Simon Lycett is the Director of Simon J Lycett Ltd, a company that specialises in floral arrangements and decoration worldwide and creating incredible flowers for amazing events. Simon Lycett has been asked to be a part of many of the RHS’s initiatives and today shows us that anyone can help in Greening Grey Britain… P.S. You can follow him on GardenTags too!
Anyone can help in Greening Grey Britain
In addition to being one of the UK’s foremost floral decorators, I am also passionate about all things horticultural! It was visiting an RHS affiliated Horticultural and Allotment Society Show in my home town of Warwick aged 7 that sparked the Floral Bug. And over 40 years later, I still consider myself lucky to be working doing something I love!
I’ve been asked by the RHS to be involved with several of their initiatives. From speaking at Careers in Horticulture Conferences and Inspiration Days, through to creating the Royal posies for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016. So when their Greening Grey Britain (GGB) Campaign was launched, I was proud to join them in encouraging more people to grow. To grow something. Anything. Anywhere.
Angell Town Estate in Brixton was invited to partner with the Evening Standard and the RHS as part of the GGB Campaign. Ann-Marie Powell’s RHS Garden for Chelsea Flower Show 2016 was designed by her knowing it was going to be re-purposed after the show within the Estate. To encourage interest, the RHS instigated a spring afternoon of activities. Thus on 8th April 2016, my brilliant Team and I found ourselves not working within one of London’s hotels, but setting up workbenches and unloading buckets of seasonal British cut flowers in a rather barren, unloved square of grass.
SEE MORE: Family Gardening in the Urban World
With slight trepidation we began creating tied posies and offering them to passers-by. Soon, encouraged by our flowers, a table of seeds, potting compost, and by the smell of Jerk chicken being cooked on a nearby stall (arranged by the RHS), we found quite a crowd gathering! Before we knew it, everyone was busy chatting and planting, arranging and engaging! A bunch of 18 year old lads gamely joined me in creating tied bunches of flowers to take home to parents and partners. Children, on their way home from school, came to see what was happening. Seeds were shared and pots of compost were filled with some of the RHS Team encouraging the youngsters to begin growing a few sunflowers and tomato plants back at home. We invited them to each make up a posy of flowers to take home and enjoy! One of those was Tavesha who was excited by the blooms, wanting to share them with her Mum.
Little did any of us realise that chilly spring afternoon that a few weeks later Tavesha would be creating another posy, this time whilst being filmed by the BBC as she and I arranged it, at the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Having created it, she would present it to Her Majesty The Queen!
In May 2016, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Ann-Marie Powell’s RHS GGB Garden for Health, Happiness and Horticulture was created with residents of Angell Town assisting her with its planting! On the afternoon of 23rd May, the most surreal 45 minutes of my life occurred. Within that brief time I, and a six year old girl from Angell Town in Brixton, met and presented flowers to over five members of our Royal Family including Her Majesty Queen. We were able to explain that the flowers and garden were a part of the RHS GGB Campaign. Her Majesty The Queen heard from Ann-Marie that her garden was destined to be re-planted on the estate where Tavesha lived. Afterwards, poor Tavesha was a bit annoyed with herself, as in all the excitement she had forgotten to curtsy having spent all morning practising!
And on 3rd June, Sadiq Khan officially open the re-planted, re-purposed RHS Garden. And again, Tavesha was on hand to present him with one of my bouquets. And this time, she remembered the curtsy too!
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