Did you make it to Chicheley Hall this weekend for the floral spectacular? The brainchild of Flower Market tenant, Judith Blacklock, 'Flowers at Chicheley Hall’ was the first time such an event had been staged in the UK by Fleur Creatif, the Belgian company behind the floral happenings at Aldo Beisen and in Bruges.
For three days, this quintessentially English stately home, seat of the Royal Society, became a haven for floral art.
Stunning installations adorned the entrance hall, the library, the stairwells, and the many reception rooms upstairs, each one a unique and personal interpretation of the space. One of my personal favourites was the incredible design by Sue Philips of Fusion Flowers and Mark Pampling, a whirling, swirling vision in white.
The facade was decorated by Robert Koene, the stable pillars by Claire Cowling. There were floral designs floating on the lake, in the woods and dressing the colossal cedar trees, whilst dozens of designs in white and green decorated the ancient church in the grounds.
The list of international designers at the event read like the Who’s Who of floral art : Stef Adrianssens, Robert Koene, Damien Koh, David Ragg, Miranda ter Vorde, Mark Pampling, Rob Plattel, Jan Deridder Sergey Malyuchenko, Moniek van den Berghe and Neil Whittaker.
It was almost as though a floral design magazine had come to life, with part of the day's entertainment being 'Designer Spotting', for when they were not busy demonstrating or giving workshops, the designers could be spotted enjoying the venue, mingling with the crowd, and appreciating their peers' work.
As each demonstration ended, yet more designs were put on show around the grounds for visitors to gaze at in admiration.
Speaking to Lieven of Fleur Creatif, 'Flowers at Chicheley Hall' was even more ambitious in scope than the company's events in Belgium, and they will naturally be totting up the figures before deciding whether to stage another such event next year.
In the meantime, many congratulations are due to Judith Blacklock for launching 'Flowers at Chicheley Hall', and we should all keep our fingers crossed for next year – especially those who missed it last weekend.
Incidentally, congratulations must also go to a good friend of the Flower Market, Tina Parkes and the team from The Academy of Floral Art, who won the Tree competition, and were clearly thrilled to receive their prize from one of the great heroes in the world of floral design – Gregor Lersch!
And, finally, a personal thank you to florist and college tutor, Sandra Green, for my VIP tour of the indoor installations. Sandra was Chief Supremo of the army of volunteers. Bravo!
Did you attend Flowers at Chicheley Hall? If so let us know what you thought below.