cloud of pink gyp that hung in Peckham Levels or the fashion lot will have most definitely spied their flowers at the IPR press day.

The pair’s Peckham-based florist opened shop at the top of Rye Lane at the end of March with an installation, as well as DJs sets and live performances from Martelo, Rivah, Riz La Teef, O-Dessa and Kevin Morosky. Stop by Sage’s windows this week to see their installation, created in the spirit of Chelsea Flower Show and specially created mini arrangements to purchase. On Saturday 25th May, they will be holding a DIY bouquet making workshop, complete with a glass “or two” of bubbly. In case you can’t make it – Sage offers floral subscriptions of seasonal bouquets, delivered to your door on the first Saturday of the month for a year.

Gail Smith | @gailsmithflowers

From a florist on Liverpool Road in Islington, Gail Smith creates her exquisite arrangements of flowers. Smith creates all of them by first using her mind’s eye to imagine and picture her designs in situ. The results are akin to florals spied in Netherlandish flower paintings of the 17th century on steroids. Having studied history of art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, Smith set up her business in 1993 and often creates floral displays for events in the many of the country’s leading galleries and museums including the National Gallery, the Natural History Museum, the Tate Modern and the Wallace collection.

2019 marks Smith’s Chelsea Flower Show debut, where her team created a Living Herbarium, in part a homage to her amateur botanist estranged late Grandfather Royston Smith. The tower of flowers measures over 3 meters tall using 500 stems of over 100 living species of flowers, surrounded by a display of pressed and annotated flowers in the Great Pavilion. Smith challenges and invites visitors to identify the species by their common names to help compile a compendium of flower nicknames. Follow also Smith’s secondary account @plantnicknames the account devoted to collecting the nicknames and colloquialisms of plants and flowers.

Petalon | @petalon_flowers

Born in 2013, Petalon is the floral delivery service conceived of and run by Florence Kennedy. Petalon started by delivering seasonal hand tied bouquets across London via bicycles handmade by her husband James Kennedy. Endless images of fresh arrangements of flowers populate Kennedy’s feed interspaced by images of her adorable daughter Clover and great dane Huxley.

All of Petalon’s flowers are wrapped in natural hessian (with a biodegradeable water source) and either delivered by cyclist in London or further afield in the UK by post in a recycled card box. Oh and they donate 5 percent of their profits to the Bee Collective and for every 100 bouquets delivered they plant a tree in Britain. To coincide with Chelsea in Bloom, Petalon has teamed up with Olivia von Halle to create a fantastical floral installation outside their Sloane Street store, using dead coral to highlight the importance of ocean conservation in support of charity Project 0 and 10% of OvH’s profits made in-store will also go to the cause.

London Terrariums | @londonterrariums

Maybe not a florist as such, but botanical nonetheless, London Terrariums is definitely worth a follow. Established in 2014, London Terrariums the product of a passion for gardening without having a garden in London. What is a terrarium? A terrarium is a ‘sealable glass container, usually containing plants and soil’ – although they can also be open rather than sealed.

After starting in a studio in Bermondsey, London Terrariums now resides in a shop in New Cross Gate, selling (you guessed it) terrariums, as well as accessories and a selection of books and magazines. From their New Cross space they often hold workshops, but have also done them recently at the Barbican and with & Other Stories, as well as their Plant Swap events at which attendees can swap their cuttings, plants and propagations.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is on at the Royal Hospital Chelsea from 21st-25th May.