Talented Hever Castle florist, Pamela Brise, has been creating stunning floral displays for the Castle for the past 19 years.
Previously a chef for a World Championship Rally Team, Pamela then moved into catering for private events and parties. Having a natural talent and enthusiasm for creating floral displays, she also offered this service along with her catering skills.
Pamela impressed one of the attendees at a function she catered who knew that the in-house Hever Castle florist was looking for someone to take over from her. Pamela was fortunate enough to get the job and has loved every minute of being the Hever Castle florist ever since.
“I had a love of floristy and I was in the right place at the right time”, Pamela admitted.
Pamela faces restrictions unique to working in a listed building, particularly regarding taking care of the fabric of the building and the artefacts within. She said, “You must be very careful when arranging flowers, particularly making sure you only water the flowers and not the furniture or carpets!”
Hever in Bloom is one of the biggest challenges for the Hever Castle florist due to the heat of the summer and the number of flowers being used.
Pamela added: “The castle during the summer months can become rather warm, the rooms are all closed and locked at night and no fresh air circulates within them. The flowers can struggle to last for a week which can cause problems. I must therefore work out which variety of flowers I am to use, bearing in mind the type of event it is to be, and only use the flowers that will hopefully last the distance.”
On a normal weekly basis Pamela does not have as many elements to consider as the arrangements are smaller and there are fewer of them. Floral arrangements for corporate events also allow her greater choice of which flowers to use, as most special events are only for a day or so, meaning the flowers will look stunning throughout.
As Hever Castle florist one of Pamela’s favourite things is thinking of what to put on the portcullis for Hever’s Home Front in June. In the past she has created a poppy, the RAF symbol and a commemoration of 100 years of the RAF.
And Pamela also really enjoys Christmas. She fondly remembers back to the time when she worked with the gardeners to create the Christmas grotto which was then situated under Wysteria Walk.
According to Pamela, while she doesn’t have favourite flower; sunflowers always make her smile.