Behind the Blooms

A table laid for dinner in Fingal's Ballroom. A vase of red and white flowers is on the table with menus and glasses. A sweeping staircase is in the background.

Garlands Florist, located in the heart of Edinburgh, provides stunning floral displays aboard The Royal Yacht Britannia and Fingal. Over the past three decades, the company has blossomed into a successful family business. From Royal pre-wedding celebrations to exclusive events aboard The Royal Yacht Britannia and Fingal, under the ownership of two sisters, Garlands Florist have supplied exquisite blooms for many extraordinary occasions.

Their beautiful creations the talking point of celebrations, read on as we ask co-owner Jennifer, to unravel the secrets behind their artistry, from the bustling mornings in their shop to serene moments aboard Britannia and Fingal, arranging every delicate flower.  

Can you tell me about the history of Garlands? 

The business was established approximately 37 years ago by the previous owner (my old boss) and I started at 17. I took over the running of the business when I was 21 and have been here 34 years in total. I now run the business in partnership with my sister. We are proud of the business we have built up over the years. It has been hard work but fun.

A display of cream flowers and roses.

What is a day in the life of a Garlands florist like? 

Rise at 6.30am. Into the shop between 7.30-8am to prepare for the orders/event flowers going out that day. During the day we are busy with customers, phone calls, deliveries, orders for the following day, ordering of flowers, administration, including email correspondence for weddings, which is a full-time job in itself, and then it is 5pm before we know it, and time to close the shop.

What types of floral designs have you created for Britannia and Fingal in the past? Anything unusual? 

We deliver weekly flowers around the State Apartments, as there would have been during Royal service. We were delighted to create the flowers for Zara Phillips’ pre-wedding reception on board Britannia. We have also enjoyed doing special arrangements for the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Jubilee celebrations. The Grand Staircase is always a pleasure to decorate. We enjoy supplying flowers for the lovely weddings that take place on Fingal.  

How do you choose flowers and colours to match to an event if you are given carte blanche?  

We take the best flowers on the day of ordering to make sure the flowers look beautiful.

Are there any particular flowers or colours which complement the décor and design on Britannia and Fingal? 

We prefer stronger bolder colours for both ships as softer, pastel colours tend to get lost in the décor. 

What do you enjoy most about working on board Britannia and Fingal?

The surroundings are very beautiful and calming. It is a privilege to work on venues with so much history attached to them.

How do flowers enhance an event? 

They are a lovely focal point which enhance a special event and hopefully become a talking point as well.

Make your event unforgettable with flowers fit for Royalty. Our Events team would be delighted to arrange your event of a lifetime. Email: or call +44 (0)131 555 8800

Read our previous blog post about Britannia's resident piper, here.