Very British Bouquets

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What a day for Team GB’s athletes! 2 golds and now 11th in the medals table. Hopefully this is just the start. Whilst I am no sportsman, I can’t believe how much I am enjoying these games and how proud I am of our team’s endeavours.

But at first sight I have to admit to feeling slightly underwhelmed by the London 2012 victory bouquets. They are both small and compact with none of the extravagant flourishes or cellophane wrappings we are so used to seeing. Their apparent modesty belies the care and attention that has gone into their creation. Designed by Susan Lapworth at Jane Packer (one of our best known florists) the bouquets feature flowers and leaves grown in the UK and are based on a traditional nosegay. Each bunch is divided into four sections, separated by rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), apple mint (Mentha suaveolens), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia “Royal Purple”) and good old wheat. In between are four varieities of rose, all grown in Sussex – cream and green Rosa “Wimbledon” , orange “Marie-Claire!”, yellow “Ilios” and pink “Aqua!”, a most unlikely name for a pink rose.

The bouquets are being assembled at three sites close to the main sporting venues – in Kent, Dorset and Essex – and will be seen again at the Paralympics. All in all 4,400 will be made and presented. Sadly Jane Packer passed away unexpectedly at the end of 2011, so never got to see the cheerful posies in the hands of our jubilant Olympians. Whilst they might not be as valuable as gold or silver they should keep well and remind their recipients of their amazing achievements. Better than an extravagant tropical affair any day.

Below, Heather Stanning and Helen Glover, the winners of Team GB’s first gold medal, with their victory bouquets.

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