Friday, July 13, 2012

Flower Bouquets at the 2012 Olympics


With the Olympics beginning in a few weeks, I'm betting you haven't realized that flowers will play a big part in the 2012 Olympics. Medal winners are historically presented with a flower bouquet upon reaching the podium. Ever wondered where those bouquets come from?

The custom of presenting to a winner goes back to Greek times, when an olive leaf wreath was the gift of choice. In Victorian times, flowers were  preferred, as every flower had a specific meaning to the Victorians. Today, the floral bouquet is chosen and designed with many details in mind.

This year, famed British florist Jane Packer's firm has been selected to design the florals.
Their choice for the medal bouquets is a beautiful creation arranged in a quadrant to mirror this year's logo. All the flowers and greenery in the bouquet are grown in Britain, and florist students will help out with the construction. Included in the mix are: a pink rose "Aqua", a yellow rose "Illios", a beautiful orange rose "Marie Claire" and finally a green rose called fittingly, "Wimbledon".
 Additionally, the bouquet will include fragrant English Lavender, Rosemary, Apple Mint and Wheat.

4400 bouquets will be presented to medalists on the podium!
Under IOC rules and protocol, there are even very specific sizes that the bouquets must adhere to.
Additionally, flowers and other materials should be pollen-free and also free of scent,
to lessen the chance of allergic reactions. They must also be able to withstand manhandling,
lack of water, and extremes of temperature.

Sadly, the cut flower trade in Britain is nearly extinct. So to achieve their aim of using only British-grown components, as one of the world's most influential florists, Jane Packer was able to partner with Landgard UK, who agreed to supply the greenhouses for use in this project, essentially re-introducing rose-growing to the South of England- a huge achievement!. Then, the actual varieties were selected and grown specifically for the Olympics bouquets, to be ready just in time for the big event-no earlier and no later. As you can imagine, all this planning happens years in advance of the actual event.

For the Vancouver winter games in 2010, the winners were presented with all-green bouquets, to signify the "Green" games. However, the spider mum, hypericum berries, Aspidistra leaves and Monkey grass  clutch bouquets did not photograph well, and to some from a distance, seemed like heads of broccoli!
The stems of the 1800 bouquets were wrapped in recycled paper.
I'm betting this year's colorful selection will be much better received.

When you settle down in front of the television in a few weeks to cheer on your favorite athletes, 
remember all the hard work that went into those winning bouquets!

Bloomers Floral Design
122 South Front St.
Wilmington, NC 28401


Sharon Thayer said...

Fun and interesting post! I confess to never giving a thought to the flowers at The Olympics.

Chandigarh said...

Wonderful , very nice flowers

flowers said...

fantastic post

Jodhpur said...

Very Interesting Post.