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Thursday, 2 December 2021

Spreading Joy with Flowers: Heidi Boston-Thompson

One of the arrangements sold at North Chingford Market by local florist Heidi Boston-Thompson
 

Welcome to another "Is This Mutton Meets", an occasional series where we profile women making their dreams happen.

This time it's the turn of Heidi Boston-Thompson from East London. Heidi is developing a very impressive "side hustle" making and selling beautiful arrangements and wreaths, using dried and fresh flowers. She does this as well as her day job as Head of Digital Marketing, Commercial Music Group at Sony Music UK. 

 Heidi, who's 34, was inspired to set up The Peach Tree by a life-long love of all things flowers. She says: "My parents were passionate gardeners and my mum still is. Her garden is full to the brim of every colour possible. 

"My dad passed 10 years ago but loved nothing more than pottering about in the garden and in his beloved shed, fixing things and bringing things back to life. I was dragged around garden centres for most of my childhood which ironically I couldn’t stand at the time, but now you can’t drag me out of them!"

Her head bursting with exciting ideas on how to spread joy with flowers, the company was born at the beginning of 2021, in her front room in North Chingford. 

Heidi Boston-Thompson from East London, profiled by Is This Mutton for her side hustle of dried and fresh flower arrangements and wreaths

Heidi has been growing her expertise with the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers in Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds. She'll launch a website early next year and for now is selling arrangements and wreaths at North Chingford Market. She'll be there on Saturday (December 4) and is expected to be very busy with Christmas shoppers.

It takes Heidi around three weeks to prepare for the market and she has help from a supportive husband plus family and friends, who pop up like elves in the pretty market stall. 

The first market she did was, Heidi says, a total joy. "The other talented stall holders and the local community made the day. It was wonderful to chat with passers by. My team of helpers were an  absolute dream as well. I couldn't have done it without them."

At the market the dried autumnal bunches were the most popular offering, followed by The Peach Tree's dried pastel wreaths filled with pinks, blues and turquoise pops. 

Heidi likes to experiment with unusual colour combinations, "and anything wild and free that has tons of movement. "  She sources fresh variable foliage for maximum texture and layers, with pops of her signature peach, pinks and whites, and the gorgeous pastel hues of hydrangeas.  

Fresh blooms and foliage are sourced from trusted local wholesalers, as is dried produce. Heidi's long term aim is to source the majority of stock from local regional farms and producers. 

For dried arrangements she loves pairing natural grasses for movement with pops of orange and white. 

Nearby Epping Forest is a constant source of inspiration.,  Says Heidi:  "It provides incredible colour palette inspiration, particularly at this time of year. Aside from my general love of all things colour,  working with the talented students and teachers at the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers provides ongoing inspiration from just being in their presence! 

"Everyone is full of ideas and each so unique, and the fresh produce we get to work with is out of this world. Instagram is also a colour-lovers heaven."

And the long-term plan?  Heidi says: "I'm currently taking (fully enthusiastic) baby steps towards expanding into online and local delivery. The aim is to eventually open a shop to hopefully continue to spread a teeny bit of joy with our creations,  and also as a space to host workshops to spread our passion for flowers far and wide".

Follow Heidi on Instagram:  @peachtreeflowers.  Email: thepeachtreeflowers@gmail.com  

Thanks to Lynn Hanlon for the photos.

Sharing this post with: #Linkupontheedge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings,Rena at Fine WhateverFabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey Brunette and Curated by Jennifer 

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