Friday, 24 September 2021

Brolly good show!

A BUSINESSWOMAN from Kingwood won an award at a prestigious show with the help of her local florist.

A BUSINESSWOMAN from Kingwood won an award at a prestigious show with the help of her local florist.

Bernadette O’Farrell, who runs the Indian Garden Company, selling garden and home products, was presented with a four-star trade stand award at the Hampton Court Flower Show, which took place from July 5 to 10. 

Her stand was decorated with floral arrangements created by Erica Cunningham, who runs Brambles Floristry in Woodlands Road, Sonning  Common.

Mrs O’Farrell is a regular customer at the shop so she asked Mrs Cunningham if she would help her decorate the show stand.

The display included flowers in metal plant pots and a large floral chandelier.

Mrs Cunningham said: “The chandelier was made up of a selection of flowers in lilacs and pinks. There were lots of chrysanthemums of different sizes and shapes. 

“It had to last because it was hanging upside down there for more than a week.

“I just came up with the idea. It probably took me a couple of hours to put it together.

“It’s nice to have an interesting project to work on. I would never go to Chelsea or any other flower shows because I do not like competition work.

“I always think the best judge of your work is the people who buy your flowers.”

Mrs O’Farrell, who specialises in sun umbrellas and parasols, said: “The judges commented on the hanging chandelier, which they thought was gorgeous. I use Brambles as a customer as I live in Kingwood.

“I intend to carry on working with Erica because it is so easy.”

Mrs O’Farrell founded her business, which also sells  umbrella stands, garden lanterns and accessories, wooden wall art, Indian tents and textiles for the patio, garden and indoors, six years ago. She used to operate from Hart Street in Henley but now trades online.

She runs a trade stand at a number of horticultural events each summer, including the Chelsea Flower Show.

She also sold ponchos and panama hats at the Hampton Court show, which is run by the Royal Horticultural Society.

Mrs O’Farrell said: “It was very special to be coming home with four stars this year.

“It can be difficult to gauge what the judges are looking for in a trade stand. Ultimately, we have to combine our desire for an award with an effective design for the stand from a commercial point of view.

“It is an honour to be associated with the show. It is a true spectacle of gardening expertise and has to be experienced first-hand to fully appreciate it in all its glory.

“This year there seemed to have been a renewed sense of excitement among the exhibitors and the visitors.

“We look forward to returning next year, building on the success of this year and, of course, setting ourselves the target of adding a fifth star to our trade stand award certificate.”

Mrs Cunningham, who has run her shop for almost 20 years, said it was nice for local businesses to work together.

She said: “It’s lovely to be able to support each other. Round here you find a lot of the local businesses do that.

“I have supplied flowers for quite a number of them over the years.”

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