After a super busy August wedding season, I have finally grabbed five minutes to share some more of my experiences from this year’s (2019) Tatton Park RHS flower show with you.
I visited for one day over the five-day event, it’s just a shame that it was also the wettest. When I say it rained, this was a proper heavy downpour. I was absolutely not prepared for that, and dressed totally incorrectly! I spent all of the day in soggy wet shoes!
Fortunately, the rain did not stop the crowds of people flocking through the gates.
I took part in two of the many floral demonstrations that were being held that day. My sessions were focussed on creating inspirational floral designs without the use of floral foam. This is a current and controversial topic within the floristry world. Floral foam is yet another product that contains plastics and substances which do not biodegrade. As I have mentioned before, improved biodegradable foam is on the market, but it will only break down properly in perfect landfill conditions, which a majority of foam will probably never meet.
But of course, foam is incredibly good at what it does. Reliable, practical, and commercially affordable. It is not an easy step for many florists, including myself, to just give the foam up. There are so many different factors to consider when working foam free. We also need the knowledge and confidence to create something that our customers will want, whether that is for weddings, corporate, or funeral work.
Now back to the show. It was suggested that I should demonstrate something where I had expertise. At the time, I had very little experience of working foam free, but I knew I would be able to come up with some good alternatives. I didn’t just want to use chicken wire either!
I only created two out of the six designs with chicken wire. For the rest, I sought out other alternatives, using my new found techniques to create different styles of design.
The Bamboo method was great! You can purchase this on a roll, where all the bamboo is joined together. This proved an easy and effective way of keeping the flowers in their place, with little additional effort.
I discovered another good mechanic, sticks which can also be purchased on a roll. I used them to create a grid for one of the designs, layering two square pieces on top of one another, then by removing the odd stick, I created holes for the flower stems to rest in.
I also used the roll of sticks to create this purpose-built container.
Hopefully my audience enjoyed my ideas as much as I did in sharing them. There are always different ideas to explore when it comes to flower arranging, I am excited to find many more methods!