A WOMAN who switched her career to floristry received a commission to celebrate the Chelsea Flower Show
A WOMAN who switched her career to floristry received a commission to celebrate the Chelsea Flower Show within three months of starting work.
Liz Perkins, 41, from Bix, was asked to create a display for Margaux, a French restaurant in Old Brompton Road, London, about a mile from the grounds of the Royal Chelsea Hospital where the show is held.
It is traditional for the restaurants and bars in the area to display floral art during the event.
Mrs Perkins, who is married with three children, had only graduated from Judith Blacklock’s School of Floristry in Knightsbridge earlier this year having previously worked as a teacher.
She said: “I wanted to do something that worked with my family and had thought about floristry. I looked at the school and saw that Judith was the Mary Berry of the floral world. I went up and did my training and it turned out I could do it.”
She works from home, where she lives with her husband Nick and their children Oliver, eight, Harry, five, and Grace, two.
The restaurant display was her biggest commission to date. Mrs Perkins said: “My first concern was doing a whole restaurant when I was only three months into my career — it was a big deal. I do a lot of bouquets and small scale stuff. This was a really big challenge and I wanted to see what I could do. It was quite a lot of pressure.”
Her display comprised a tree covered with floral decoration in the middle of the tables, a number of smaller floral pieces and some copper measuring cups filled with flowers hung from the restaurant’s canopy.
She bought the flowers from Covent Garden flower market and was helped by friends Leonie Boscher, Emily Calvocoressi and Caroline Turner.
Mrs Perkins said: “They wanted to help me, which was lovely. We went in at 9.30pm on the Sunday and didn’t finish until 2.30am. It was a big job.
“It ended up being quite magical and looked quite amazing. All the flowers were fresh so it was like a living tree.” The display was unveiled at a special reception organised by the restaurant owners, Sylvia Kontek and Vittorio Monge.
Mrs Perkins said: “The biggest thing was seeing what they thought and the feedback was really good. Sylvia was thrilled.”
Now she is looking forward to more commissions, including decorating the garden of a female celebrity for a festival being held at her home.
Mrs Perkins said: “I’m also holding a Midsummer Night’s Dream floral crown workshop teaching locals how to make floral headpieces.
“In September I am doing a flower installation at Blenheim Horse Trials and I’m in discussion with Josh Wood, the celebrity hairdresser and colour guru, about London Fashion Week, which I’m really excited about.
“The business is slowly building. I feel very passionate about it and absolutely love what I’m doing.”