Nina has always loved flowers (and gardening generally) and whiled away many a happy summer's day picking wild flowers in meadows and woods near to where she lived in southern Finland. These were then made into bouquets and posies for her mum and grandma; both of whom always seemed very pleased with her efforts.
Nina's grandma lived on a farm and Nina can still recall a derelict summer cottage nearby which garden was overgrown with lily of the valley. And yes, she can still smell those huge bouquets she used to gather each year!
The hedgerows and woodlands were filled with purple lupins, lacy shepherd's parsley, delicate wood anemones, willow herb and marguerites galore; all just ripe for the picking, while her mum grew nasturtiums, marigolds, tulips, geraniums, petunias and cornflowers in their garden. They had several rose bushes too and Nina used to attempt perfume making each year - albeit rather unsuccessfully!
Because winters are cold and hard in Scandinavia, florists are kept busy with customers wanting to cheer themselves up with some colourful flowers, and Nina's favourite florist was Blomsterhuset - a huge greenhouse-like building complete with a chiller room where all the cut flowers were kept (and still are to this day!). Such excitement entering that particular room and choosing some exotic blooms...
Etiquette demanded that you never went visiting without taking along a bunch, so Nina was regularly sent along to buy a bouquet or two. Although summer time, she favoured the local market place as many women would be there displaying charming wildflower bouquets created that morning.
When Nina arrived in England in 1981, flowers began to feature less frequently in her life simply because it didn't appear to be the norm to give flowers when visiting; and they were rather pricey too. Happily, since then, the continental tradition has taken root here too and flowers are now readily available here, there and everywhere.
When Nina handled her first floral foam brick at a flower arranging course many moons ago, floral design entered her life big time and she is mightily glad it did! And now of course she and her team can't wait to be given the opportunity to create something florally exciting just for you! And these days sustainability plays a part too of course so the floral foam brick has received many new cousins!
Having been a freelance writer since the mid 1990s, you may be interested to learn that in September 2023, Nina became the Editor of the Flora Magazine under the helm of the US based Florists' Review, and she is absolutely relishing bringing floral news to a worldwide audience.
Before that, Nina was the Editor of the BFA Magazine (trade magazine for the British Florist Association; December 2018 to August 2023), UK Editorial Adviser for the Belgian Fleur Creatif (November 2018 until the magazine's closure during the spring of 2023) and Editor of Flora International magazine (January 2015 to October 2018) .
Furthermore, Nina became a NAFAS Area Demonstrator for Sussex in January 2018 which means that she is now able to tour the south coast giving floral demonstrations to flower clubs large and small. The theme for her demonstrations in 2022 is entitled 'A Floral Smörgåsbord' and she very much hopes that she might bump into you at a flower club meeting soon... Just check the "Demonstrations" page to find out more. Nina also completed a NAFAS/OCN Teacher Training (Level 3) course in 2021 and is now a fully qualified NAFAS Teacher.
And if you live in the Brighton & Hove area, you may consider going along to some of her flower arranging workshops or floristry courses inlcuding at Aldridge Adult Learning or other venues; just check the separate "Courses and Workshops" page for more details on these.
And finally, having been a National Trust member for 35 years plus, Nina was utterly delighted in the late summer of 2017 to have been accepted onto the volunteer flower arranging team at Nymans near Handcross in Sussex. She is now regularly asked to help create some beautiful floral displays in the various rooms in the house, together with other like-minded floral folk, as well as helping to organise their regular annual flower events.
It would be fair to say that flowers rule Nina's world!