No pressure, no pressure at all.
Get on stage, show off your fantastic floristry skills and wow an audience with your vast knowledge and sparkling wit…Easy!
Well, not quite. Especially when you’re following TV gardening star and garden designer Joe Swift.
But this was the challenge for Danny and the Tudor Rose team at this year’s Bury St Edmunds Whitsun Fayre.
It all sounded so good in the planning – the amazing Jackie Regan, who organised the event for Our Bury St Edmunds, asked if we would like to have a slot on the stage as she knew our floristry to be heavily influenced by nature and gardening – both central planks of the Whitsun event – which was celebrating it’s 20th anniversary.
Innocently, we said yes we’d be very interested and came up with a plan. We thought bringing together a romantic, county wedding table would sit quite nicely with the natural theme and drafted in some tall rustic wrought iron candelabra and centred the flowers on British-grown peonies and sweet peas.
Danny and his team, Jess and Dani, would demonstrate how to decorate the table and the candelabras with gorgeous, flowing displays of English flowers.
But as the crowds gathered to watch the wonderful Joe – who had nothing but an easel and marker pens but still managed to make his hour long slot amazingly entertaining and informative – the Tudor Rose nerves cranked to jangling.
Would we be any good? Would the crowds dissolve into the bank holiday sunset? Would there be an awful moment of realisation that demonstrations on large stages at big events are really not for us.
Well, kicking off with a classic handtied bouquet for a low rustic vase – the trick here is to make it stand up on its own – Danny made his craft look like child’s play. Yes it stood up and looked utterly beautiful. And he managed to explain what he was doing to the audience, answer questions and look quite handsome into the bargain.
Meanwhile Jess set about decorating the lower of the candelabra with a beautifully display of flowers in the cascading, country style. Things were coming together beautifully and Danny – known for his speed – power-housed through the taller candelabra and the whole team put the finishing touches to the stunning wedding banqueting table with great aplomb.
A baptism by fire may be – but the Whitsun Fayre was a great experience.
Perhaps demonstrations are something we will be bringing to our boutique shop in Hatter Street, Bury. Watch this space.