Chelsea Flower show 2023
Memory Lane: an artwork with Clematis and Chasmanthium
The Chelsea Flower Show in London is an annual event that attracts flower and garden enthusiasts from around the world. Over 5 days, 150,000 visitors admire the inspiring show gardens, flower arrangements, and garden plants. Among the attendees each year are members of the British royal family, and the show receives extensive coverage on BBC television.
This edition features a particularly remarkable piece: 'Memory Lane,' an artwork by Dmitry Turcan, filled with thousands of stems of Clematis and Chasmanthium.
Outdoor floral display
During the show, a series of awards is always presented, including prizes for the best garden, best urban garden, and best floral arrangement. In 2022, designer Dmitry Turcan won the Gold Medal for his floral design in the pavilion. In 2023, he was invited back and given the opportunity to design an outdoor installation, which is quite exceptional as most other floral works are displayed indoors as part of a floral competition.
He sketched four pieces, including 'Memory Lane'. The organisation loved it. Dmitry chose Clematis as the main flower.
Clematis floats like a butterfly over the design
Dmitry says, "I have been working with Clematis for over ten years, and I am in love with it. The flower perfectly suits my style: flowing and airy. I have dreamt for a long time of creating an installation with enormous quantities of Clematis. Clematis fluttering like a butterfly over the design, moving in the wind. It is the perfect flower for this beautiful location."
In addition to Clematis, Dmitry incorporates Chasmanthium Mantis. This grass is adorned with many flags that sway with the wind.
Chasmanthium makes this whispering sound in the wind. It's like the installation talks to you.
Specifically for this design, we asked the farms to provide longer stems of Clematis and Chasmanthium. With lengths ranging from 80cm to 100cm, Dmitry can create an extra wow factor. The design has already garnered high praise, as many visitors mainly know Clematis as a garden plant. They are surprised to discover that it is also available as a cut flower.
With a team of six, Dmitry spends days preparing. The base consists of narrow tree trunks with welded iron legs. Tens of thousands of holes are drilled into the tree trunks, where cleaned willow branches are inserted to support the long Clematis stems.
IMPORTANT: CLEMATIS LOVES WATER
Test tubes are placed among the willow branches. Note: large tubes. Clematis requires a lot of water, preferably as clean as possible. The team regularly checks and refills the tubes during the event.
Dmitry says, "Clematis is a strong flower that lasts a long time, as long as you know how to use it: where to cut, what to do with the leaves." Dmitry has had his team remove the leaves from the Clematis stems, extending their lifespan. For this design, he chose the purple Clematis Amazing® Star River and the pink Clematis Amazing® Kyiv. The design is a tribute to Queen Elizabeth, to whom Dmitry dedicates this piece.
"I wanted to create an artwork in her honour. That's how this idea with graphic lines, like lifelines, was born. Placing it on stairs enhances the design. It resembles life: it goes up and down. You decide when to pause, look back, and determine if you're heading in the right direction." Queen Elizabeth served as the patron of the Royal Horticultural Society, the organisation behind the Chelsea Flower Show.
We are proud that Dmitry chose Marginpar flowers for his exceptional design. It is a sight to behold, and it's wonderful to see how it can inspire so many visitors.
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