Back in its normal date …. with no restrictions and – apart from a few torrential storms – blazing sunshine. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show threw open its gates – beautifully decorated of course! – to thousands of avid gardeners and flower lovers for a spectacular show.
But whilst in theory it may be all about the garden, the fact that the RHS have now appointed Simon Lycett as a dedicated Ambassador to be responsible for the floristry and floral design element shows a new found commitment to the incredible skill base of florists throughout the world.
No the selection process isn’t being done like it used to be and it is a sadness that we have lost the heat process because competitions are hugely important but it does open up a whole wealth of opportunities for the sector that can hopefully be nurtured over the whole RHS shows calendar to showcase floristry even more brilliantly.
For 2022 the bespoke Floristry installations took on four themes; Pollination and Field and Flora within the ‘Floral Windows’ staging area, while the larger installations worked to the titles Forest and Flora and Tablescapes.
And they were all exquisite in their very different ways. Country garden mixed with tropical hotbeds … minimalistic Ikebana jostled with oh so delicate meadow mixes and all points in-between.
And the public loved them. Walking around the Floristry and Floral Design area was a fascinating experience as we eavesdropped on comments and gasps of delight from members of the public who saw floristry in a whole new way and, we hope, went away with a new found respect for what can be done with flowers and foliage’s …. we reckon if they saw the blood, sweat and tears went into the creations they’d be even more impressed!!
We bring you a taste of the eight main installations. If you want to see the videos head over to our Facebook page here.
Acacia Creative Studio www.acaciastudio.co.uk
A sublime confection of purples, pinks and greens set against stunning wood, collected and crafted into an amazing table and chairs from local sources, and a theme matched by a bespoke hand crafted set of plates and cutlery, this design was awarded a Silver Medal for Rachel Kennedy and Xue Wang.
Dmitry Turcan www.dmitryturcan.com
Entitled Whispering Hearts this amazing construction of willow and interlocking bear grass loops played host to a magical collection of flowers and grasses that had bees flocking to the display! The half-filled jug highlighted the importance of water to our very survival while the closeness of the guests was created to echo Dmitry’s own connection feels for his florist friends around the world despite being apart from each other. You can hear how Dmitry felt after he was awarded Gold and Best in Show here.
Helen James Flowers www.helenjamesflowers.com
Helen Pannitt, most recently a semi-finalist in the recent Interflora Florist of the Year took Silver-Gilt with this gorgeous combination of limes, yellows and purple. Entitled Natures Table it depicted the way nature can create a table for humans, wildlife, and animals to live off and feed from, showing how the natural world can live together and create a more sustainable future for both.
Designer: J L Floral Design www.Jlfloraldesign.co.uk
Surrounded by a country cottage garden and complete with vegetable patch, Jodie Sainsbury’s table scape, which won her a Silver Gilt medal, demonstrated sustainable living to show that you can eat from the garden and how fulfilling it can be providing your own food. The whole concept made even more beautiful with a fabulous runner of roots and branches intertwined along the table and providing the base for a gorgeous confection of flowers. The notes on the branches made us chortle!
Mary Jane Vaughan Designs www.maryjanevaughan.co.uk
Mary Jane chose the Forest and Flora theme and used the fact that whilst trees are proven to be beneficial to our well-being, both for health and happiness, man is threatening that very powerful benefit by taking over more and more green space for buildings. The ‘tree’, which won a Silver Medal for the team, was actually completely self made using the most amazing assortment of foliage’s and Alchemilla mollis whilst the ‘trunk’ was a masterpiece of combined natural materials interspersed with ivies, moss and lichen.
Norris Floristry Ltd www.norris.store
A disruptive take on a tablescape, with a topsy turvey table and cutlery and china seemingly sliding off the table was how Norris Floristry portrayed the fact that Nature can take over and has the power to both disrupt and heal. Bee friendly, seasonal flowers exploded from the roots to create a tidal wave of flowers and seasonal fruits that together with a floor of fruit, foliage and plants won the team a Silver Gilt medal.
Stephen was inspired by a trip to Costa Rica and a love of tropical flowers to create this bold, dramatic and thought provoking installation. Designed to highlight the destruction of the rainforest and the impact of what we eat has on our planet and its future, the use of weird, wonderful and fascinating flowers not only made the public stop but won Stephen a Silver Gilt medal.
Tracy Rowbottom Design www.tracyrowbottomdesign.com
Tracy, who was supported by Flowervision in Bristol, and won a Silver Medal, created this romantic table for a wedding using a gorgeous array of scented roses and rambling vines – chopped down and hewn by her father – which grew through and around the table right up to the chandelier. The undulating latticework of vines on the table top was filled with roses and overlaid with strengthened glass decored with bottles and a very English country style table settings .