A fusion of flowers

Wednesday 19 November 2008, 6:45AM
By Auckland Flower Show


Professional florists designing for the Auckland Flower Show admit to a few late nights and dramatic dreams before their ideas came to life. The florists were charged with designing to the theme of 'fusion flowers', and it seems many visualised their creations at night, either asleep or awake, as the case may be.

Cambridge florist Dellene Hunt dreamed of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, and the idea of chocolate fusing into flowers was born. A few sleepless nights later, wondering exactly how the creation would take form, Dellene says she is satisfied with the results. Long liquid-like strands of kelp represent the chocolate, which flows along a 'conveyor' to become a delectable ball of floral colour using lilies, anthuriums, carnations and orchids. "You have sleepless nights designing it in your head, but it's not something you can practise until the time comes to put it together. I don't really know what it's going to look like until it's finished."

Pukekohe floral designer Carol Laloli has been burning the midnight oil on a cultural representation of fusion flowers. Over the past few weeks, many metres of blue hemp have been laboriously covered in a patchwork of fabrics to create an oceanic base for her display. With New Zealand as a centrepiece, the floral accompaniments are designed in the shape of the koru and celebrate cultural diversity – roses for English migration, proteas for South Africa, and orchids for Asian cultures. Carol won the Supreme Award for her 'Remembrance' creation at the 2006 Ellerslie Flower Show. "That's part of the reason I wanted to convey meaning in my design for this year's show. To watch people being moved by the remembrance display was just fantastic."

Floristry students from the Academy New Zealand's North Shore and Otahuhu campuses have also adopted a cultural approach to the fusion theme. The display fuses the work of eight students, and includes leis for Pasifika nations, and chopsticks within an Asian-flavoured bouquet.

Lisa Germon, owner of Scent stores in Papakura, Pukekohe, Waiheke, and Devonport, represents fusion in a luxurious bathtub. Among bouquets of peonies, carnations, and roses are chocolates and bath bombs in what must be the ultimate bubble bath for women.

The North Shore is represented within the professional florists' design hall with creations by Milford florists Sue McFadzean and Andrea Faulkner of Colleen Murphy Floriste, and Judi Ball-Guymer and Julie Williams of Starz Floral Stylists Studio in Glenfield.

The professional florists' design hall also features a large 8m x 4m display created by acclaimed designers Mark Pampling, from Australia, and New Zealander Iain Stephens.

The focus is firmly back on flowers at this year's Flower Show, with all floral displays able to be viewed in the comfort of air-conditioned function rooms with carpeted floors.

As well as the professional florists' hall, a second hall has been filled with displays by leading floral clubs and societies. Exhibiting their ideas under the theme 'Dances with Flowers', the designers will try to out-do each other to win coveted awards. The Floral Art Society of New Zealand (Auckland Branch) Designer of the Year competition will be held in conjunction with the Flower Show.

Completing the displays in the Floral Art Hall is a 14m wide presentation by renowned plant breeder Dr Keith Hammett, highlighting new varieties of sweet peas.

The Auckland Flower Show takes place at Alexandra Park from 20-23 November.

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For more information on the Auckland Flower Show, please contact Leanne Gibson 021 610 071.