For over 20 years Lynne Dallas has been inspiring florists and flower enthusiasts with her passion for all things floral. With a stellar international resume which includes the prestigious Judith Blacklock flower school in London, lecturing in Floristry at Bourne-mouth and Poole College, and participating numerous times in the Chelsea Flower Show (picking up a gold medal while she was at it!) as well as being a head trainer School Manager for many years with Pearsons School of Floristry. This year Lynne returned to the PSF team to oversee creative development across all facets of the school program and creative projects. With this it is our pleasure to share Lynne’s story with you all.
Where did your passion for floristry begin? And how did it lead you in to teaching?
With my first ever full time job at a thriving Florist shop in Dorset in the UK. I thought I’d do a bit of floristry until I found a ‘proper’ job but I was hooked straight away and have never looked back. I worked with the most amazing people who taught me so much and to whom I shall be ever grateful. My first boss Carol was so generous with her time and patience with me trying out every course, workshop, competition or floristry event I could find! She always supported me and helped me through every qualification including my teaching qualifications and always gave me the encour-agement and confidence that I could do it.
I had an amazing Floristry teacher Sue Clarke NDSF, she was tough but fair and everything was always done to the highest standard. Sue encouraged me to have a go at teaching and we worked together for many years and did some amazing floral things together. Sue has remained one of my closest friends, I couldn’t have had a better start in the industry.
What is it that you love about working with PSF?
I love that it is always changing and we are constantly pushing forward to new and exciting things for our students and that we are constantly challenging ourselves to achieve higher standards in floristry training.
I love the team I work with some of whom I have known for over 15 years now and they just go to show that this is a profession of passion. They are talented and committed and just wonderful! And I love seeing our students success in the industry it is so rewarding watching people go from strength to strength doing something they love.
What’s something our students wouldn’t know about you?
I love eating Nutella from the jar while watching Sex in the City …but who doesn’t right! I had a purple mohawk haircut in the 80’s!
What are some of your proudest moments from your career so far?
Thinking back my proudest Pearsons moment has to be winning Small Training Provider of the Year all those years ago. We worked really hard to achieve it and it gave us an opportunity to tell our story and showcase what makes Pearsons so special as a family company and a great place to learn floris-try.
I am proud to be back at Pearsons (thank you Barbara) and working on exciting projects such as the McQueens visit and our fantastic new Master Classes.
But most recently without a doubt my Gold Medal from Chelsea flower show with Love Orchids UK. Thats when you know you truly love what you do, when you can work 14 hour days for 7 days straight and still not want to walk away from it! Such a privilege to be behind the scenes at the world’s best flower show and just drink in all the atmosphere.
Why would you suggest floristry as a career for budding floral enthusiasts?
Because it is so diverse, there is something for every type of floral personality. Whether its weddings or events or you are a passionate people person and retail is for you. It works at all levels and fits with most life stages from being young and dynamic and wanting the travel or conquer the floral world, to working it around a family, or building your own empire. Floristry is a career that can change or evolve as life does and is something worth building a future in.
To our budding florists and floral enthusiasts, do you have any care tips you’ve picked up along the way to share?
Yes, take care of yourself! Although we love what we do it doesn’t stop it being hard work so remember to take time out to recharge, to renew and refresh. Don’t work too hard you forget to be your best creative self. Nurture your creative soul with workshops nature walks or whatever lights your spark and keep on learning. That’s my care tip!
Also always consider the natural environment a flower comes from and try and replicate, not fight against those conditions for the best results.
Who do you look to for inspiration in the industry?
I love history as much as being in the moment so my all-time favourite floral inspirer has to be Constance Spry. Not afraid to do things her way and always put nature at the heart of what she did. She was formidable and kind, two rare companions and she knew her floral materials from the ground up. I love that when she moved house she uprooted and took her gardens with her. Apart from all our Aussie home grown talent, of which there is loads, currently I like to look at Azuma Makato who really is quite awe inspiring. Saipua, La Musa de la Flores, Jay Archer, Hattie Fox (that flower shop) Mary Lennox to name a few but I also like to look at non floral design for inspiration too such as Piet Oudolf for gardens, Anthropologie, Mix Magazine, Gardenista, Accent decor, and it goes without saying, our natural environment I’m a big believer in working seasonally and the watching the ever changing scene around us.
What does 2018 bring for Lynne Dallas?
Hopefully a burst of northern hemisphere inspiration from a trip back to the UK for Christmas. A personal re-brand and a new web site (I’ve been talking about it for ages!). More exciting creative development with Pearsons School of Floristry and more bush walks!