Bloomhead: Wild, Seasonal And Locally Grown Flowers

Egle is the brains behind Bloomhead – an artisan flower studio sitting in a stunning spot in the village of Blackhall Mill, Northumberland.

Bloomhead is all about embracing the beauty of the natural world that surrounds us, particularly in the rural landscapes we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep – a huge source of inspiration for Egle since moving here 16 years ago.

“I’m originally from Lithuania, but moved to the UK 16 years ago,” Egle starts, as we sit down to chat on a crisp winter’s day, setting our sights on the spring season ahead.

You can feel spirits lifting as we move away from the winter slumber and start to talk about the first sighting of daffodils and our lush landscape turning green.

“It’s so beautiful to see those first hints of colour,” Egle smiles.

The perfect time to ‘start again’ and feel optimistic about the new season – but before we get into all of the joy that comes with those ‘sunshiney’ months, it makes sense to start from the beginning, as Egle gets me up to speed with her journey to ‘the now’.

“My move to the UK and the North East was very organic,” she begins.

“When I finished my studies in Lithuania, I came over here on holiday, and never properly went back. I found it a very welcoming and fascinating place, and it just felt like somewhere I could call home.

“Once I made that decision and settled here, I started working in a flower shop, but it was a very basic, bottom of the pile role, scrubbing buckets and doing all of the hard, dirty work that needed to be done seasonally.

“It was hard work, but I loved it and got a real sense for what it takes to be a florist in a very demanding industry.

“I let it go for a little while and went on to work in the hospitality and entertainment industry, managing a bar in Newcastle before moving down to Bristol for a couple of years where I ended up working in a small, family-run flower shop.

”That is where I really started to connect with the trade. I learnt a lot and realised that, with time, I was developing my own unique style.

“An opportunity came to move back up north and I grabbed it – it felt like I was returning home again. I settled in Blackhall Mill, which was perfect for me because I was surrounded by nature in a place that really allows me to be creative and learn more about my natural surroundings.”

Like many successful businesses, Bloomhead was born at home.

“I started by getting to grips with what grows locally and working with the seasons,” says Egle.

“Then I spent a lot of time spending way too much money on flowers and materials at local markets. I would make bouquets and wreaths at Christmas time, and that’s when I started to realise that people were genuinely interested in what I was creating.”

When you visit Bloomhead or browse Egle’s website and social media, it’s clear to see that she has her own unique style. With an emphasis on wild, seasonal and locally grown flowers, her space – be it in person or online – has a whimsical charm to it.

It feels like an escape – getting lost in a floral fairytale.

“I’ve always been drawn to the natural and informal style of floristry,” she says.

“For me, it’s not about following a process or learning the ‘dos and don’ts’. It’s about portraying feelings through flowers, using the wild and wonderful things that surround us and bringing them together in a beautiful, effortless way.

“Around 90% of the flowers we see in the UK are shipped from all over the world and are treated to withstand the long journeys, so they lose their authenticity.

“I thought to myself, ‘what can I do to take what we have on our doorstep and turn it into stunning displays for our own homes?’

“That’s what Bloomhead is all about.”

BloomheadThe art of floristry mirrors the food world in many ways. It’s all about the produce and what we can do with it, to really make it shine. Like food, flowers move with the seasons and you’re always going to get the best out of that produce if it is fresh – and local.

“Sourcing locally is a big part of my business,” says Egle.

“When you live within a small community like mine, it’s all about connecting with people – and that is a great way to grow a business.

“I started by foraging for materials on private land – with permission of course. I love nothing more than going out in the wild and picking the best seasonal stuff.

“In the early days, my house would be packed full of flowers and foliage – with no real plan as to what I was going to do with it. But for me, it was research.

”It was a way of getting all of my ideas together and exploring the methods and materials I would later use to create bouquets, wreaths and other floral arrangements.”

While, quite literally, growing her business at home, Egle started to plant her own flowers in the garden and at her home allotment.

“I had a lot of learning to do,” Egle laughs.

“But it was a process, and it was a great way for me to get to know that side of the trade, as well as understanding what we can grow here in Northumberland.

“It wasn’t long before people came forward and ladies in the gardens locally wanted to start growing flowers for me. Friends and neighbours were chipping in with whatever they had growing, and I learnt a lot from them. It is a wonderful thing to be a part of such a supportive community.

