A Wrexham-born florist who worked at Vivienne Westwood and returned to his roots will showcase his designs in Llangollen. 

Mark McKee, the owner of Welshborn Flowers, grew his passion during his childhood at his family farm in Bwlchgwyn and will appear at the Tyn Dwr Hall Open Day this weekend (Sunday, October 8).

The second-generation farm was where he gained experience in agriculture-to-market practices, as he watched his family cultivate and sell produce at their popular family farm shop.

The Leader: Mark tending to his flowers at his home farm in BwlchgwynMark tending to his flowers at his home farm in Bwlchgwyn (Image: We Are Laurel ltd)

However, Mark's fascination with design led him on a different path. After moving to London to study fashion design and corsetry at Middlesex University, he embarked on a career in the fashion industry.

He worked at Vivienne Westwood's bridal store on Davies Street, London where he conducted corsetry consultations with brides. Mark cites this experience as being ‘instrumental’ in shaping his approach to floral design.

Following eight years in London, Mark relocated to Manchester, where he discovered his true calling in floristry.

He spent seven years at Frog Flowers, and it was during this time that Mark began to explore working with locally grown flowers, freelancing with Carol Siddorn in Cheshire, a British flower grower.

“What I love about Carol is her mindset towards growing,” said Mark. “Carol is my biggest inspiration not only for the growing but how organised she is! And I’d say I learnt a lot of the organic approach to floristry through Frog and Instagram. My style and approach is organic and wild and that definitely influences what I grow here on the farm."

Mark has returned to his Welsh roots with his family's farm, where he now cultivates flowers, grasses, foliage, and a captivating mix of seasonal blooms on a third of an acre of land.

With a growing following on Instagram and a passion for working with brides, Mark expanded his services to include weddings and began selling buckets of fresh-cut flowers from his farm.

The Leader: A bridal bouquet from WelshbornA bridal bouquet from Welshborn (Image: we are Laurel ltd)

While he continues to engage in wholesale flower distribution, weddings have become a significant focus for his business and said he was ‘thrilled’ to be able to display his work at the prestigious Llangollen wedding venue, Tyn Dwr Hall, for their Autumn Open Day.

Mark's flowers have thrived in the unique microclimate of Bwlchgwyn, benefiting from the valley's cover and sustainable practices.

All his British-grown flowers are cultivated without pesticides, using compost and mulch for nourishment. His commitment to sustainability extends to the use of plastic alternatives like chicken wire and compostable flower pouches too.

Mark is a proud member of "Flowers from the Farm," a collective of British flower growers committed to sustainable practices and community building.

His goal is to not only grow his business in North Wales but also to inspire others to grow their own flowers and develop their floral skills. He plans to offer workshops and accommodation at his farm, nurturing a new generation of flower enthusiasts.

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Mark will be collaborating with Lindsey Douglas from White etc Floral for the Tyn Dwr Open Day. Their sustainable and British-grown floral creations will be at the Llangollen wedding venue on Sunday, October 8 from 11am-4pm.

The event will also feature a number of Welsh wedding suppliers such as stationery designers, photographers, videographers, as well as cake makers and the full Tyn Dwr Hall wedding team.

Shannon Roberts, Sales and Marketing Manager said: “At Tyn Dwr Hall, we have always taken pride in using local Welsh suppliers throughout our business, from fresh food produce to home-grown confetti.

“We have no doubt that the floral creations that are showcased by Mark and Lindsey at the Open Day will be beautifully created and help to show off what the very best local wedding suppliers can do.”