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Press Day at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is such an incredible occasion and one I feel extremely fortunate to attend. That’s where I’ve been today and this week on Flowerona, I’ll be sharing with you a selection of the floristry related exhibits and installations.

It seems very apt to start with one of the entrances to the show, London Gate, which was decorated in such a stunning way by florist Kitten from Kitten Grayson Flowers. The installation, called ‘Trees of Life’ was supported by Porters Foliage at New Covent Garden Market, Majestic Trees and Hortus Loci.

As mentioned on Kitten’s Instagram account: ‘In celebration of the Royal Wedding of Harry and Meghan, we have created a story of their two worlds coming together with a bower of trees at the show’s London Gate entrance. A splendid English oak on one side for Harry and a beautiful strong Cedar on the other side for Megan, both with woodland flowers. Growing up each side of the gate, the two trees have roses and climbing jasmine growing towards each other to meet in the middle to create a canopy. Springbok horns made from birch branches and moss represent their love for Africa – a playful reminder of the country held dear to Harry and Meghan. All the plants and trees will be replanted in an incredible biodynamic farm/hotel just outside of London called Heckfield Place.’ 

If you’re going to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week and travel there via Sloane Square tube station, make sure to take a closer look at Kitten’s beautiful installation at the London Gate entrance.

It is, without doubt, one of my Chelsea Week highlights! You’ll notice from the photos that I was particularly drawn to the purple and white planting scheme on Harry’s side, which was brimming full of alliums, irises, lupins, delphiniums, foxgloves and acanthus.

(Images : Rona Wheeldon | Flowerona)

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This coming Monday and Tuesday, I’ll be at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and I’m so looking forward to seeing all the installations, exhibits and gardens! Here are details of just some of florists who are involved in this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower ShowChelsea in Bloom and Chelsea Fringe.

THE RHS CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW

Installations

  • Grace & Thorn are decorating the Bull Ring Gate with masses of brightly coloured geranium plants from The Gardening Club.
  • Lucy, The Flower Hunter, will be celebrating the English landscape with an installation featuring planting design and floristry.
  • La Famille are creating the tunnel installation connecting Main Avenue and Ranelagh Gardens.
  • A flower frame/arch is being created by The Flower Appreciation Society for the late night event on Friday.

Exhibits in the Great Pavilion

  • Flowers from the Farm, a not-for-profit co-operative of British flower growers will be exhibiting for the first time at the show. Full details can be found in this article.
  • Floral Fundamentals’ UNITY exhibit will showcase the creative skills of Europe’s greatest floral designers in their representation of the stages of bulb production, from growth through to display.
  • A floral feast will be served up by the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS) with an imaginative flower and foliage display depicting the four seasons.
  • Marks & Spencer‘s exhibit will reflect a British Flower Festival and if inspired by the physical structures and sense of place of traditional flower and produce markets.

Competitions

Presenting 

  • Simon Lycett  and Jo Good from BBC Radio London will be having their annual walk around the showground on Tuesday 22nd May.

CHELSEA IN BLOOM

This year’s theme is ‘Summer of Love’, inspired by the Royal Wedding and the 60s/70s cultural revolution.

  • All for Love are creating the main Chelsea in Bloom installations in Sloane Square, Pavilion Road and Sloane Street. Plus they’ll be creating an installation for Dermalogica.
  • Wildabout are creating the Chelsea in Bloom installations for Kiehls, Hackett, Oliver Peoples and Boutique 1.
  • The Flower Appreciation Society are conducting a demo and talk for Monica Vinader.

CHELSEA FRINGE

  • Geraniums at the Door’ celebrates the iconic entrance of the Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell. Co-designed by award winning garden designers, Claudia de Yong and Indoor Garden Design, the installation will feature over 200 geraniums in deepest burgundy to palest pink. Added to this are traditional horticultural elements of ivy and box, interwoven with aged, vintage wood and some playful animal sculptures for an eccentric twist.
  • The British Academy of Floral Art will be creating the first ever Exeter Floral Trail. It will run from May 22nd-24th and feature 18 floral designs, created by the Academy’s tutors and students, in retail and historic venues across the city centre. A supporting Exeter Trail map will highlight the locations, which include Exeter Cathedral, White Stuff, John Lewis, Cath Kidston, Waterstones, Lloyds Kitchen, Build-a-Bear, St Nicholas Priory and Exeter University. Five independent florist shops are also joining the Exeter Floral Trail celebrations: Trugs Florist, St Leonard’s Flower Shop, Jane’s Florist, Dunstan’s Florist and Blooms Florist.

I’ll be sharing photos and videos from the show this week on Flowerona, InstagramFacebook, Twitter and Google+.

P.S. The amazing floral dress featured in this blog post was created by Larry Walsh for the M&G show garden in 2016.

