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The colourful world of Jonathan Moseley

International Floral Designer, Jonathan Moseley told us what flowers mean to him. 


JM and roses
Vase

A life without flowers would be a colourless world removed from fragrance and seasonality. I, for one, cannot imagine the grey vista we would all view without our florific gardens, community hanging baskets and tubs, floral parks and green spaces plus vases of flowers placed within our windows. Flowers bring so much pleasure and their benefits to our wellbeing are immense. A few flowers placed upon an office desk can help productivity, reduce stress levels and help to promote positivity and mindfulness.

Garden

My flower journey began as a little boy. I cannot remember a time when a weekly country walk would not climax with the gathering of seasonal flowers - primroses, wood anemones, bluebells, foxgloves to mention a few. I could never wait to return home and "arrange " (I use the term loosely!) them into old jugs, pots, bowls or baskets. My eleventh Birthday was a revolutionary life change with the gift of a 8 x 6ft greenhouse and the power of plants consumed me. I supplied the local shop with bedding and houseplants, saving up enough money to buy my first car! My Grandad was a huge inspiration, he taught me so much about growing and cultivating plants. Together we would enter all the local flower shows and soon I was winning enough points to be presented with the Challenge trophies. Grandad taught me the importance of perfection for the show bench and how competing can help us to strive to keep doing better. Ambition is no bad thing!

RHS

A career in floristry and horticulture is often perceived as being limited in opportunities, I work closely with the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) to help to raise awareness amongst young people about the variety of career routes and progression that exist. Floristry does not just have to be about selling flowers via a shop, there are so many exciting opportunities available. By working with schools, colleges and other educational institutions I talk about my "life in flowers" and my career journey and also help to break down the gender stereotypes that still exist within the industry.

Chatsworth 2018

Often I am asked what my career highlights are and it is so very difficult to choose. Thankfully I have been lucky enough to work on some amazing projects for both private and corporate clients. Being the sole designer and instigator for ten flower festivals at the World renowned Chatsworth house has to figure as a definite highlight. These events were planned and undertaken with military precision.

Since then I have worked with many stately homes designing flower displays, demonstrating and running floral workshops - it is always a privilege to be given free access to their sensational gardens, to wander and cut flowers and foliage without limitations! I designed the UK's largest display of Phalaenopsis Orchids for RHS Chatsworth flower show and have designed floral cakes, rainbows and flower frames for our wonderful RHS garden at Harlow Carr. The iconic RHS letters which feature at all the flower shows I have decorated countless times, and often the challenge is keeping them looking pristine throughout a week long show when they are subject to the extreme weather, be it driving rain or scorching sunshine.

JM collage
Hallway

Sharing my passion for growing and arranging flowers is of major importance and I love the theatricality of live demonstrations. I regularly perform at all the major flower shows from RHS Chelsea, Hampton Court, Tatton, Chatsworth, Malvern and Cardiff, plus all the shows at the wonderful RHS gardens, to name but a few. Our own Harrogate is of course a floral mecca and I am thrilled to be the immediate past President of the North of England Horticultural Society and I still work closely with the shows to retain the important role that they have in the world of floristry. We are all so excited about this year's Autumn show being relocated to Newby Hall and this new look show will retain the best of the traditional Autumn event whilst showcasing a new family friendly experience within the iconic Newby gardens. I will be decorating the entrance to the hall with spectacular Autumn blooms and berries plus of course demonstrating each day.

Here at my home in North East Derbyshire I grow a plethora of flowers and plants to use in my flower talks and demonstrations. My garden is just over a third of an acre and I designed it from a blank canvas 19 years ago. Although hard work, the rewards it provides are endless. My garden is a passion and it is intrinsically connected to me as a person and as a stimulating source of inspiration for the creative side of my floristry. There is never a week within the year when I cannot walk into the garden and gather some flowers.

Garden full

Working with the flowers which you have grown and nurtured strengthens the relationship and connection you have creatively with the materials that are the ingredients for your artwork. As a British flower ambassador I work directly with both large scale and artisan flower growers. I use my profile within the media and the floristry/horticultural industry to convey the important message that we should all support our British growers and celebrate seasonality. Sustainability within floristry is another area of pivotal importance and is an area where I am keen to educate and empower people to work more harmoniously with nature.

Sunflowers

Last year I was thrilled to receive an Honorary membership of The Institute of Professional Florists and I will continue to deliver the message that having flowers and plants within our lives enriches our day to day existence. Arranging flowers is achievable and attainable for all - be it a few foraged buttercups and stems of cow parsley or a bunch of home grown sweet peas, we all have the opportunity to appreciate their beauty and enhance it by adding a few artistic/creative touches. In July at our own Great Yorkshire Show I was lucky enough to be presented to their Royal Highnesses Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall, we had a wonderful conversation about the flowers which I had used within a bouquet, all of which were home grown from my garden and amazingly it appeared that most of the flowers were also being grown at Highgrove.

Halo

Flowers have no hierarchy, no cultural divide, no stereotypes or inhibitions; they are here for all of us to enjoy! When I reflect back upon my childhood as the little boy regularly visiting Harrogate to visit my Mother’s maiden great Aunt who lived just off the Stray I used to marvel at the Crocus and the blossom trees, my father would take me for a walk in the Valley Gardens and we would visit Bettys to buy cakes for afternoon tea and I would be awestruck by the spectacular hanging baskets. Harrogate as a floral town played its part within my floral journey and I am thrilled to be able to help to promote its beauty and the amazing gardens that surround the locality as I travel around the UK and beyond to deliver the message that flowers are and always will be the jewels within our lives.

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