Flower Lifestyle

Sharing Yan’s passion for flowers

LaChaume painter July 8, 2012

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
 

Beijing’s Flower Market August 4, 2010

I have been in Beijing, my hom town, during July and have managed to visit a flower market.


In Beijing or other Chinese cities, you won’t see many florist’s shop. There are several big markets gathering dozens of flower shops, for trade or for retail.


I wanted to see the possibility for a Western florist to open a shop in Beijing. I’m still quite persuaded it will work, for two reasons.

On one hand, there is a need in China. I have seen several people with a bouquet in the street or even in restaurants — Chinese people do think of flowers when they have to make a gift.

On the other hand, the current offer in the market is not very satisfying. Most of Chinese florists have no professional traning and don’t have very accurate taste in line with international trends. They creations, though sometimes reflect the Chinese floral art style, are not original because everyone is doing the same thing.

With the Chinese people’s love for luxury and Western lifestyle, I’m sure that a luxury florist store like Lachaume of Paris can be a successful concept in Beijing. Maybe first among foreigners living there and fashionable Chineses, and then it would be possible to educate the Chinese and make the market bigger and bigger.


Here are some photos I’ve taken in the flower market I visited.

 

Blue roses and purple carnations : ethics in the Floral Industry March 5, 2010

I have just come upon the 2010 spring-summer advertising compaign of the Spanish brand Loewe, with Daria Werbowy. The top model posed in front of a wall covered with creeper and…BLUE Orchids! I have to admit that the blue orchids made me quite uncomfortable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Courtesy Loewe

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone who has a little knowledge about flowers knows that this variety of Orchid, Phalaenopsis, exists only in white, rose, mauve, and rarely yellow colors. Although the flowers utilized in the shooting were artificial, it could mislead consumers. Furthermore, it is not only a question of aesthetics, but can be ethics.

  

We are talking more and more about ethics in the floral industry : environment, sustainable development, energy, fair trade, etc. Today I am treating another problem: Transgenesis.

  

Let’s see the introduction of a laboratory, Florigene:” Florigene uses genetic modification technology to bridge genetic gaps and rapidly deliver valuable improvements to flower species. The improvements to flowers – whether in shape, colour, vase life, disease resistance or other characteristics – have historically been achieved by cross-breeding of existing varieties. Florigene Moon carnations are an exquisite range of unique carnation varieties.” The company’s famous Moon carnations is a collection of carnations whose color varies from light lavanda to dark purple, which don’t exist in the nature. And the copany is working for, apparently, creating blue roses – not tinted blue roses that we can find at the Saint Valentine’s Day (how horrible!), but really “natural” blue roses.

Florigene Moonlite Standard Carnation

Courtesy Florigene

I am not judging the commercial action of Florigene. Anyway, I am not against improving flowers’ vase life and disease resistance by using modern biological and genetic technologies. And new varieties and cultivars of plants have always been created, by crossing other varieties. However, I am always getting shocked by seeing artificial-colored flowers.

 

As for all others ethics subjects, each person may have his own opinion. Personally, I will never use blue roses or purple carnations in my floral arrangements.

 

Orchids January 11, 2010

Orchids are very popular at this time in Europe. In stead of offering a bouquet of flowers, more and more people choose Orchid plants which last a longer time and decorate interiors.

  

The Orchid most used as plant is Phalaenopsis, but other species of Orchids are also used as cut flowers or plants. Here are some of them:

 – Cymbidium

  

 

– Medinilla Magnifica

  

– Oncidium

Paphiopedilum USA 1 flower

– Paphiopedilum

  

– Phalaenopsis

 

– Vanda