'Flowers' in Te Reo Māori is He Putiputi. Narida Hooper has created a lush forest of flowers at her studio He Putiputi in Martinborough, just off the main square.
Narida's wedding flowers are unique (thanks to time spent living in Scotland and Australia), kind on the environment and created with her own tikanga (principles). If you are getting married and are looking for an ethical wedding florist, He Putiputi could be just right for you. Bunches of flowers can also be ordered online for delivery in the Wairarapa.
Narida's tikanga revolves around respect and care for the environment across all stages of floristry: sourcing, arranging and waste management.
Flowers for bouquets, buttonholes, table centrepieces and arch decorations are sourced mainly from the Wellington flower market. Flowers are chosen when they come without wrapping or very minimal plastic. Narida enjoys working with Heidi from Holbrook Forest Garden who farms with organic and permaculture methods.
Narida loves foraging in the bush to gather foliage and leaves. When she harvests harakeke (flax) for use as accent leaves in native-inspired wedding bouquets, she remembers the five leaves that make up the plant represents a whānau (family). The inner leaf is the child; the leaves standing on either side are the mother and father; with the grandparents forming the outer leaves. Only these older folk are harvested as extended family members.
Couples often give Narida an indication of their wedding vision and colours, and trust her to choose flowers to fit. As an ethical and environmentally friendly florist, she favours native, in season blooms and vegetation. Locally made cider vinegar is used instead of bleach to prolong the life of cut flowers.
Re-usable small mesh chicken wire is used to hold arrangements for tables and arches in place instead of single use foam. Foam is a plastic based product that doesn't biodegrade. It also contains toxic elements, including formaldehyde which is carcinogenic.
Bunches of flowers are simply wrapped in brown paper, hand stamped with the He Putiputi logo. Narida used to use stickers but found they only created unnecessary work and paper waste.
All trimmings from stems, leaves and less-than-perfect petals go into a giant tub; which are turned into mulch at home. Ethical principles come into play even when choosing which bin to buy. Tin versus plastic? Where were they made and under what conditions? In the end it was deemed the plastic bin was in fact the lesser evil available.
Many thanks to Stephanie and Nik whose wedding flowers Narida was preparing when I photographed her. They got married at the gorgeous Brackenridge wedding venue in Martinborough the following day.
I'm an outdoor wedding photographer for adventurous couples in the Wairarapa. Please feel free to view my Lucalia Photography wedding photography.
He Putiputi shop front in Martinborough
Chicken wire instead of non-biodegradable foam
Lush blooms to choose from
Classic choice of colour: white and green
Explaining the harakeke whānau
Copper and fairy light vases were supplied by Steph the bride
Narida working at her bench
He Putiputi flower studio is filled with light
Bouquet taking shape
Narida's experiences living in Scotland shine through with dried thistles greeting visitors at the front door
Checking the stems
Lovely natural light
Narida has another business called Spouts & Spigots, importing tapware from Europe.
Stems waiting to find their place
The bouquet design is checked throughout it's creation
Stems are trimmed, to be composted later
Position and form are checked in the mirror
The native-inspired, green and white bridal bouquet all finished