“The Spaniard” – a Matisse inspired Floral Circus

The last 2 months have been incredibly busy. I’ve arranged garden style weddings, created a 4 metre stretch of fresh foliage wallpaper


built living wall gates for Henley Festival Henley Festival

and hosted a Floral Couture & Cocktail evening for Chelsea Fringe. Spaniard Poster final

“An evening of Floral Couture & Cocktails” took place back in early June at Lovibonds in Henley. I was attempting to re create a little known Matisse painting “The Spaniard”. Chelsea Fringe Festival celebrates all things of a horticultural nature. As long as it’s legal, anything goes. It’s inclusive, creative, quirky and I love it! I knew I wanted to be involved right from the start and had a fairly good idea of what I wanted to do. The Spaniard - Matisse

Matisse’s portrait “The Spaniard” is of a young woman in traditional Spanish dress. She inspired me and intrigued me, I found her beautiful & enigmatic with a story to tell. The bold floral design behind her lent itself well to a fresh flower installation and the title seemed the perfect anchor to create a whole evenings entertainment. The Ticket

I was keen for the event not to be a static experience and wanted to try and live up to my name “Floral Circus”. I knew guests weren’t sure what to expect, but with a ticket price of £12 which included canapés and a cocktail I was hoping people would think it was intriguing and worth coming along to see what it was all about…..and they did. It was a sell out, with the help of a fantastic write up in The Telegraph. Click here to read more about it and other Chelsea Fringe events.At Lovibonds

The evening started with Molotov Cocktails mixing up strawberry dacharis, mojitos & their own chelsea fringe cocktail from a pop up bar in the courtyard.


Guests could then enjoy fresh flowers canapés from Sugar Eccentric. These were so beautiful and tasted amazing. The edible flowers were provided by Bosley Patch in Henley on Thames. the-Spaniard-79

Flamenco dancers, Georgina and Danielle treated us to an exciting performance. They looked amazing in full length red flamenco dresses and the wooden floor at Lovibonds was perfect for their dramatic stamping. It really got everyone in the mood.

Flamenco Dancers

After the energy of the dancing Jonny Owens began to softly play some magical Spanish Guitar. Spanish Guitar

Sarah Coleman sang acoustically to announce the entrance of Lorna Jones as “The Spaniard”. Two flowers girls scattered rose petals for her to walk on as she passed through the crowd. sarah

Once the procession arrived at a peony covered tree “The Spaniard” struck a pose and Sarah Coleman sang “Away with the Faeries” written by Sam Brown, who also accompanied her on the ukulele.

Lorna The Spaniard tableau

The evening went by so quickly, and I was kept busy trying to co ordinate everybody, but it was truly wonderful to see an idea come to life and every one enjoying themselves. I was so grateful to the amazing women that came together to help out behind the scenes and it all happen. Huge thanks to: Lucie Henwood – Box Office Sam Brown – Music Jade Soar – Make up and Hair The Spaniard and me The SpaniardThe painting pose

Hmmm…what will the Floral Circus bring to town next year?? I’ve already got a few ideas : )

Images by Gabrielle McMillan Photography


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