Colour conversation with Kate Reeves, florist
When our creative team needs flowers to style a fashion shoot, there’s one place they head – to Rambling Rose in Beaminster, Dorset, where super-talented owner Kate Reeves works her floral magic with English country garden flowers, from roses and dahlias to sweet peas and alchemilla.
What inspired you to start working with flowers…
I lived in Paris after leaving school and there was the most amazing flower shop near my apartment that only sold roses – I always thought it was the most incredibly beautiful shop. I was about to go to university to study languages so forgot all about flowers for a while, then when I moved to London after my degree I was staying with my sister in Notting Hill and used to walk past Wild at Heart in Westbourne Grove. One day I bought a bunch of cornflowers and alchemilla and was blown away by the simplicity of it and the amazing contrast of blue and lime. I asked for a job there and then and began my career working with flowers.
How did you come to open your beautiful little flower shop?
When I moved from London to Dorset I rented an idyllic thatched cottage covered with pink rambling roses, and started a company providing flowers for weddings and parties. I hadn’t really intended to ever open a shop but the flower shop in Beaminster became available and I really couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I figured if it didn’t work at least I’d tried.
Kate's shop in Beaminster, Dorset
Describe your style of flowers in three words?
English country garden (with a colourful bonkers twist!).
Do you have a favourite floral colour palette?
I love coral, orange and peach tones contrasted with sky blue and hot pink.
Where do you start when you’re creating an arrangement?
Obviously the colour combination is often determined by the client’s requirement but I’m lucky that most people are happy to leave it up to me to choose whatever is lovely and in season.
If it’s for a wedding or a specific occasion, I’ll work to the colour palette we have discussed. The vase is important too as to whether I need tall or short stems, and large or small blooms. I love mixed textures so I will use a combination of flowers and foliage to give a more interesting natural feel; I can’t bear anything too contrived or ‘arranged’.
What is your favourite season and why?
I love all the seasons but Spring excites me as everything is coming back to life. It’s so good to see the first snowdrops, hellebores and primroses, then there is suddenly an abundance of tulips in my garden and my favourite fillers such as euphorbia and Solomon’s seal and blossoms. Every year I get excited to see a carpet of bluebells. I love the contrast with the fresh green beech leaves and then the frothy swathes of cow parsley.
Have you ever had your colours analysed and how do you wear your colours?
Yes – and it was fascinating. Of course, I’m a Spring… no surprise there! I wear a lot of blue but then tend to automatically add a pop of bright colour, whether a colourful top, trainers with a neon splash, a flowery scarf, or just bright socks!
Kate with her Spring (Light) colours - her best, all appropriately flowers! (Click here to see the Spring palette)
Describe your dream bouquet
What I love about flowers and the seasons is that as soon as a favourite goes out of season something else just as wonderful pops up, so I always have a favourite on the go. Right now it would be beautiful mix of coral peonies, foxgloves, Solomon’s seal, guelder rose and cow parsley – a lovely bright mix of pinks, corals and fresh greens. But next it will be a mass of colourful and deliciously scented sweet peas.
Where do you look for inspiration?
All the beautiful Dorset hedgerows. I am so lucky to live in such a lovely part of the country.
I also love visiting gardens and, of course, follow a million amazing florists, gardeners and artists on Instagram.
What are your favourite flowers and how do the colours make you feel?
Foxgloves, garden roses, bluebells, sweet peas, peonies, ranunculas, tulips, anemones…
The combination of brightly coloured flowers just makes me feel incredibly happy.
You can follow Kate on Instagram @ramblingroseflowers for more floral inspiration
Visit the Rambling Rose website and online shop