The Chelsea Flower Show is one of the most famous floral and landscape garden shows in the world, held annually since 1912 in Chelsea, London. Over the years, there have been several Singaporean contestants, and we had the opportunity to speak with Felicia Kang and Berlinda Tan, who received the Silver award in the floral arrangement category this year.
How did you get started with flower arrangements?
Berlinda got interested in floral arrangement when she attended an ikebana flower exhibition in Japan and enrolled in a course at Ikenobo School of Ikebana. When she returned to Singapore, she started getting into western style flower arrangement, and met their teacher today who has inspired them to compete.
Felicia found joy and a sense of achievement during a trial lesson through a floral design school and subsequently took up a professional course with the school.
How did you find out about the Chelsea Flower Show? What was the process like?
At one of the floral competitions, they were encouraged by the judges to participate at the Chelsea Flower Show. It was their first time participating in an overseas competition and venturing forward in the world of flower arrangements. They had a few trials and changes to their concept and design because not only did it have to meet the given theme, it had to be transported from Singapore to London and be assembled at site easily. They received a Silver in their category.
Differences between Japanese and Western style?
Ikebana has retained its classical concepts, they strive to harmonize the natural beauty of the plants with modern spaces where people live, work and relax. It is more minimalistic and enhances negative space in an arrangement. Western style uses many flowers as a mass in its arrangement. It requires the theory of elements and principles of design too, but we are still able to design and make an arrangement with much free will.
What kind of different arrangements are there?
There are three different styles of arrangement – oriental, classical and contemporary. Types of arrangement is based on the ambience, occasion, season, theme and budget.
What are some things to consider when picking floral arrangements, based on type of home (apartment vs. landed properties)?
When choosing a floral arrangement, consider the space where the arrangement will be placed which will then determine the size, the vase, the colour scheme and flowers used to enhance the space.
How do you adjust each arrangement to suit different occasions?
Use of ornamental materials (Eg: eggshells for Easter, dried fruits and candles for Christmas) and in season floral materials (Eg: pussy willow for Chinese New Year). Also take into account the colour scheme associated with each festive occasion (Eg: red and yellow are auspicious color for Chinese New Year).
Average costs for floral arrangements for big events?
For events (including weddings), it is subjective to the scale of the event and the floral materials chosen for the theme. A decent venue setup would cost at least $1000. It would be easier to work with a given budget.
Benefits of using floral arrangements at home?
How would you feel as you enter a house and were greeted by some flowers?
Flower changes the mood of a person. Not only does it bring smiles and happiness, it can trigger some fond memories too.
In most Japanese homes, there is a space specifically for a floral arrangement and having it truly makes a difference to the living environment.
What are some dos and don’ts of floral arrangements?
Tips to prolong the life of flowers:
Any tips for beginners in floral arrangements that they can DIY at home?
Use glass containers from jams or sauces as vases, they can be quite versatile.
Attend basic lessons to learn simple arrangements. Learning a new skill is always good and can help change your lifestyle.
For enquiry, contact Berlinda Tan at 93381624 or Felicia Kang at 98451148.