Browse content similar to Florist. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
I'm comedian Rhod Gilbert and this is my Work Experience.
And this week, I'm a florist.
I knew self-raising and plain,
but knowing two kinds of flour doesn't make you Alan Titchmarsh,
so I tiptoed through the tulips to a florist in Porthcawl,
where Alison Hoskins's family have been peddling pansies
and dealing dahlias for generations.
Their fingers were as green as Shrek's kecks.
Done any floristry experience before?
Oh, floristry work? Yeah, I've done loads.
Loads of floristry work, me.
Please don't tell me no.
I know what flowers are. I've got nothing against them. Er...
They look very nice.
-So would you know what a polyanthus was?
-That's a cow.
-Do you know any of these flowers?
Don't know, don't know, don't know, leaf.
Don't know, don't know, rose.
Don't know, don't know, don't know, don't know, don't know, don't know,
don't know, don't know, ribbon.
That's a bit worrying, that is, Rhod, I'm not going to lie.
First problem I've got,
not only is there about 50 billion different types of flowers
with all different names -
I don't quite know how I'm going to serve customers.
There's a lot more to being a florist than meets the eye,
let me tell you that.
Ali had agreed to give me a one-day PhD in floristry.
Tomorrow, I'd be helping out
on one of the busiest days of the year - Valentine's Day.
You could fit everything I knew about flowers
on Olly Murs's secateurs,
so we started with the basics.
What's different about this one?
-Can you tell?
-What's different about it?
Does it feel any different to your usual flower,
or what you would expect a flower to feel like?
-It feels like a flower.
Is it a real flower? It's not a real flower.
It's not a real flower. So it took you how long to decide that?
I don't know, I wasn't timing it.
Now, you need to be able to inform our customers
what a real flower is and what isn't.
Don't blame me if you're selling fake flowers...
Well, I'm allowed to sell...
If I went in next door and bought a bit of fake Levi's, I'd report them.
Yeah, but if you wanted a vase of flowers to last a lifetime,
you'd buy artificial, wouldn't you?
-Who buys a vase of flowers to last a lifetime?
-Plenty of people.
I was as confused as a footballer having a go at Lionel Blair
about Iraq, so Ali grabbed me hard by the gerberas
and started ramming me full of floristry.
Is that a real one or a fake?
That's artificial, yeah.
Surely, Rhod, you know what this is?
-Certainly do. Onion.
-This is a daffodil.
-Yeah, you should know that as a Welshman.
-Well, it's going to grow.
-Where's the yellow bit?
-It's a peony.
-How am I supposed to know that?
They're out of season. It's got a barcode on it.
-Look. Look at that barcode.
My dad's grown these in the greenhouse.
-Ready for planting.
That is some variation on a marijuana plant.
Definitely not marijuana.
-We don't do drugs in Guttridge's, I'll have you know.
Do you think this is real or fake?
Do you think this is real or fake?
Time for my first practical lesson.
I've heard Gardeners' Question Time before,
but listening to a panel discuss a pensioner's bush for half an hour
doesn't teach you how to prepare flowers,
so Ali took me to her workshop to get my fingers green.
One of the first jobs as a trainee florist
is to learn to condition your flowers.
We have them in from Holland like that, all the leaves,
all the thorns on them, lethal to the customers.
We've got to take them off, ready for them.
So every flower that comes in,
you have to take all the leaves and the thorns off?
Yeah. We've got here 30, plus another couple of thousand.
-Go gently around...
-You do thousands of these everyday?
-Being a florist is tedious.
Well, it's not if you get it done fast enough, is it?
This is only, like, the tiny proportion of your job.
It's the tedious proportion.
Roses are red, violets are blue,
but they were all vicious little bastards, who knew?
You did that deliberately!
I didn't at all. I just handed you the rose.
How was I going to cope on Valentine's Day?
I was to flower conditioning
what a dead rat in a cummerbund is to Crufts,
but at least I was learning about the job.
If the rugby's been on, or some sort of sporting event,
we might sell more roses the following couple of days.
-Are those out of guilt?
-A bit of making up.
You must get quite involved in people's personal lives, though,
-You do hear a couple of dark secrets...
-But they stay secret.
-I bet you've got a lot of secrets, florists, haven't you?
