Celebrating British Flowers Week 2016
June 16th, 2016
New Covent Garden Flower Market in London, the team behind British Flowers Week, has set the bar very high, giving us something quite beautiful to which we aspire — and this week, the 4th Annual British Flowers Week, has delivered far beyond expectations!
British Flowers Week’s promotional model involves a diverse lineup of events. Growers and florists nationwide are staging flower farm open days, British flower workshops, demonstrations and displays or staging pop-up stalls in town centres across the UK.
The Dorchester hotel, Petersham Nurseries, River Cottage Canteen, NT Knightshayes, RHS Harlow Carr, Habitat on King’s Road and BBC Gardener’s World Live are among the venues hosting British Flowers Week events.
The campaign is centered around Five Days, Five Classic British-Grown Flowers, and Five Renown British Florists, showcased June 13-19th.
British flowers adorn Number 10 Downing Street!
This stunning urn arrangement of beautiful British delphiniums, oriental lilies, alstroemeria, astrantia, garden roses, stocks and British foliage was created by floristry students at Capel Manor College, and generously donated by New Covent Garden Flower Market wholesalers Zest Flowers, Pratley, GB Foliage and C Best. The Chairman of the British Florist Association, Brian Wills-Pope MBE was instrumental in making this possible.
By the way . . . *Are you thinking what I’m thinking*? If Number 10 Downing Street, the resident of the British Prime Minister, can have British-grown flowers, why can’t the White House have American-grown flowers?
Today, I want to share the flowers and florists behind Days One, Two, Three & Four of British Flowers Week.
Kudos to my friends at New Covent Garden Flower Market — Helen Evans, director of business development and support, and publicist Liz Anderson — and all of the British flower farmers and designers who created these iconic examples of fresh, local, seasonal blooms (and foliage) and inventive, inspired floral design. You can learn more about this campaign by listening to my Podcast interview with Helen, aired last spring.
About British Flowers Week:
THIS ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF SEASONAL, LOCALLY-GROWN FLOWERS AND FOLIAGE IS UNITING THE UK CUT FLOWER INDUSTRY AND SPARKING PUBLIC AND MEDIA INTEREST IN WHERE OUR FLOWERS COME FROM.
The campaign shines a spotlight on the best of British cut flowers and the very best independent British florists — all designed to show just what British flowers are made of!
Right now, British cut flowers are enjoying a resurgence in demand. Just as interest in locally-grown food has grown, so people are once again appreciating the value of locally-grown, freshly cut flowers.
[June 13] DAY ONE: Philip Hammond of The Dorchester & British Oriental Lilies
Philip Hammond is the youngest head florist in the history of The Dorchester, London’s famous luxury hotel. The consummate master of British floral design aesthetic, Hammond’s statement pieces adorn The Promenade, the ballrooms and bedrooms of this iconic hotel, their scent and opulent beauty welcoming guests in style.
Philip created three exquisite floral designs with British Oriental Lilies exclusively for British Flowers Week:
An Urn on the Move: Passing through the Flower Market on its way to grace The Promenade, a pristine white urn overflows with the dramatic and scented blooms of oriental lilies ‘Speedstar’, towering lilac and blue delphiniums, arching pink lupins, lisianthus ‘Pink Picotee’ and the classic blousy pink peonies ‘Sarah Bernhardt’.
Dressing for Summer: An elegant, romantic antidote to the outlandish headwear of race-goers’, this beautiful summer hat decorated with the flowerheads of fragrant ‘Speedstar’ oriental lilies, lisianthus ‘Pink picotee’ and lime green alchemilla mollis is complemented by a gently trailing lilac and pink scarf.
The British Growers bouquet by The Dorchester: Deliciously fragrant and dreamily romantic, The Dorchester Bouquet blends ‘Speed Star’ oriental lilies with the textural fronds of privet, the showy blooms of ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ peonies, soft ‘Pink Picotee’ lisianthus and a pop of deep burgundy sweet peas. The best of British. The British Growers bouquet designed by Philip Hammond is on sale throughout this week at Parcafe at The Dorchester.
[June 14] DAY TWO: Petalon and British Orlaya grandiflora
Florence Kennedy of Petalon, the florist whose business is delivering bouquets by bike around London, finds inspiration simply in the flowers and foliages that catch her eye at the (New Covent Garden) Flower Market, imbuing her work with a natural, spontaneous, vivacious charm that reflects her own warm personality. The Petalon style is fun, edgy and a celebration of seasonality in all its floral forms. Florence’s British Flowers Week designs tell the unique story of Petalon, a world of flowers and pedal power.
Florence created four exquisite floral designs including Orlaya grandiflora exclusively for British Flowers Week:
Bicycling Beauties: A profusion of peonies, lupins, sweet peas, jasmine officinale, sweet honesty, Orlaya grandiflora, cow parsley, dog rose and lisianthus ‘Champagne’ erupts from the handlebars of the elegant, hand-crafted Petalon delivery bike.
