For 25 years David Jones, Sydney’s iconic department store has ran their annual flower show in Sydney. Heralding the beginning of spring down under in the antipodes, flower lovers flock in the droves like bees to pollen to experience this over the top flower display. Comprising of upwards of 350,000 flowers plants and foliage, floral displays are cleverly mixed with merchandise to tempt shoppers to touch smell and even buy.
Behind the scenes of this public display is almost 12 months of continual organisation, culminating in a very long night after the store closes at 5.30, to bring the concept to fruition on the opening day. Store windows and retail space comes alive, like magic, in the few hours before opening next day.
Different themes each year have Sydneysiders on edge wondering how DJ’s can top the previous year. One year a complete window was transformed with 1000’s of live butterflies. Windows take on the personas of tropical rainforests or desert landscapes depending on the whim of the floral designers.
The prospective fashions for the coming season are checked to ensure that the theme will complement them. It is after this aspect is clarified that the first meeting with the florist takes place, and the theme is presented to them, with a brief of how it is envisaged the Flower Show should look. This year is distinctly different from last year, which was very contemporary, using very bright vivid colours. The brief for each flower show is a challenge, trying to come up with an idea that is completely different from any done before.
There is a team of florists who come in to water every day at 6.00 am before the store opens and also to replace all of the spent blooms because the air conditioning and lighting causes the flowers to perish more quickly than in more natural conditions.