But as is usual with these, there is a story behind the flower choice and where the flowers come from. They include four kinds of roses (which could not be sourced from the UK)): Aqua (pink HT), Ilios (greenish yellow HT), Marie Clair (orange HT), and Wimbleton (green HT). I am assuming these are hybrid teas, as those are usually chosen for the cut flower trade, and they look it—there was little information to be found, probably because they had to be shipped in. None of them are the type I’d ever be likely to grow; they seem made for the florist industry, with everything that implies: scentless, long stems, relatively thorn-free. The roses are augmented with wheat, apple mint, lavender, and rosemary (all locally grown), so even though the roses aren’t contributing, these are strongly scented bouquets. The herbs were chosen so “there’s a really British scent to them,” according to florist Hannah Emery, who is overseeing the production of 4400 bouquets, with the help of students from Writtle College in Essex, Bexley Adult Education in Kent, and Kingston Maurward in Dorset..
I like the inclusion of scented herbs and lavender to bump up the scent impact; I’m ambivalent about the high maintenance hybrid teas, which were unlikely to have been grown without chemical intervention. The colors are great though—they really pop. The short stems are meant to evoke a “nosegay” effect.
One sad thing and one strange thing: the designer of these “Victory Bouquets,” Jane Packer, of Jane Packer Floristry, died last year. And it’s been reported that many of the medal winners are hurling their flowers into the crowd. (Maybe they don’t have any vases in the Olympic Village.)
Finally, here a tweet from British singer Lily Allen: “The presentation flowers are a little petrol stationy no?” I wouldn’t go that far, never having spotted wheat and lavender in a gas station bunch around here. I would suggest that future Olympiad flower designers avoid roses, particularly when they cannot be grown locally, as these were not. There are lots of other flowers.
P.S. Loving the actual games—been glued every night, and carefully avoiding spoilers during the day!