Florist, Author + Social Reformer (1886-1960)
As a florist, social reformer, teacher and best-selling author, CONSTANCE SPRY (1886-1960) democratised home-making in mid-20th century Britain by teaching millions of people that – with a little imagination – they could beautify their homes with flowers plucked from hedgerows and scraps of wasteland.
Few people have had such a powerful influence over the way we decorate our homes as Constance Spry. First as a teacher and social reformer, then as a society florist and best-selling author, Spry (1886-1960) taught mid-20th century Britons how to beautify their homes with such unassuming materials as berries, vegetable leaves, twigs, ferns and weeds displayed in a motley assortment of containers from gravy boats and bird cages, to tureen lids and baking trays.
Born in Derby in 1886, Constance was the eldest child and only daughter of George Fletcher, an ambitious railway clerk, and his wife Henrietta Maria. George studied hard to become a civil servant and the Fletcher family moved to Ireland, where Constance studied hygiene, physiology and district nursing. After lecturing on first aid and home nursing in Ireland, she married James Heppell Marr in 1910 and moved to Coolbawn, near Castlecomer, where she developed a passionate interest in gardening. When World War I began in 1914, Constance became secretary of the Dublin Red Cross. Two years later she left Ireland and her unhappy marriage with her son Anthony to work in welfare in England.
Constance Spry Resources