How far have you got through Netflix’s outlandish gardening competition, The Big Flower Fight?
If, like us, you made short work of the eight-part series then you will already know that the show’s winners were the blooming excellent contestants Andrew and Ryan.
Andrew is a photographic artist and Ryan is a fashion curator, so their victory was something of a surprise, given they were competing against florists and horticultural experts.
RadioTimes.com caught up with the pair to discuss their win, imposter syndrome and how work is going on their prize design…
Congratulations! Were you surprised to win?
Andrew: It’s very bizarre. In some of the judging they’d come over and say, “You’ve done a really wonderful job with the Carex there,” and we would look at each other not even knowing which flowers they were referring to! There was a little bit of that imposter syndrome because Ryan and I were constantly thinking about colour and texture rather than the plants themselves.
Ryan: We were on a very steep learning curve. I would be so terrified my planting wouldn’t be up to par with the judges, I started to panic, but then I just realised that you just need to trust yourself and your vision.When I first walked into the competition a bouquet of flowers just looked like a colourful bouquet, but now I see form, shape and texture and my horizons have broadened about what flowers are. While we had basically no experience of floristry or gardening, we are creative people and able to think quickly. It’s a phenomenal feeling to win.
Was there a turning point where you started to feel more confident?
Andrew: Yes, I think when we won the throne challenge – we worked super hard to get that one, it was a real passion project and when we won we realised our creativity was valid in the competition. Then after that the sculptures generally kept going well and didn’t fall apart!
Ryan: I think both our styles were really complementary to the competition – Andrew kept coming up with these really brilliant ideas and I was just able to execute them. Whenever there was a time constraint or a lack of materials, we just kept thinking creatively and would not stop working. I had to emotionally lean on Andrew and I think it was overwhelming at times, but the challenges where we felt like there was no end in sight were the ones we did best in!
How did you get on with the other teams, behind the scenes?
Andrew: We developed a really good relationship with them, they all had their own specialisms and we’d talk roughly about our ideas without giving them away, it was a real creative hive. The night before each elimination we’d all go to the pub and have an ominous goodbye to whoever may go, so there was massive camaraderie.
Ryan: Even in the dome when we were working together we would all use each other as points of inspiration not competition.
Andrew: And Yan and Henck were the most inspiring of all for us, the way they used materials was groundbreaking!
Did you always have faith in your final design, which was risky, but won you the show?
Andrew: We definitely wavered on that idea, but I really wanted to plant a house inside out, I had a dream where we did that and I saw it as possible. Ryan said we should go for it because it’s the one thing we will do that nobody else will.
Ryan: The house was so short and small and we weren’t sure how to create drama at first, we had to really take a risk because what we planned didn’t quite match what they were asking.
Your prize was the chance to create a sculpture for London’s prestigious Kew Gardens – have you started yet?
Andrew: We’ve had meetings and done sketches, but the current situation means the sculpture will go up next year instead, it’s all a little bit up in the air.
Ryan: It’s a blessing in disguise though – the extra time will inform the sculpture and it will now reflect a lot of the new values we have taken from the lockdown experience.
Andrew: It’s such a strange time, everyone is in the garden, reconnecting with nature and redefining what flowers are capable of. We have free rein over the design, so seeing how this year plays out and trying to incorporate what’s happening into the sculpture could be really wonderful.
Series one of the The Big Flower Fight is on Netflix now. To see what else is on, check out our TV Guide.