I stood there thinking “I really can’t believe that I’m standing in the same room as Sir David Attenborough” He is a patron of Strawberry Hill House and he opened the Lost Treasures Exhibition when a lot of Horace Walpole’s art was returned to the house for an exhibition. I had been asked to make some floral displays for this most special of evenings and all that was running through my mind was “thank heavens I don’t use floral foam!” Each block of foam contains the equivalent of twelve carrier bags of plastic which doesn’t break down and in the soaking, feeds into the water table. David Attenborough is such a national hero and has highlighted the issue of how bad plastic is for our planet.
It was with this in mind that Claire Leighton who works at the house and myself came up with the seed of an idea to hold a flower festival celebrating sustainable floristry. I ran this past my good friend Janne Ford, a photographer for The Real Flower Company, reassured me that it wasn’t a totally mad idea and a little later Claire Bowen of Honeysuckle and Hilda, our very own eco warrior joined us in organising the event.
Being honest, we had no idea how it was all going to pan out but actually it went rather well! Dedicated creatives including floral designers, flower growers, someone who makes and dyes ribbons for flowers using only natural ingredients, floral artists, a calligrapher and photographers travelled from different parts of the UK and gave their time to create amazing work in each of the rooms at Strawberry Hill House. It was filled with flowers and not one piece of foam was used!
A great heartfelt thank you to each of them for creating something so special and taking part so generously. I feel that I have made some very special and very talented floral friends who value collaboration over competition and sustainable methods.