In my opinion, there are floral arrangements, and then there are floral creations - Janine Vermeulen, from Foraged, does not simply put flowers in a bouquet or an arrangement, she thoughtfully and creatively styles floral bouquets and installations with unique flowers and foliage.
Her magnificent wedding and event installations can be described as works of art, and going through her portfolio left me feeling so inspired and wanting to see more. Based in Cape Town, she sources her botanicals from local suppliers, farms, and also forages plants and flowers for many of her projects.
I interviewed her recently about her love of blooms, and what inspires her in her work and in her life.
If you could pick 3 words to describe your work what would they be?
Organic, natural, unpretentious.
What inspires you? In terms of getting creative, and in terms of the floral styling you love?
Like most creatives, I am inspired by other creatives in my industry, especially florists abroad. Mostly I am inspired by nature, seasons, textures I see in the landscapes, most of the time it's a thought that comes to mind and a clear vision of something I would like to try. But textures definitely plays a big role in everything I try to create.
What would be your perfect, creative day?
Well, most days are filled with admin and more admin. But I would say that the perfect creative day is usually a wedding setup when I can finally just put everything else in my life aside and do what the client has been dreaming for months during the planning process.
What are your top 3 favourite plants/flowers?
I love Heuchera, Button ferns and Delicious Monsters. Magnolia trees when they're in bloom. Poppies, Ohara Roses and fruit tree blossoms.
Which other creatives/floral stylists inspire you?
Sarah Winward is my absolute favourite. I love how her work is influenced by the changing season and what's available and on hand during a specific time of the year. I also adore Studio Mondine, Cayote Flower, Brrch Floral and Putnam & Putnam in New York City.
What would be your dream floral project/event/opportunity?
I would absolutely love to create something lush and over the top with natural greenery for a brand that believes in being sustainable and produces eco-friendly products. I don't really have this big dream of this amazing opportunity. I just love doing what I am doing at the moment and it's enough.
"Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace."
Any advice for other women who are trying to get their work out there?
I am going to say something very obvious, but there's no other way. Believe in yourself when the world tries to shut you down. Don't let small people with bad opinions make you feel inadequate. In the end it's your life moments, your decisions and your experiences that counts. Stay in your special bubble and everything will be just fine.
Janine also creates beautiful Pressed Botanical Art, and her Foraged Portraits are a must-see too!
You can find out more about Janine and Foraged by visiting her website here, and following her on Facebook and Instagram.
Photos used in this blog were taken by the following talented photographers:
Marli Koen Photography
Hewitt Wright Photography
Wesley Vorster Photography