Roses on the Podium

If you, like seemingly everyone else in civilisation, have spent the last two weeks sitting indoors, working your way through a small lake of tea every day, and doing absolutely no exercise at all while watching very impressively fit people do lots and lots of exercise very well, then you’ve probably noticed … those Olympic bouquets.

They look a little puny, sometimes, especially in the hands of the larger athletes. Indeed, singer Lily Allen (henceforth apparently to be known as Lily Something Else) may not have been 5,000m away when she tweeted, ‘The presentation flowers are a little petrol stationy no?’ A lot of athletes are using their bouquets for a little impromptu celebration, tossing their bouquets into the stands after the medal ceremony, so that the crowds may scrabble like lonely bridesmaids to catch the posy. Which seems pretty reasonable behaviour, really. It’s not like they haven’t got any other mementoes of the event.

So what are the Olympic bouquets? What goes into that pale little bunch of flowers which you see between the mitts of Usain Bolt or Victoria Pendleton as they step from the podium?

This blog by Garden Rant contains some answers. The bouquets apparently consist of roses (Aqua, Ilios, Marie Clair and Wimbleton), augmented with wheat, apple mint, lavender and rosemary. The herbs were chosen to give a ‘strongly british’ scent to the bouquets – probably a little more effort than the average petrol station puts in. The website for Jane Packer, the company who designed the bouquet, also states that ‘the bouquet is sectioned into boldly coloured quadrants to mirror the 2012 logo’.

But while Jane Packer also claim that ‘all of the components of the bouquet had to be abel to be grown in Britain’, they do not say that they actually were; and Garden Rant speculates that they probably had to be shipped in.
 

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