Growing flowers for art sake

With a name like Electric Daisy Flower Farm… I had to look further..

Based in Somerset, in the UK, Fiona Haser Bizony is an artist who has fully embraced flowers as her medium, flowers she grows herself at Electric Daisy Flower Farm.

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Image from Electric Daisy Flower Farm

“I love growing flowers and harvesting them at dawn to use like paint in my projects.”

How would you describe your style?

Funnily enough I’ve been working on this very question – how to describe my style. We are opening a shop in London this year and I need to be able to put into words how I feel about my work. I’m using a four-word mantra, Ethical. Sustainable, Organic, Beautiful.

We grow all the flowers that I use in my work on our flower farm in Somerset. We use organic garden practices, so all our product is ethical and sustainable. We are as concerned about the biodiversity of insect and wildlife on the farm as we are about the flowers we grow. We made the decision last year not to sell to wholesale but rather to use our flowers ourselves. The shop will be an amazing creative outlet for our British grown organic flowers.

Image from Electric Daisy Flower Farm
Image from Electric Daisy Flower Farm

There can never be too much beauty in the world. I feel genuinely grateful to be working in such a diverse and beautiful industry and to be able to share the joy of flowers with my customers

Can you talk a bit about your approach and process to creating a piece / arrangement.

Well it depends who I’m creating for, I will often be working to a brief. But I always steer clients towards the seasonality of our flowers. For example, I won’t be using peonies in December. The limitations of working with the seasons is not a problem for me. I enjoy making something beautiful out of whatever is available.

I often sketch ideas and make proposals that show where I’m going in my practice. I love being able to turn a painted sketch into reality.

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If it’s my own project I’m working on I’ll do the same. I will have an idea and I will sketch out the logistics of the structure, the underlying architecture for how the piece will be made.  

Where does your creative inspiration come from? 

Wow now that’s a huge subject. I studied art and we were trained to have a sketchbook with us at all times. Projects always started with visual research, we collected inspiration before we started making anything. I still do this today. I have piles of notebooks, collections of postcards and books everywhere.

“Inspiration comes from so many sources, it might be a lyric in a favourite song or a snippet of overheard conversation.”

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It could be a scent caught on the wind that reminds you of an evocative summer evening. I tend to have a design problem that I worry at until I find a creative solution.

I look at fashion, art, film, food, architecture, nature, history and I love traveling. 

What are some of your favourite botanicals to work with at the moment?

At the moment we are in the leanest period for flowers and foliage on the farm. It’s dark and wintery out there but plants that are performing are the shrubs and trees we grow Witch hazel, winter flowering Lonicera.

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Winter designs are quiet, sparse and oriental in feel. It’s more about the negative spaces around the twigs and blossoms than about the abundance of flowers that we would have in the summer.

I love the fact that the first crop of the year is sort of woodland, low growing and delicate. Primula, Viola, Cyclamen. They all wake up from their winter slumber and start the flowery season gently.

How is the floristry industry changing?

Well I have to admit I’m a newcomer to floristry. If you had told me ten years ago that I would become a floral designer, I would not have believed you. I had the impression floristry was about taming flowers and forcing them into submission. Floristry seemed to be all about strangling and constraining everything into arrangements devoid of reference to the natural world.

It feels to me as if a whole new generation of people have grabbed the floristry gauntlet. Many have found refuge in flowers after coming through the art school system. It comes as a welcome relief when it’s possible to make work that is beautiful without having to justify yourself.

There is also a great freedom in being self-taught when it comes to floristry. I was trained to solve problems so I’m confident that I can make my ideas into reality, even if I have to ask for help sometimes. 

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I’ve been doing flowers for four years now and I absolutely love it. I feel like an artist who uses flowers.

Your flowers / suppliers? Do you source solely from your farm?

Yes all our flowers come from the farm…..

Choreographed to bloom throughout the year, our flowers and floral arrangements are produced for people who appreciate nature and relish the bounty of the changing seasons.

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What do you grow?

On the farm we grow about 300 different varieties of flowers and foliage. It’s about curating the plants we grow to have enough varied and beautiful material throughout the year. I’m always on the look-out for new and different cultivars to add to the list. I love choosing what we grow.

Sustainable floristry – what are your thoughts / practices in this area?

Well back to my mantra – Ethical, Sustainable, Organic, Beautiful. I’ve eaten organic food since I set up home and had a family of my own. I wear my beliefs lightly, but I have tried to live an ethical life.

We are trying to eliminate plastic from the farm. We are coming up with creative solutions to old problems. We are certainly not perfect, but we are aware of the work that needs to be done.

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Is it a tricky to NOT use floral foam?

As I’m relatively new to floristry, I haven’t become habituated to using floral foam. Of course I have had it in the studio. One time we had a young man doing work experience with us and he noticed that all the ingredients on the box of floral foam were carcinogenic. So it’s bad for the environment, but what does it do to florists who use it regularly?

Working without floral foam is certainly more challenging and more time consuming and person hours are the most expensive element of floristry. I dream of clients who understand the cost to the environment and actively seek to pay extra for foam free floristry.

Was it always flowers for you?

Absolutely not……. I had no idea I would end up making floral arrangements. But I am so delighted that I’ve discovered my medium. I love growing flowers and harvesting them at dawn to use like paint in my projects. Our flowers are beautiful, organic and fluid.

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“They have a wild, natural quality that flowers from market just can’t beat.”

I’m inspired by the abundance in our fields. I pick my pallet of shapes and colours so my designs reflect the moment and specifically the season.

Most memorable gig?

Has to be the giant floral clouds we made for a wedding last year. They were an epic 3 meters across, took acres of flowers and floated majestically above the heads of the wedding guests.

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https://www.electricdaisyflowerfarm.co.uk

Fiona and her team are soon to open a shopfront in London, bringing their organic blooms to the city.

Find them here: www.electricdaisyflowerfarm.co.uk

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