It was in 2007, after she and her husband Neil transformed a pig farm into fields and fields of flowers, that Juliet Glaves turned to floristry. Based in Shropshire, Juliet also runs a small flower shop in Designers Guild’s King’s Road store, alongside working with clients such as Temperley London and Cole & Son.
When were you first drawn to flowers?
Floristry is my third career. After graduating from Central Saint Martins, I was first a fashion designer, which then led me into TV where I started as a researcher before working my way up to producing documentaries for the BBC.
What kick-started your career as a florist?
After making a documentary on the British cut-flower industry, I was inspired to start growing my own. Then Neil and I bought the pig farm and began filling it with rows of cutting flowers.
Describe your style.
Abundant, informal, slightly wild but in a considered way, full of colour and texture. I view flowers like I once did fabric as a fashion designer – I don’t play by the rules and follow my instinct. Often odd things work surprisingly well together.
What sort of flowers do you like to work with?
Our little colourful slice of botanical heaven, and its ever-changing seasonal palette, inspires everything I do. We grow over 200 varieties of flowers, grasses and other foliage, from roses, peonies, ranunculus, foxgloves and dahlias to hollyhocks, lupins and delphiniums. Sarah Raven has been a huge source of information and inspiration for what to grow.
What makes a successful arrangement?
There are no rules in my world, but I do believe an arrangement needs to make you feel something, to invoke a gut reaction – whether that’s maybe happy, melancholic or wistful.
Where do you find inspiration?
I love colour, so I’m always looking to fashion. I love Marni for its odd shapes, Jil Sander for its clean lines. The designer Alice Temperley used some of my flowers as inspiration for embroidered prints in a collection recently. I also love the flattering effect of flowers around the face, so I often make arrangements to be worn, like neck ruffs or wildflower crowns.
Any favourite accessories?
Anything from Astier de Villatte, for its fragile beauty. Coloured glass collected for many years, particularly the organic shapes of Sixties Murano or Whitefriars vases. Turquoise is a great colour with all flowers as it’s warm and cold hued. Whether the flowers are in a turquoise ceramic pot or wrapped in turquoise tissue paper, the colour somehow adds a weird life to them.
What are your decoration plans for Christmas?
A wreath for the front door sets the tone for decorations inside. I like wreaths to look wild and free-form, with lots of texture. I’ll use foliage, twigs and seedheads I’ve dried, like alliums, tulips and willowherb. Last year, for Designers Guild, I wired random elder branches and stems with seeds or pine cones around metal rings wound with fabric strips and velvet ribbon.
I’ve just helped with the refurbishment of The Montagu Kitchen in Marylebone. We’ve created a laser-cut Perspex etching based on the garden-themed fabric used on the chairs and banquettes, and I’ve created big window boxes for outside and wild planters for inside. julietglaves.com
ABOVE Juliet gathers armfuls of homegrown flowers from her Shropshire fieldsTHIS IMAGE Wound with Designers Guild fabric and ribbon, the wreath of pine foliage and cedar cones demonstratesJuliet’s love of free-form design
THIS IMAGE roses, foxgloves, echinops, hollyhocks and zinnia make up this dramatic summer display Below Juliet used to be a fashion designer and this winter arrangement of hellebores and hazel catkins dotted with narcissus takes its cue from boldly patterned textiles like Designers Guild’s plum Blossom in Acacia in the background