In Conversation With Niki at Buckets of Blooms

by Michelle

Buckets of Blooms is an artisan cut flower business growing beautiful, seasonal flowers in the heart of the Hampshire Downs.  They specialise in growing fresh,  fragrant, seasonal cut flowers for weddings and events, supplying both local florists  and the local community.

Addressing the ever increasing demand from brides wishing to arrange their own flowers, particularly at their wedding venue, Buckets of Blooms also sell DIY flower buckets, for you to arrange yourself, with the flowers cut for your order, and conditioned ready for you to arrange.

Buying from British flower growers, also appeals to a growing number of brides, who are becoming more conscious of where their flowers are coming from and how they are grown.  Other fabulous bonuses of  local, naturally grown flowers and foliage is that their scent can be amazing and  you can usually source flower varieties not generally widely available.

So, if you’re thinking  of arranging some or all of your wedding flowers, Buckets of Blooms owner Niki  has some great advice below, together with providing a really fascinating insight into the business of blooms.

Tell us a little about yourself and your business

My name is Niki Roberts and I run Buckets of Blooms, an artisan cut flower growing business supplying weddings and events with beautiful, naturally grown flowers and foliage, allowing the arrangement to be done by our customers. We specialise in providing seasonal flowers and foliage with lots of scent, including varieties not generally available.

We love the variety that we can offer, from the glorious fragance of sweet peas that is so evocative; the stunning blue of our cornflowers; the range of sunflowers from tiny pale cream to deepest chocolate; right through to the exquisite divas of late summer and autumn – dahlias.

We also provide florists who are looking to provide bespoke wedding arrangements to bridal parties in London and the South East as well as further afield on occasion.

What motivated you to start your business?

Buckets of Blooms started in 2015, after having worked in private horticulture and finished the RHS Practical Horticulture Courses, I had been bitten by the bug for growing cut flowers. Whilst currently more than 90% of cut flowers are imported through the Dutch auctions from all over the world, the general public and specifically discerning brides are becoming more conscious of where their flowers are coming from and how they are grown.

For some brides and grooms, having locally grown flowers that give a ‘just gathered’ garden feel, can complement their day perfectly.

Tell us a little more about the day to day activities of your business.

Whilst the early mornings (4.30am anybody?), rain and mud may not suit everybody, for me the compensation of days spent in the heart of the Hampshire Downs with larks trilling above and swallows swooping across the field in their search for lunch is worth every soggy morning when the sun isn’t out. Although many days can be primarily planting and weeding there is a great deal of satisfaction in seeing plants that you have grown from seed flourishing in neat, well ordered rows. I also have the delight of meeting brides and grooms and getting the vicarious thrill of hearing about their wedding plans.

It is also quite a special getting to see the creations of some incredibly talented florists as they weave the beautiful flowers I have supplied, into amazing creations – definitely a case of the total being lovelier than the sum of parts!

If our readers were to order from you, what can they expect?

It is really my privilege to be able to help with a wedding, as I know how important the day is in two people’s lives. And I think there can be something special about a wedding when friends, relatives or even the couple themselves have been involved in creating the day. Our clients have the option of buying mixed Flower Buckets to create their wedding flowers, whether that be for the venue, church, reception, bouquets and buttonholes or even flower crowns!

Alternatively having the peace of mind of having beautiful complementary personal flowers created by our local partner Floribunda Rose, whilst still having the fun of creating arrangements for the wedding from our Flower Buckets.

How can couples judge if a company is the right fit for their wedding?

Many of our customers have started their initial enquiry with ‘I want wildflowers for my wedding’. Well, the flowers generally aren’t wildflowers, they are beautifully cultivated, but I know just what they mean, and that is just they can create. They want flowers with some movement, some colour, some scent and some life.

They want to have that quintessential garden look that says these flowers are special for this moment, because this moment is special. By arranging your own flowers you will create something unique, and because the flowers are seasonally grown outside, the combination of flowers will be unique to that day, and each flower will be unique in how many petals have unfurled, how each stem curves and with the intensity of the scent.

What are your favourite moments from previous weddings you’ve been involved with?

Last year we were lucky enough to supply flowers for a number of weddings, but two in particular stand out. One was to supply the flowers for the wedding of friends. Not only did that mean we got to enjoy the end product, but we were also in the thick of it for arranging the flowers. This included bouquets and buttonholes, flowers for the church and the reception. Taking part with other friends and family made us feel really included and made the whole wedding such great fun. It also highlighted that arranging needs plenty of time to be able to relax and enjoy the experience.

One other wedding we supplied was very small by comparison, but as the bride and groom lived in the village where the flowers are grown, it was such a delight.

What have you got planned for 2017?

So, 2016 was amazing, but I feel 2017 will be even more exciting. On the growing front, there are new flowers planned and a significantly increased growing area, so hopefully we will be helping with even more weddings this year.

There have also been invitations to do some talks about what I do. As someone who loves talking about flowers, I can’t think of many better things than being able to talk with interested and knowledgeable people about the highs and lows of growing, and whilst I hope they enjoy hearing about my experiences as a commercial grower, I think I will have a lot to learn from them too.

Buckets of Blooms will hopefully be at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show for the third year running as part of the ‘Flowers From The Farm’ floral design exhibit. Will we get a medal again? We will have to wait and see.

And finally, what or who inspires you and why?

I would have to say the people I meet as part of my business. There are many other large and small commercial growers out there who have given time, advice and support; florists who are lovely to work with and create such beautiful designs; and when you talk to a bride and groom and hear about their wedding plans, who wouldn’t be inspired to want to be just a small part of such a special day!

All Photos Courtesy of Buckets of Blooms

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