Slow down and smell the roses: Hither Green florists creates a haven for shoppers

Lynne Norledge with her shop Pic: Ting Hu

Hither Green’s florist attracts locals with its beautiful bouquets, exquisite desserts and chic style – and also with its diverting name: You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.

Sixteen years ago, Lynne Norledge quit her work as a designer to open a cafe and florists. Norledge told Eastlondonlines: “Opening a flower store was not something I planned, at the beginning, all I wanted was to create something beautiful for the area.

“It is definitely about community, we live here and I always thought: ‘what can we do for here and what would we like to have here?’

“For me, the answer was to create a beautiful space that would be like home. My original idea was to try make flowers looks like something people pick out from the garden and not some formal arrangement.”

Many who pass the store are attracted by the unique bouquet at the door and wonder where the name comes from. Norledge says: “Some may know the name as the title of a sad song, but it actually came from a friend who is a storyteller.

“He said, Lynne you going to have lots of flowers, so why do you not call it You Don’t Bring Me Flowers? Once we gave it that name, we became – weirdly – popular in east London.”

As well as flowers, YDBMF sells delicate food and unique handmade crafts. The concept of the florist’s store is to provide a place for people where they can slow down and enjoy the comforts of life.

Second-hand crafts on the shop Pic: Ting Hu

Based on this concept, Norledge has bought a lot of things second-hand from Greenwich Market and eBay.

She said: “All second-hand things have had a previous life, they were made by someone, there is a real hot connection there and customers can be touched by human their hands, can feel like there was an energy.”

Norledge says she wanted YDBMF to be a store which allows people to rediscover their lives and be cured.

She decorated the shop to create a warm, comfortable space, capable of making people feel relaxed and a place to release pressure and communicate with each others.

Norledge does not offer customers wifi in a bid to encourage them to ‘focus on the moment’ while in the store.

She said: “Obviously people can access the internet on devices they bring in with them. But I would like to say, don’t do that – just try to communicate with other people and you will realise that everyone is amazing.”

Next, Norledge plans to teach flower arranging and planting. She believes in plants’ ability to help people achieve inner strength and heal the mind.

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