Florist with a flair and positive outlook

Jane Gilman Wallett

With great sadness, the family of Jane Gilman Wallett, of Vine & Roses florist, announced her passing.

Jane, who was widely known for her expert floristry, died suddenly on May 19, from a spontaneous brain haemorrhage.

She will be remembered as an endlessly loving mother, grandmother and supportive friend to many people.

She opened Vine and Roses Florists in Penrith in 1990, and soon became renowned as one of the region’s finest flower designers, providing wedding flowers for brides and venues across the county.

Her creativity, enthusiasm and flare inspired both her clients and anyone that happened across the business. Vine and Roses was not just a florists — it became a lively hub of activity, an extension of her creativity and joy, and a world where she touched the life of many people.

When the business moved from a smaller shop to larger premises next door in Angel Lane, Jane completely revamped the large upstairs room to accommodate exhibitions, events and life drawing classes.

Jane’s spontaneity and positive outlook were infectious. She once decided the family would go and see the Queen and packed the family and friends into a classic car and drove to Kielder Forest, picking heather and wild flowers on the way to make into a posy. She did indeed see the Queen, and daughter Kate gave her the posy despite their being hordes of other children lined up with their own bouquets.

Jane began life in 1947 in Leek, Staffordshire, then Congleton, in Cheshire, where she was brought up by her parents Joyce and Gilman Wallett, along with her younger sister Sue. She went to school at Brereton Hall before undertaking an apprenticeship at a flower shop in Newcastle.

She then went to London Flower School under Constance Spry, a florist renowned to have “radicalised and democratised the art of decorating with flowers”. Jane also worked in Oxford Road, Manchester, in a furniture shop where she found her first attraction to antiques and furniture restoration.

In 1968, Jane met Mark Brundrett and they were married in 1969. They first lived in Bramhall, Cheshire, where their children — James and Kate — were born.

After a brief move to Darlington, the family, complete with goldfish, settled at Andrew House, Stainton, in 1978.

Jane loved life at Andrew House — a run down farmhouse that she lovingly brought to life, restoring the buildings and relandscaping the gardens. She thoroughly enjoyed raising the children and going on adventures as well as rearing sheep, chickens and ponies and the odd goat.

During these years Jane opened a shop— Country Kitchen Supplies — based in Mayson’s, Keswick, and would travel the county doing Magimix demonstrations and getting lost in country lanes with her friend Gladys.

Jane’s love for the countryside and nature shone through everything. Her true enjoyment was found in fly fishing and, like her father, she would be found on the local rivers and her favourite River Esk in Scotland. She tied her own flies and when she was pregnant had a commission for over 2,000 flies which she said kept her busy.

In the 1990s, Jane moved from Andrew House and after a while settled in Maulds Meaburn and later Cliburn. While she continued the floristry business she also completed an MA in landscape architecture in Edinburgh and a conservation MA from York, travelling to college with the family cat, Panther. She found studying and being surrounded by younger people invigorating.

Jane moved from Cliburn in 2020 to Newbiggin and over the past few years suffered ongoing health issues. She finally had open heart surgery and recovered gently back to full health. In the last few weeks of her life Jane was in full flow and it was wonderful to see her back to her lively, creative, bouncy self.

Jane’s constant abundance of love and kindness no matter what was going on in her own life was astounding, said her family. She always had time to stop and help and hear people out and always put others before herself. She found so much joy in nature and small things.

“We are grateful that Jane passed quickly in her favourite place surrounded by flowers, her friend and her daughter. She touched so many people’s hearts and all our love goes out to those that knew her. She will be greatly missed,” said the family.