Interview and action: Lonely Bouquet Day
On Sunday June 28, it’s International Lonely Bouquet Day. Get involved and meet a participant, Connie Reeves from Bristol.
Essentially, Lonely Bouquet Day involves leaviing posies of flowers for strangers to 'adopt'. They can be traced online (if registered), with the aim – a bit like the May Day posies – to simply bring cheer! “The hope is that gardeners and philanthropists gather all of their flowers, create simple bouquets, attach our ‘take me!’ tags and distribute the bouquets throughout near-by villages, towns and cities. All of this in the hope of putting a smile on a stranger’s face.”
Connie Reeves is one such contributor – and florist – that likes to spread the cheer of each season’s colourful bounty in any way that she can. Whether that’s through small and sweet jars delivered by bicycle within the city of Bristol, where she lives, tiny posies dotted around festivals for recipients to adopt, or small but flamboyant arrangements for weddings, cafes and banquets.
With her own 22-foot polytunnel and cut flower garden, as well as a commitment to buying British grown flowers, Connie has the ‘local, seasonal’ ethos that appeals to people and businesses who share it. “It’s a more sustainable approach to floristry,” says Connie. “It’s about enjoying nature’s bounty on our doorstep.”
Flower Riot, Connie’s floristry business, is relatively new – launching last year – but she previously had a florist shop in the city. When the birth of her baby boy timed with the shop’s lease ending, Connie reassessed how she wanted to work and have her passion for floral sated, while looking after her son. She started Flower Riot, with a focus on online sales, weddings and events.
Connie’s love and understanding of flowers stems from her upbringing on her grandparent’s flower farm in Cheddar, where she spent long days with the plants and flowers. Her beloved grandparents had her working in their fields with crops of strawberries, sweet williams and anemones.
The polytunnel is situated at her in-laws’ 16th century house in Backwell, set within an idyllic field. It was while working backstage at festivals that she started working with the Lonely Bouquet, leaving posies for festival attendees to find in various places, and track online.
Looking through Connie’s online shop of flowers, it’s like she’s collected the fields of England and arranged them in a smart and thoughtful flourish. A connection with the flowers, landscape and sentiment behind them. “I’m inspired by the flowers themselves. By how they move and their colour – the beauty of seasonal flowers. I don’t like anything too contrived, I love natural arrangements, allowing the flowers to do the talking.”
How to get involved in Lonely Bouquet Day
If you have a garden blooming right now, or you know someone who does – or perhaps you’re a keen flower forager – and you’d like to spread some joy, you can get involved too.
* Gather a bunch of flowers, either from your local florist, the garden or foraged.
* Arrange the flowers in a small, recycled jar, or tie them off with a bit of twine.
* Add a signature ‘take me!’ tag.
* Leave the arrangement behind for a local to take home.