Since I founded Freddie’s Flowers eight years ago (!) The RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been an annual highlight for me. Each year feels totally different – and this year, it really struck me that the Chelsea atmosphere fills me with nostalgia for those early days of Freddie’s Flowers.
Some of our very first customers discovered Freddie’s at Chelsea, and it’s lovely to see them wander past now, to say hello and to hear all about how their regular flower deliveries have brightened their lives through the years.
I had one customer tell me that Freddie’s Flowers had ‘let her inner child run free’, allowing her long-forgotten creativity to cut loose. I felt so happy to hear this, it’s one of the main reasons for setting FF up; to give customers the opportunity to be creative, to reconnect with nature, and to enjoy flowers with childlike wonder.
Another customer told me how helpful our flowers had been throughout the covid lockdowns. I knew exactly what she meant, as I’ve always found arranging flowers to be incredibly therapeutic – the perfect break from our technology-heavy world.
I did plenty of exploring at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. You get a wonderful sense of the potential that flowers have – both in terms of their beauty, and what they mean to people. It’s remarkable how the designers manage to create such unique and meaningful gardens, with such powerful colour schemes and flower selections to match.
This year, there seems to be a definite focus on sustainability, and lots of the gardens are consciously accommodating wildlife – whether it be the wall of bird nesting boxes in the RSPCA garden, or Tom Massey’s show garden, which has been designed with the Royal Entomological Society and is tailor-made to provide a variety of habitats for insects. The planting seems to be a bit more informal and slightly less manicured, with many gardens featuring native wildflowers and, dare I say it, weeds.
So many of the gardens reflect the world we live in. I was really inspired by The Centrepoint garden with its fallen tree representing homelessness – and the regeneration of wildflowers representing hope and the potential for life to begin again.
When it comes to colour, I was particularly drawn to the sandy irises of the Nurture Landscapes garden, and the glorious wildflowers in The Centre for Mental Health’s The Balance garden, which create a lovely multicoloured meadowy feel.
And of course, I am particularly proud of our stand at Chelsea this year which highlights the magic flowers can bring to a home; we’ve recreated a beautiful Chelsea mews house, with one of our electric delivery bikes parked outside, with glorious flowers bursting out everywhere you look. For me, it really represents the thing I kept hearing from our customers who were stopping by: flowers really transform everything they touch.
If you did get a chance to visit Chelsea this year, I hope you had as much fun as I did – and got a chance to see our stand and to say hello.