A behind-the-scenes look at the flower arrangements at Royal Ascot 2019
As one of the busiest florists at Royal Ascot, Lavender Green Flowers’ team of expert florists, account directors and designers are responsible for over 18 venues on the site, including the prestigious Royal Box. A team of 22 staff create over 1,000 floral designs, using at least 50,000 stems of flowers. The team work through the night on more than one occasion to ensure the flower arrangements look impeccable and stay fresh through Royal Ascot. The operation is quite a feat, but doesn’t faze the Lavender Green Flowers team who have been working with Royal Ascot for three years now.
Alice Couzens, account director, works closely with Scott Sansum and Sofia Todd, our outdoor events & contracts managers to ensure the process runs smoothly and to Ascot Racecourse’s brief.
Our florists and design team are provided with mood boards and colour schemes, including everything from napkin colours to the event’s overarching themes and brand stories. Alice then works closely with Scott to start creating designs for the flower arrangements.
“Scott knows the space really well, with that in mind, he selects flowers that are in season, will have the maximum impact and that will last for a week without wilting,” says Alice.
“Royal Ascot is a big step up from regular race days and so we need to show that through our arrangements.”
Lavender Green Flowers is also an official florist for all of Ascot Racecourse’s race days throughout the year. This includes QIPCO King George Day and Weekend in July, Italian Tourist Board Food & Wine Race Days in August and the Fireworks Spectacular Family Race Day in November – to name but a few.
Alice says: “The whole look for Royal Ascot is very high end and luxurious. We want to make the guests feel really special. The floral designs are often very intricate and completely different in each venue.”
Thought goes into every aspect of the planning, beyond just the flower selections. The florists and designers choose premium vases to complement the arrangements. Then Alice, Scott and Sofia make actual replicas of the arrangements to present at a prototype meeting.
Alice explains: “We create all the smaller arrangements, from those in retail spaces to restaurants or boxes so that our client can see, smell, feel them and we know that they’re 100% happy before we create 30-50 of each of them.”
A team of 22 florists start making the actual flower arrangements the weekend before Royal Ascot starts.
“The entire team starts on Friday and Saturday, then doesn’t stop working in shifts throughout the Sunday and Monday before Royal Ascot. We have access to the venue and boxes from 2pm on the Monday and finish at 5am on Tuesday before the doors open. Everything is made in our studio and then goes straight to Ascot, it doesn’t get fresher than that,” says Alice.
On Wednesday evening, once the race goers have left, the team go into Royal Ascot working overnight to refresh all the flower arrangements. They are onsite all week checking that everything is still of the highest quality and taking daily flower orders for the boxes – guests in the Royal Ascot boxes can order bespoke arrangements and styles.
Alice explains: “We really push the boat out for Royal Ascot. We don’t want people to see arrangements that they could have seen anywhere. We bring in quirky, unusual flowers and styles that will suit each venue’s interiors and own look or feel. Every year we have to make it look different and exciting.”
The team opted for very seasonal flowers such as marigolds, eremurus trachelium and chrysanthemums, which Alice explains: “might not be everyone’s favourite but they offer so much in choice of colour, shape and because they aren’t used as much anymore, can offer a different silhouette and feel to the designs.”
Other flower arrangements at Royal Ascot included beautiful garden roses, peonies, delphiniums, sweet peas and roses. The team selected different varieties of roses that people might not have seen before, to avoid it being “generic”, opting for two-tone leaves on some to add more interest. Every flower was chosen to work with the style and branding of each of the race event’s restaurant or hospitality space.
Lavender Green Flowers is renowned as one of London’s finest florists, with over 28 years’ experience producing flowers for the country’s top galleries, museums and historic houses. From weddings and receptions to private parties and corporate events, thoughtfully crafted arrangements and installations take inspiration from the latest trends in floristry, fashion and art.
To make an enquiry, call 020 7127 5303, email email@example.com or visit the Chelsea flower shop at 46 Fulham Road, London SW3 6HH