Thailand’s Floral Love Has Deep Roots
Hanging out with the Baron of Blossoms
It was by the edge of an old royal district in Bangkok where the floral heavens united. Like a giant perfume bottle, fragrances of wild orchids, jasmine, tuberose, frangipani and sweet dok champa join together at this otherworldly spot.
At the the Museum of Floral Culture, flower lovers can participate in a traditional Thai flower workshop and tour the restored century-old Thai mansion, now home to the world’s first and only one-of-its-kind museum, devoted to Asian floral culture.
The morning of my visit the visionary behind this floral concept, Sakul Intakul leads me through his floral parade. “Flowers are life,” he whimsically gestures fluttering his trademark purple fan before him.
Flower motifs furnish the interiors everywhere while one wall is completely devoted to photographs and awards from his personal collection revealing his extraordinary talents. The Bangkok resident has served as the personal royal floral designer for HM Queen Sirikit of Thailand and has designed floral installations for notable events from the red carpet at the Rome Film Festival and hotel openings like the Bulgari Hotel in Bali to Indian weddings. Earlier this year in London at the Chelsea Flower Show, considered the world’s most prestigious flower show, Sakul designed an ode to Thai florals in a sculpted floral art piece.
But for the Baron of Blossoms or the Wizard of Flowers as he’s been affectionately known finds one of the finest thrills in life in the simple every day.
“When a flower blooms, the universe rejoices,” he smiles with that familiar warm Thai smile, waving his purple fan yet again as we sit in his garden workshop ready to dive into a mound of jasmine petals before us.
“In Thailand when jasmine flowers are woven together into a malai, they symbolize friendship.”
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