With the Chelsea Flower Show on this week, the focus is firmly on all things floral in London, from the famous Harrods to the leafy Sloane Square, a high-end retail precinct near the Chelsea Flower Show.

Smythson shop front Sloane in Bloom 2015
Smythson shop front Sloane in Bloom 2015

Harrods has a flowery bent, dedicating their famous windows to the theme, and adding fresh blooms and floral designs throughout the store. Restaurants feature flower-themed menus and bars offer flowery cocktails.

Smythson shop front Sloane in Bloom 2015
Smythson shop front Sloane in Bloom 2015
Smythson shop front Sloane in Bloom 2015
Smythson shop front Sloane in Bloom 2015
Smythson shop front Sloane in Bloom 2015
Smythson shop front Sloane in Bloom 2015

Around Sloane Square, the upmarket retail area closest to the Chelsea Flower Show, retailers compete in an annual competition called Sloane in Bloom. They dress their shops with glorious floral displays, both inside and streetside, for the week of Chelsea.

Kate Spade 2 Sloane in Bloom 2015
Kate Spade 2 Sloane in Bloom 2015
Kate Spade 2 Sloane in Bloom 2015
Kate Spade 2 Sloane in Bloom 2015
Kate Spade 2 Sloane in Bloom 2015
Kate Spade 2 Sloane in Bloom 2015

This year’s theme is ‘Fairytales’, which seems to have brought out the inner child of every designer involved in the displays, to the delight of the crowds. Wandering around Sloane Square today, on Sunday afternoon the day before Chelsea opens to the world’s media, it’s a frenzy of last-minute installation at some sites, while others are complete.

Brunello Cucinelli Alice in Wonderland Sloane in Bloom 2015
Brunello Cucinelli Alice in Wonderland Sloane in Bloom 2015
Brunello Cucinelli Alice in Wonderland Sloane in Bloom 2015
Brunello Cucinelli Alice in Wonderland Sloane in Bloom 2015
Brunello Cucinelli Alice in Wonderland Sloane in Bloom 2015
Brunello Cucinelli Alice in Wonderland Sloane in Bloom 2015
Brunello Cucinelli Alice in Wonderland Sloane in Bloom 2015
Brunello Cucinelli Alice in Wonderland Sloane in Bloom 2015

This is the best I’ve seen over the past five or so years. None of the retailers I spoke to seemed to know what the prize is, so it’s all about the kudos and attracting the crowds inside, and generally being part of the Chelsea spirit.

Cinderella exhibit outside Brown's in Sloane Square, London
Cinderella exhibit outside Brown’s in Sloane Square, London
Club Monaco, Sloane in Bloom 2015
Club Monaco, Sloane in Bloom 2015
Inside Dubarry shop Sloane in Bloom 2015
Inside Dubarry shop Sloane in Bloom 2015
Dubarry shop Sloane in Bloom 2015
Dubarry shop Sloane in Bloom 2015
Putting together Liz Earle floral exhibit in Sloane Square, London
Putting together Liz Earle floral exhibit in Sloane Square, London