Monday, January 24, 2011

Paradise in Plasticine

At the 2009 RHS Chelsea (England) Flower show, exhibiter James May created a stir when he constructed an entire garden out of Plasticene! Though this stalwart garden show is known for showcasing unusual exhibits, this particular one got more than a few noses out of joint, not least because there were no real flowers included at all-a clear violation of the rules!

Plasticine, a clay-like material, is available in 24 different colors, and designer May took full advantage of that fact by including them all in his fantasy garden, using 2.5 tons of it! Flowers, vegetables, garden ornaments, paths, artificial water-nothing was missing!
The garden was created with the help of hundreds of volunteers, including children and professional artists from the Aardman Animation Studios,
where the characters Wallace and Grommit were created (out of Plasticine, of course!).

Look closely at the photo above- and remember that nothing here is "real"!
Mr. May, while defending his creation, did acknowledge that he put the judges in a bind, as the rules of exhibiting clearly state that only natural materials be used.
But they in turn recognized the amount of work and creativity involved,
and awarded him a 'gold' medal, which was also made out of Plasticine!

Children clearly loved the whimsy and fun in this garden, and weren't bothered at all by the tiny sleeping gnome, another rule breaker that the judges overlooked.

Bloomers Floral Design

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fantasy Floral Parasols

The world-renowned Chelsea Flower Show, held yearly in England, is a spectacular sight to behold. But beyond the flower exhibits themselves, many competitions are held, showcasing the design talents of different groups.

One fun exhibit in the 2010 show was the Fantasy Floral Parasol Competition, where exhibitors were challenged to construct an "umbrella" of floral components and other materials. Exhibitors were not allowed to use any part of an actual umbrella, however. So the construction of this piece itself would be a challenge, along with adding the floral elements to accentuate and tell a story.
Not only must the parasol be beautiful, but it must also function properly, being well balanced, and not too heavy-not an easy challenge when dealing with so many different components!
The parasol above highlights calla lilies and orchids.

Though the exhibitors were given their instructions months ahead of time, the actual construction could not be done until showtime...due to the fragility of the floral materials. Some parasols took over 60 hours to construct!

One of my very favorites is this beauty, constructed mainly of Lambs Ear, accented with only a few beautiful blooms and beads. It won the Young Chelsea Florist of the Year award. This exhibition is sponsored by the Royal Horticultural Society, a group very instrumental in promoting interest in the art of floristry among a younger generation.

At Bloomers, we LOVE creating novel designs, just for you!