Just before Christmas, a new florist Green Hands of Southsea opened on Castle Road which is when I first met Monika Wood. The outside was being painted green which has been a favourite colour of mine for about 3 years and I wanted to venture in when the doors opened to see what kind of style and focus this new florist had to offer.
We are so lucky in Southsea to have such a wonderful bunch of florists that all have such a different style and compliment each other. Loving flowers, I always venture around all the florists we have and often buy what I can when I can afford it.
Monika Wood has what I call an eclectic technique that has such huge influences from art, design to sculpture and fashion. Having studied at art school in her home country Lithuania, and loving sculpture, you can really see how she takes ideas and turns them into eye-catching projects. Taking her photo for the last magazine in March and spending time talking to Monika it was an exciting thing to have her on board to design a floral installation for the Southsea Folk Awards. Using a resident piece of sculpture that hangs from the ceiling in the Coastguard Studio, Monika used her skills to transform this piece into a captivating floral work of art! Everyone at the event talked about how clever and beautiful it looked with hanging flowers and foliage.
How I would describe Monika’s floral style is very unique with an eclectic twist. Using muted pastels, dark berry shades and bright splashes of colour all create a vintage, soft and eclectic flair that offers an inspiring, refreshing look. Being a florist when young and then moving into hairdressing you see that this girl has a creative flair and that adds drama to her flowers. Creativity has always been important to the florist and spending time away from flowers she felt it was the right time to move back to her love of creating bouquets for people. Inspiration comes from colours she sees all around her, Monika said that she is always looking at new ways to make her work shine and we will probably see more installations as well as other creative ideas of collaborating flowers with other creative mediums. The one thing I loved seeing in the shop was the use of dried flowers which was a thing in the 80’s but has had a new revival and we should see more of the dried style over the next year or so.
When I think of Monika, I don’t think of a florist, I think of her as an artist. Someone who can use flowers to create a whole world of visual love for people to see. My thoughts are that this lady will keep growing in her own way and may push boundaries with flowers we haven’t seen before which I think is exciting.
You can join Monika in one of her floral workshops which are happening throughout July and August. The first one on Friday the 19th of July is the ‘Summer Bouquet’ Love you forever workshop that brings all feelings and memories of Summer into a beautiful wildflower bouquet. Create a stunning piece for your loved one, mother, father, brother or sister, your in-laws or anyone. Maybe even for YOURSELF! Residing in her cosy studio, filled with greenery and coffee aromas for 2 hours from 6pm and costing £35 per person or £55 if you bring a friend, it is a perfect way to spend a Summer evening. To book your place contact Monika and secure by paying a £15 deposit.
You can find out more about Monika and Green Hands Florist by visiting her Social Media pages and visiting her shop at no 64 Castle Road in Southsea. Inside there are lots of quirky things for sale as well as flowers like vegan candles and my favourite, skull scissors!
By Louise O’Brien