In her own words, Lucy Hunter aka The Flower Hunter, is ‘merging the floral boundaries inside & out’. She is a masterful visual storyteller that has absolutely captivated us here at Hudson Home, so we were delighted to steal some of her time and speak to her for our HH Interviews series.
Lucy tells stories and creates theatre through florals. Her passion for floral and garden art is something that shows through everything she does. Lucy started her creative journey with a Fine Art degree from Liverpool University and continued through a lifetime designing gardens and discovering photography along the way. She is constantly looking at ways in which we can soften and meld the boundaries between the inside and out. capturing for a moment the fine and transitory shifts in nature, the light of the changing seasons and always, colour, form and composition.
The sense of the untouched, the ethereal in her creative choices is what really inspires us here at Hudson Home. Her work harks back to simpler times; a bygone era when the Bloomsbury group were at their peak, the female form was considered the ultimate in grace and elegance and the British social attitude was quietly reserved.
Lucy’s book, The Flower Hunter, is a coffee table staple for us; offering inspiration and calming beauty in the moments of chaos and distraction that life throws us all.
Let’s hear the story of the ultimate floral storyteller and her floral styling tips for the Spring/Summer season…
Introduce yourself and what you do
Hello! I’m Lucy. I have been described as a floral polymath but I think I just rush around a lot juggling my time between running my landscape design company which I’ve done for the last 20 years and more recently Floral design, styling and photography and writing.
Is this what you always saw yourself doing?
It took me a long time to work out what I wanted to do. I was always creative and did a Fine Art degree at university but then felt pressured (by society rather than anyone in particular) to look for and pursue a ‘proper job’ which at the time was basically working in an office, looking efficient and purposeful and wearing a smart suit. So, I worked in a bank for 8 years … looking smart and successful and not creative at all… and hated it.
How would you describe your floristry style?
My floral work takes its inspiration from the landscape that I adore and have worked in for the last 20 years. I started Floristry a relatively short time ago (5 years) mainly because my sister asked me to do her Wedding flowers ( the whole family got jobs; my husband made the wedding cakes which was even more hilarious as he doesn’t bake… but turned out to be actually very good). So, I learnt the traditional techniques, but they didn’t excite me. I wanted to truly bring that ‘outside’ I adored, ‘inside’. I didn’t want to work with stiff, unscented commercial blooms, I wanted to work with flowers I used in the garden with all their glorious imperfections and quirks. I wanted to create ‘little gardens’. Hence, I guess why my style is painterly, gardenesque…. flowers in conversation.
Has your style changed through your career?
I’ve become less fussy. I don’t use as many materials in landscape work or design. I would rather have one bold moment or a single fabulous detail than lots of different ones.
How has the floristry industry changed or developed with the advent of social media and the influencer notion?
I do think social media is changing the public perception about flowers and are more open to the idea of using ‘locally sourced’ garden grown flowers that certainly don’t last for a good week in a vase in a hot house… they are more for a fleeting 24 – 48 hours… but oh, what a fleeting moment of joy!
What are your biggest creative/ style principles?
I think I’m quite instinctive when it comes to designing but negative space is so important to me. I like my flowers to have room to breathe in arrangements, I like my images to feel restful with places for the eye to linger.
Where do you find your inspiration? And how does the inspiration process start for each new project?
The landscape in all its different forms; be it the mountains where I live in North Wales, the Coast and its changing light or the city and places reclaiming the urban sprawl influence everything I do. I’m drawn to stories, places, or objects with a history. My landscape design work tends to have strong, clean bones. Unfussy hard landscaping details and then the planting design can explode and still look pulled together. I guess my floral work does the same.
What floral trends are you expecting to see over the next year?
More and more florists will turn to the natural world for inspiration and use flower farmers up and down the Country.
As we collaborate on some Spring table photography, what are your floral styling tips for the Spring/Summer seasons?
Scent, glorious scent …. small bowls lining the table with balls of chicken wire and floral tape to keep the stems in place. Choose what would naturally grow together happily in the garden for an effortless relaxed feel.
What seasonal blooms and flowers should we be expecting to see over the coming months and how might we be able to use them in our interiors?
Garden roses explode in June. I prefer the unfussy open centred ones like ‘The Lark Ascending’ by David Austin. She lasts for a good week on long stems and just a small bunch of those on the table in a jug can give such joy. Mix with herbs that are now starting to grow again in the warmer days. Cow parsley is growing by the armfuls in the hedgerows at home. A bunch of this can transform a corner of the home.
Who would your dream client be or dream project to work on?
Well, I’m lucky enough to have some dream clients at the moment with garden projects in Seattle, Jersey (UK) and south west France. These are keeping me very busy. I really enjoyed creating my new book Flower Hunter Seasonal Inspired By Nature so maybe another one of those one day…
Can you share some advice for aspiring florists or creatives just starting out?
Follow what makes your heart sing and not what you think the local trends is. Stay curious and never stop looking at the small detail. Be yourself and your own style will be so much stronger for it.
What is your go-to podcast?
What are you reading at the moment?
Oh goodness, I have a pile of books on my bedside table at the moment but the current one I can’t put down is, ’The Hidden Life of Trees’, by Peter Wohlleben'. You will never look at a tree in the same way again. Fascinating.
Tell us about your new book The Flower Hunter:
She’s a book about turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, bringing the outside in with flowers, creativity and giving yourself permission to be curious.
What current Hudson Home products do you love?
You always have lovely art prints that I fawn over but I’m particularly loving your ‘forest fresco’ and 'Illuminate Light' prints at the moment. Both have an ethereal quality to them that I’m really drawn to and intrigue me.
What can’t you live without?
Glass or two of Red at the weekends and strong coffee every morning to get me moving!
What's next for you?
Travel has opened up again (thank goodness) so I’m just back from a tour of the US, running floral workshops and book signing which was wonderful. I’m planning on going back this Autumn. I’ve also got workshops planned here in the UK, landscapes to design and we’ll see what else the year has in hold.
You can find Lucy Hunter here:
Photography by Lucy Hunter