Every year the FCH, together with retail and horticultural companies, analyse, develop and share the trends in flowers and plants which can be tailored for the florist and garden centre. Each has a different starting point in the year, and for spring, the trend we have chosen is ‘Gentle Paradox.’
What is it?
Gentle Paradox is about softening and smoothing hard edges by using soft materials and structures to lessen the harsh reality of life as we head into the New Year. How can this be achieved?
By using flowers and plants to tone down a space and make it ‘dreamier,’ mixing fresh materials with dried and subtly combining colours and shapes. Make the most of indoor plants by placing them in corners or even on the floor to soften edges and lines.
When outside, contrast hard and soft, with round shapes dominating, think pebbles, stones and shingle. Soften woody shrubs with swaying grasses and mix flowering and evergreen together.
The trend’s product ingredients
As one would expect, the shapes in this trend are primarily round. oval and spherical. Many of the products consist of a single compact shape without any individual details, with components appearing to have grown together or merged into one.
There is an interchange between hard and soft materials. Marble, ceramics, plastic, fired tiles and natural stone are common elements, alternating with deep-pile carpet, rugs and throws.
Textiles also play a role, from pleated and ribbed to bouclé. In terms of patterns, the sky’s the limit, with everything from romantic florals to abstract designs.
Colours remain soft and gentle with many gradient effects; dusky pink, soft cream, pistachio, stone, moss and the Pantone colour of 2024 Peach Fuzz. Overall, Gentle Paradox is a mindful and soothing trend with which to begin 2024.
Su Whale is a florist and freelance writer with over twenty-five years' experience in the floristry industry. She is the author and publisher of three best-selling books: Cut Flowers, 4th edition (2020) Cut Foliage, 2nd Edition, (2021) and Houseplants (2019), all bookshelf essentials for the professional florist.