Flower power: six ways to preserve or present summer blossoms
Hong Kong florists and artisans share tips for making the most of flowers' fleeting beauty, from using them for phone cases, jewellery and headpieces to eating them
Olivia Lo Chau-ha developed her love for flowers and plants from years spent living in the countryside. The self-taught florist's work, which includes floral crowns and bouquets, have a raw touch. "My favourite materials are not limited to fresh flowers and berries, but also include elements such as pine fruit, lingzhi mushroom, cotton and hemp twine," she says. A fashion and textiles design graduate from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Lo's refreshing style has earned Kozi Florist she founded last September a loyal following. She started offering workshops two months ago in her space in Tsuen Wan.
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Founder Polly Chan Po-yan has been for crafting mesmerising phone cases, paperweights and accessories since 2009. She takes flower pressing to another level with miniature figures - and lots of patience and creativity. Her products are on sale at various lifestyle stores in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, and since May, at the brand's own shop. Bespoke orders take two to three weeks.
Shop G2, Delite Mansion, 3 Granville Circuit, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 6773 6915 facebook.com/Pause.Rewind.Fastforward
Tallensia Floral Art
Lowdi Kwan Sok-kun of Tallensia Floral Art is the proud founder of floral jamming. The three-hour session (HK$480) is open to all every Saturday. Participants will learn basic floral arrangement skills, then create their own from a generous selection of seasonal blooms. The al fresco terrace outside the florist doubles as a classroom. "Floral jamming is driven by my desire to promote floral art, which conventionally requires immense commitment of both time and money to learn," says Kwan. At Tallensia Floral Art, you will not be given a model piece to replicate, and the experience is both creative and stress-relieving. It has become a popular activity for bridal showers and birthday parties.
6 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan, tel: 2239 4300 facebook.com/tallensiafloralart
An Gao Fa Chi
One-year-old jewellery brand An Gao Fa Chi's products are now available at various retailers and online platforms including Novelty Lane and Zalora. "Our pieces capture not only the colours, but also the distinctive shapes and forms of every flower," says Jenny Hui Chi-wai, one of three co-founders. Unimpressed by the pressed flower technique, they "freeze" fresh flowers such as hydrangea and orchid with resin after they have undergone a procedure in which a powder dehydrates the buds. The result is a series of sculptural necklaces, rings, earrings, brooches and bracelets that can be dressed up or down.
The floral light bulb is the brainchild of Chan Po-ling, whose knack for upcycling and love of flowers fuelled her inspiration. "Each flower has its own character and meaning, even after they are well past their prime," says the O.works founder. For the past two years, she has been creating floral light bulbs with air-dried flowers. Sha has recently begun hosting workshops in her Hung Hom studio. Light bulbs of various shapes are taken apart, the flower arrangement is inserted and an LED light is fitted to the base, which doubles as a stand. A message can be put insideto add a personal touch.
Jessica Fellas' fondest childhood memory is of spending hours making rose petal perfume in milk bottles for her mother. She was mesmerised by nature and the variety of flowers that grew in their English garden. Her first job was as a Saturday girl in a florist. She brought her love of flowers to Hong Kong and founded Jipola, which hosts workshops and caters for events and fashion shoots. Other than wedding, gift and decor designs, Fellas creates chic, wearable floral pieces. She uses artificial flowers for convenience and longevity, but says she also loves working with fresh flowers. "The fragility and impermanence of fresh flowers makes them even more special." For Fellas, this summer is all about multicoloured poppies and corn flowers. "Or try a cute daisy chain braided in your hair or a full-on flower-power crown," she says. For flower shopping, Prince Edward is the place to go. "Shopping for flowers can transform your mood. Don't be rigid with your selection - look for contrasting and complimentary textures; add leaves to accentuate." Her online store will open soon offering headpieces and bespoke orders.
If you consider flowers a mere garnish on your plate, think again.
At Nur (3/F, 1 Lyndhurst Tower, Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, tel: 2871 9993) Nurdin Topham uses flowers in many dishes. "They offer interesting flavours, similar to the herbs they come from," he says. Favourite combinations include oysters with borage flower, tomato with Thai basil blossoms, and lychee with begonia. This summer, one of the dishes includes cucumber with cucumber flowers.
Zen Organic Farm (Ping Che, Ta Kwu Ling, tel: 6692 2671) plants many edible flowers including nasturtiums and serves them on toast to guests after a guided tour. Farm owner Joey Ng Pik-wan adds begonias to desserts to cut through the heaviness.
At the Mandarin Oriental (5 Connaught Road Central, Central, tel: 2522 0111), chef Uwe Opocensky sources flowers from an organic farm on Cheung Chau. Try Flower Pot for seasonal blooms at Mandarin Grill + Bar or The Picnic, a feast of nine dishes enhanced by flowers at The Krug Room.
Other places include Japanese restaurant Hanabi (4/F, 6 Knutsford Terrace, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2723 2568) and OVOCafe (1 Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai; tel: 2527 6011). The latter's quinoa salad stack with fig and hazelnut is jazzed up with blooms from France. More floral dishes are in the pipeline.
Cafe Hay Fever (62-64 Flower Market Road, Mong Kok; tel: 2397 0638) doesn't serve flowers, but it's a great place to take a break from the bustle of the flower market. It started life as a florist then added a café two years ago. Try the delicious home-made banana cake and siphon coffee.