WILD WEDNESDAYS With Film & Foliage + Botanica Bird

We love hearing from creatives and finding out what keeps them ticking and makes them stay creative. We caught up with Ashlee of Film & Foliage and Rach of Botanica Bird two incredible florists who have started a regular foraging field trip together in Newcastle Australia.

Tell us about Wild Wednesdays…

We live quite close to each other and both have Wednesday’s free so while flower prices are so high and work is scarce (Corona life) we decided to make the most of it and forage some of the amazing plants that grow in our region. Often the good stuff is on the sides of highways or means getting up early to explore industrial areas so it’s so much more enjoyable to go with a friend, share the treasure and then go for a coffee. We made a list of all of our favourite Autumn/Winter forages and each week we go for an adventure.

What types of things should people be looking for in late Autumn / early Winter in your part of Australia? 

Now is the time to keep an eye out for grasses, seedpods and lots of dried foliage’s. Heading into winter the wattle trees along the highways start blooming, which are incredible for fluffy pops of yellow in your designs. Around town we are seeing camellia bushes everywhere and the Crepe Myrtle trees, which line our streets, are turning to beautiful autumn tones

Tell us your rules of foraging?

Know your plants! This is so important. Around this area there are some pretty poisonous weeds that grow along the highways so you really need to know what it is you are picking. 

Avoid noxious weeds. Not only is this an environmental crime but you will get a hefty fine for picking plants such as Pampas Grass.

Don’t pick protected species. There are some areas nearby where the beautiful Flannel Flower grows wild and while it is tempting it is actually illegal to pick this flower! Make sure you are doing your research and not damaging our beautiful flora.

Use snips. Don’t pull the plant out or snap branches. Cutting the plant will encourage future growth, which means more foraging for next year!

Only pick what you need and don’t take too much. We always make a point of not picking too heavily in one area, we like to be able to look at where we have foraged and not notice a difference. If there is a huge gap, you are over picking.

Do not pick in reserves or National Parks. These areas are protected for a reason.

If you want to do some community pruning, keep an eye out for when the Council is trimming trees. If possible, ask if you can keep the greenery before they mulch it. Such good value! Also, if someone has a beautiful overflowing tree that is tempting you, just knock on their door and ask. I always like to have some cash on me to offer in exchange for delicious blooms and I have never been told no.

See below the arrangement created with foraged goods by Rach at Botanica Bird:

What are your favourite available blooms and foliage for this time of the year? Foraged or grown.

Botanica Bird: Proteas, Cymbidium Orchids and Sweet Pea. Foraged favourite is Phragmites (the native fluffy grass)

Film and Foliage: Jonquils, Tulips, Thryptomene. Foraged favourite is any autumn foliages and Golden Rain Tree.

See below the bouquet created with foraged goods by Film & Foliage:

Advice for couples looking for floral options at this time of the year? 

Embrace winter with all of its seasonal beauty. It’s full of magical surprises and fragrance. Don’t overlook that lichen covered branch, the dried, speckled hydrangea bush and delicate bulbs like jonquils and snow drops. Each flower has its place. Connect with the environment around you, find a colour palette you adore and allow your florist to bring the best blooms from our growers to your special day.

Instagram account for Film & Foliage

Instagram account for Botanica Bird

All photography by Ashlee at Film & Foliage