Louise Bermingham knows flowers. With her Mayfair florist, Wild Things, celebrating its 20th anniversary, The Resident asks how she keeps everything so rosy…
Looking back, were you always interested in flowers as a child?
My first memories were fragrant sweet peas, cutting small bunches and making gifts from them. I remember when we had house guests the florist would fill our vases and jardinières with gorgeous fresh blooms and would transform the house with a simple delivery of beautiful, scented flowers. As the flowers wilted I would then re-use the florist foam. Cutting flowers from the garden and pushing them into the holes that the professional florist had left, like footprints in the sand, using grand stems of double delphiniums from the garden, so my humble efforts were grandiose.
You are self-taught, so what does that bring to your work?
Being self-taught was a definite advantage for me, as my approach was free form. Starting out I had a breezy fresh approach to a then stolid, well-worn path.
What inspired the first retail launch of Wild Things in Ireland in 1990?
Well the business got too busy for the shed and the house – the bath was always full of flowers! A store was a natural step. The shop had been a lovely old grocers, untouched for 35 years, in one of the old Georgian areas of Dublin. It was stripped back to brick and filled with beautiful antiques, with an open turf fire. These features, combined with the captivating aroma of florals was truly beautiful and extremely well received.
Were you always looking to follow that up by opening in London?
Yes, I was always looking for a bigger more exciting market, so London was a natural progression.
You have been based in Mayfair for over 20 years now. How would you say the area has changed?
Mayfair has turned a full economic circle in this time. When Wild Things Flowers opened, the shops on Davies Street were few and far between. Mayfair has become a hub for international luxury brands, many of which we collaborate with. It is a fun and friendly enclave.
How do you feel your florists fit into the general retail offering in Mayfair?
We are always amazed at the amount of positivity towards our flowers. So many people, residents, tourists and businesses tell us every day how much they enjoy our store. On social media also, we are listed as one of the 35 prettiest places in London to visit. Beautiful people photograph themselves and their entourage in front of the flowers.
Is February a busy time for you?
Valentine’s will, definitely, be an out the door busy day – it is a great time to be more creative than predictable! Every year there is always at least one noted, outstanding romantic floral gesture that sometimes takes our breath away and without fail takes the recipient’s breath away.
47 Davies Street W1K 4LY; 020 7495 3030; wildthingsflowers.co.uk