On the Colour Couch with florist Bridget Davidson
I ‘met’ Bridget on Instagram having fallen in love with her natural, organic award winning floristry styling with the perfect hashtag #shestylesthewild. So join me on a colourful journey into why Bridget can’t live without colour in her life…
What is your earliest colour memory?
When my sister Jo was 6 and I was 4, Mum made us matching dresses. We absolutely adored them and called them our ‘bub dresses’. This is because they were a floral print of red and pink flowers, brown leaves and a few buds, which I misheard as ‘bubs’, so the name stuck. I felt so glamorous in my dress and used to see how many ‘bubs’ I could count.
What does colour mean to you?
Colour means EVERYTHING to me. I couldn’t do my job without it. I see floristry as an art with my flowers being my ‘paints’. The way I put them together is what makes my floristry mine and no-one else’s.
When I used to manage a florist shop, I could tell which of my colleagues had made a bouquet just by looking at it, as we all had a unique, identifiable style, just like an artist. The combinations I can create with different flowers are endless, so every day is a joy.
Do you have a favourite colour or a colour that you find yourself constantly drawn to? And why?
Asking anyone who works with colour which is their favourite is like asking a parent which is their favourite child; you love them all equally but for different reasons and sometimes more on one day than another. If pushed, I’d have to say green, because there’s an infinity of shades and it’s the backbone of floristry. It works with everything and suits everyone.
Do you have a colour that you least like? And why?
It used to be pink because of its associations with girls’ toys and its overuse as a lazy shortcut by brands to suggest women, femininity and fun. Since attempting to dye my hair pink about a year ago (with varying degrees of success!), I have found myself much more aware of pink and its variations and subtleties, so it’s no longer the hated shade it once was.
What do you love most about working with colour?
Flowers are a natural product, so I love how even within one bunch of the same variety you will see variation in tone and intensity of colour from one flower to the next.
I also love how sheer serendipity can inspire my colour combinations. Last summer I was working with some wine red peonies and a few petals fell into an aqua-coloured vase nearby. The unexpected beauty of the combination was such a joy.
What do you think your life would be like without colour?
It wouldn’t be much, frankly. I’ve never been one for neutrals and, with so much colour in our world, why you’d limit yourself to a pared-down palette is beyond me.
What’s your favourite colour story?
When I was traveling in India in 2011 I visited the Golden Temple in Amritsar. As I walked in I stopped in my tracks. The temple complex was alive with the movement of the tiny, triangular orange headscarves Sikh men use to cover their heads in this holy place. They bobbed, flickered and glowed like flames against blinding white marble and the glittering golden temple. I sat down and cried at how beautiful it was.
When I left I went to the nearest shop and bought a length of the same fabric. I carried it round India with me for 4 months, occasionally sleeping under it or wrapping myself in it. I vowed to make something beautiful with it when I got home to remind me of the Golden Temple.
I never did until I used it to bind a bouquet for an autumn themed wedding photo shoot last year. Glowing again in the low amber light of a November afternoon, it looks just as it did back in India.
Were you ever afraid or wary of colour? And what did you do to overcome this?
No, never. If anything I’ve got bolder as I’ve got older. I think that as a creative, people are much more forgiving of experimentation, (such as disastrous pink hair attempts!) because they see it as just another branch of your creativity.
Do you have a favourite colour place that you visit (or have visited)?
So many places! The cobalt blue of the Gardins Majorelle in Marrakesh, the colourful home of Monet at Giverny in France with it’s cheerful green shutters sunshine yellow dining room.
Closer to home, I fell in love with the dining room at The Crown at Woodbridge in Suffolk a couple of years ago. The wood panelling of the dining room was painted entirely in a rich tomato red that has stayed with me to this day.
If you could pick any colour and give it a name, what would that be?
I think it would have to be that fresh, acid green of new spring leaves unfurling. It’s just so pure, saturated and precious. I think I’d simply call it ‘Life’.
For anyone afraid of colour what would your number 1 piece of advice be?
I’d say keep it simple. Pick a bright colour you love but don’t quite dare to use and mix tiny accents of it with tints and tones of same colour. For example, if you love purple, go for a rich aubergine shade and mix with palest lilacs and small touches of royal purple for a sophisticated but not garish palette.
Which colourful person do you most admire and would love me to interview for the On the Colour Couch series?
I love the work of Cara Bendon, the branding consultant who did the branding for Wild Rosamund. She came up with three completely different moodboards for me, all of which I loved. The way she presented everything was so beautiful, even down to the schedule for the stages of the branding process, which was colour-coded. Everything I have seen of her work since has been full of thought, elegance and taste. What I learned from her has informed the way I present my business every day.
Oh I got goosebumps reading Bridget’s favourite colour story. I was right there with her. And Monet’s gardens at Giverny in France is still on my list of colourful places to visits.
If you would like to discover more about Bridget’s colourful floristry then head over to her Instagram @wildrosamund.
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