Renowned florist Sean Cook to create Rivendell Flower Show installation at his childhood home
High profile Sydney florist Sean Cook is returning to his childhood home for the annual Rivendell Flower Show.
Sean’s family lived in the Gatehouse in the grounds of the Thomas Walker Estate, known as Rivendell, for a few years in the 1970s.
“We called it Cook’s Castle. We thought it was so grand,” he said.
“My Dad was a policeman. He looked after the place. We had all the huge grounds to explore. We could get lost for hours there. We would go down to the Parramatta River and there was a small sandy beach there.
“We had lots of animals. We had chickens, a tortoise, dogs and an old white horse called Plod in the stables. For a kid, it was amazing,” he said.
Decades on, Sean is an internationally successful florist and runs his own business, Mr Cook, based at Alexandria. He specialises in large floral installations for corporate events, weddings and functions.
When he was approached to participate in the Rivendell Flower Show he jumped at the chance.
“My ears pricked up. It brought all the memories back. I loved the idea of going back there,” he said.
He has designed an installation for the foyer of the main Rivendell building, which will be created in his signature style.
“I call it organic luxe. Freeform. Wild and natural. Sophisticated. I love colour. Lots of colour,” he said.
“It’ll be an abstract arch that people will walk through. I’ll use mainly roses and orchids… in pinks and corals. It’ll be free form and we’ll create it as we go. We’ll use big leaves too.
“I want to keep the flowers simple, strong and sculptural. I want it to be fantastical, a little unexpected … when people walk in,” he said.
The Rivendell Flower Show is held annually at the Thomas Walker Estate, which is managed on trust by Sydney Local Health District.
There will be a series of floral displays and exhibits, garden industry experts on hand, interactive workshops, a vintage car collection, kids’ activities and a selection of food and drinks including High Tea.
The Rivendell Flower Show is on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 October 2018 from 10am to 3pm.
Sydney Local Health District Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson AM said the Show was a fantastic opportunity for the community to enjoy the beautiful buildings and grounds of the estate, which is not usually open to the public.
“We know getting outside, gardening and enjoying nature is excellent for mental health and wellbeing,” Dr Anderson said.
“We encourage everyone to come along and enjoy this wonderful community resource as well as supporting a good cause.”
Tickets are available for $15 for adults and $10 concession. The event is a fundraiser for Concord Hospital's Department of Geriatric Medicine and the Ageing and Alzheimer's Institute.