Flower arranging has taken the world by storm, thanks to its many stress-relieving benefits and of course, its visually stimulating and fragrant results. Jumeirah’s talented florist, Chathura Chaminda Pathirana , has been working wonders at Jumeirah Al Naseem since 2011. Who better to share their advice on floristry than our head florist, famous for our elaborate seasonal displays in one of Dubai’s iconic hotels. Read on to discover Chathura’s inspiration and insights on trends, colours and popular flowers.
How did you discover your passion for floral design?
I’ve explored many different industries. Fortunately, I was gifted with a passion for artistic skills such as drawing and painting ever since I was little. My interests soon became my passion, and I discovered this when I joined the flower room. I’ve continued in the same role since it's stress-free to work with colours and the results we see from our flower arrangements makes me feel extremely happy.
How do you create your style and where do you draw your inspiration?
Mainly from my culture back in Sri Lanka. Also, quite surprisingly, the little experience that I gained from working in pastry has helped me to think more creatively in relation to my arrangements and the way I present the bouquets. It’s important to draw inspiration from areas outside your particular industry.
Is sustainability an important element of your work?
Yes indeed. We reuse the good flowers from the big arrangements to small arrangements to maximize the lifespan of cut flowers & save as much as we can.
Tell us about the suppliers you work with – how do you go about sourcing such a diverse range of flowers?
We work with different suppliers for different flowers. Because the majority are seasonal flowers & only selective vendors are good in procuring the right quality that we can use in our hotels.
What are the most popular trends for wedding bouquets in 2021?
Selecting colours that relate to the couple’s personality has become a big trend - couples like to display their emotions through their flower arrangements.
What are the trends, flowers & colours that are unique to the region?
Subtle colours in summer, especially around Ramadhan. Bright and energetic colours during the winter months. For occasions such as Valentines, we always see a huge demand for red roses. To celebrate International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day, the most popular bouquets requested are pink roses.
What type of bouquet would you recommend for romantics who don’t like roses?
Any seasonal flowers such as hydrangea, tulips & Gerbera Daisy with soft colours as baby pink, purple.
Are there any flowers that have an interesting history or cultural significance in London?
Their national flower is the Rose. However, Henry VII used the Tudor rose as a symbol of peace to end the war & its highly celebrated flower in England.
For those who adore natural fragrances, which types of flowers would you recommend displaying to perfume your home?
Lavender, Jasmine, Freesia, Tuberose, Lily.
How are flowers used for celebrations in Sri Lanka?
In Sri Lanka, they use flowers as a declaration of traditional functions, religious events, weddings and birthday parties, anniversaries, to welcome guests from abroad and many more occasions.
Did you grow up with lots of exotic flowers in Sri Lanka? What were they?
We have many endemic flowers in Sri Lanka as well. The next generation is starting to learn more and more about flowers and plants.
Do you order flowers from all around the world or are some grown in Dubai or neighbourhood states?
We have registered with a few companies who deliver our flowers. We can get any flower and any quantity, according to the season.
Do people photograph your arrangements and Instagram them? If yes, how does that make you feel?
Yes, we have so many comments on Instagram and other social media. We are happy to work with different ideas and types of flower decorations in Jumeirah Al Nassem. When I see social media comments, I feel very happy and proud of myself and my team.
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