Cambridge Florist – Elizabeth Jane
Elizabeth Jane is a local florist that specialises in the colour and texture of flowers and foliage, and works on the basis that flowers can turn a room into an experience and an event into an adventure.
The company was founded by Elizabeth Tollett, who has worked for some of London’s most high-profile florists and hotels, including The Dorchester Hotel, 45 Park Lane and Chelsea Flower Stand.
She chooses all her flowers by hand early each morning and then individually conditions every one to provide you with the finest quality seasonal bouquets and stunning Christmas wreaths delivered every few days to The Gog. We wanted to find out a bit more about her;
What inspired you to be a florist?
I’ve always enjoyed being creative and had nearly gone down that path professionally many times: I was accepted to do a fine art degree and then decided to do politics; I nearly pursued a career in design and instead went into media – but then I hit 30 and decided it was time to fulfil the more creative part of me!
I’ve always loved flowers and foliage, and appreciate how they can totally change a space and affect your mood in such a positive way, so I decided to become a florist. I took the plunge, quit my safe and secure job, and went back to college to study floristry. I then worked at the Dorchester Hotel and 45 Park Lane hotel, where we had the freedom to really experiment, before moving onto a cool florist in Chelsea, where I honed my craft and decided to work for myself… and now I am!
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Choosing the flowers each morning and thinking of new ways to develop a design – I love using different flowers to create different lines and textures in installations. Flowers can be so powerful and impactful, and subtle use of lots of different shades can have a huge impact too. And yet in another way, the simplest designs can be so soothing – sometimes a fresh bunch of Daffodils in spring is all you need.
What’s your favourite flower?
That is a hard one, I really love foliage and believe it adds so much to an arrangement or bouquet – Eucalyptus is probably my favourite, plus it has a lovely fresh aroma. But if we are talking flowers, Delphiniums or Lisianthus are the first names that come to mind – but then there are also David Austin roses, or Peonies…
Do you favour any particular time of the year?
I would have to say Autumn – there are such great, dramatic colours – oranges, reds and deep purples with dark foliage such as berried ivy not to mention the amazing red Hydrangeas that you can get.
Top insider tips…
If you like Hydrangeas (and I do!) then you can make some beautiful, simple arrangements just by cutting the heads about six inches down the stem then drying them. There are various methods for this, but I find the best is to simply place them on a warm radiator for several hours, this helps to preserve the colour. They can then be woven into wreaths, arranged with foliage (just pick a variety from your garden or even the hedgerow) or generously bunched and placed in your favourite vase. They should last several months at the least.
A lot of my foliage comes from the UK and I source much of it directly from my garden, where we’ve planted a wide variety that we can use throughout the year. This means it’s super fresh and allows me to only use what I need.
Do you offer floral arranging classes?
Elizabeth and her team are hoping to start floral arranging classes with a twist next year. Watch this space!