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A Word With

Wild Words: MV Meets Nikki Tibbles At Chelsea In Bloom

This week, our London flagship has been transformed into an enchanted forest under the creative direction of Nikki Tibbles, whose award-winning Wild At Heart florist has become a go to name for unique and opulent floral displays.

We spoke to Nikki to discover how she brought a sense of fairy tale magic in-store for Chelsea in Bloom, and to get her tips on business, trends and floristry as self expression.

  • Monica Vinader for Chelsea in Bloom

    The window installation is our interpretation of a fairy tale theme and our entry to alternative floral art show, Chelsea in Bloom

  • Monica Vinader Chelsea Boutique

    A tall silver birch tree takes centre stage inside our Chelsea boutique

  • Monica Vinader floral display
  • Nikki Tibbles

    Nikki Tibbles of Wild At Heart, the creative force behind our floral installation

The mood we wanted to capture for Chelsea in Bloom …
combines this year's 'Fairy Tales' theme with Monica Vinader's modern and eclectic style. We wanted to create an air of mystery and fantasy, with our inspiration drawn from an enchanted forest of woodland arches, tangling branches and wild flowers.

To recreate the feeling of being in a forest in-store…
we placed a gorgeous silver birch tree inside the front of the shop, with its soft weeping branches occupying the front window to create a wild and mysterious look. Along with mounds of green mosses, planted ferns and clematis to complement the collection's precious gemstones, we were able to create our very own woodland.

My tips on bringing the outdoors indoors…
In case you haven't already guessed, I love everything related to flowers! So what better way to blur the indoor-outdoor barrier than to incorporate some florals in your artwork, fabrics and cushions?

I'm currently noticing a quintessentially English look with flowers…
A return to all things nature whilst maintaining a luxurious feel. Blown peonies, scented sweet peas, lemons and violets are all trending at the moment.

I think the next big thing will be …
a lot more floristry in the form of larger installations such as flower walls and statement pieces. I personally tend to look draw my inspiration from nature, fashion and art and enjoy making things work that would not necessarily be put together.

Flower arranging is an art form…
People are always looking for new ways to decorate their homes and add a personal touch to their surroundings. Creativity has no limits, so I don't believe there is a certain point at which floristry ends and art and design begin. I can't write, sing, paint or draw, so for me, floristry is an art and the perfect way in which I am able to express myself.

Style will generally come first over scent…
The majority of our clients are looking for something aesthetically pleasing, whether it be a luxurious bridal bouquet or a statement flower wall for a private party. The beautiful smell is an added bonus! But whilst I adore the heavenly fragrance of early spring blooms, at times it can be important to consider what scent an arrangement will create. I always advise against using scented flowers on a dining table as they can overpower the taste of the food.

The biggest challenge I ever faced with a creative installation…
was working with Fiona Leahy Events to figure out how to create a 40 square metre ceiling of flowers in Azerbaijan - and then how to keep it alive!

The most fulfilling part of my job is…
working in a creative environment with the most wonderfully talented people and being able to make beautiful things every day. Everything is constantly on the move; I enjoy working in a new venue each week and using different flowers as the seasons change.

What I've learnt…
Starting a business requires a lot of time, perseverance and a lot of hard work! I've had my fair share of challenges, some of which turned out to be great, such as beating 70 rivals to the lease of Turquoise Island in 1993. And some of which did not turn out as well, such as starting up a flower school just before the recession hit.

It's important to have mentors…
I got myself an apprenticeship with a London florist initially, where I learnt the industry inside-out before starting Wild at Heart. I also got a lot of advice from my close friends, particularly [fashion designer] Betty Jackson.

My advice to those dreaming of starting their own business …
If it's what you're passionate about - do it! I wouldn't try to do everything in the business; everyone has their strengths so make sure you have the right people doing the right job. And be generous.

If I weren't a florist, I'd be…
a vet. Or I'd work with animals for sure!

See all of the floral installations for the show and vote for MV's enchanted forest display on the Chelsea in Bloom website.

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