Hattie Maud is a floral designer, growing beautiful seasonal flowers at her home in Haworth, with a focus on attracting pollinators and supporting British wildlife. For World Bee Day we discussed motherhood, career changes and an introduction to the best of British flowers for the budding home-florists among us.
Hey lovely, could you tell us about your family & where you live?
My son Magnus Fox, my husband Jonathan and I live in the heritage village of Haworth, West Yorkshire. We've lived here for a few years now and have no plans of residing anywhere else. The pace of life here suits us and we've been especially grateful to be somewhere so remote and peaceful during the pandemic.
Jonathan is a graphic designer and animator, creating work for various well known tech giants on a freelance basis.
Working from home isn't new to us, in fact it's the only way of life we've known for the best part of a decade. It's meant i've had the novelty of becoming a new mum with my husband nearby when i'm desperate for 5 minutes of sanity.
You are an illustrator turned florist. Tell us about why & how you have made the leap?
I actually started my career in fashion e-commerce which then opened some doors at a couple of branding agencies where I worked in studio management, by my mid twenties I knew I wanted to work for myself and explore some creative passion projects I had conceptualised.
One of which was Mauds House, my design-led home shop in Skipton which closed it's doors in 2018 and the other was as a freelance illustrator which I still dip my toe in here and there if a nice brief comes along.
Since September 2018 however I've worked as a floral designer, building up my portfolio of work, studying botanical folklore and starting my journey in becoming a British cut flower grower.
When did you get into gardening?
After losing my dad a few years ago I turned to gardening and floristry as a way of escapism. I have lost myself for hours at a time arranging displays, sowing seeds and tending to my plants.
It has been a revolutionary shift for me, it's something i'm extremely passionate about doing and I never lose motivation dreaming up future plans for my next project, wedding or event. It feels like magic, flowers bring so much joy to people and I love sharing what i've sown, tended to and bloomed.
You grow lots of your own flowers. Can you tell us about the kind of flowers we should be expecting each season?
So spring is all about the tulip, there are so many incredible varieties out there at the moment. They're not your typical over-the-counter bunch, they mimic some of the finest roses and peonies you can grow!
Summer now is all about the revival and celebration of the dahlia, again countless varieties, heights and colours to choose from. I'm thinking of putting together a beginners growing guide to the seasons, so watch this space.
It's Bee Day today! Can you tell us about some bee friendly flowers us novice gardeners should be planting?
Ok, so a really easy pollinator friendly cut flower is the Cosmos. Available in a huge variety of colours, super easy to start from seed. They are pretty prolific and have a long flowering period and a great vase life. The bee's love them!
You have just become a mother. How are you finding motherhood?
Motherhood has been my biggest achievement and also by far my biggest challenge. Magnus has just turned 6 months and as each week goes by there are new milestones, each a hill to climb. For me personally, I found the first 10 weeks a breeze, high on love but after we discovered his food allergies, things got tough.
As a breast feeding mama he depends pretty much entirely on me for around the clock care, he's had dermatologist and dietician referrals, and suffered with chronic hives and severe eczema as a result of a dairy/egg/soy allergy. Things seem to be easing off at the moment, I feel like we've got our head around what's going on and he's such a happy little lad, even on the toughest days he just lifts your spirits right up.
We feel so lucky to have him in our lives, I am utterly obsessed with him. But my god, I can't wait to eat and sleep normally again! What a rollercoaster.
One piece of advice you would give to a new mother?
Trust your gut, if you think something's not right, even if a healthcare provider says otherwise, keep pushing for what your child needs. Because more often than not you know exactly what your baby needs. Be prepared for that challenge.
Photography & Words by Hattie, Interview by Rachel.