April 2, 2024

Camberwell Florist steps back in time at the 2024 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

Camberwell Florist creative floral display at 2023 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Carlton Gardens, Melbourne, Victoria

At the icon historical Royal Exhibition Building & Carlton Gardens, Camberwell Florist’s floral composition beckoned visitors to step back in time to the Dutch Masters painters inspired florals.

Figure 1: Hermina Bevilacqua, Camberwell Florist, outside the Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton

From a distance, the floral display inspires curious minds with the tantalizing curves and warm, rich colour palette. Move in closer, see the collection of flowers and fruits reflecting Autumn. Upon closer inspection, be delighted by baroque art inspired with the addition of beetles, butterflies and feathers.

So moved the visitors became, they asked me a variety of questions,

“Is this like still life art?”

“What are the fruits in the display?”

“What inspired you to create this piece?”

Figure 2: Hermina Bevilacqua, Camberwell Florist, floral composition at the 2024 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show sponsored by Natio Beauty.

It started with the Art Nouveau style flower trough, which is wide and narrow in shape. So, the design had to fit in with it. Next, I wanted to make the display as relevant to the current season as possible. So, the colour palette had to reflect warm rich colours. Next, I wanted to incorporate elements of Baroque Art – bringing in elements from Nature. I spent about three months foraging for acorns, beetles, butterflies and feathers. These were placed in the composition after everything else had been put in place. I also wanted to add extra texture with muslin/cheesecloth fabric. I chose this fabric because of its soft light texture, and the colour to complement the backdrop.

The form of the floral composition is classical Hogarth Curve on the horizontal to fit in with the flower trough. I really like the attractive, romantic line it created leading the eye to move around the floral composition and trickle down to the bottom right side of the display with the light tangle of the asparagus fern.
I also included an antique pewter tea-set with acorn detail on the lids. The acorn detail is repeated in the display with the collection of acorns spilling out from the sugar jar.

Not only did I want to tantalise the viewer’s sense of sight with colour, form and line, I also used fresh gardenia flowers (hidden at the back of the arrangement) to incorporate fragrance.

Sustainable floristry practices included using locally grown and foraged flowers and foliage, taking particular care to avoid using noxious flowers and foliage. Here is a list of the floral ingredients used:

  • Roses
  • Rosemary
  • Japonica
  • Camelia
  • Asparagus fern
  • Gardenia flower and foliage
  • Persimmon fruit and branches
  • Pomegranate fruit and branches
  • Magnolia foliage and seed
  • Red Kangaroo Paw
  • Autumnal Oak Leaf Viburnum

I also created for the flower show bamboo vessels on skewers in place of plastic vials. These can be placed anywhere in the arrangement where you want to display short stem flowers in high positions.

Figure 3: Foraged bamboo cut into 3 pieces to be used as sustainable flower vials for the floral composition.

No plastic was used in the floral design.

In terms of the mechanics, five Kenzans (floral frogs) fit neatly into the flower trough. A nest of chicken wire placed over the top. These were secured with jute string. The foliage is the base to begin the design.

Figure 4: Five Kenzans line the glass flower trough which will support the flower composition

It was a great pleasure to see the joy on viewers’ faces when they delighted in the rich complexity of textures, colours and form of the floral composition.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the sponsor Natio Beauty for their support of the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. I am grateful to have been part of the show.

Just letting you know I’ve started planning for the 2025 MIFGS. Can’t wait to see you again next year!!

If you’re in Camberwell, come in and say “hi”. My tiny store is located inside the Camberwell Fresh Food Market (Camberwell Junction). We’ve been there since 1992, filling the store with beautiful fresh flowers and creating seasonal bouquets and arrangements for birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. The Camberwell Fresh Food Market is open to the public Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Visitors have asked, “do you have another store open more days?” No, we don’t have another store, but we did recently create an online store, where flowers can be ordered and delivered same day 7 days a week. There you will find a selection of flower arrangements to choose from, including posies, bouquets, flower box arrangements and flower vase arrangements. We can also deliver fruit, wine and champagne hampers, as well as soy scented candles and chocolate boxes. So, if you ever need to send flowers for a special occasion, or to let someone know you’re thinking of them, visit our store online at www.camberwellflorist.com.

I’d love to create for you!
See you soon,
Hermina Bevilacqua
Camberwell Florist

Figure 5: Hermina Bevilacqua, Camberwell Florist, standing in front of her floral composition at the 2024 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show