(Image : Rona Wheeldon | Flowerona)

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My personal floral journey to date, plus chatting about UK florists, New Covent Garden Flower Market, British Flowers Week and the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, are all covered in my first ever podcast interview! Head over to the Team Flower website, if you’d like to have a listen.

Thank you so much to Kelly at Team Flower for inviting me to take part in her series. I very much hope you enjoy hearing my take on what’s currently happening in the floristry scene.

P.S. And a huge thank you for all your comments on today’s Instagram post! Such an interesting read with lots of viewpoints on the homegrown blooms trend.

(Image : Rona Wheeldon | Flowerona)

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Not only popular in many a garden, astrantia is such a wonderful filler flower! Simply head over to the New Covent Garden Flower Market website to read my latest report about this well-known bloom.

(Image : Rona Wheeldon | Flowerona)

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Last month, I had the pleasure of attending a wonderful Gala Dinner hosted by floral designer Karen Tran (pictured above) at The Lanesborough in London. It took place on the final evening of The 3-Day Floral Experience course and showcased the amazing flower installations created by Karen and her students, with support florist Leanne Roberts-Hewitt and her team at Wildabout.

Presented by Elizabeth Solaru of Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium and Jane Riddell of Planned for Perfection, the bloom-filled event was a beautiful kaleidoscope of pastels, whites and gold. Karen had envisioned a grand wedding breakfast fit for the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Miss Meghan Markle. And the outcome was a wonderful blend of outstanding American floral design in a quintessential English Regency style setting.

The Belgravia Room at the hotel was transformed into a floral wonderland featuring a tunnel and tablescape laden with exquisite flowers supplied by Piet Van Kampen from G Fresh. Karen used a combination of blush, peach and ivory roses, white hydrangeas, seasonal tulips in white and pinks, hyacinths, phalaenopsis and cymbidium orchids to create her signature tall cascading table arrangements. In between the tall designs were gold Baroque candelabras. And along the length of the tables were low groupings of flowers in hand-cut vases.

Feast your eyes on the stunning photos in today’s blog post captured by fine art wedding photographer Roberta Facchini.

The food and drink were served on charger plates supplied by Whitehouse Event Crockery, who also provided the china, crystal and gold flatware. The tables were dressed with linen from Over The Top Rentals and Great Hire provided the white and caramel CKC chairs. The opulent gold foil stamped menus and place cards in Wedgwood blue were by The Grosvenor Stationery Company, who also created the invitations and thank you cards.

Pictured below from left to right are Elizabeth Solaru from Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium, Karen Tran from The Floral Experience, Leanne Roberts-Hewitt from Wildabout and Jane Riddell of Planned for Perfection.

The floral tunnel that framed the entrance to The Belgravia Room stood at an impressive 12 feet tall and 14 feet wide and was a sight to behold. Decorated with thousands of roses, hydrangeas and orchids, it featured a white tulip canopy and was topped off by branches of cherry blossom.

In the centre of the room, the focal point was the impressive six foot tall cake in Wedgwood blue and peach designed by Elizabeth of Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium. Inspired by the room’s ceiling, it featured hand-painted clouds, the signature mouldings of the Baroque design of the ceiling, hand-made peach and pink sugar roses and piped scroll work. And it sat on a table completely covered with a ‘cloth’ of ivory, peach and pink roses.

Immediately below, you can see The Great Hall at The Lanesborough, where the evening began with a cocktail reception. Its grand staircase had been decorated with thousands of blooms and the scent was heavenly!

Now back to The Belgravia Room…

It was such a wonderful evening! Thank you very much to Karen, Elizabeth and Jane for inviting me. During the meal, I so enjoyed spending time chatting with Jade Beer, editor of Brides magazine, and Kelly from Wildabout, in such a spectacular floral setting. And many thanks too to Phase Eight for the loan of my incredibly beautiful Matia Beaded Cape Maxi Dress. Definitely a night to remember!

SUPPLIER CREDITS

Florist: Karen Tran
Venue: The Lanesborough
Wedding & Event Planner: Planned for Perfection
Cake: Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium
Support Florist: Wildabout 
Stationery: The Grosvenor Stationery Company
Photographer: Roberta Facchini
Videographer: Vogue Wedding Films
Hair /Make up: Diana McDonald
Entertainment: Niche Quartet
Candles: Wick & Tallow
Crockery, Cutlery & Glassware: Whitehouse Event Crockery
Magician: Richard Parsons
Chair Hire: Great Hire
Linen: Over The Top Rentals
Illustrator: Poppy Waddilove
Karen Tran’s Dress: The Wedding Club
Flower Supplier: Piet Van Kampen/G Fresh
Opera Singers: Fiona Haynes & Atinuke Koyejo
Master of Ceremonies: Lanesborough Butler

P.S. If you’d like to see some Instagram Stories from the event, both videos and photos, simply head over to the highlights on my Flowerona Instagram account.

