Student Stories

Grower/Florist – Wolves Lane Flower Company

Marianne Mogendorff and Camila Klich

Which course did you study at Tallulah Rose and when?
We both completed the 2 week career change course in January 2018.

What did you most enjoy about the course?
The space and time to play with flowers but also having structure imposed on us to keep moving onto new activities and not getting fixated on one urn or bouquet! As flower growers as well as florists we struggle sometimes to prioritise the time to be creative and experiment with flowers in an open ended way and the 2 week course really enabled us to do this.
What was the most important thing that you learnt during your time at school…
Probably that if you have a problem solving approach you can figure out how to create most flowery things once you know some basic techniques and the course equipped us with these brilliantly.

What was your first big break?
In June 2018 we decided to enter the British Flower Week competition run by The Garden Museum in partnership with New Covent Garden Market. We hastily dreamed up some ideas modelling our design on the overgrown second growing plot we’d recently acquired and to our surprise were shortlisted to create it. We’d never created an installation before and so doing it in timed conditions, under the scrutiny of a panel of legendary judges and with a public audience able to view it for the week we set the bar quite high for ourselves! Despite several curve balls and mishaps we were proud of what we created and the opportunity has led to several exciting things for WLFC, most notably a partnership with The Garden Museum to help them create a cutting garden.

What are you doing now?
We are continuing to balance the flower growing with floristry for weddings, events, local delivery and to supply to florists. It’s demanding doing both but very important to us to keep the balance right. 2019 is our first full growing season (last year Marianne had a baby shortly after completing the course at TR) so we’re excited to see how the business evolves from this point.

Describe a typical floristry day…
Arrive at Wolves Lane, the dishevelled but brilliantly unique growing site we share with veg growers and other community groups in North London. Open up our 40 metre glasshouse to aid ventilation and check soil moisture and aphid population! Move onto our propagation house to check on our seedlings. We joke that this space is like the engine room of WLFC where the promise of plants begin. Often we’ll to cut flowers first thing for bouquets, a wedding or a florist who is interested in working with seasonal British flowers and it’s important we do this first thing when the flowers are still nicely hydrated. From here the day can vary hugely. We might be planting out new plants, sowing more seeds or beginning to work on a floral design with stems cut the previous day. We work long hours like most florists but count ourselves as incredibly lucky to get to go to work surrounded by birdsong and plants everyday.

What’s been your highlight to date?
We were lucky enough to get a two page feature in The Telegraph gardening section around British Flower Week last year and were both a bit giddy to see ourselves in a real newspaper for the first time!

What advice would you give to a new student starting out?
This is advice we need to heed ourselves but making time to experiment and test things is crucial. If you aren’t sure if a particular flower will last in a buttonhole, make time to trial it. Choose a vessel from your collection you feel unsure of how you’d tackle and set yourself a finite time to create something using it. It’s only from trial and error that we all learn and improve!

Click here for more information about Wolves Lane Flower Company