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Chelsea goes underwater as the streets are decked in blooms

Extending the magic of Chelsea Flower Show out onto the streets of London, Chelsea in Bloom is an annual festival that transforms the whole local area with fresh flower installations, created by many of the country’s best florists.

Over 80 shops, restaurants and hotels have been given the floral treatment, with many of these displays every inch as impressive as those behind the famous show gates. Huge congratulations are owed to the many, many florists and designers involved in bringing this large-scale project to life.

Produced by Cadogan in association with the RHS, this annual outdoor exhibition and competition has grown each year, with many leading brands – Chelsea’s retailers, restaurants and hotels – adorning themselves with creative designs to compete for the awards.

Watch our video to see London's entire Chelsea district come to life.

 

Under the sea

This year’s theme is ‘Under the Sea’, in partnership with Plastic Oceans UK, a charity whose aim is to stop plastic pollution reaching the oceans within a generation. The underwater world provides inspiration for the floral designs while reminding thousands of visitors of the need to conserve and protect the world’s oceans. Topical designs could be seen, including the 'Innovation' prize winner which displayed litter encased in glass and topped with a layer of blooms.

 

Winning designs

Displays were judged by an expert panel and the winners will be announced later this week. Many congratulations go to this year's winners, Hackett with Wildabout / Harlequin Design, Kiki McDonough with Phillip Corps Flowers / Maggie Coker Visual Styling, Smythson and Marshall Wace with Amanda Willgrave, Flirty Flowers. See the winning designs below and stay tuned for the People’s Champion Award chosen by the public, you can view an online gallery of all entrants to place your vote. The winner will be announced on Friday 24 May.

 

Best Floral Display
Hackett, created by Wildabout / Harlequin Design

"Hackett’s display this year is following the inspiration of twenty thousand leagues under the sea, with the Hackett window featuring a full giant octopus with large tentacles sprawling through the sea windows inside and outside of the building, featuring a yellow submarine and deep-sea divers. Alongside fish, starfish and all other deep-sea creatures and plants, visitors will also have the opportunity to have their picture taken amongst the scheme and become part of the scene themselves, wrapped in the tentacle of the octopus."

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Best

 

Highly Commended
Kiki McDonough created by Phillip Corps Flowers / Maggie Coker Visual Styling

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Highly Commended
Smythson created by Flirty Flowers

"Smythson’s Chelsea in Bloom installation “Under The Sea” is based on the botanical drawings of Ernst Heinrich Philipp who was a German zoologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor, marine biologist and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms, and coined many terms in biology. The exterior display is large, 10ft pieces of coral in an ombre design made from Carnations. They are surrounded by smaller displays of Sea Anemones made from Carnations, succulents and Tillandsia (air plants) and complimented by planting that echoes an underwater eco system. Smythson’s windows have been invaded by large prawns, fish and Fruit de Mer! After the event, they will be donating their plants to Thrive, a charity in Battersea Park."

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Innovation Award
Marshall Wace created by Amanda Willgrave, Flirty Flowers

"The Marshall Wace Installation for this year’s Chelsea In Bloom is a collaboration with ‘Surfers Against Sewage’. They are highlighting the damage single use plastic and other waste materials are doing to our oceans and marine wildlife. The installation includes rubbish collected from “The Big Beach Clean”; an annual event organised by ‘Surfers Against Sewage’. The sea has been made with fresh hydrangeas, Gypsophila and Limonium sinuatum."

Innovation

 

Florists at All for Love London created the large immersive installations in Sloane Square at the heart of the area, featuring larger-than-life sculpted floral dolphins, turtles and jellyfish.

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Flowers still alive at the end of the event will be recycled into new bouquets and taken to deserving new homes by the Floral Angels charity.

Below are just a few top picks, visit chelseainbloom.co.uk to see every entrant. 

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Club Monaco
Florist: Linda Cottee Flowers

"Club Monaco’s Chelsea in Bloom entry is a hybrid, mixed-media installation combining sculpture, painting and floristry. Fabric covered rock formations in warm pinks, coral and light sand will be used inside and outside of the windows. Large commissioned paintings sit in each of the windows providing the backdrop; an abstract oceanic landscape of pinkish hues. Clusters of freshly cut florals and plants create coral-like arrangements across the seabed rockery."

    

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Jigsaw
Florist: Grace & Thorn

"A celebration of naturally dried flowers and materials, Grace & Thorn embraced a completely plastic-free brief this year for Jigsaw. Clinging to the side of the window, a starfish constructed out of a beautiful mixture of dried flowers, seeds, grasses and palms showcased their natural colours and textures. A bloom of air plant and pink sea urchin shell jellyfish created the perfect window backdrops, and a sea bed ‘garden’ made of plants and ceramic pots, means that nothing will be thrown away and can be reused and recycled."

 

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Polpo
Florist: Hayford & Rhodes

"Polpo have installed their signature octopus made with thousands of brightly coloured flowers, decorating their Duke of York Square terrace. Created by award winning florist Hayford & Rhodes, the sculpture includes orange sedum, celosia, succulents and sea urchin shells, while textures and subtle colour changes will lend themselves to shading and highlights."

 

Keep scrolling for more photos and visit chelseainbloom.co.uk to see the full list of entrants and florists. 

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TOM-BROWN

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