New Trends to Spread the Joy of Flowers
As our virtual flower festival opens for submissions and the Flower Council of Holland launch their ‘Fill the Distance with Beauty’ campaign, we caught up with Chanel de Kock, the FCH’s UK Country Manager to talk about the latest floral trends and spreading the joy of flowers.
ECT: Can you tell us a bit about the Flower Council of Holland – what do you do?
CdK: We work to keep flowers and plants constantly at the forefront of consumer’s minds! We are funded by the industry growers and exporters who trade through the Dutch auction houses and operate in four countries – the Netherlands, Britain, France and Germany. We do a lot of research into trends and consumer behaviour and that research drives our campaigns and also gives us useful information to share with florists, trade publications and flower schools. We’ve been presenting our Horticultural Sector Trends for six years now - it’s so important for the floricultural sector to know where the zeitgeist is going.
ECT: How do you spot a trend?
CdK: We have a ‘trend watcher’, Aafje Nijman. She is very active in terms of visiting the big design fairs all over the world and she’s really got her finger on the button. She comes up with ‘Value Trends’ which talk about consumers and how they react, and we use some of them to develop our ‘Style Trends’.
ECT: So what are the Horticultural trends we should be looking out for in 2021? Drum roll please!
CdK: The Human Touch, Balanced Biotope, Recentered Stage and Crazy Illusions.
ECT: Intriguing - tell us more…
CdK: We had identified the four style trends for next year based on the zeitgeist before the coronavirus crisis. When the crises hit, Aafje refined the trends for a world both during and after coronavirus. Humanity and respect for nature are important themes and there has also been an increased focus on our home and immediate surroundings.
The Human Touch trend is a reaction to the growth of technology – we need friendliness, familiarity and recognisability. In terms of flowers for the home, we see warm colours, organic shapes and soft textures – fresh cut flowers mixed with dried flowers, foliage plant leaves like begonia, Ficus and Fittonia and floating bouquets made from orchids. Anthuriums and pampas grass in monotone colour ranges also play a major role in this trend. Out in the garden, warm colours appear in richly flowering plants with exotic shapes. Garden plants have a lot of red, brown and pink in the foliage, with Helleborus, Japanese maple and Celosia being good examples. Also think of soft shapes for the rest of the outdoor space, like rolling borders and wavy hedges that embrace the garden.
The Human Touch, image FCH
Balanced Biotope is all about wanting to make a better world. Nature refuses to be ignored any longer, greenery counts and sustainability is cool. Businesses - and therefore also the horticulture sector - can differentiate themselves by making a positive contribution to the climate. For flowers inside, we see extravagant statements involving indoor planting instead of just a plant or bouquet here and there. Flowers, dried flowers and plants are also combined effortlessly in indoor borders featuring plants with distinctive leaf shapes, such as Monstera and the snake plant, sansevieria. In gardens, Biodiversity is the touchstone in this trend, and we see that reflected in the natural, almost wild garden. Plants and grasses are grouped, borders are quirkily shaped. The colour palette for this trend is natural shades, moving through grey, chartreuse, blue and terracotta so you might think about plants like Agapanthus, Forsythia and mosses. What's particularly important is that the flora and fauna support one another.
Balanced Biotope, image FCH
Recentered Stage responds to our need to be seen and heard in a rapidly changing world. The story behind the product is becoming more important, including in the horticulture sector, and everything is about the playful, but powerful, design of products that symbolise consumers’ strong views. The colours are also far from modest: soft pastel shades combined with strong bold colours like yellow, terracotta, blue and purple. For flowers, the vase appears to determine the shape of a bouquet. This creates surprising new shapes. Plants in this trend often have playful leaf markings packed with contrasting colours. Outside, create blocks of solid colour by planting yellow tulips, blue grape hyacinths and pink dahlias.
Recentered Stage, image FCH
Pleasure, freedom and space are the core values of the Crazy Illusions style trend. For flowers, everything can be super-creative and totally different from what we’re used to. There no longer seems to be any division between good and bad taste. Dyed flowers are combined with coloured pampas grass, artificial flowers, fresh and dried flora. Plants like Ananas and bromeliads lend a tropical feel. In the garden, it’s like Alice in Wonderland. Spectacular plants with striking flower shapes combined with coloured pampas grass to create a fairy tale setting.
Crazy Illusions, image FCH
ECT: It all feels very positive – how do you think the future looks for the floristry industry?
CdK: There is a real opportunity for our sector, and I think the industry will come back much more quickly that we first feared. We have just launched a campaign called ‘Fill the Distance with Beauty’ which is all about how, even though we can’t see each other easily, we can still connect through flowers and plants. After all, flowers are one of the most joyful things you can receive. Floral businesses are being really creative at adapting to online selling too and, although we are entering a recession, flowers and plants are relatively inexpensive and really can cheer you up and change the look of a space. I’ve never accumulated so many houseplants in such a short space of time!
Why not spread the joy of flowers by entering our virtual International Flower Festival
Read more about the Flower Council of Hollan's 2021 Horticulture Sector Trends here