Iconic Red London Phone Booths Inspire Floral Artists

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Although not used for communication anymore, the iconic British red phone box not only still exists but has become an inspiring prop for a variety of floral artists to create memorable installations.

Just this week, superstar Lewis Miller filled one to the brim with fall-themed dahlias, roses and branches to help British jewelry company, Graff, promote their new bridal collection on Madison Avenue in New York City. Pedestrians were allowed to take home the flowers at the end of the day for one of Miller’s famous pop-up flower flashes.

This past summer, at Chelsea in Bloom which honored British icons such as Queen Elizabeth, several artists utilized the popular red-domed phone box in their designs including a designer at the hotel 11 Cadogen Gardens.  Red and white carnations made a replica of the red telephone box.

One installation that sparked oohs and ahs came from Heavy Petal Flower Shop for Fleurs de Villes Toronto show honoring breast cancer survivors. Because of the theme, an avalanche of ripe luscious pink roses literally spilled out from the phone box.

Fleurs de Villes also had one by Flower Factory in Vancouver in 2021 as well as The Florium in Toronto below in 2022.

The final one is from the Niagara Falls show by The Village Flower from their 2021 show. These were painted in different shades than the traditional fire engine red which was painted that color for visibility in 1936 and designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. After all, London can be rainy and foggy.

In 2006, the K2 telephone box – as it is technically known – was voted as one of Britain’s top 10 design icons, which included the Mini, Supermarine Spitfire, London tube map,  Concorde, and the AEC Routemaster bus.  Even today, whether on magnets or stationary, it still endures as a symbol of England and a happy souvenir to millions. For floral designers, it continues to also endure as a popular prop to communicate a sense of joy and happiness to many.

Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD,  floral editor for Aspire Design and Home magazine and contributor to Florists Review magazine.