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Leeds Castle Annual Festival of Flowers

Posted on 24th September 2015 in Floristry, Events

Two of our Floristry staff have returned from a day at Leeds Castle, where they were invited to exhibit and represent Hadlow College in their Annual Festival of Flowers.  20 Designers in total showed off their beautiful designs including Laura Leong, current RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year and winner of three Chelsea Gold Medals and previous Interflora and RHS Chelsea Florist of the year Neil Whittaker.

Visitors to the event were able to: 

Experience floral decadence, harking back to the era of Art Deco, as you wander through the Castle’s beautiful 1930s state rooms.  Over 20 floral designers have drawn inspiration from the glamorous age of jazz, cocktails and high society, to create floral displays oozing with style and sophistication.

(Leeds Castle)

It was decided that our exhibit would be a glamorous “Great Gatsby” (Art Deco) design.  Using symmetry, geometric and angular shapes with the opulence of black glass, feathers and pearls.  Drawing on large champagne glasses, echoed by smaller ones.  Using a striking monochromatic colour scheme with a touch of gold lustre.

Each of the designers were allocated a set budget and pre-ordered their flowers through Leeds Castle, which were ready and waiting for them on the morning of Monday 21st September.  Designers were able to bring their own sundries.  Our design was created by Lauraine Allen, Floristry Technician and Lindsey Ward, Floristry Lecturer, who worked extremely hard from 9am until finally finishing at 6pm.

Our display, Design 19, was in the Outer Hall and included 18 stems of Phalaenopsis Orchids.  Lauraine said the biggest challenge was weighing the table cloths down due to the wind!  Staff at Leeds Castle kindly rallied round to provide bulldog clips to hang from the back of the tablecloth and metal rods to thread through the folded cloth at the front.

The Festival was officially opened by Designer and Television presenter Diarmuid Gavin at a champagne reception on the evening of Tuesday 22nd September, where Lauraine was lucky enough to get a shot for the album!   

On Thursday 24th September our Level 2 and level 3 Diploma in floristry students also enjoyed a trip to the Castle to experience the Festival and see the different techniques used.
Leeds Castle said they had received some amazing feedback and thanked our staff for helping make the festival such a success, also adding that the Hadlow College work was one of the Chief Executives favourites!

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