Do you know everybody that's having affairs with everyone else in town?
-Do you kind of...?
You can't say that on camera.
Oh. Do you, though?
We'd made sure these petalled pricks would never hurt anyone again,
but I was far more worried about doing myself an injury.
Put the rose against the knife...
How are you doing that?
-It's just like a natural...
-This is what I'm seeing happening...
Yeah, well, you've got to move your thumb.
-You've got to move your thumb.
Do you peel your potatoes at home?
-With a knife?
No, with a potato peeler. What do you think?
Cover me in Baby Bio.
I often find myself opposing my thumbs,
but Ali Gaga wanted me to hack them off completely.
This was bloody lethal.
Don't stab me in the process!
-Did you do it?
I cannot cut that. Can't do it.
Well, that's not the attitude to have, is it?
I want to cut it, don't get me wrong.
So far, so bad.
But if anyone could help me, it was Ali.
Like Charlie Dimmock, Alan Titchmarsh and Percy Thrower
rolled into one,
she was a right Charlie Titthrower.
She could whip up a bouquet before you could say,
-Think you can do it?
Charlie Titthrower made bouquets look easy.
If I was going to work Valentine's Day,
I had to master this,
but I was flailing around like a cow trying to get in a dinghy.
Oh, shitting hell!
Have you got a towel?
Daffodils are yellow, daisies are white, like my bouquets,
my bows were shite.
And Percy Tithammock was getting worried.
I'm never going to be able to do this.
-Of course you will.
You've got to be able to do it.
That's like a basic, basic, basic bow.
It's not even a complicated bow.
Looks complicated to me.
You can't do a bow, you can't cut flowers with a knife...
-You can't distinguish what's fresh and what's silk.
I can't even tell what's a fake flower and what's a real flower.
-We're not getting very far.
-We're struggling. We're struggling.
I haven't got the hang of anything today.
I'm not very good at identifying flowers, I don't know many of them,
I can't even tell which ones are fake half the time.
I couldn't do a bow, couldn't do the presentation, the wrapping.
It does feel like there's a lot to learn.
Tomorrow is Valentine's Day
and I felt about as ready as a bat trapped in a postbox.
I hadn't got the hang of anything, which was very bad news
because Hammy Titpurse had been keeping a dark secret.
I've entered you into this competition.
It's a bit of a big deal.
We're going, next week, to Birmingham
to represent our company for the heats
-of the Chelsea Flower Show.
-I can't tell if you're being serious now.
You've entered me in the Chelsea Flower Show?
Yeah. Well, no, not the actual Chelsea Flower Show,
the heats to the Chelsea Flower Show.
-So if you win this...
-Oh, I'm not straight through to the final(?)
-Not straight through to the final.
-Oh, it's just a heat, is it(?)
-Pop my kangaroo paws in water,
Jimmy Handbasket had entered me into
one of the most prestigious flower competitions in the world.
Carnations are red, periwinkles are blue,
I was up shit creek without a canoe.
-I think it's a great idea.
-Good idea, yeah.
-You can do it, can't you?
-Oh, God, yes.
-Bit of focus.
Yeah. I'd probably have suggested it if you hadn't...
Yeah? Well, I thought you'd like a bit of a challenge.
It does feel like the Chelsea Flower Show
might be a little bit beyond me at the moment.
It's not until next week,
but part of me feels it might be a bit early for me
because it was only a few hours ago I thought that was an onion.
I needed to focus on the competition,
but Valentine's Day waits for no man
and Jimmy Titblanket wanted all hands on deck.
Horny chancers would be looking for last-minute bonk tokens
and my first job of the day was to lure them in.
This is going to bring them in.
"Valentine's Day special. Violets are blue, roses are red,
"you buy me some flowers and I'll give you some head."
There's no way you're putting that on there.
Absolutely no way.
It's Valentine's Day, where's your sense of romance?!
No, that's not romantic at all.
Some people have just got no sense of romance.
No soul. Before the inevitable love rush,
Jimmy Mincefingers took me out back to discuss the brief
for the big flower competition.
Create a structural arrangement for a wedding in the Tate Modern, OK?
-That's the brief?
-That's the brief.
They want you to design something, maybe freestanding.
