Life in lockdown with Paula Pryke

By Paula Pryke

It’s important for creative people to keep busy during this time, and there are many ways that we can continue to experiment with our floral designs and bouquets, even if we’re not allowed to leave the house.

If you’re running a business, it’s more important than ever to keep in touch with your staff and customers. We need to stick together, and there are always ways that we can help each other out!

How have you found life in lockdown?  

One of the best ways to keep spirits up during lockdown is to focus on all the positive things I have in my life. I feel very lucky to be able to spend so much more time in my garden, and it’s a blessing that this has happened in Spring so I can spend so much more time in the Suffolk countryside.

I’ve also been spending much more time with my lovely chocolate labradors who give some order and normality to my day.

The opportunity to spend more time with my family has been a huge plus to the whole ordeal, and we’ve done lots of cooking together which has helped to keep up busy and lift spirits.

The lockdown came just before Mothering Sunday in the UK and then we had just had international Mothers Day on the May 10th so lots of my clients still wanted to send and receive flowers.

So I have still been getting the occasional Dutch delivery from Aalsmeer or using UK flower farms that courier flowers. 

Sadly, I have also had to provide flowers for far too many funerals and sympathy orders, but at the same time there have been lots of new baby flowers too and masses of birthdays! 

How have you continued to source flowers?

Sometimes I have used the Parcel service to send flowers or have tried to find florists that are working locally to help out. 

Today I have been trying to find someone in Lincoln to do me a delivery tomorrow. Finally, I found Rachel Petheram, who I got in touch with after seeing her online course The Herb Garden with Learning with Experts. 

Rachel has made me a beautiful bouquet from her cutting garden for my client today. That's the lovely thing about the flower industry we all generally help each other out!

To get in touch with Rachel head to her website -

How have you been keeping busy?

I was really excited to see the much awaited release of The Big Flower Fight on Netflix. “The Gardening Equivalent Of ‘The Great British Bake-Off’ is here” to quote Vogue. The timing of the release of this show was perfect, as lots of us are beginning to discover the stress-relieving benefits of hobbies.” 

"What could be more soothing than watching The Great British Bake-Off? Watching an almost identical programme… but with tumbling wisteria, spring lilacs, and classic roses taking the place of flour, sugar, and eggs."

I had a very lovely significant #lockdown birthday too with a special dinner from the catering company One Fine Dine that usually supply private jets at Stansted airport.

Of course I bought myself all my favourite flowers like Lily of Valley and Sweet Peas and my daughters decked the halls with balloons and made presents and cakes. The enforcement of a slower way of life makes you realise what is important and what is not.

If you’re feeling stuck for things to do, why not try out my online floristry course, recently mentioned in The Sunday Times: the course is taught by ‘doyenne of floristry Paula Pryke, which covers Hand-tied bouquets and arrangements.’

I would highly recommend buying your flowers from Flowers from Clowrance to go alongside the course. They provide a mixed selection box of Spring British Cut flowers, delivered to your door.

With so many of us have been perfecting our crafting, gardening and cooking skills in the lockdown, why not learn floral design and add a new tool to your tool box!

Paula’s top tip

I think a lot of people think they "cannot do flowers” because they over think it or worry they don’t know the rules etc. There are really very few rules and taking part and having a go is the key to improving.

Often the simpler the arrangement, the better it looks. You don’t really need to know very much or have equipment to get started. You just need a good pair of scissors, knife or secateurs and a handful of flowers.

Its not about what you end up with, it is about enjoy the beauty of the flowers and losing yourself in the therapeutic world of flowers.

Recommended course

Flower Arranging taught by Paula Pryke

Learn floristry online with master florist Paula Pryke OBE. Includes bouquets and floral arrangements for interiors and events.

View courseAll Floristry courses

Paula Pryke

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