Sunday, 29 May 2011

The end of Chelsea Flower Show 2011

...And so with a hint of sadness, we left the showground of RHS Chelsea Flower Show on Saturday afternoon reflecting on what was a very successful week for all concerned.

The magnificent exhibit "A Sense of Perspective", designed by David Denyer won a RHS Chelsea Gold Medal for Interflora and this follows the Gold Medal awarded last year for my design "Progression".

Interflora are obviously very happy with the result and David D & I are always very quick to add that the whole event was very much a team performance. Behind the scenes there was so many aspects to organise; and so much of this was down to a wonderfully supportive team from Interflora Headquarters, most notably Bethany Day, David Clancy, Ben Freeborn and the whole of the Brand Management team. But it doesn't stop there because without the generous sponsorship of Landgard (flowers & foliage) and Smithers-Oasis (floral foam and accessories) the whole project may never have reached finality.

There was an overwhelmingly positive response from the visiting public at the show and the visitors book is bulging with amazing comments and remarks - some of them brought a lump to the throat, providing further proof that flowers are the ultimate emotive product.

Just one page of the book - the other 15 pages are very similar!
The other momentus occasion of the week was the arrival of my first solo book "Monograph" published by Stichting Kunstboek.

The first batch of this publication arrived just in time for sale in the RHS Book Shop at the show. The book has sold well, and I had to bring in some of my own copies to add to the stock in the shop. It was certainly a great feeling to not only see my own book for sale at this wonderful event but also to have the opportunity to sign copies for people made it feel extra special. The book is available from www.flowersflowersflowers.co.uk and is priced at £35

Monograph by David Ragg


And so, as we return to a modicum of normality, plans are now afoot for a variety of projects including up and coming workshops, demonstrations and although distant at the moment, AIFD Symposium in Miami July 2012.

A few more pictures form the show, hope you like them...

The Start of Preparation

The first flower goes in!

Doorway 1 - complete

5 down, 4 to go!

Doorway 2

The end of prep day 1

David D's TV Debut

Monday, 23 May 2011

Quick report from Chelsea Flower Show 2011 - GOLD UPDATE!

Was there any doubt??








After months of planning, David Denyer's design "Sense of Perspective" was unveiled to the floral world at this years RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
I have had great pleasure assisting David with the build of this amazing floral structure and whilst it proved incredibly labour intensive, the results are, without doubt, outstanding.

The nine doorways that form "Perspective" stand well over 7 feet tall and each one adorned with a dazzling palette of colours from Apricot, Burgandy, Purple and Lime Green. Each doorway has it's own character and yet the synergy between them is very eye catching. It seems that photographs only tell half the story, as the design changes every step you take. I overheard an RHS Judge yesterday saying "mmm... that's very clever" - let's hope the rest of the judges agree! At time of writing David D is at the Showground awaiting the arrival of the Queen and Prince Harry, fingers crossed they have time to view "Sense of Perspective"







More pics during the week and (hopefully!) news of a sparkling RHS Medal!!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Chelsea Looming...

It is literally days away from the big build up for us at RHS Chelsea Flower Show - with a few butterflies we are ready and waiting with knife in hand, waiting to pounce on all the beautiful flowers and materials being supplied by the sponsors Landgard.
It hardly seems possible that a year has passed since "Progression" and I remember clearly all the hustle and bustle of being involved at Chelsea before the gates are open; a great place to be actually, being really involved in the build up of this magnificent Floral Spectacle.
This years exhibit "A Sense of Perspective", designed for Interflora by David Denyer, is bigger, bolder and promises to be a true statement of form and design. It is oozing with architectural quality and structural prowess, the flowers will be vibrant and commanding, the theme carried through with gusto!
The 7 x 3m base will be the starting point for the 9 "doorways" that make up "Perspective". Each doorway a differing shade of grey and each adorned with a different colour palette from orange through to red, cerise, purple, blue and green. Viewers of the exhibit will get a different aspect from wherever they are standing; sometimes looking through a series of 3 or 4 doors; a side view of the entire design; or an end on view capturing the final moments of the colours as they reach the end of the pattern.
Pictures of the exhibit will be posted as we go along and I hoping to produce a short video montage of the build to show it grow and form from nothing!
If you are at the show then please find us and say "Hi" - if you can't make it to Chelsea this year keep your eyes peeled on the BBC coverage which will hopefully feature the exhibit, but will definitely feature David Denyer in a short "How To..." slot broadcast on Wednesday 25th.