What do we think? Weddings, church, steeple, couple.
You've got to do something cool, something funky, something wild,
so I'm thinking glass, I'm thinking cage work, Meccano sticks,
bit of plaiting.
Yeah, that's what I was thinking.
-I was thinking glass, cage work,
Meccano sticks and a bit of plaiting.
It's exactly... I know I haven't said it yet,
but that is what I was thinking.
No sooner had we started
than last-minute hump hunters started filling the shop.
-These are a surprise.
-Would you like them gift-wrapped?
Oh, I see! I was totally confused, then.
I thought you'd brought me flowers!
-You've brought these in from outside.
-I'm with you now.
-Could I have those flower hearts on the wall,
can I have one of those, please?
You want that thing that is behind everything else in the whole shop,
-The one that's furthest away.
Yeah, obviously the one
that's furthest away is the best one, isn't it?!
Well, it's certainly no problem.
-I can see that.
-With the shop quiet for a full ten seconds,
we rushed out back to give my competition idea more thought.
But my head was still emptier than a naturist's laundry basket.
What about if we did two dead birds in a cage?
-Two dead lovebirds?
-Two dead lovebirds, yeah, exactly.
I'm thinking more conceptual, you know?
Having two birds in a cage, you're just, like, copying something,
-isn't it, or, like...?
-You'd just be copying in flowers,
replicating another object.
-So you don't want to do that?
-I don't think you should do that.
-Oh, it's too simple for us.
-I've got till Sunday to do this.
I mean, why would we bother copying an existing object
when we can try and invent an object that doesn't exist and then make it?
I desperately needed an idea for the competition,
but out front the shop was like Daffodilli Circus
and the flowery love vouchers weren't going to deliver themselves.
-Are you Amy?
Happy Valentine's Day.
You have an admirer.
-I'll give you a kiss anyway.
Ta-ta. Thank you.
Thank you. That went really well.
I just kissed everyone in Regal Travel, some of them twice.
How was I going to do this competition piece?
The Valentine's crowds just kept coming
and Gary Spamsocks had me wrapping single red bonk bouquets,
and I just couldn't do it.
This is a single red rose, right?
-One single red rose.
-So far, I would estimate it cost 400 quid in man-hours.
I'm going to bite into my own arm in a minute.
You're really getting on my nerves now.
-I'm getting on my own nerves.
-Come on, just do it!
You're getting on my nerves.
I was the worst wrapper since Vanilla Ice
and I was losing my lupin.
Jumpy Tithammock could see that the fiddly wrapping,
the busy shop and the looming competition
were all getting too much for me.
So I'm getting a bit anxious now about this competition.
How do you think I feel?!
I'm the one who's going to go in it.
I haven't heard much response from you
about what you're thinking of, what your design's going to be.
I'll level with you. I've got no ideas,
and I have no idea where to start having ideas,
and I've got absolutely no idea what to do.
I think that's where I am at the moment.
That doesn't instil me with any confidence whatsoever.
At the moment, it's taking everything I've got
to have a go at wrapping one single red rose,
so the Chelsea Flower Show is a little way down the line in my head.
Unless we enter one poorly packaged red rose in the Chelsea Flower Show.
Well, I can't even... I'm not even going to display
a poorly packaged red rose in the shop, so we'd better not, had we?
That's kind of my point.
Panicking about the looming competition,
I was very GLADIOLI when Titty Funthrower
let me get back to the relative calm of the workshop.
If we do a square...
-Is it like a twist round like that?
-Barmy Slapdoughnut could build a Hadron Collider
out of leftover snowdrops.
As we played around with basic building skills,
this was my chance to pick her brains.
Now we've got these on for the stability, and the foam on there,
on each corner, I'm really chuffed with this.
Chuffed? It's not up at the upper levels that you need to be,
but I'm pleased YOU'RE chuffed.
I'm not going to enter this in the Chelsea Flower Show.
Right, that's all right, then. As long as you know...
Just learning some basics, I'm happy with the progress.
I wasn't going to rush out now and burst open the doors
of the Chelsea Flower Show and go,
"Look, everyone, wait, a late entry!"
Out back, I was making progress with structural techniques,
but I daffodil had loads to learn,
and I had no idea what to do for the big competition.
