Flowers, floriography and fabulous parasols

by Su Whale on May 28, 2010

susan_whaleThursday was the first day for the general public to visit Chelsea and it was busy, busy, busy!

The sun took a little longer to shine, but it came out at last and with temperatures a lot less scorching than they had been at the beginning of the week. It was perfect weather for viewing gardens, admiring new plants and treating yourself to the occasional ice cream. It was also a very good day for our young florists who were busy creating floral parasols.

erica tippet silver gilt copyThursday was also the first day of the RHS Young Chelsea Florist of the Year competition. Once again visitors were thrilled by the high standard of floristry exhibited and the floral parasols they created. This competition is for under 25 year olds and what a way to launch your floristry career by qualifying for such a prestigious show as Chelsea.

Congratulations to Lauren Curry from Fairmile Florist in Christchurch and Erica Tippett from Bleujen Florist in Bude, Cornwell for their Silver Gilt awards. Both produced very elegant and creative designs in what has proved to be a very challenging competition.

Lauren Curry's design

And Thursday just happened to be a big day for me too as I made my television debut! My colleague Joy and I had been approached by the BBC about taking part in a short programme about Floriography (the language of flowers to you and me!) Of course we said yes, and then found out that we would be going out live at Chelsea, which was both exciting and scary at the same time.

keeping coats on for the rehearsal

We were paired up with television presenter Nicki Chapman and garden designer Andy Sturgeon who were just lovely and took us through the whole process, our rehearsal and eventual broadcast from the M & G garden being watched by an extremely interested crowd of spectators.

Su, Andy Sturgeon, Nicki Chapman and Joy live!

The amount of planning that goes into the BBC’s coverage of the show is just incredible, we had an entire production team which included four cameras, just for our three minutes of fame.

Su giving Andy Sturgeon a quick lesson in flower arrangingWith all this professionalism and equipment around us it would have been very difficult to make a mess of things (which was our biggest worry, well that and what to wear). According to everyone we spoke to we seemed to have pulled it off successfully – Hollywood next?

We were also asked to design an arrangement to sit on the table for the evening coverage of the show, which the Beeb wanted to contain a message about the Chelsea Flower Show.

We decided to make it in an oversized cup and saucer (Chelsea tea party) and it contained the following, anemones, ranunculus, camellia, crown imperial, and cabbages which, in the language of flowers reads: “Chelsea is full of expectation, it is rich in attractions, a centre of excellence which is visited by her Majesty and visitors profit from their experience.”

Show over, all smiles for the camera

And if being on the telly wasn’t enough, then we even got to have lunch (mains and pudding) in the BBC catering truck. We had sausage and mash followed by bread and butter pudding with custard.

Quite a day.

To celebrate the RHS Chelsea Flower Show we’re offering 7% off all products over £25 at All you have to do is enter the code ‘ifblogsummer’ at the checkout. The code is valid until July 31st 2010 and excludes overseas and delivery-included items.

Florist in Chelsea

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Su Whale

Post category: Expert Florist Blogs, Industry News, News, RHS Chelsea Flower Show  

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

victoria phelps 07 Jan 2011 at 4:23 pm

I going to enter a floral show where i live and i see you done a parasol out of flowers.How do you make them because that is what i am wanting to enter.


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