Tilly’s clientele has ranged from master gardeners to, well, no knowledge at all – and we embrace it all! A Georgia client, Heather, recently discovered her passion for cutting gardens and has launched a floral side-hustle in addition to her demanding career at a Fortune 100 company. Tilly worked with her to create her dream cutting garden in her own backyard to support her new business. Read below to find out more about her experience working on a full property design with Tilly!
Why did you decide to use Tilly?
Sometimes when planning a large re-design, you want to have a second pair of eyes to give you perspective. Having just moved into our first home, I had a pretty good idea about what I was looking for – a classic English perennial border garden that was filled with cutting flowers. And while I had a pretty good idea about what I wanted, I knew I wanted a second opinion to help bring that vision to life based on the actual space I had. Ultimately and most simply, it’s a huge investment in time, money and love and I wanted to get it more right than wrong.
What was the process like?
Other than amazing – it was exactly what I hoped it would be. It started with me pulling my ideas together and sending that over with photos of my actual space. From there I was matched with my designer and we spent about 30 minutes on a video call walking her through the space, my likes/dislikes and goals. Then we traded a few emails and she got to work – while I impatiently waited for my designs!
What did you think about it being remote?
I am a huge fan of remote capabilities and think that more and more it will become the trend. However, being remote means that you, the homeowner, need to be extra prepared to give those critical insights that only you can know to your designer. Like, what happens when it rains, what have you been fighting, what’s the soil like? These are the things that help you and the designer get as specific as possible and design in-partnership with your space.
What were some of your priorities for your design?
- English border garden that enabled cutting flowers.
- Integrated cutting bed for annuals and veggie beds
- Space for an outdoor hot tub/spa area that felt integrated into the garden
What did you think of your final plan?
I LOVE IT! It’s the perfect blend between what I had in my heart and what is possible in my space and growing zone. What I enjoyed most however, was learning about new perennial plants that I wasn’t aware of and how it will help make the space. Finally, what is most amazing is the ability to see the whole plan put together. Not just piecemeal. As someone who wants a beautifully curated outdoor space, seeing the full picture better enabled me to give feedback and ensure the final product would be exactly what I want.
You are a florist! Tell us about your floral business?
As an innovation product director at a Fortune 100 company, I spend a lot of time “creating” on the computer or on a whiteboard wall. However, there is something magical about creating with your hands. About getting dirt in your fingernails and using perishable items to deliver a smile to others. This is how I found myself designing floral arrangements for friends and family. Slowly this casual hobby grew into something I found myself spending hours on – reading books, playing with scavenged flowers and getting more and more adventurous in my designs. Then I took my first floral design class and my world changed. Since then I’ve spent all my extra spare time creating arrangements and slowly moving into growing cut flowers to turn this hobby into a second career.
There is simply nothing as magical as seeing something you started as a seed become a smile on someone’s face as they receive a beautiful bouquet of local, seasonal flowers.
How and when do you plan to install your design? And who will be doing the work?
I will be doing the landscaping work myself and will hire outside help for the hardscaping that is not flower-bed related. The plan is to complete the majority of the backyard this spring and the front yard this fall or next spring.
I aim to use as close to a no-till, organic approach for all the garden beds to give back to the earth and help make it a happy place for growing and ensuring the best grown flowers to bring into my customers’ homes.
Why use a mix of perennials and annuals for cutting?
Most cut flower gardeners/farmers focus on annuals and traditional row growing – and for large scale operations that’s often the best bet. But I’ve always felt that there is a lost art in blending visual design of a landscape with the goal of cutting flowers – and that was my goal with this space. To illustrate that you can have both – a beautiful garden that provides seasonally joy while also providing a robust cutting product for floral bouquets. That cutting beds can be beautiful, not just productive and that they can have a place in an open farm or in a neighborhood backyard.
We will keep you posted on Heather implementing her Tilly design this spring — and on her growing floral business! You can also follow along on her new Instagram account, @FlowersinthecityATL
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