Jess Lister and Alexandra Nutting, the sisters behind Aesme, show us how to use flowers to decorate for Christmas.

Working from a Victorian Railway Arch, Aesme Flower Studio – helmed by sisters Jess Lister and Alexandra Nutting – specialises in native, nostalgic and romantic flowers, its cascading and informal arrangements redolent of the perfect English country garden. Gloriously untamed, their work is deeply evocative, as well as being sustainable. Huge advocates for using foraged-for ingredients, including often overlooked but frequently beautiful weeds, their world is wholly enchanting.

Trust the sisters, then, to instinctively know precisely how to creates a magical Christmas, largely using materials from the bottom of the garden. Here they share their top tips for decking the halls using flowers and candlelight.

Inspired? Follow Aesme Flower Studio on Instagram here.

Decking The Door

Deck your door with a gorgeous sustainable wreath that doesn’t cost the earth (pun intended!). Our everlasting wreaths are fashioned from woven hedgerow branches and decorated with flowers, grasses and seedpods harvested throughout the season from our organic cutting garden and dried in preparation for winter. They are made with natural materials and twine – no wire or non-biodegradable floral foam – can be enjoyed as an indoor or outdoor decoration and easily customised with different accessories from ribbons to feathers year after year.

Dressing The Table

Dress your Christmas table with seasonal and locally-grown botanicals, or planted bulbs. Our favourites include Cornish narcissi, anemones and ranunculus, hellebores (the Christmas rose), hyacinths, amaryllis and evergreen foliage – glossy ivy and holly with berries, cedar or fir. A palette of white, silver and greens is always beautiful and classic on a frosty day; or you might choose to add pops of colour through the addition of red berries, citrus or dried flowers from earlier in the year.

Light The Scene With Candles

Flickering candlelight always enhances a room with a warm, welcoming and romantic atmosphere. For homes and parties, we recommend having as many as possible – in votives, lanterns, sconces and candelabra. For a fun Christmas tablescape, we love Pentreath & Hall’s dinner candles in a mix of bright colours in antique brass candlesticks.

Forage, Forage, Forage!

It’s amazing what you can find when you forage in your garden for unusual natural treasures, like branches, seedpods, grasses and berries to bring indoors. Or you could go for a responsible forage in the countryside for ivy, alder, grasses and seedpods to make your Christmas decorations a little more special and unusual. We love using perennial grasses like Stipa, Pennisetum or Miscanthus to add addition texture to a winter arrangement.

Gift Online Floristry Classes

Do you have a friend or family member who loves growing or arranging flowers? Consider gifting them a unique learning experience – an online floristry class that they can look forward to indulging in over the winter, just in time for spring and a new flower season. Our online classes focus on seasonal, sustainable ways of designing with flowers in a naturalistic style and, through videos and beautifully-curated class notes, cover both the essential design theory and the practical techniques for creating beautiful, ethereal bouquets and arrangements.

By Nancy Alsop
December 2020

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Jess Lister and Alexandra Nutting of Aesme
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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.