For Alan Simpson, co-owner of Hybrid, there was no question what he would choose for his focus flower at our British Flowers Week photoshoot: Sweet Williams. And there is a lovely story as to why.
"In my very first week of working as a florist, I opened a box of wonderful Sweet Williams, the first of the season," explains Alan. "The colours were wonderful, the scent delicious, and I took a bunch home to give to my mother. Every year thereafter, when the Sweet Williams came into flower, I would always take a bunch from the first box to give to her."
Today, Alan still is inspired by the Sweet William. "Sweet Williams are incredibly long-lasting which makes them perfect for contract work," says Alan. "You can manipulate them to get a clean, more minimalist look, or use groups of the same colour as you would hydrangeas to create blocks of colour."
"You can create massed domes just of Sweet Williams in large vases or wire them into pomanders or headdresses. They make some lovely shapes," adds Alan. "I associate them too with Shakespeare’s Globe, because of the name, of course, and the rich, deep, shades of red in the flowers."
A distinctly British Master
An avowedly British floral take on a Dutch Master painting, this lavish urn overflows with stunning Sweet Williams, garden roses, snapdragons, foxgloves, cotoneaster and copper beech.
Inspired by the Bard
Woven stems of perfect British calla lilies adorned with flowerheads of Sweet William in this elegant headdress inspired by Shakespeare's Globe.
Sweet Williams in the Boardroom
The simple cottage garden flower grows up. Magnificent calla lilies arch up from a glorious mound of Sweet Williams in two contemporary white vases linked by stems of twisted hazel.
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