FLOWER POWER: The weather outside may be frightful, but that hasn’t stopped fashion retailers from marking the springtime ritual of London's Chelsea Flower Show, which runs until May 25.
Earlier this week, Deborah Lloyd, president and chief creative officer of Kate Spade New York, hosted a tea party at the brand’s Chelsea flagship, a tulip bulb’s throw from the grounds of the annual flower and garden accessories fair. A true Brit, Lloyd arrived in London well prepared for the damp — and often rainy — weather.
“My Wellington boots arrived in my hotel before I did! I normally bring the sunshine with me, but not this time,” she said. “Somehow, I think I managed to get the last four tickets for the Chelsea show tomorrow, and not even this weather will put me off. I just love English gardens — roses, peonies, sweet peas. There is only one place in New York that sells sweet peas, and I make it my mission to buy every stalk I can get my hands on.”
BrandAlley.co.uk, the fashion and accessories flash sales site, showcased its own flower-packed patch at the Chelsea Flower Show, which was created by the garden and landscape designer Paul Hervey-Brookes. Wild-looking and with a private, sunken area for conversation and reflection, the garden features greenery including pink Edward of Windsor irises, evergreen ferns, white Album geraniums and ornamental Green Vase trees native to Korea and Japan.
Melissa Littler, marketing and p.r. director of the site, said the company wanted the garden to have public and private aspects to reflect the lives of its mostly female clientele.
“Our members love a designer lifestyle — whether it’s fashion or gardens. They are busy city women who have a public face, but who also treasure their private time away from the world,” she said. Littler added that after the show, the flowers and plants will be sold with proceeds going to charity, including Gardening Leave, which uses horticulture as therapy to help British military veterans.