Floral Art at The Southport Flower Show

Bringing Your Furniture to Life at the Southport Flower Show 2019

‘Bringing Your Furniture to Life’ in the Floral Art Marquee at last year’s Southport Flower Show was designed by Angela Coulton of Petal & Twig. 

Installation of British-grown flowers by Petal & twig

Petal & Twig is a floral design company from Tartleton, Lancashire, that does amazing things with seasonal British flowers, many of which they’ve grown themselves.

A flower arrangement did its best to climb a skeleton style floor lamp. Succulents sprawled along a left-handed Chaise Longue. Test tubes of flowers made their way up a sheer curtain at the rear.

Hedge of British-grown flowers by Angela Coulton of Petal & Twig

But the part I absolutely loved was the upright, knee to thigh high hedge of cut flowers running around two sides of the display in a beautiful, artful tangle.

British-grown flowers used to make a hedge at a flower show

Flowers that travel for hundred or thousands of miles dry packed in boxes before they even get to the florists’ shops have to be sturdy. In contrast, British-grown flowers often retain more of the natural softness and wildness of a garden.

Angela had chosen a lively colour palette: mainly shades of yellow, apricot, peach and orange with rich purple-black scabious and Dahlia.

Flowers used included:
Alstroemeria
Amni majus
Antirrhinum
Crocosmia
Dahlia
Eucomis
Foeniculum vulgare
Helianthus
Nicotiana
Nigella seed heads
Rudbeckia
Scabiosa
Sedum
Zinnia
Succulents, berries and foliage

Regular readers may be thinking of The Giant Houseplant Takeover at this point, which is what reminded me to share this gallery of pictures. We ought to acknowledge that Southport got in there first!

Chaise Longue covered with succulents and flowers

To create the installation, Angela worked alongside Plumbs, a family owned, re-upholstery specialist based in Ashton-on-Ribble, Lancashire. Plumbs’ owners share a love of gardening and the display featured not just their upholstered furniture, but also flowers from their garden.

Hedge of cut flowers by Petal & Twig

The eye danced along the hedge, picking out each new floral treasure against a changing backdrop of other flowers and foliage with an eagerness that a static camera shot can barely convey. Looking back, I wonder if I could have given a clearer impression if I had laid down and taken pictures of the ‘hedge’ sideways on. That is generally not encouraged at a flower show. It was certainly very tempting to find a way in so I could examine those test tubes and succulents more closely.

As you see, I behaved myself and stayed upright, and on the outside.

14 Replies to “Floral Art at The Southport Flower Show”

  1. Fabulous displays and great photos, if I had to pick a favourite it would be the second one closely followed by the last one. I’ve never been to any big flower shows but these photos are really tempting me for this year 🙂

    1. There is so much to see – truly something for everyone. I like the tangle one best (the 4th). It might not qualify as a good shot of an arrangement, but it comes the nearest to conveying how I felt.

  2. I think you did exceptionally well with this series of photos. I would have found it very hard to get the composition right. Sometimes it’s hard to get all the flowers appearing in a balanced composition with just one bush of the same flower 🙂

    1. The amazing thing is that these were all cut flowers, even though it looks like a garden. There was always something flower bombing the shot, creating a foreground blur, unless you looked for an angle where there was nothing directly in front of the lens, which makes it appear gappy, which it was not. It was airy, which is a different thing.

  3. I can only gasp. The world outside my window is so bleak that these colors are like something from another planet. Soooo beautiful! I am especially astounded by that dark scabiosa. And I love the use of the dill. The photos are wonderful, and so is a name like Ashton-on-Ribble.

  4. In a strange, beautiful way, those arrangements have a post-apocalyptic look. It looks as though the people are long gone, and the flowers have taken over. On a more practical note, I, too, like the name Ashton-on-Ribble. How I would love to live in a place with that name.

    1. I’d feel a whole lot better about a post-apocalyptic world if could be sure it would look like this. Ashton-on-Ribble translates to ash tree town along the river Ribble.

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