Nature - Little Botanica – Gemma Burniston


Little Botanica is a floral design studio based in Glasgow, Scotland run by Gemma Burniston. Providing modern floral arrangements for weddings, events and corporate clients, the studio has a strong emphasis on seasonal and British grown flowers where possible.

How are you feeling at the moment and what are you doing to stay optimistic?

There is no doubt that 2020 is going to be a confusing and difficult year but I am determined to try and make the best of it. Optimism for me comes in knowing that Spring is here and Summer is on the way. There is endless inspiration in the landscape. Leaves are appearing on the trees, blossoms are blooming and the air is slowly turning milder. 

Any self-isolation tips or advice you can share with us? 

Do what makes you happy and sparks joy. For me that is; chasing my dog around the house saying "I'm going to catch you", listening to my favourite songs loud through my headphones and checking in on the progress of our Pear blossom at the bottom of our garden every morning in my pyjamas with a cup of tea.

Are you spending more time outdoors and in the garden than you usually would?

Yes! We are new to gardening having moved to our new house just over a year ago. The grass was taller than me when we moved in and there is a lot to do. I planted my spring bulbs at the end of September last year and they have all just come through and are about to bloom; Narcissus, Fritillaria, tulips and Allium. I  am obsessed with cutting our grass and do it every week, I gave it the first cut of the year last weekend. I also love stopping in front of other people's gardens and pointing at their beautiful plants and flowers.

Before having a garden we shared a communal space with neighbours and would mostly plant out pots and window boxes which I also loved. Herbs are so hardy and are great for window boxes.

Do you have any planting, floral or gardening tips for beginners? 

Don't be scared to give it a go! People are often too intimidated to grow something from seed but it is all just trial and error. Get yourself a few good books as a starting point. The Pip book by Keith Mossman is great for beginners. It gives you step by step instructions on how to grow plants from seeds and pips that you have around the house like avocado and lemon. 

If you are arranging flowers picked from your garden or windfallen flowers collected from your local park; place the stems in freshwater, cut on a 45-degree angle and strip off any leaves that fall below the waterline as this will encourage bacteria to grow and shorten the life of your flowers. My favourite flower inspiration book is The Encyclopedia of Flowers by Makoto Azuma. Landscapes in Landscapes by Piet Oudolf is also great for garden dreams.

Our Comfort Blanket space is about sharing positivity, is there a plant or flower that you think connects with this? If so, why?

Every plant and flower sparks joy and positivity for me at the moment. The world has stopped but nature has not. Spring has sprung and we are surrounded by the scents and colours of new life. I have put together a little 'nature trail' of flowers and plants to look out for on your daily walk. You will find these in your local parks, neighbours garden and even growing out of the pavements and walls.

Follow Little Botanica on Instagram: @littlebotanica

Comfort Blanket