An exciting opportunity has "evolved"... yep cheesy I know but its how it goes here at Evolve Flowers HQ. John & Hugh from John Cullen Gardens based in Algakirk, Boston - which is just down the road from the Evolve Flower Studio and Wholesale packing shed at Pinchbeck are a talented duo of garden designers - they came to one of our sustainable events back in January and caught sight of one of my tree installations .. they decided it was just what they needed for their RHS Chelsea exhibit and would I be interested in a collaboration?
Would I be interested ?? Now lets think about this carefully...
My relationship with RHS Chelsea flower show spans decades as it probably does for many a florist or garden designer. Wandering the Pavilion and gardens ogling at gorgeous flowers and plants and wistfully smelling the flowers. When the Chrysanthemum stand is reached it reminds me of summers spent at my grandmothers, wondering as any child would as to why the gentleman gardener who rented part of the garden to grow flowers was covering the blooms and pegging on paper bags! Now I know it was because he was preparing for the 'show bench' and protecting the blooms from earwigs and weather.
Years later I prepared many British grown flowers to be sent up to Chelsea for the Waitrose and NFU collaborative exhibits. Frantically we would gather the best of the bunch to be driven to London by one volunteer grower. Only the best would do - standards are high, that we know.
One year (2013) I progressed to 'on site' volunteer as well as 'back at base gatherer of flowers' Off to London I went - ready to experience 'behind the scenes'
The stand design was a map of the UK with incorporated displays of vegetables and flowers...fellow Society of Floristry qualified florists were there skillfully arranging the displays brilliantly designed by Penny Riley. My job was to polish the cucumbers and lay them out.....then I progressed to tomatoes and other vegetables, cleaning and grouping sizes in some kind of OCD quality controlled fashion! It was an experience for sure. As I worked for a flower supplier of British grown produce to Waitrose I also got to 'man' the stand for a session when the show was open - answering questions and educating visitors about the abundance of British grown flowers that Waitrose sold. £9.6million per year actually - I know so as I was the account manager responsible for making sure we delivered on time! I also offered a sympathetic ear when the visitors decided to have a go about the price dairy farmers were paid... it's never a bed of roses is it! So that was 2013 and here's a fabulous flashback video to the beautiful stand display.
I have visited RHS Chelsea many times and assisted on a large scale exhibit but I have never exhibited there as a floral designer. In 2019 Evolve created a huge exhibit for RHS Chatsworth, The Immersive spiral meadow for Floral Immersion complete with a real live flower fairy. It was a beautiful creation. Maybe we are ready for Chelsea. Maybe.
Back to John's vision for a haunted tree to be created in his Wizard of Oz inspired garden featuring a Yellow Brick Road of sunny yellow Achillea from the National collection which is he maintains at the nursery at Eagle Lodge Algarkirk. Near Boston. We have been thinking about this tree since January... construction challenges, elements to include and which flowers to use. Follow our journey on the next Chapter along the Yellow Brick Road !
2023 for Evolve is about collaboration and sustainably - Trees seem to be the best way to join these two themes together - branching out and remembering your roots, standing strong!
Ok Lets Do It
We are going to exhibit at RHS Chelsea !!