Wout Knuts; a brilliant name for a florist and one who creates some beautiful work to boot. No stranger to Fleuramour, this week's annual flower festival, Wout who owns and runs Knuts Flowers in Belgium last year created floral décor for a horse statue here at Alden Biesen castle, and has this year stepped up the mark with a large installation inside the castle itself.
We caught up with Wout to chat about the meaning behind his design for the show and his passion for upping the game in flowers.
Visitors to Fleuramour, Belgium's famous flower show, can walk inside Wout's creation which features over 1,000 flowers carefully adorning a large square structure made of thin metal and twigs, which holds large wreaths of roses, clematis, chrysanth, amaranthus, hydrangea and other varieties.
Wout tells us it took a total of five days to create, with three people working from 10am till 6pm, and in true florist style, late into the night on their last day of making.
Knowing all of the show's designs had to be based on a theme of Earth, Wind, Fire & Water, we asked for the story behind his design. Wout explained, "When I thought of the four elements, at first I thought they're all something we need. For example we drink water, and we need air to breathe. But if you have too much of them, you face problems. So they're necessary but yet when in excess they also make life difficult."
He also tells us that his inspiration for creating a wreath within the structure, which happens to be perfect for selfies, comes from some of his favourite children's books in which the main character is always pictured smiling through a circle at the end. Giving the impression that, "If you smile, everything will come okay," Wout tells us.
When erecting his design, Wout says that the biggest challenge was creating a structure that was strong enough to hold the wreaths without collapsing, which is why he intertwined thin but tough metal bars through the natural twigs. He says two full days of prep were spent on the structure alone, which has its foundations in foam.
When it comes to his work, Wout tells us he's determined to keep climbing. "I have won prizes and demonstrated at Floriade, a beautiful international exhibition and garden festival which is held every 10 years in the Netherlands and is very highly respected. There are always challenges, for example in at Floriade in 2012, I gave the organisers a list of flowers that I needed, but when I came to work, around 10% of them had been taken by the public!"
But, he assures us, he always makes it through and wants to keep on trying his hand at bigger and better things. We asked how he gets his gigs and he said, "It just comes to me, because it's my life. I've been in flowers for 20 years and while I really like making little things for the shop, 20 years of little things makes you crave something bigger. It's stressful but I get a kick out of it."
Set-up images: Wout Knuts