I'm Ione. I live with my hubby and 2 cats and 4 girls(hens) so plenty of lovely eggs! I love walking, Pilates and Tai Chi.
What flowers did you have on your wedding day?
'80s Wedding day. I chose a neat Hand-tied of Flowers Peach Roses, cream Alstromeria and mixed foliages. I thought I was really radical because my Bridesmaids were in white Laura Ashley dresses with peach sashes!!
What would you have done differently!?
My flowers wouldn't look out of place this year, we've used lots of pale peach and pale pink this summer. The main difference between now and then is the huge choice of Roses and silver foliage weren't available or thought of then. I knew very little about bridal flowers at that point, so I was very happy to take as much advice as my florist could give me. now I great great pleasure passing on my 22 years of expertise.
How long have you been a florist?
23 years! I came into floristry when I was given a large bouquet on the birth of my son. It was what I would call 'All the colours of the rainbow' (my pet hate) When I went on to open a shop I put on the website 'We don't do all the colours of a rainbow', I think a colour scheme with tints and shades sit better together.
I first studied floristry level 1 and 2 at Harlow college and went onto do my National Certificate at Shuttleworth College. All of which I lapped up including the Latin names! Following this I went on to work for a couple of well known florists and combined this with teaching flower arranging in an adult education institute.
Nine years ago I decided I wanted more people to have access to what I'm passionate about and opened a flower shop and called it 'Crazy Daisy'. This was a wonderful opportunity to be involved in the whole community and create a much loved brand , focusing on customer service and quality. Over the years our reputation spread especially the weddings and the commitment became 7 days a week.
In January this year I sold the shop and went freelance to be able to concentrate on the weddings and the four flower arranging classes I teach.
What's the best part of floristry?
What I love is being able to design and choose flowers for a specific occasion, with all the knowledge of the couples likes and dislikes. Knowing the bouquet will be my original design is very important. I wouldn't want to repeat what I've already done. I've also been told by one bride that the flowers were her treat, they were the only bit of the wedding that had an element of surprise, having planned every other detail.
What's your favourite season for flowers and why?
Not only do I love all the differing seasons but I also look forward to going from one to the next. A good selection of flowers are available all year round, but some flowers like foxgloves have a very short season and I think this is what makes fresh flowers so very special .
Many Brides have some favourite flowers, my advice would be if you love Peonies don't book your wedding in March!
What have been your career high points?
I loved doing 'What not to wear for the Brides mother' but nothing can beat getting THE phone call to do a posy to be presented to the Queen; I still can't quite believe it.
I had Carte Blanche on the design, which was lovely and on the day the Queen had brilliantly chosen her outfit to match, complete with lilac Hydrangeas in her hat. You don't get told what colour her outfit will be!