When Rosie Leslie was a child, she spent her summers with her grandparents at their country home in Renfrewshire, just outside Glasgow. They had an old gamekeeper’s cottage on some 60 acres of woodland, and when her grandfather went out walking in the forest Rosie would accompany him. “I loved working with him in the garden and going out into the forest, walking with him,” she recalls, with a smile.
Her love of flowers has come directly from those early years spent outside with her grandfather, learning about the natural world that surrounded the family home. He wasn’t one for cutting flowers, she admits, so when he took his penknife and presented her with a single rose or stem of sweetpeas, it was a special moment.
Rosie’s lifelong passion for flowers saw her open up her own boutique flower shop in the village of Kilmacolm 18 months ago. In a little under two years, Wild Rose Flowers has become a central element in the village community. Her shop buzzes with the same chatter as a morning coffee stop and everyone, regulars and staff, are on first names terms. Rosie laughs, explaining that many of the women who come into the shop tell her they remember her as a baby in her pram, being pushed by grandmother. “There are lots of family connections here, which is really nice,” she says. “I’ve always been drawn back to this area.”
When the former post office building became available to rent, Rosie knew immediately that this was her chance. The corner building is at the lower end of the village, a quiet area that had become detached from the main shopping thoroughfare. She could see the potential, though, not only to create a really beautiful shop but also to bring more life to this end of the village. “I wanted to offer something different, something that you’re not getting on the high street any more,” she explains.
So, with florist Sally Watson, her close friend, Rosie went to London on a research mission, finding out how her favourite florists, among them Wild At Heart and Jane Packer, were doing it.
This is just a taster, you can browse the full article with more stunning photography on pages 20-30, issue 102.
Photography Neale Smith
Words Catherine Coyle
Art Direction Gillian Welsh