Every September, the Elizabeth St David Jones store becomes awash with colour and fragrance, a paradise of flowers and blooms welcoming the arrival of spring.
It's a tradition that began from a simple gesture — in the 1920s, store staff would bring in spring flowers from their gardens, placing them on counters to celebrate the new season. These charming beginnings have led to what is now known as the David Jones Flower Show.
The David Jones Flower Show is a spectacular event that draws thousands of visitors every year for the past 30 years; horticulturalists, flower enthusiasts, instagrammers, young and old flock to David Jones to wander through the magnificent floral arrangements in-store, gaze at the floor to ceiling window installations, and delight in new fragrance and scents.
George Low, the floral designer who brings the show to life, has worked with David Jones for almost as long as the show has been held. "Since 1988," says George. "I started off working at the David Jones flower shop, this was back in the days when the store's top two floors were filled with flowers...that was quite a while ago."
George now has his own shop, SEED Flora with partner Elizabeth Johnson, but every year, around February, he starts planning for the Flower Show.
Working closely with local and international growers, he sources flowers, plants and greenery from as far away as Kenya and Columbia. "We source locally where we can but if it's not in season, we have to get them overseas," he explains. "We do have orchid crops year-round as they are reserved not only for the Show but also in store displays throughout the year."
George also works closely with international fragrance houses for each of the store windows, consulting on colour schemes, type of flowers and composition, then he starts creating his magnificent arrangements. Like most creatives, George works by instinct and mood. It's how he decides what to wear, what cologne he dabs on in the morning (he's partial to woody scents), and how he conceives his ideas and concepts.
This year, the Flower Show's theme is Luminescent, where flowers will be in full bloom during the day and illuminated at night, including a 'Night Garden' feature. Each of the store’s seventeen windows will feature a unique floral display, with over 25 more arrangements filling the store with botanical sculptures and blooms.
"It's the biggest flower show in the Southern hemisphere...and I'm happy to have been a part of it all," says George.
The David Jones Flower Show will be held from 3-13 September 2015 at the Elizabeth St store in Sydney. Find out more about opening hours and guided tours.