The Morning Call

Florists do more than play with flow­ers in new HBO Max se­ries

- By Brooke Lef­ferts HBO · England · Elizabeth II · Elizabeth I of England · Lady Gaga · HBO Max

NEWYORK — They de­signed epic flo­ral state­ments in lim­ited time with some very in­tense judges, but the con­tes­tants on the new re­al­ity com­pe­ti­tion se­ries “Full Bloom” did not wilt un­der pres­sure.

Ten bud­ding florists from aroundtheU­nit­edS­tatescom­pete in wildly cre­ative flo­ral de­sign chal­lenges on the eight-episode HBOMaxseri­es­nowavail­ableon the stream­ing ser­vice.

Con­tes­tantsac­cepttwothe­med chal­lenges per episode — with the lux­ury of choos­ing from the best blooms — and spin flow­ers into art. The show lifts the cur­tain on the high-pres­sure world of flo­ral de­sign and what it takes to be suc­cess­ful. It’s not as easy as it may seem.

“It’snotjustab­outwho’smak­ing the most beau­ti­ful bou­quet. That is part of it. We all have to make beau­ti­ful things for our­clients. But it is so much about the jour­ney of be­ing in the flo­ral in­dus­try, which peo­ple just do not un­der­stand,” judge El­iz­a­beth Cronin said.

Whileit­mayap­pearthat­florists just “play with flow­ers,” she said, the­work­canand­doeslead­toin­juries, andtheshow­re­veals“the real deal of what it is to be a florist.”

Cronin is one of the show’s three judges, along with Si­mon Lycett and Mau­rice Har­ris, all well-known in the flo­ral de­sign world and with some fa­mous clients.

Lycett has ar­ranged flow­ers for Eng­land’s Queen El­iz­a­beth II on oc­ca­sions in­clud­ing wed­dings and par­ties; Cronin has cre­ated flow­ers for Lady Gaga and the Oba­mas; and Har­ris has worked with Bey­oncé.

The judges sup­port and scru­ti­nize the con­tes­tants’ cre­ations, and their big per­son­al­i­ties and chem­istry con­trib­ute to the show.

“What was ex­tra­or­di­nary was the fact that vir­tu­ally every sin­gle time we had to make some judg­ment calls and rank our fab­u­lous florists, we would do that on our own, away from one another onto a sheet,” and yet nearly al­ways agree, Lycett said. “It was purely the fact that there is this in­cred­i­ble en­ergy and syn­ergy be­tween the three of us.”

Chal­lenges in­clude repli­cat­ing works of art, and manag­ing the flow­ers at events and wed­dings. The judges also pro­vide tips on styling and car­ing for flow­ers at home.

“When­ever I’m over­think­ing any­thing, it’s just like, ‘Girl, calm down, keep it sim­ple!’ ” Har­ris said, laugh­ing. “Even if you don’t have a lot of money, just like buy the pret­ti­est thing ... and just put it in a sim­ple, small open­ing vase, and it looks great.”

Al­ter­na­tively, get a “mas­sive amount of some­thing cheap, like baby’s breath or mums ... when youseeit­in­mass,an­dit’sloose­and it’s easy, it’s re­ally pretty,” he said.

The end prod­ucts don’t last long, but the show com­mit­ted to giving parts of all the flo­ral de­signs to peo­ple whomight need a lift.

In the first episode, pro­duc­ers sur­prised work­ers at a hos­pi­tal with two large flower ar­range­ments.

 ?? HBOMAX ?? Judge Si­mon Lycett in­spects an ar­range­ment dur­ing an episode of “Full Bloom.”
HBOMAX Judge Si­mon Lycett in­spects an ar­range­ment dur­ing an episode of “Full Bloom.”

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