For now, a little reminder of Chelsea 2010...






Friday, 6 May 2011

New Blog site on the way, new book on the way, new outlook on the way

Very soon, well not long now, this blog will be moving to a new location, a new domain and a new host. My own website www.davidraggflorist.com has been sitting idle for quite some time now; the gallery doesn't work, the news section is old and the content looking somewhat neglected. The new blog will be at www.davidragg.com and will give me a chance to update daily (or weekly at least!) the goings on in my floral world.

The first bit of news will be the exciting arrival of my new book (I say "new", there hasn't been another one, not solo anyway). "Monograph" will be published this month and fingers crossed the first consignment will arrive at the RHS Book shop at the Chelsea Flower Show - now that would be cool!

As I will be at the show for most of the week on Interflora duties it will be a great fillip to get my hands on the book at this great event.


The plans for Chelsea itself are now on full steam ahead and with David Denyer project managing the incredibly exciting Interflora exhibit "A Sense of Perspective", I feel uber-confident of great success!  
The exhibit will provide a stunning addition to the Great Pavilion at Chelsea and it's pure architectural structure will stand out amongst all the flora that surrounds it. A vibrant combination of form and colour "Perspective" (as we've come to call it) stands tall and proud, it screams modernity and yet still encompasses all that is great about top notch floral design. We can't wait to get going on it!!


 

With all the excitement of the book and Chelsea, there are a few things that have been put on the shelf for a while, but as soon as June comes it will be full steam ahead to carry on with the planning.

This includes the development of our own product range for the website, new packaging for the floral gifts, a branding refreshment and the plans to open a hands-on workshop set up in the Bournemouth branch. 

Lots to be thinking of but better to be busy than not - just as well really!


Saturday, 19 March 2011

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Mad March!

So March arrived...
... and already we're nearly half way through!

The flowers at this time of year are just beautiful; tulips, lilac, viburnum, hyacinths... a real touch of spring. I just wish we could get hold of more good quality British grown narcissus and daffodils, people will are not prepared to pay a premium for Dutch grown regardless of the stem length!

Lots of events are looming.

First we have Mother's day in 3 weeks time on April 3rd (our favourite peak period he says with tongue in cheek!), followed by Easter on April 24th - not such a busy time anymore but still a great opportunity to dress the shop windows and eat chocolate! (Speaking of which, new Chococo stock will be in soon, can't wait - must admit the couple of Christmas items that were left unsold have found their way home into our "treat cupboard"!)



Sandwiched in between these is the first of the D&D Designs Luxury Floral Design workshops at Hotel Terravina on April 13th - this will be a great morning of creativity and a fab lunch to boot.

Also on April 7th we are presenting a floral demonstration for Bournemouth & Poole College, all part of the floristry departments big competition night. Please call us for details of that one on 01202 553318.

... and then before we know it, Chelsea Flower Show will upon us and with a few sleepless nights and long days the fantastic exhibit entitled "A Sense of Perspective" will be revealed...


The Mini Version
It will look stunning! Due to it's shear size though the first time we actually see the real prop in place will be in the Great Pavilion - then just the small job of decorating it!

Finally, I have the small task of completing the pictures for my forthcoming book - due for release in the early summer (fingers crossed!). I love the way the designs have taken shape and I've had had great fun experimenting and using materials in different ways - really looking forward to sharing it with the world.

A little taster of the book!