It's a hard job, but someone had to do it. London florist Jane Packer got the assignment: finding, designing and producing 4,400 Victory Bouquets to be presented to the winning Olympic athletes, along with their medal.
She had a difficult remit: all of the flowers had to be grown in the UK, the packaging had to be completely recyclable, they had to be produced by local people, and all of the plants have to be reused. It's a miracle that she took it on!
The lovely, and very English bouquet, consists of four different types of roses sectioned into quadrants to mirror the 2012 logo. The roses being used are Illios (yellow), Marie Claire (orange), Wimbledon (green) and Aqua (pink).
The quadrants are then separated by English lavender, rosemary, apple mint and wheat which also provide a lovely fragrance.
It's a fascinating tale, and one which follows the sustainability trail from start to finish.
All the flowers had to be home grown but as the florist explains:
Sadly, the floriculture industry in the UK has suffered over recent years with more and more production moving abroad. The timing of the games meant that the small number of growers that have survived, were growing varieties that would be out of season during the games. It became clear to us that the flowers we chose would have to be varieties that could be grown specifically for this occasion.
- In transporting them from the nurseries to the colleges where the bouquets were to be assembled they used minimal water and reusable plastic buckets.
- Local businesses and local college students were used to put the bouquets together.
- Everything was grown in existing greenhouses in only three locations.
- All of the rose bushes will be offered for sale to the public as soon as the London 2012 games have ended.
- All the bouquets will be delivered from the field to the athlete within three days--hence avoiding the need for nasty cold storage facilities.