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Debbie's inspirations: Florist Anna Potter from Swallows and Damsons

Welcome to the first in a series of inspiration posts I have planned for you lovely lot - a place for me to share the things, places and people that inspire me or my work. 

Anna Potter hellebores in teal by India Hobson for Design SpongeFirst up is the hugely talented Anna Potter from Swallows and Damsons - in my opinion one of the best florists this country has to offer (and possibly beyond). Many of my bridal clients have been clever enough to choose Anna to create their wedding flowers and I have been lucky enough to work with her on a number of occasions - most memorably she has provided the gorgeous floral backdrops for my last two new collection photo shoots. I am also very lucky to live in the same city as her wonderful shop, which means I get to own a little bit of Swallows and Damsons magic on a fairly regular occasion too!

Anna Potter from Swallows and Damsons in her little flower shop Sheffield

Swallows and Damsons floral backdrop for Debbie Carlisle by Anna Potter and India HobsonWho: Anna's beautiful blowsy floral designs have earned her a reputation as one of the country's foremost florists. Her style is an eclectic mix of muted pastels, dark berry shades and bright splashes of colour – in varied combinations which combine to create a wild-yet-soft romantic painterly aesthetic and instantly recognisable style which has earned her more than 85,000 followers on her beautiful Instagram feed.

Swallows and Damsons bouquet Sheffield wedding flowersWhat: Not surprisingly, Anna's work is in high demand among couples looking for wedding flowers with a modern approach to romantic vintage styling - so much so that her work has taken her all over the country from her base in Sheffield. A regular contributor to the hugely inspiring Design Sponge blog which has featured both her stylishly eclectic home and a series of beautiful flower styling inspiration essays, Anna’s unique sense of style has earned her clients - and fans - from all over the globe.

Swallows and Damsons little flower shop with its eclectic mix of terracotta pots and glass and stoneware Where: Her shop, Swallows and Damsons, in Sheffield’s vibrant Antiques Quarter is a treasure trove of carefully sourced blooms, plants and succulents – with shelves lined with vintage and antique finds from terracotta pots to jars and vases. There’s also the most amazing envy-inducing wall display of botanical prints rescued from the Chatsworth House library which I would very much like to steal!

Swallows and Damsons wedding flowers Sheffield floristWhen: Anna offers lots of different workshops from Flower School floristry sessions, Christmas wreath making workshops and one-to-one floristry classes. Classes sell out quickly so be sure to follow her gorgeous Instagram feed to be in with a chance of bagging a space on one of her classes.

Swallows and Damsons painterly flowers tablescape Swallows and Damsons is based at 326 Abbeydale Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S7 1FN. Email, visit or call 0114 2551944. Follow Anna’s Instagram feed @swallowsanddamsons.

Pictures courtesy of Swallows and Damsons and India Hobson

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