A NAME from Oxford’s floral past will return to the city she made her name in this weekend as part of the Flowers@Oxford festival.
Emma Fawcett-Eustace left her flower shop in Abingdon Road in September 2002 having provided flowers for Oxfordshire’s most famous visitors for seven years.
The Oxford-born florist created bouquets for the Queen, the Queen Mother, Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela to name but a few when they visited the county.
The 43-year-old mother, now based in Cheshire, is returning to the city she grew up in to demonstrate her most recent work and help out at the festival.
Ms Fawcett-Eustace said: “I am so excited to be coming back to Oxford, I am going to be very home sick and it’s my ambition to come back for good one day. The event is so big in ‘flowers land’ and I am both overwhelmed and excited to come back and participate. I hope people remember me and I would be delighted to see any customers from my days on the Abingdon Road.”
Aside from royals and visiting dignitaries, Ms Fawcett-Eustace’s Abingdon Road shop also catered for the Le Manoir, Cafe Coco, many Oxford colleges and exclusively for the Randolph Hotel for seven years.
Her biggest break was securing the Saudi Arabian Prince Bandar as a client, providing for his estate, Glympton Park in Oxfordshire and at the Prince’s honeymoon where she met Nelson Mandela. She said: “We had a large budget and created a floral fairyland throughout the Estate. Nelson Mandela thanked us personally. His aura will never leave me. His kind comments meant so much.”
Sandy Griffiths, of Jemini Flowers Oxford and vice-President of the British Floral Association, said: “It’s nice she’s coming back, she’s always helped me and it’ll be nice to have her back in Oxford.”
Jill McCleery MBE, a regular customer from Emma’s Oxford days, said: “She was ahead of her time, her flower arranging was outstanding, now of course everyone’s is, but she led the field.
“Anybody in Oxford who had flowers arranged by her was absolutely thrilled, if she did your wedding you’d be delighted. I’m looking forward to her coming back.”
The Flowers@Oxford festival runs from Friday to Sunday, and will see Lady Margaret Hall transformed with £1m worth of flowers.
It will see demonstrations from many internationally acclaimed designers on display alongside the UK and Oxford’s finest.