Sourcing local flowers for a global superyacht
Last updated: 07/05/2019
Travelling the world aboard a superyacht gives plenty of opportunity for owners and guests to enjoy and immerse themselves in the local culture of the beautiful destinations that they visit. As such, they may request or appreciate a selection of local or native flowers to brighten up the yacht.
Working with the chief stew, local florists hold the key to native flowers and typical arrangements, creating elegant and classic displays suited to the heat and wind aboard a yacht, from a selection of flowers in their natural growing season.
Yachting Pages spoke to local yacht florists about their favourite local flowers and exotic favourites for superyacht floristry, and how to mix these to make great, long-lasting bouquets.
Local flowers for superyachts visiting the South of France
Maud from Création Florale in Nice explained that it’s not easy to share just a few floral favourites when cruising in the South of France. She said, “In the South of France, we have a big international flowers market where we can find absolutely every variety, but we also have great local producers of course - it may surprise some to find out that the nicest Tulips are in fact coming from the Cote d’Azur and not Holland like people often think!
“France also produces the most beautiful smelling Roses, Anemones, Hydrangeas, Carnations, Lily of the Valley, Mimosas, Peonies and more. Of course, each and every yacht has its preferred flowers - some love Hydrangeas while some are crazy about Peonies, but the beauty is that these are all perfect flowers to make lovely bouquets and arrangements – for a yacht or otherwise.”
While French flower varieties typically mix well to create a beautiful bouquet, Maud advises that stronger flowers should be mixed in to make a long-lasting bouquet or centrepiece for a yacht. She said, “To make a centrepiece that must stand on a yacht for a week or so, I often opt for a mix of strong local flowers and exotic flowers, which provides an overwhelming choice in colours.
“Visiting yachts from the Caribbean often like to use much more colour than local yachts based on the French Riviera – here they often request more whites and greens, like those pictured above. The ideal flowers for superyacht floristry are Anthuriums, Calla Lilies, Protheas and Orchids, as these are so resistant to the heat.”
Superyacht flowers fresh from Italy
Julien of Yacht Floral Design by Amaryllis has floristry shops in both France and Italy. Sharing his local favourites from Italy, he said, “Curcuma grow in Italy in white, green, pink and fuschia, and look truly amazing. It’s a long-lasting flower with a stem that can measure up to 70cm long, with this, and the fact that it likes a lot of water, makes it perfect for fresh floral displays.
“The Lady’s Slipper Orchid or ‘Sabot de Venus’ is a beautiful tiny white and green Orchid that grows in Italy. Really long lasting, these bring an amazing touch to any arrangement for the interior or exterior. Italian Anthuriums also come in many sizes and colours and last a very long time. We also use Anthuriums that come from Holland. Every year producers create new colours and shapes; its leaves are also amazing to use and last a long time.
“When it comes to superyacht plants, Succulents really are perfect for all areas of the yacht, from the guest cabins to the sundeck. They resist wind, salt, heat and do no not need much water or care. Coming in many different shapes and colours, they can be used on their own or to make interesting arrangements.”
Beautiful blooms in Bermuda
Gita Blakeney Saltus and Michelle Geary, co-owners of Flowers by GiMi in Hamilton advised that the most beautiful Bermuda flowers include Sunflowers, Snapdragons and Freesia, however these are not typically grown locally in the great volumes needed for commercial sale. Generally they are instead sourced from local farmers in smaller quantities for superyacht floristry projects.
Michelle said, “There are two aesthetics that are reminiscent of Bermuda – fun, tropical flowers and soft, British Colonial Bermuda pastels, both of which are achieved with a range of beautiful imported flowers.
“British Colonial pastels are super popular in Bermuda, and we create a ‘just picked’ look with stunning Hydrangeas, Sweet Peas, Peonies, Lisianthus and English garden Roses in beautiful soft hues, which always look gorgeous with our island ocean backdrop.
“On the other hand, popular tropical designs for yachts typically include Anthurium, Heleconia, Birds of Paradise, Orchids and Ginger Lilies with glossy tropical foliage for that tropical island feel. Although all are imported, they still portray a vibrant tropical effect.”
Floral favourites for yachts in the Caribbean
Christina of Forever Flowers in St. Thomas explained, “In the U.S Virgin Islands, the majority of our yachting season tends to run from November through to April. As such, due to the tropical temperatures and humidity, many of our yachting clients prefer tropically styled arrangements for their vessels, but especially for outdoor pieces.
“We love to source as many of our tropical and exotic flowers as locally as are available. This includes Gingers, Monstera, Pothos and many types of Heliconia, including Hanging Heliconia, Orthotricha, Prince of Darkness and Psittacorum.
“We find that these locally sourced flowers and foliage are substantially more long lasting, often staying fresh for two weeks with proper watering and care - they certainly bring a unique local flavour to the arrangements! We pair these with imported varieties such as Dendrobium Orchids, Cybidium Orchids, Anthuriums, Protea and Birds of Paradise to make vibrant displays to compliment the style and taste of our clients.”