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The Flower Council of Holland launched their My Favourite Flower campaign with the biggest bouquet in Britain.  The enormous bouquet was made at Potters Fields in front of London’s Tower Bridge.  The Flower council tweeted that people could come and take a bunch of their favourite flowers away.

Passers-by were encouraged to give the flowers to give away to loved ones.  As research carried out by the Flower Council revealed that half of British adults have never been given flowers,  64% of men have never received flowers and 31% of women only receive their favourite flowers once a year.

The colossal bouquet stood 6 metres high and 5 metres wide, it took a team of 6 florists, 18 hours to construct.  It contained 12,000 stems of cut flowers, highlighting the UK’s top ten favourite flowers, rose, tulip, lily, orchid, freesia, calla, carnation, sunflower, delphinium and amaryllis.

My Favourite Flower camaign has a rather clever website where you can pick your favourite flowers and have the chance to win a bouquet of them.  It’s presented by more lovely boys like the ones here, who whizz round selecting the flowers you choose.   The campaign has been extended until the end of the month, so you still have some time to take part and win some flowers.

 

Images:

funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk – FlowerCouncil of Holland

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This style of bouquet is also known as glamelia or composite rose bouquet, they were very popular in the 40s and 50s.  The bouquet is essentially one large flower assembled from the petals of around 20 roses.  It is a labour intensive method and is definitely a task for a skilled florist.  Hundreds of petals are painstakingly attached one by one.

The bouquet above was made using Red Naomi roses, which have lovely large petals in a deep velvety red.  Red roses look very dramatic in a carmen rose bouquet and would suit a 50s theme perfectly.

This lilac bouquet below contains lovely Dolcetto roses in a collar. Smaller versions can be made for bridesmaid bouquets, but they may be more expensive than normal bouquets.

These bouquets have been made into wedding centrepieces.  The soft pink rose used in them is called Malu.

The technique can be used with other flowers like lilies or gladioli; this bouquet is made with longiflorum lilies.

Carmen bouquets may not last as long as a regular bouquet, but they will stay in perfect condition for your wedding day.  If you are thinking of  having something a little different to a hand tied bouquet, a carmen rose bouquet could be the ideal choice.

 

Images:

Red Naomi bouquet – Schreurs Roses & Gerbera by Robert Koene

Pink Malu bouquets – Schreurs Roses & Gerbera by Robert Koene

Dolcetto  bouquet - Schreurs Roses & Gerbera

Lily bouquet - viggo-joergensen.dk

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There were a number of contemporary floral design classes at Southport Flower Show.  The show theme for 2012 was ‘cool’ and the competitors had free reign to interpret the theme as they chose.  The floral design classes included Ga Ga, MacQueened, All the Angles and Threadless Light.

I didn’t agree with all the places awarded, but you can’t please everyone.  I’ve included a few of my favourite pieces in today’s article. The MacQueened class attracted some unusual entries, most competitors made dresses out of fresh materials and textiles.  This design by Margaret Whittaker was awarded second place.  The design was a complex shape with that appeared to defy gravity; it has lots of curved lines covered with intricate textiles and flowers.  I felt this design was worthy of first place.

This piece by Paul Lomax was entered into the class, ‘All the Angles’. It had a lovely reflective quality as it was contained in a large mirrored cube.  The outside was covered in layered foliage and inside was filled with a compact design of all white and green flowers.  It featured lots of green lovelies like sedum, eryngium, green trick carnations, and alchemilla mollis.  The design was awarded third place.

Myerscough College made some gorgeous pieces, their entry into the Threadless Light class was my favourite piece overall.  The design was to be viewed from all sides, and was simply stunning from all angles.  The flowers were arranged in vibrant groups dotted with tiny echeverias and tillandsia.

Craig Bullock’s piece entered into the Ga Ga class won the award for best Contemporary floral design.  His flamboyant piece featured hanging heliconias, roses and chrysanths, mimicking the eccentric outfits Lady Ga Ga is famous for wearing.

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jane-packer-victory-bouquet-london-2012

The Olympic organisers required the Victory bouquet flowers to be grown as sustainably as possible to reduce environmental impact.  Their brief asked that the flowers and foliage used in the bouquets were all British grown, which is easier said than done.  Sadly the British cut rose industry has virtually disappeared over the years, so roses had to been specially grown for the Olympics.  The challenge was grow 20,000 best quality roses, in specific colours for a tight time scale.  As well as adhering to all the rules regarding sustainability.

longbarn-lavender-growers-hampshire

The flowers had to be grown without artificial heat, pesticide and fertilizer use were kept to a bare minimum, the flowers were to be transported from growers without energy consuming chilled units and made into bouquets locally.  This is no mean feat with the haphazard British summer we’ve been having.

wheat-from-shropshire-petals

Paul Chessum Roses grew the roses at their high tech nursery in Chichester. The target for the bouquets was 3 days ‘from plant to athlete’. Other suppliers included Langard UK who provided mint, rosemary and roses, Shropshire Petals provided the wheat, and Longbarn grew the lavender.  The flowers were made into the bouquets by florists from Jane Packer and floristry students.

paul-chessum-nursery-chichester

To complete the sustainability loop, the rose bushes need a home after completing their Olympic job.  If you’d like to own a piece of living sport history, the rose plants are available to buy and will be delivered from September onwards via yougarden.com.

I wrote about the bouquet design and the students who made the bouquets yesterday.

Images from top:

Jane Packer

Longbarn Growers & Distillers

Shropshire Petals

Chessum Roses

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victory-bouquet-london-2012-olympics

The Olympics are in full swing now, if you’ve been watching the TV coverage you’ve probably spotted the Victory Bouquets.  They were designed by Susan Lapworth, creative director at Jane Packer.  The design reflects the vibrancy and energy of the Olympic Games.

As Roses are quintessentially British they were chosen for the main flower, all the materials used in the bouquets are British grown.  The design is split into quadrants of roses, separated by a British food ingredient. The bouquet contains Illios roses (yellow), Marie Claire roses (orange), Wimbledon roses (green) and Aqua roses (pink).  The herbs will provide a wonderful fragrance; they include rosemary, apple mint, and English lavender. British grown wheat also features in the design.

students-creating-olympic-bouquets

Honoured and excited students from several colleges have been helping to make the required 4,800 bouquets for medal winners.  Students from Writtle College, Bexley Adult Education and Kingston Maurward  have participated in creating the designs.

The photo above shows students working with a make-up guide to help them create the bouquets to the exact specifications.  The bouquets were made to a strict brief, they had to be 20 x 25cm, reflect the energy of London 2012, withstand temperature changes and handling by non-experts.

kingston-maurward-students-creating-victory-bouquets

Images:

Top image – Jane Packer

Middle image – thisistotalessex.co.uk

Bottom image – Jane Packer

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