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I’m thrilled to let you know that New Covent Garden Market has launched a competition today for British Flowers Week 2018! If you’d like to be one of the six florists to take part in this exciting collaboration, read on…

New Covent Garden Market, the team behind British Flowers Week, is holding a competition to find six floral designers to create jaw-dropping installations for British Flowers Week at The Garden Museum in London. This new collaboration will see six innovative floral designs installed in the nave of The Garden Museum (pictured below) during British Flowers Week, which is takes place from June 18th-24th.

The Garden Museum is a stunningly restored historic environment which explores and celebrates British gardens and gardening through its collection, temporary exhibitions, events and garden. Each installation will be an artistic response to the surroundings, showcasing the unique seasonal quality of British flowers, plants and foliage, and will be on display to the public throughout British Flowers Week. This week-long event is set raise awareness of the enviable array of flowers and foliage the UK is home to, as well as the phenomenal talent of the country’s floristry industry.

Helen Evans, a spokesperson for New Covent Garden Market, said: “British Flowers Week is a fantastic platform for florists to showcase their creativity, skill and passion for working with the best locally-grown flowers and foliage. The Garden Museum is the perfect new venue to celebrate this, and we can’t wait to see the installations that our talented floral designers will come up with.”

A judging panel of industry experts will select the six installations and, when in place, a winning design will be chosen by a special guest judge. The deadline for applications is midnight on May 2nd 2018. The six shortlisted florists will be announced on Friday 18th May and the final winner on Tuesday 19th June.

HOW TO ENTER

To enter, and for the full design brief, please visit the British Flowers Week website. Good luck!

(Images : 1. Floral Installation by Jennifer Pinder/Photography by Julian Winslow | 2. David Grandorge)

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I hope your week’s going well! Today’s my first day back in the office, after taking a few days off over the Easter period…hence the delay in sharing this post.

If you’re wondering what you can expect to find at New Covent Garden Market this month with regards to flowers, foliage, plants and sundries, simply head over to the Flower Market website, where you’ll be able to read my latest report.

(Image : Rona Wheeldon | Flowerona)

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I’m thrilled to let you know about a gorgeous new magazine called ‘The Flower Patch’, which has hit the shelves this month in the UK and Europe!

It features wonderful ideas for growing and arranging flowers with articles by Anna and Ellie from The Flower Appreciation Society and Rachel from Catkin Flowers. Plus there are pieces by Sarah Raven and Michael Marriott from David Austin Roses.

And this first edition includes a five page article by yours truly, all about recording your flower journey using Instagram with lots of hints and tips about photographing flowers.  In the article, I showcase the beautiful Instagram accounts of florists and flower growers Jo Flowers, The Blue Carrot, Floret, Green & Gorgeous, The Flower Hunter and The Garden Gate Flower Company.

Furthermore, there’s a lovely interview with Grace from Young Blooms. And other businesses featured in the magazine include The Real Cut Flower Garden, Philippa Craddock, Scarlet & Violet, Ariella Chezar, Grace Alexander Flowers, Common Farm Flowers, Petalon, Jennifer Pinder, Tallulah Rose Flower School, and Pipley Flowers.

In the UK, you can find the magazine in WHSmith, Waitrose, Tesco and selected newsagents, or you can order it online. Next month, it will be available in the USA exclusively at Barnes & Noble. Then in June, it’ll be available in Australia. Here’s a little taster, if you’d like a peek inside!

P.S. You can also find The Flower Patch on Instagram.

(Image : The Flower Patch)

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Native to Australia, waxflower with its beautiful citrus scent is such a wonderful long-lasting filler flower! Simply head over to the New Covent Garden Flower Market website to read my latest report about this popular bloom.

(Image : Rona Wheeldon | Flowerona)

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Helichrysum, also known as strawflower or everlasting flower are back in fashion! What goes around, comes around…and that’s certainly the case with this particular dried flower variety as more and more florists are starting to showcase them in beautiful designs.

Grace & Thorn recently added a new dried flower range called ‘Some Things Do Last Forever’ to their ‘Ready to Wear’ wedding collection, which features Helichrysum. The range includes a bridal bouquet, long and low arrangement, and floral crown, plus buttonholes, wrist corsages and jars.

Helichrysum featured in Gee from Bloom and Burn’s special Valentine’s Day bouquet called ‘Everlasting Love’. Emily from Fleuropean included them recently in one of her stunning arrangements. And Bex from Botanical Tales used them in this beautiful wreath.

So, perhaps, if you’re not already, you may like to also consider adding them to your repertoire?

P.S. I bought the ivory strawflowers which feature in the blog post from Porters Foliage at New Covent Garden Flower Market. But there are many more different colours available…

(Images : Rona Wheeldon | Flowerona)

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