Interview With Floral Design Specialist, Verity Marsden
Do you remember our award-winning window displays? The lady behind the magic was creative genius Verity Marston. Not content with having been a first-rate window dresser, she also happens to be one of East Anglia’s most sought-after floral designers. Since the refurbishment, our window displays have been pared back to reflect our modern interior, so Verity is now curating our seasonal floral arrangements and plants, which will be updated regularly. We caught up with her to discuss the power of floral design to transform any setting.
How long have you worked with Anjana and the team?
When did I first come to Taank? Wow, I just looked it up. My first display was in September 2007. I think they’d found me by word of mouth.
How did you dream up the beautiful window displays that Taank clients knew and loved?
My inspiration came from everywhere, but the fantastic eyewear brands at Taank were a great springboard. Also, I was always on the lookout for vintage pieces as I knew that Taank clients were interested. I loved creating something different to catch the eye, and having the creative freedom to do this resulted in some really fun windows.
Now you’ve moved into floral design, do your window design skills come in useful?
It was prompted by necessity at first. I was a freelance window dresser working in some wonderful independents over the years, but then the recession hit. The damage to the retail sector, combined with the trend towards open, minimal window displays, meant I needed to extend my offering.
The principles of floral design are very similar to display. I took a City & Guilds certificate and have since become obsessed with flowers and plants! My work is mainly corporate and wedding floristry and bouquet delivery. My display skills come in handy, particularly with wedding work, hanging installations, and event displays. I still produce a window scheme or prop now and then.
The Taank refurbishment (and ongoing installations) was such an exciting project as it combines both display and the freshness of really solid planting. And the great thing about plants and flowers is that they bring a real sense of calm and purify the air in addition to looking beautiful.
What’s the secret to a successful creative relationship?
I enjoy taking the time to listen and understand what the client wants…and doing my best to exceed it. Anjana and the team are always open to ideas and enjoy getting involved with suggestions. I think the Taank team enjoys the regular changes to their work environment every bit as much as customers enjoy the new displays.
What inspires you?
Really good quality—often unusual—materials. I also love learning. There’s always something new to add to your skillset and different ways of working. I’m currently halfway through training to lecture in floristry. I go all in!
Why is floral design so valuable?
Flowers make an occasion. On all those important days in life, flowers are usually around. Personally, I’m drawn to floral designs that look natural and abundant—not too formulaic. In a commercial setting like Taank, flowers and plants elevate the environment, making it feel welcoming and cared for, which puts clients at ease.
How important is it to work sustainably and support local growers?
I’m always finding ways to avoid using floral foam, a single-use plastic that doesn’t biodegrade. Instead, I use blocks of compressed sheep wool and good old water and chicken wire wherever possible.
I buy from great local growers during the spring and summer months. They provide me with fantastic quality twisty stems and unusual blooms that bring great movement to my designs. Of course, the flower industry is global, and I do source plants and flowers from all over the world. Everyone involved is making huge efforts to increase sustainability, and that’s good news for us all.
From a ‘support local’ perspective, I hope to introduce local artisan pottery and baskets that fit in with the new Taank décor. It really will be a bespoke project.
[Photos by Ian Olsson]