How could I, when Splashy McDash kept sending me out on deliveries?
Clare must be out on site -
down the harbour, probably.
Oh, maybe I should go and find her down there?
-You might find her there.
-I sought her here, I sought her there,
I sought her every-bloody-where.
Was she in town or down by the sea, that dammed elusive Clare Godfrey?
Are you looking for her?
Hey, you should be a detective.
Clare Godfrey? Do you deliver in this area a lot?
-Are you trying to find her to give her those lovely flowers?
You should be a detective. Another one.
Oh, you're so kind.
Foxgloves come in purple, orchids many colours,
you could shove the ruddy lot up your glistening running colours.
The elusive Clare was keeping me from my competition piece.
Said she was on the site.
There's building work going on down there, is that the site?
Clare Godfrey, do you know a Clare Godfrey?
-Don't know a Clare Godfrey?
No. No. Doesn't ring any bells for me.
I tell you what I like about this,
I like the fact that you're looking round anyway.
Looking for a Clare Godfrey.
-Is that you?
-Actually, try that grey building, there.
-That could be her.
-Valentine's, is it?
Hey, no flies on you, is there?
Poirot up there.
She may be in the lifeboat station.
I'll check the lifeboat station.
There's nobody in the lifeboat station, which...
..isn't the end of the world for me,
but it's not a great sign if you're stranded at sea right now.
Where have you been, Rhod?
-Where haven't I been?
-An hour and a half ago
you left for a delivery that is round the corner.
Is that all it is?
It feels like longer. I need a little rest, I think.
You haven't got time for a rest.
It's Valentine's Day.
Do you see me resting?
-No, come on.
Jesus ROSE from the dead in three days -
it had taken me almost as long to deliver one.
The Valentine's Day crowds were keeping me
from some desperately needed competition prep time,
but at least I was learning by osmosis
and my knowledge was blooming.
Did you want the Naomi roses, the better large-headed ones?
I don't know anything about roses other than they're quite attractive.
I think, when you see them, you'll prefer the ones that we've got.
The Dutch, much larger head.
Aesthetically much more pleasing.
Both good-quality roses.
Do you want me to show you the difference?
You can see the difference there, the size of the head.
Aesthetically, your Dutch is far superior to your Kenyan.
I'm going to go with the European one.
Go with the Dutch.
That looks so good.
I'll take that.
-You'll take it as it is?
-As it is.
I shall turn away while you write the...
Yes, and I'd rather you didn't look at it.
I will not look at it. We do ask that it's nothing too smutty.
At last, Valentine's Day was over
and, back in the relative calm of the workshop,
I can finally resume my training for the big competition.
To say I had my work cut out was the greatest understatement
since God told Noah his ark would need windscreen wipers.
With tulips, they're quite good because you can manipulate them,
too, so you can bend them however you want.
Pretty much attached...
That doesn't bode well, does it?
I thought you said they were robust
and they stand up to a lot of bending.
'Finally free from the demands of hurried horn hunters
'and unwieldy wrapping paper, I was able to crocus
'on the real challenge ahead.'
You haven't been as frustrated with this as you were with the wrapping.
The wrapping was driving me insane.
My basic training over, it was time for me to go solo.
I'd have to start from scratch, but I was determined to give
this competition my best shot.
I'm a very different florist now to the naive fool
that walked in here a few days ago.
All I've got to do now is turn all those skills
into a Chelsea Flower Show award-winning floral sculpture,
so, really, I've broken the back of it. The donkey work is done.
It's just the finishing touches now.
They say you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs,
but I couldn't enter an omelette in the Chelsea Flower Show.
I needed flowers.
The competition is Sunday, it is now Friday morning,
so I've come down to a flower wholesalers here in Cardiff
because I've got my idea.
Inspiration has struck in the middle of the night.
I've got my idea for a structural floral arrangement
that I'm pretty sure is going to win this competition
on Sunday, so now I've just got to go and get my materials.
If I was going to bring the idea in my head to life, I had to work fast,
so Tinshy Binliner and her dad, Julian,
took me to a Cardiff wholesalers.
-I've got my idea.
Yeah. I've been thinking on it, I've slept on it, I've got my idea.
