About Pip's work
Flowers are the most entrancing things, their infinite variety, seasonality and their fleeting nature make them so special. The way they express every feeling is such a wonderful thing that we can't imagine a house without them. They are our instant choice when we want to show someone that we care.
With Pip's background in horticulture she can bring a special twist to flowers with a real understanding of plants and flowers and a world of contacts so that she can source the very best flowers from all around the world but also from every corner of Britain.
Three Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Gold Medals, recognised the world over, are proof that Pip can work at the highest level and produce really special work.
Pip lives and works in Southampton, a city which is vibrant and ever changing, and she uses the area as inspiration for her work sourcing flowers from local growers to capture that rustic country look while combining that with picking the best of the newest trends from London and New York.
As a teacher Pip still goes to workshops to keep her skills at their peak and so she understands how important it is to feel comfortable while learning, it should be engaging, fun and you should leave a class feeling you really have learnt something useful and inspiring.
Most importantly our work is about you and what you want from your flowers. You can work directly with Pip to craft a special course, create a bespoke design or choose from her designer flowers or scheduled workshops on this website. We are approachable and easy to work with combined with being total professionals.
Pip has always had flowers in her life. She remembers clearly all the flowers in her childhood garden and her Grandfather starting to teach her to care for them. Strangely it took her a few years to realise they could provide a career for her. Cornwall proved a trigger with her gorgeous but neglected garden on the banks of the Fal Estuary giving her a whole new challenge. A year in college followed by the best possible grounding in a Cornish nursery owned by great plant lovers kicked off a long career.
Three years followed as landscape architect to a billionaire financier at his Berkshire Manor House widening her horizons. The garden centre world then beckoned and after working on a super independent nursery near Newbury in Berkshire her thoughts turned back to one of the world’s most special nurseries, Hillier. She started as a plant area assistant but was moved up right through the company over 27 years and finished up in the exciting position of Plant Buyer for the group of centres.
For 25 of those years she was editor of the Hillier Gardening Club Magazine, producing 3 or 4 issues every year including special “live” issues for the Chelsea Flower Show. She also wrote The Hillier Gardeners’ Guide to Climbers and Wall Plants. A book based on all the questions customers always ask and packed with pictures and information. She is a member of the Garden Media Guild and also the Professional Garden Photographers Association.
During those years a chance job assisting director, Andy McIndoe, with a Christmas flower arranging demonstration triggered an urge to explore working with cut flowers. Some creative streak buried deep had been awoken and from a few local lessons she started competing and discovered a talent for doing the unexpected. This turned into wins at National and International level. She has also been lucky enough to have won three RHS Chelsea Gold Medals as an individual and been involved in producing over 20 Chelsea Gold Medal winning exhibits as part of the Hillier Nurseries Staging Team.
A natural progression was to become a NAFAS accredited judge, first at Area level then at National Level. As a regular team leader of the Hillier Chelsea Flower Show she was very honoured to be asked to become an RHS judge in 2013, first as a Floral Art judge then as a Floral Judge judging nurseries and florists in the main pavilion at Chelsea and other RHS shows throughout the year. This year sees her starting training to become an RHS moderator, one of the most senior types of judge.
Requests to tutor workshops started to arrive and so Pip now offers several options for contemporary flowers clubs along with classes for beginners and also for more advanced arrangers. Whether you want to fine tune your competitive edge or simply learn to make your first floral design with everything provided for you we can craft a course for you.
Pip is also a tutor at Learning With Experts, the top online gardening school. Climbers are her subject there, so if you want to know more visit www.learningwithexperts.com.
She also one of the regular experts on BBC Radio Solent's gardening question time where she answers questions from the public on a Sunday at 12pm with gardening presenter Rebecca Parker. A chance meeting at a Flog It programme recording introduced her to a BBC Radio Surrey and Sussex producer who invited her to join the Gardening Team there too and so she joined as a regular on the Dig It programme with Joe Talbot on Sundays at 9am and Dig It Extra at 2pm on Fridays.