エリザベス女王に「緑の魔術師」と言わしめた世界一の庭園デザイナーの生け花ショーを鑑賞してみた


庭園デザイナーなる職業が存在することをご存じだろうか?その名の通り、庭園のデザインの基礎から、和洋様々な庭のデザインなどを手掛ける職業だという。そんな庭園デザイナーとして世界的に活躍している石原和幸さんが、イギリスで開催された「王立園芸協会チェルシーフラワーショー2016」で、5年連続(!)の金賞を受賞したと同時に、最高賞の「President's Award(プレジデント賞)」までも受賞したという。かの有名なエリザベス女王から「あなたは緑の魔術師ね」とのお言葉を頂戴したという石原さんの祝賀会が10月31日に催されるというので、こんな機会はないといそいそ出向いてみた。


会場は日本人初の快挙となった石原さんの活躍を祝おうと、そして一目見ようとする人、人、人でごった返していた。司会を務めるのは人気芸人、博多華丸・大吉。「なぜ我々が司会をやっているのかと言うと、石原さんと同じくよしもとクリエイティブ・エージェンシーに所属しているから。石原さんは我々の後輩です」と大吉先生が言えば、華丸さんは「まだ入って2年らしいです」と情報を足して場を盛り上げる。


満を持してスピーチとなった石原さんは「40歳手前で始めた花屋は最初こそうまくいってたんですが、バブルが崩壊して花が売れなくなった。そこで2003年にチェルシーフラワーショーを見に行って、お花で世界一になろうと決意しました。2004年にチャレンジしたら金賞をいただけて」と、これまでの奮闘を語った。さらには「6回連続金賞受賞できるように頑張ります」と高らかに宣言し、会場を湧かせた。スピーチの後には、森三中の村上さん、星田英利さん、おかずクラブさん、藤井隆さんなど、ゆかりのある方々からのビデオメッセージも華を添える。


そして、いよいよ本日の目玉!世界一の庭園デザイナーによる生け花ショーが始まった。なぜか持ち時間8分と決められた中、ショーはスタート。草木をわしづかみにし、最初からものすごいペースで生けていく石原さん。それは「生ける」というより「ぶっさす」という表現に近しいほど。切ってはさすことを繰り返す姿に、華丸・大吉先生も「むやみにさしている感じがしますね...」と、しどろもどろでコメント。続くお花も以下同文といったぐあいで、集まった観客も固唾を飲んで見守るという形に...。


大吉先生が「簡単そうに生けてますけど、すごい技術なんでしょうね」と放つ言葉の通り、8分という持ち時間で瞬く間に完成したのが、この豪奢な生け花。最後は肩で息をするほど全力を出し切った様子の石橋さん。完成した生け花のテーマについては、「秋風。赤い花で紅葉を表しながら、街が赤く色づいていく感じを出しました」とコメント。なるほど、草木の間からのぞかせる紅色や紫といった儚げな色合いが秋を匂わせるように感じる。重々失礼な質問とわかった上で、大吉先生が「むやみにやっているわけではないんですよね?」と確かめると、石橋さんはにっこり笑って「頭の中ではできあがっているんですよ」と答えた。天才はひと味違う。これぞ芸術の秋、なのかもしれない。


石原さんの庭園は、ウェスティンホテル東京の「ウェスティンガーデン」や、羽田空港第1旅客ターミナルビル「花の楽園-緑の詩をきかせたくて-」などで鑑賞可能だ。(取材・文・写真:赤山恭子)

