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.
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.
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.
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:
Longbarn Growers & Distillers