Flower Lifestyle

Sharing Yan’s passion for flowers

Chelsea Flower Show: Gardens October 21, 2012

Gardens are an essential part at Chelsea Flower Show: everybody knows the passion of British people for gardening ! 

Compared to Designers’ gardens, I prefered themed Artisan Gardens which were less “professional” but more lively. 

ARTISAN GARDENS: 

DESIGNER GARDENS

 

Chelsea Flower Show : Floral Designs July 8, 2012

The Floral design is not the most important part of Chelsea Flower Show. I didn’t expect much thus really had some surprises. There are 2 major displays for Floral arrangements: one in the Floral Design Marquee, the other in the Great Pavillion. 

Among all the arrangements, my favorite was Stephen McDonnell’s “Firework”. I’m not a fan of contemporary Floral Art using Sculpture technic and artificial materials than just fresh flowers, but this arrangement really impressed me by its beautiful curves, dynamic colors and the valorization of the flowers. 

Other arrangements of some interest: 

 

 

LaChaume painter

One of these rare sunny days of Summer 2012 in Paris, very surprisingly I ran into a painter in front of Florist Lachaume’s window. My first reaction was: how she dares! Knowing that Lachaume is the only florist in Paris (as far as I know) who announces at its entry “No photo, no visit”. Therefore, I have never entered this emblematic Parisian florist store. 

That’s why I couldn’t prevent myself wondering if this is a PR event, and if so, on whose initiative ? Because apparently the painter is quite good at marketing too: look at the logo on her box and her stool, the way she is dressed (hat, apron, long skirt) and her old-style palette ! 

PR or spontaneous action, it was a pleasant scene, a magic moment, just like the slogan of Lachaume “Le Magicien de l’Ephémère” : The Magician of fleeting (beauty). 

 

Chelsea Flower Show: Nurseries June 3, 2012

The Great Pavilion is the centerpiece of the show where features all nurseries, flower growers, plant societies and florists.

Actually each nursery is specialized in a specific kind or family of flowers. In a very limited space (most stands are around 4-5 m2, the display or the merchandising is very important to valorize the flowers. I saw some nurseries with the same speciality, orchids for example, but their stands looked so different: some were more attractive than the others. 

Of course the display varies also according to different types of flowers. Most long-stemmed cut flowers are displayed in a regular shape as a floral arrangement sticked in floral foam. My favorites are herbaceous “wild” style flowers that are often displayed as in the nature or in a cottage garden: meaning a voluntarily neglected style but carefully arranged in reality. 

Here is the ranking of my favorite stands: 

  • Gold Medal : Culm View Nursery, Herbaceous Perennial specialist 

  •  Silver Medal: D’Arcy & Everest, Specialist Alpine Nursery & Gardens 

 
  • Bronze Medal: (after hesitating for long) goes to Jacques Amand International, Bulbous Plants Specialist 

 
Of course many other nurseries are of special interest. Here are more pictures. 
The Tokonoma by Binny Plants, Peonies Specialist
 
 Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants
Harveys Garden Plants, shade and woodland plants, hardy herbaceous plants
McBean’s Orchids
Thorncroft Clematis, early summer flowering clematis
David Austin Roses, bridal bouquet collection
Peter Beales, classic roses
National Chrysanthemum Society
Waitrose & NFU, Fruit, flowers, vegetables & plants
Waitrose & NFU, Fruit, flowers, vegetables & plants
Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, orchids
 

Chelsea Flower Show 2012 June 2, 2012

Courtesy RHS Lindley Library

For the first time since I heard about it, I managed to attend the famous Chelsea Flower Show held in London every year in May. 

The Chelsea Flower Show, launched in 1913 (100 anniversary next year!) has a very  long history. It has always contained both nursery exhibits and model gardens from the beginning. 

It is also the flower show most associated with the Royal family, who attend the opening day every year. This year several features including exhibitions of photographs and a themed floristry competitions and a floral arrangement display were held to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee. 

The Show mascot of this year is the Iris unguicularis “Mary Barnard” from RHS (The Royal Horticultural Society) Lindley Library. 

I was quite impressed by the passion of British people for flowers and garden. It was a very nice experience that I’m going to share in following posts through different categories. Like the show awards for best stands with gold/silver/bronze medals, I have an idea of my personal rankings.

 

 

Peony at Parc Floral Paris April 30, 2012

牡丹 (Mu Dan) &  芍药 (Shao Yao) 

Peony is one of my favorite flowers. In Chinese, the two types of peonies have completely different names, but they belong to the same family: Paeoniaceae. 

In English, their name reflects more obviously the difference : Tree Peony and Herbaceous (bush) Peony. Tree peony flowers are supported by woody branches and lose their leaves in winter while leaving woody stems; bush peonies have non-woody, green stems, they die back in winter and regrow in spring. Tree peonies have bigger flowers and they bloom 15-30 days earlier then herbaceous peonies. 

Tree Peony, 牡丹 (mǔdān), is the national flower of China, it is also known as “flower of riches and honour”. In Chinese culture, Tree Peony is also called “King of Flowers” while Herbaceous Peony is called the “Prime Minister of Flowers”. 

Thanks to a Japanese donation, Parc Floral of Paris hosts a large collection of Peonies. End April, begging May is the season of Tree Peonies, while some of Herbaceous Peonies are not yet in bloom.

 

 

The language of flowers April 2, 2012

France La Poste released a series of stamps with the languages of flowers.  

Although today nobody offers flowers according to their language (except for some most symbolic ones such as Rose, chrysanthemum, Lily of the Valley, etc.), and I am the first to buy flowers just for their natural beauty, I  also believe that a flower and the gesture of offering a flower would become more meaningful if we try to compose a message with them. 

Arum Lily: Ardour

Tulip: Love

Rose: Passion

Violet: Modesty

Pansy: Affection

Lily of the Valley: Happiness

Iris: Tenderness

Dahlia: Admiration 

Poppy: Delight

Peony: Generosity

Daisy: Attraction

Carnation: Loyalty