I need pussy willow, we've worked with, and I need bamboo.
I need to be able make a structure and then I need flowers.
And this is where I need some advice.
-I need quite a lot...
..of flowers - white or red, possibly.
Red could be good, Rhod, because Valentine's Day has been and gone.
We should be able to get some red roses cheap.
Between them, they'd seen more flowers
than Shirley Bassey's dressing room
and helped me bag some bargains.
With a trolley load of leftover poke tokens,
I was ready to get started on my competition-winning piece.
I think I've got everything I need.
I've got roses that were cheap as chips,
double-headed chrysanths, I've got my floral foam,
I've got some dark chocolate paint.
I don't really know how this is all going to come together.
There's a lot of guesswork involved.
I don't quite know what I'm doing.
I've got a vision in my head and, this afternoon,
I've got to make it all come together,
so I'm going to crack on.
My idea had been inspired by the Valentine's Day crowds,
but with just one DAHLIA to make it,
I had to summon the power of flowers because the heat was on.
It was on the street, John Street, Porthcawl, CF36 3BD.
I've got no idea what other people are going to come up with.
Absolutely no idea.
I've never been to a flower show before,
so I've got no idea what to expect, except that Ali says
people spend months dedicated to just this one day,
this one structural arrangement, this one competition.
I wouldn't say I'm definitely not going to win,
but the odds are certainly stacked fairly heavily against me.
My competition entry had to be all my own work,
but the closest I've come to making
a plant-based structural arrangement is rolling my own fags,
so Terry Grimbiscuit SNOWDROPPED in to check my progress.
If I was doing a competition, I'd be making my own chicken wire.
You made your own chicken wire?
It shows another technique.
-Of what? Chicken and wire?
How do you make chicken wire?
So the finer bullion wire that we use there.
I made this chicken wire.
There was a barcode on it five minutes ago.
I put a bar code on it to make it look realistic.
Have I done too good a job? Does it look like shop-bought?
Just four hours to make a floral structural arrangement
with 90% plant-based material
on a wedding theme to go in the Tate Modern
for the Birmingham heat of the Chelsea Flower Show.
After saying it out loud, I only had two hours left.
I'm reminding myself of what Ali taught me.
I'm going to cover this in, like, a sheet of flowers.
Beautiful. I was putting the Rhod into RHODODENDRON.
If I'd been a pop star, I'd have been Lily Allen.
If I'd have been a rock star, I'd have been Axl Rose.
If I'd been a middle-of-the-road band,
I'd have been Chrysanthemum-ford And Sons.
I really want to give this my all.
I've really tried. I'm really enjoying it.
I'm really enjoying it.
I'm finding it really relaxing.
I think I want to be a florist.
I want to be an award-winning
Chelsea Flower Show first-prize-winning florist.
That's what I want to do.
-Roll on Sunday.
-Are you excited or are you nervous?
I'm excited, can you tell?
I'm genuinely quite excited.
I'm genuinely really nervous.
You don't need to be...
What are you nervous about?
Well, like, the best judge in the country is going to be there,
marking your work.
Yeah, all right, don't get me nervous.
You do the nerves, I'll do the excitement.
-I'll see you Sunday.
-All right, then.
-Look after the van now, OK?
This is it. Sunday morning, Tamworth, just outside Birmingham.
The big competition,
and I'm actually feeling quite nervous
because some of the other competitors,
I can see them arriving,
getting their structural arrangements out of the cars,
and the standard looks pretty high.
This was a nervous moment.
Aspidistra leaves are green, horse chestnuts give you conkers,
but if my structure had fallen apart in the van, I'd go lupin bonkers.
Watch my structural arrangement.
We got my piece safely into the venue,
but my future as a competitive florist
was dangling by the nasturtiums
because we had a triffid-sized problem.
I've got five minutes before everyone's allowed in.
Ali has got the base
for my freestanding structural arrangement -
I can't do anything without that.
It's supposed to be vases with freestanding orchids inside.
I've planned it all out, I've sweated blood and guts
over this bloody thing, worked all day on it,
and I'm going to be let down at the last second
by Ali not turning up with the base.
Never trust anyone else if you're a florist.
Advice to any florists out there - do it all yourself.
The deadline was nearly up.