■石原和幸氏 生け花ショー フォトギャラリー
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■ガーデンデザイン ランドスケープアーティスト 石原和幸デザイン研究所
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That cat is up to something, and we want no part of it.
WHOA
"What, what is this?"
"You'd rather take a picture of a straw than take one of me?
"Took a picture of baby Avery and dachshund Milo tunneled behind her to get in the picture." -Submitted By: Diane Lenier
Watch out, baby!
Who's bombing who?
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!
"Oh sorry, wrong room."
"What are you reading?"
At least someone is trying to stop these from happening.
Nothing like a perfectly timed tail.
The beer is poison!
"Why are you taking pictures of butts?"
It's cool, he's the new boom mic operator.
"My turn next!"
Just really happy to be here.
At least that last guy is in the picture.
This cat's great-grandchildren are probably in this slideshow as well.
"Turn left on Sunset."
"I want to sit on the chair."
Sneak attack is underway.
Stopping inappropriate Facebook photo uploads since 2008.
How is he even doing that with his neck?
What are you doing here?
Also: "Soon"
Talk about a third wheel.
The other cat REALLY doesn't like glamour shots.
"Um, I think someone forgot my Fancy Feast."
"Do I smell fish?"
"Um, a little help?"
What is this contraption.
We're assuming that this guy was attempting to take an underwater selfie.
"Ignore me!"
He does not approve.
His night vision is perfect for interrupting hipster photo shoots.
He stood on that pinecone to get in this photo: commitment.
"Sorry, did I ruin your postcard?"
Still part of the family.
Maybe planned, still terrific.
"My husband and I were taking our border collie, Jack, out for his daily beach run and play. (This) is the photo of him being photobombed. I didn't see the dog until I saw it on the screen after the photo was taken."- Submitted By Laura Hancock
"I was trying to take a picture of this cute Waterbuck calf, when it's mom stepped in to see what I was doing to her baby...LOL." Submitted by: Karen Stephens
"I was taking a picture of my cat Simon one day when Teddy got a bit jealous (like he always does). Hope you enjoy!" Submitted by: Hali Jakeman
Submitted by: Karen Lyons Kalmenson
In our experience cats really do hate driving.
This dog is huge!
Where was this cat standing?
Submitted By: Kylee Callahan
"Here is Badger, completely unaware of his archenemy Groucho doing the bombing..." -Submitted By: Kimberly Rai Cook
Submitted By: Heather Smith Robitzek
Submitted By: Christopher Guignon
Hey! Me too, right?
Submitted By: Alan Kelly
"Photobomb of my dachshund with my then 3-month-old daughter." -Submitted By: Melanie Walsh
Submitted By: Jean Seraichyk
This goat would clearly lose hide-and-seek.
That cat takes itself way too seriously.
"I was taking head shots for a friend when Albert kept entering the frame and posing. This is the shot when my friend had had enough." - Submitted By: Kathlyn Horan
These cows would have been such a good background otherwise.
Submitted by: Blacky Bokich
All the dog that's fit to photograph.
Aflac has to be responsible for this.
Submitted By: Alexandra Foster
Submitted By: Reese Levine
"My husky is pretty angry she's not included in the picture." -Submitted By: Kimberly Fernandez
Submitted By: Marcelle Gonzalez
Submitted By: Jenny Haniver
Submitted By: Ren Meier
"An animal photobomb taken in the "off leash" portion of Austin's Town Lake hike and bike trail. This is actually our dog, presumably telling us how she really feels about the new baby!" -Submitted By: Joanna
Just wait for it.
"Well, hello!"
"I make this look easy."
The lion doesn't even know he is posing, he's just naturally suave.
This dolphin really deserves credit for making this picture great.
"Dog park fun (Jack, Marley, and Kiana) getting their picture taken when a great dane decides to make a cameo!!" -Submitted By: Brynn Fesler
"I'm part of the family too. Why shouldn't I be in the picture?"
"Another animal is getting more attention than me!"
Maybe this was planned?
"Oh, you were taking a picture?"
Just a man, a woman, and their horse.
Even dogs can enjoy 3D.
The photographer is holding a steak.
This donkey has a place to go.
HEEYYYY!
Quick window bomb before flying away.
Just gonna sneak in here.
Cool boat, dude.
Pretty scenic, huh?
Bet he didn't see that coming.
Is this cute or just incredibly creepy?
Finally worked!
Nope, FCC cat doesn't approve of this.
Get a room.
Down here!
He knew what he was doing.
Sweet picture, dude.
Classic.
HEY!
This probably ended well.
Don't get out of the car.
Double Bomb.
That couch looks pretty comfy.
Dude, pipe down over there.
What's he planning?
When you gotta go, you gotta go.
Up close and personal.
You're never too young to get photobombed.
Cute couple.
C'mon, ditch the girl and come play with this ball.
Not just any goat bomb, but a sarcastic goat bomb.
Sup?
Cool speech, bro.
Nice costume, kid.
Cheeeeeese!
This way's better.
A fun-filled day at the park.
What are you guys up to?
Seriously?
Poor dog never even saw it coming.
BEHIND YOU!
Bears have needs, too.
Don't let the hair distract you from the bomb.
C'mon, I'm cute too.
Always crashing penguin parties (and our Twitter avatar)
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