Floralies & The White House

Laura Dowling

Laura dowling4If you read the former page on the creation of the yellow rose of Peace which was planted on American soil on the occasion of the remembrance of the Peace Treaty of 1815, you will understand the excellent relations of the Ghent-based Royal Agricultural and Botanical Society with the White House. And now there is a sequel in the other direction.

Laura Dowling comes to the Floralies (22nd April – 1 May 2016) to create a flower arrangement. She has an impressive resume. She was appointed by First Lady Michelle Obama as director of the White House floral program. This may sound as a fancy hobby to laymen but when one starts to think of the many festive occasions in the diplomatic world which have to impress visitors from all parts of the globe, the burden (and the opportunities) become clear. The non-exhaustive list counts numerous State dinners, hundreds of White House events such as Halloween, Christmas, St. Patricks Day, family birthday parties etc.

150812-Flowertime15-laboriver-asbl-tapis-de-fleurs-10Laura Dowling has been a student of Christian Tortu, Catherine Muller and Eric Chauvin at l’Ecole des Fleurs in Paris and the influence of the French school could be found back in her floral and agricultural arrangements. Her own company which she managed until 2009 was called ‘Principal, Intérieurs et Fleurs’, a reference to this French influence.

carnival colors gingerbread greenery wreathsThe Floralies Hall once the major exhibition hall has made a comeback, showing the Flemish ornamental plant sector. Ornamental growers, florists, creative designers and landscape architects show their craftsmanship and use flowers and plants to generate the ultimate in emotions.
Laura Dowling points out that flowers possess a power that could help us through political turbulent times. This is a reference to the Flower Diplomacy. She as well as Michel Vermaercke, president of the KMLP (Royal Agricultural and Botanical Society) believe in flowers as an international symbol of peace. In 2015 the yellow roses, chosen for the remembrance of The Treaty of Ghent, were planted in Washington D.C.

Stroll through the show and inspirational gardens that perfectly match the latest trends and be surprised by vegetable art installations at the Museum of fine arts.