By Jill Brooke
Because flowers are so universally beloved, Netflix executives surmised that instead of “The Great British Baking Show,” they would create a version around flowers.
Thus we now have “The Big Flower Fight” streaming with eight new episodes.
Hosted by Vic Reeves and Natasia Demetriou, and judged by American celeb florist and cheerleader Kristen Griffith-VanderYacht, it has ten teams of amateur florists and landscapers creating big, eye-popping installations ranging from insects, thrones to glam dresses.
Each week a team will be chopped off like unwanted weeds as florists try to win the Best in Bloom prize which culminates with the opportunity to create a flower installation in London’s Kew Gardens.
I’m sure the producers must be a little stung by some of the reviews which had this show wilting as far as accolades.
One review in the Guardian made a fair point. “It is not a thing, like baking or dressmaking or pottery making, that people wish they could find the time to indulge in. It is not a thing that you come across in the normal run of things that sparks a brief but genuine yearning that could then be fanned into the flame of desire for mastery. I can’t even think offhand where you might reliably run into one – on a carnival float?”
However, we at Flower Power Daily really liked the show. In fact, we want you to savor each one because flower lovers will appreciate the details about horticulture that are sprinkled like Miracle-Gro throughout the series.
So we have decided to review them – like the way you stagger flower blooms throughout the season – one entity at a time.
The first episode’s quest was to create enormous insects.
Naturally, a few contestants gravitated towards butterflies while others chose a moth, a beetle and a bee.
Jordan Mark, a florist from Baltimore, Maryland,, cryptically said while rummaging the show’s grand nursery for plants, “take what’s left and hopefully something is good.” Indeed it is.
Not only do you learn how to stuff moss – into sculptural material and tie it – which I often use for table scapes – but each insect had descriptions of what flowers they gravitate to and need.
Bees like lavender while moths like white scented flowers. You learn about terms like “ombre” how one tried to blend from dark to light with an array of pink flowers that could include roses and peonies.
Yan Skates and Henck Röling understand drama and flamboyance. “I love a well-dressed man,” Yan explained upon meeting his partner. Both dressed up for the occasion in colorful hats and facial hair. For their award-worthy creation, they showered the sculpture with orchids and then sprinkled white flowers including daisies on a makeshift meadow underneath their soaring moth. If it wasn’t for the charming meadow, their moth would look more like “Little Shop of Horrors” rather than a flower protector. But this talented team understands nuance, floral architecture and that necessary dash of daring mixed with relatable eye candy.
Butterflies as we learn like flowers that include impatiens, marigolds and Gerbera daisies. Rachel and Delilah opted to create a large “landing pad” since butterflies want their “tasty nector.”
Declan J Cooney and Eoghan Riordan Fernandez shared how watering systems are so important and reintroduced drip irrigation tubes which are so plentiful and not used enough by amateur gardeners. Calling their creation a “bug hotel,” we appreciated their humor.
Would you want any of these creations in your home or garden? No. But the fun of creation is contagious.
The graphics used while the teams create each big over the top installation help balance the relatability of what is being done.
The font and design were both pleasant and informative.
Next up is fabulous floral fashions which may be more relatable since as we know at Flower Power Daily, flowers now are threaded through clothes, shoes, bags, ties and jewelry all year round. Other upcoming shows include Huge Hairy Beasts as well as the Fairytale Finale.
One can binge of course. But it may become repetitive. Instead stagger each show and you will come away with a new morsel of gardening information as well as a smile.
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.
Photos: Courtesy of Netflix