I love my home county of Dorset. If you have ever visited, then I am sure you will agree with me. Every little town and village has its own unique charm and history. Be it coastline, meadows, hills or medieval towns, Dorset has something for everyone. At the beginning of the year I decided I would like to share and write about a few of my favourite places to shop, stay, eat and sleep in Dorset. You could call it a personal travel guide? I would like to think that anyone visiting Dorset in the months to come, would find it a useful source for things that aren’t on the usual tourist radar. Let me know what you think about this idea?
At the beginning of the year I decided I would like to share and write about a few of my favourite places to shop, stay, eat and sleep in Dorset.
My Dorset, shopping with Sweetpea Florist.
Let’s start with shopping, and in particular flower shopping. There is only one place I would recommend for a glorious Dorset floral experience. Sweetpea Florist in Blandford Forum. This pretty shop is owned by Laura who used to be a midwife! I recently caught up with Laura and asked her some questions about Sweetpea Florist…
Can you tell us your personal ‘backstory’ How did you start your business and open a Florists shop?
“My passion for flowers and beautiful blooms began when I was 15 and started work as a Saturday girl in a local florist shop. At 15 years old, my main jobs were sweeping the leaves, tidying and serving customers, but I was soon allowed to get my hands on the flowers and took every opportunity I could learn and develop my floristry skills. Before I knew it, I was designing and creating stunning hand tied bouquets and wedding flowers.
At 21, I put floristry on-hold and became a qualified Midwife in Brighton. Midwifery is an equally rewarding profession. However, I never put my floristry scissors away and always dreamt of owning my own floristry business.
Having built up Sweetpea Florist over many years, in 2016 I decided to take the plunge and swap delivering babies for delivering flowers full time (although of course I can still do both if required!)20 years later and I’m still amazed every day, by the beauty and charm of flowers, hence my home is always filled with them…….even my 5 and 7 year old sons can tell you the names of many flowers, I’m training them early! I feel very privileged that I get to work with some of nature’s naturally beautiful creations every day”
What is your proudest business achievement so far and why?
“This is a really hard question to answer! I think the fact that the business as a whole has taken off and grown hugely in a relativity small amount of time. Although I have been plodding away and building the business for some years (alongside midwifery), I have actually only had my shop for 1.5 years and after the first year, I have already moved premises to a much larger shop and workshop. To have my own shop and successful business has been my ultimate dream for many years and I now feel like I am actually achieving it!”
How would you describe your floral style?
“I would say my style is very natural and wild, almost as if you have walked through a country garden picking flowers and foliage as you go, using the best blooms that each season has to offer. I am very organic in my creations, in that I have a rough idea of what I would like to achieve and the overall finished look, but it may change along the way! As you are working with very natural and unpredictable products from nature, I think this is the best way to be. I don’t have any ‘set’ bouquets or offer anything specific; I will listen to my customers and what they would like and create them something unique and bespoke.”
Favourite flower and a tip for arranging a pretty vase of flowers?
“My favourite flower constantly changes! I do love Peonies, who doesn’t? I also love Anemones and Ranunculi’s, especially the Kloon Hanoi variety, very large headed, pale pink with beautiful ruffles that just keep giving. The best way to arrange a vase of flowers is to firstly pick your favourites and make sure you have lots of foliage to use as well (even if picked from the garden). Always work with odd numbers of the same type of flower to create a very natural and balanced finished look. Change the water in the vase every 2-3 days and re cut stems when doing this as it will prolong the vase life.”
Always work with odd numbers of the same type of flower to create a very natural and balanced finished look.
What are your future plans for Sweetpea Florist?
“I have sooooo many plans and ideas to keep me busy! One of which is that I would love to be able send my flowers UK wide and am working on this at present. I am also aiming to have an online shop on my website and launch a subscription service. That’s just for starters! I really hope to be able to keep growing Sweetpea Florist over the coming years…”
A huge thank you to Laura for supplying answers to my questions! Do pop in and visit Laura in Blandford when you are in Dorset…
You will find her gorgeous shop here: 1 Greyhound House, 2 Market Place, Blandford, DT11 7EB . Laura also organises floral workshops and bridal events!
You can also find Laura and her Beautiful Floral Creations on Instagram and FB too.
Instagram: Flowers by Sweetpea
Facebook: Sweetpea Florist
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