I could feel it rushing towards me
like a naked Alan Titchmarsh on a death slide.
But with moments to spare, Jammy Titsbammock finally rocked up.
Oh, hello. Oh, hello.
It's only 9.28 and a half.
-Are you all right? Are you excited?
I've been taking your names in vain, I'll tell you that.
Dirty Gymsocks had made it clear
that if I didn't step up and do her proud,
I'd be pushing up the daisies, but she still hadn't seen
-what I've come up with.
-Are you going to tell me what you've done?
I'm really nervous now.
You'll see it.
-I'm really anxious.
-You'll see it. Right...
Welcome to the eventual winner of the Chelsea Flower Show 2017.
That's pretty good, Rhod.
It's Wedding Night.
Inspired by Valentine's Day hump hunters,
Naomi roses flow over double-headed chrysanths,
a bamboo bed accented with a love heart feature headboard
of pussy willow and bark and moss bed sheet detail.
Rhod's mechanics are teasingly obscured
by aspidistra leaf and chrysanthemum.
Well, considering the other day you couldn't even wrap a rose,
look what you've done!
You've had a really good go.
I thought I'd keep it conventional.
It took a lot of willpower on my part
to just have them quite romantic like that.
I'm surprised you haven't put a hat on it.
Oh, there's going to be... I haven't put the hair on yet.
Oh, you are going to add...?
Yeah, they're going to have real hair - only on the head.
Orchids reaching through the heavens through upright vases
completed my piece.
And along with my fellow competitors,
I did my finishing touches as the clock ticked down.
15 minutes left.
Just doing some touch-up work
where some of these haven't survived that well in transit.
The standard was incredibly high.
You could cut the atmosphere with a hedge trimmer.
My hands were shaking like a stoned folk musician
who's forgotten her tambourine.
I'm hot, I'm sweaty, I'm a little bit stress-y.
I think I've become a florist.
Look at me.
Trimming slightly uneven moss.
OK, you've got five minutes.
Rushing, stop rushing, don't rush.
More haste, less speed.
OK, everybody, that's time.
Time's up. You need to leave the room now.
I hadn't even used buttercups,
but the suspense was making my heart go giddy-up.
The judges have gone as quiet as a fuchsia's fart.
The judges are in there. They've been in there for a very long time.
Part of me just hopes I don't come last...
..and part of me is out to win this.
When head judge Tracy
gave each of us feedback one-to-one to explain the scoring,
my bum cheeks were clenched so tight
they could have pressed a fake flower.
Well, here's your mark card.
Thank you very much. Total of 68 out of 100.
You mean 68 marks out of 100.
Yes, but 70...
No, it's 68.
If you'd said 70% to me when I arrived...
No, it's 68.
I'm in with a chance here.
If I do win and we go to Chelsea...
-..is there any improvements I could make to it
ahead of the finals?
You'd have to start all over again.
-I'd have to have a completely new idea?
Or just a different position?
Smother me in Saxifraga oppositifolia.
An average of 69%.
When everyone POPPIED back in to hear the final results,
I knew I was in with a shout.
And so the all-important third place...
..is Dean Sharp from Fleurtations.
Dean, very well done.
It's a lovely piece of work.
And then in second place...
..is Charlotte Cook from Hillary's Floral Design.
We've done it.
We've done it.
And then in first place...
Married life might not be a bed of roses, but my piece was.
Would the judges reward the playful symbolism
in my absolutely amazing piece of work?
With an absolutely amazing piece of work...
..and they really do deserve the points that they've been given.
In first place is Tina Parks.
Creative, challenging, therapeutic, voyeuristic,
competitive and beautiful,
from birth to death, surrounding us at every significant milestone -
floristry has it all.
I'd arrived knowing roses were red and violets were blue,
but I'd learnt that roses could be white, black or yellow too.
In fact, roses can be purple, violet or titian.
Who gives a shit? I've given it my all in this competition.
The standard of the other entrants here
is clearly very high indeed and, alongside this,
mine admittedly does look like a piece of shit,
but it is a piece of shit that I am very proud of.
I've been having a look at people's marks.
Some of them, you've beaten them.
-I wasn't last.
-News just in... Breaking news.
-Rhod wasn't last.
I wasn't last.