‘The Full English’ – The British Flowers Week bouquet by Petalon: Brimming with British floral gems, ‘The Full English’ will be served up to Petalon customers throughout British Flowers Week. The fragrant, beautiful, local ingredients in this delicious floral dish are sweet peas, cornflower ‘Black Ball’ and delphiniums to stocks, lisianthus, lupins, orlaya grandiflora, privet, dog rose, grasses and sweet honesty.
Flower Safety First! An intricate cycle helmet of hawthorn blossom, lisianthus, lilac alliums, hebe foliage and phacelia (aka blue curls) for a florist on the move.
Huxley, The Hound of British Flowers Week: A Great Dane with class, Huxley is a hound who can sports a floral collar with élan. In short, a style guru. In honour of British Flowers Week, Huxley Kennedy (pet of Florence & James and Petalon’s chief mascot on social media) models a collar of pink hawthorn blossom, pink lupins, lisianthus and just a couple of stems of the pure white Orlaya grandiflora.
[June 15] DAY THREE: Amanda Austin Flowers and British Astrantia
Amanda Austin of Amanda Austin Flowers is an actress turned retail and event florist with a bijou flower shop on King’s Road backed by a vast workshop in Vauxhall. She is known for flowering some of the most exclusive venues in London. She is a florist of timeless style and classic range, with a loyal following and an enviable reputation. Her intuitive eye for colour and texture make for the most beautiful florals, from bouquets and vases for private clients to show-stopping floral designs for weddings and events.
The Journey to Market: Exclusively for British Flowers Week, Amanda created a beautiful floral installation, a photo booth, that represents elements of her daily journey to the Flower Market from Chelsea. Cleverly constructed on two Market trolleys bound together to make it portable, the scene is rich in the foliages, bark and flowers she sees in gardens and on roadsides on her way into Market. Hanging above it all is a sign from her Chelsea flower shop: Life is Beauty Full.
Lavishly British: A moss covered urn erupts with a profusion of flowering viburnum opulus, sweet peas, campions, alliums, astrantia ‘Roma’ and ivy.
The Astrantia Wedding Bouquet: Summer romance, pure and simple: deliciously fragrant sweet peas with the star-shaped flowers of astrantia ‘Roma’.
And a little something extra…Just because they were there and utterly irresistible, Amanda fashioned a gorgeous flower crown of British sweet peas entwined with variegated ivy to make our model summer festival ready.
[June 16] DAY FOUR: The Flower Appreciation Society and British Summer Foliage
Anna Day and Ellie Jauncey of The Flower Appreciation Society showcase their designs using the best of British foliage from New Covent Garden’s “Foliage Row,” where British-grown foliage forms the backbone of a design, give it movement and texture, and truly reflect the seasons with beauty.
The dream duo at The Flower Appreciation Society clearly relish the freedom of working with the wilder, more natural forms of British-grown foliages and flowers. Each of their British Flowers Week designs is a true celebration of the abundance of British cut foliage and flowers in all their myriad forms.
Anna and Ellie have created three exquisite floral designs including British-grown foliages exclusively for British Flowers Week:
A Mantlepiece on the Move: A joyful, effusive celebration of British flowers, this mantelpiece design in romantic shades of white and purples is a mass of flowers amidst a structure of gorgeous foliages. Stems of viburnum opulus, mint, white leaf, beech, willow, privet, cow parsley, birch and wild rose frame the tapestry of alliums, cornflowers, fritillaries, nepeta, sweet rocket, orlaya grandiflora, verbascum, delphiniums, irises, cow parsley and sweet peas.
A Bunch of British: The sights and scents of the British summer come together in this natural, free, open bouquet bursting with birch, white leaf, cow parsley, ivy, mint, flowering viburnum, senecio, trailing jasmine, grasses, campion, peonies, orlaya grandiflora sweet rocket, nepeta and sweet peas.
Festival Florals: Celebration is in the air with this floral crown of summer favourites, sweet peas and peonies, interspersed with senecio, viburnum plicatum, oregano and a sprig of fresh mint.
That’s it for the first four days of British Flowers Week~
I promise to share the final day’s images on Friday. In the meantime, I’ll be dreaming of possibilities and scheming about this: How can we emulate this wonderful campaign on a national scale in the U.S.?
If you haven’t yet checked out American Flowers Week and all our resources, here’s a head’s up.
American Flowers Week is coming up soon — in just a few weeks you’re invited to get involved.
During June 28-July 4, please join me in posting your American-Grown flowers, your arrangements and your farms.
Use #americanflowersweek #slowflowers and we’ll make a beautiful statement about our domestic floral industry and the people who grow and design with those blooms!