“I made lots of connections along the way and today I still work closely with Carolina Moon Flowers; she grows and harvests seasonal flowers and foliage in County Durham, close to the Northumberland border.

”I also work with other suppliers like Durham Blooms, as well as some others further afield from locations with different climates, like down in Cornwall.

”I like to keep things local as much as possible, but some stuff is shipped, particularly if people are looking for something specific that we can’t grow here.

“It’s a little trickier during the cooler months. That’s when I have to look at wholesale, but there’s definitely plenty for me to work with in the spring and summer here in Northumberland.”

As well as embracing the seasons and sourcing locally, sustainability is at the forefront of Egle’s business – something she incorporates, not only into her bouquets and packaging, but also in the way in which she works.

“It’s really important for me to reduce the need for transportation as much as possible, not only for the benefit of the flowers and their lifespan, but also in terms of reducing our carbon footprint.

“So sourcing locally is key, but I also like to reduce waste and reuse dried materials as much as possible. Even on a small scale, this can make such a huge difference, and people are looking to work with businesses who are consciously doing their bit for the environment.

”My business has been born on the back of the beauty of the natural world around us, so it’s important that I protect that as much as possible.

“Then there’s also personal sustainability, which is equally as important,” Egle adds.

“I keep on top of this by ensuring I’m not burning myself out and giving myself some downtime between work to ensure I can show up and do my best when I am working with customers.

”We’re all figuring out how to get the perfect balance, but I think if you’re aware of it, you’re well on your way.”

Packing two years worth of events into one summer post-Covid was a big pressure for many people in the wedding industry, and this was a huge challenge for Egle, who had launched her business just before the pandemic.

One of the most testing ‘burn-out’ exercises to date.

“There was lots of catching up to do, with many of my weddings concentrated into two months after the lockdowns,” she starts.

“So there was a worry that I was going to ‘burn-out’, but the wedding industry is great – people pull together and were incredibly understanding, particularly during such unusual situations like the pandemic.

“Things are settling down a little bit now, but there’s definitely a backlog and it is very busy.

“My wedding clients are wonderful,” says Egle.

“They tend to come to me because they relate to my style and are generally looking for something a little ‘wild’ – something a little different. So they’re happy to trust my judgement and let me do my thing.”

Egle is seeing a rise in the dried flower trend – particularly when it comes to weddings and events.

“Dried flowers are a great option for couples because they can take those arrangements away with them. It’s not something we’re just seeing in our granny’s house anymore, it’s a really popular trend
and it’s definitely a more conscious, sustainable option for people.”

Alongside every day floristry and wedding and event styling, Egle is thrilled to offer workshops and private parties at Bloomhead – a fantastic way to invite people to switch off and let the flowers do the talking.

It has been proven that engaging in arts and crafts can enhance social and emotional wellbeing, using sensory experiences to be mindful.

“Workshops are something that have been very popular from the get go,” Egle starts.

“And I love nothing more than sharing the art of floristry with like minded creatives – or even people who are a little out of their comfort zones but are willing to learn.

“People are happy to invest in experiences – particularly when they can escape for a while and really let their imaginations go.

”For me, it’s just about ensuring people are having a really good time with it. There’s lots to learn, but fundamentally, it’s got to be fun.

Bloomhead“Recently, I’ve been concentrating on the pottery side of my business. I have a back room in the shop where I make pottery – in the traditional, wheel throwing style. Pottery is also very meditative, it can really benefit your mental health and I’m a big promoter of that.”

As we touched on earlier, spring is an exciting time for Bloomhead. A time for business to boom. A time to really enjoy what is to come in our natural environment. And a time to support those businesses that help us to appreciate the finer things in life.

“It’s just so nice to see the change in landscape,” Egle says with a smile on her face.

“When you see those first daffodils popping up, everything makes sense again.

“When you’re growing your own produce, it can be quite nerve wracking because you start to see everything you’ve planned coming into its own, and sometimes we can get a few curveballs like a late winter frost.

”It can be very hit and miss in the early days of spring, but things are certainly heading in the right direction and brighter days are coming.”

As we continue to see snowdrops and daffodils popping up in our gardens, it’s time to turn our attention to the little joys that spring brings.

Pop some flowers in a jar at home, gather some greenery from the garden, and let the new season put a spring in your step as the natural world comes back to life.

Spring is a celebration, and we’re so ready for it here at Luxe HQ!