Bloom 2019: A Blooming Good Time

Lorraine’s white
arrangement. Pic by: Geneva Pattison

By Geneva Pattison

Bloom 2019 festival took place in the tranquil Phoenix park. Newsfour met with two floral arrangement exhibitors, Dublin 4 native Lorraine O’Brien and Brenda Joyce of the Doddervale flower club. Lorraine’s strikingly beautiful creation was awarded silver in her category. 

Q: Hi Lorraine! What was your theme when developing the floral arrangement? 

“The title was Art of Surprise, that was what we had to work with so, it’s supposed to be a piece of art” 

Q: How long did it take you to come up with the idea and move on to development? 

“About three weeks with the planning … and putting it together maybe two days at home and then four hours here”

Q: Did you have a favourite flower to work with?

“I do it’s the white double freesia, it’s my favourite. They’re very classic. There’s very few flowers that have a scent and they’re beautifully scented. They’re a very contemporary looking flower and  I do a lot of contemporary work “

Q: What’s been your favourite part of Bloom apart from exhibiting and winning the silver award?  

“The shopping! Well we’re outside and it looks like a jungle with all the plants we’re after buying but, it’s just been a great atmosphere here. Loads of people and the good weather. It’s the weather that makes Bloom great more than anything” 

Q: How do you feel about winning the silver award? 

“I mean everyone wants gold. The competition I was in, the standard was very high so, to get silver is really good”

Brenda’s Living Wall
of Colour. 

Brenda Joyce was involved in making the large center display at the heart of the flower arranging area. 

“There was seven of us involved, it was a team effort. We have five large stands and a big centerpiece. It looks like a fire-pit almost. Our title was Nature Framed and we thought we’d get everything framed with plant material surrounding it, so we’re looking in at the firepit in the centre”. 

“When we set out originally in February to do the design for the AOIFE exhibit show, we wanted to do something that was environmentally friendly and not use any floral oasis. Oasis is non-compostable and hangs around for years”. This meant the team had to get creative, as Brenda explained.

“If you look at it we have little glass test tubes, we weren’t allowed use plastic either. Each flower has its own test tube so I’d say there’s nearly 200 test tubes in the display, all individually wired on. It wasn’t a stipulation by any of the organisers, we just decided on no floral foam this year and wanted to see if we could do a large scale exhibit without that and I think we’ve succeeded. We wanted something that would last the duration of the show without much maintenance. It gets very warm in here so you want something robust. We wanted different shapes, different forms as well because we’re judged by the principles and elements of good design” 

There was a gargantuan amount of technicality, detailed assemblage and environmental consciousness in the stunning exhibit. We spoke about working with specific flowers and her personal favourite. “It has to be the gloriosa, they’re in the pit. They’re like little flames, just divine. They do their own thing and they add a bit of elegance and lightness to the design, they’re my favourite”. She explained working with orchids can be tricky.

“Orchids can be temperamental. We wanted them to flow down, to bring the eye down and to position them to give you that flow but it can be difficult. They might not flow the way you want but they’re beautiful”. 

In April, Brenda won first place at the Floral Artist of the Year awards held in Kinsale. She will represent Ireland internationally at the World Association of Floral Artists show in Jaipur, India, February 2020.