MANUSCRIPT x GANT: BEN FOUNTAIN

For Sydney-based florist Ben Fountain, the joy of working with flowers every day is the reaction of others.

ben-fountain

Mr Fountain wears Gant shirt, Prada coat, vintage Levi’s jeans, Salvatore Ferragamo shoes.

Ben Fountain can’t pinpoint what drew him to working with flowers, but admits he has surrounded himself, perhaps subconsciously, with them his entire life. “Every Christmas I attack my mother’s poor garden roses to make table centres,” says the Sydney-based florist, who works for renowned company Mr Cook. “My grandmother had a hedge of hydrangeas running along her balcony which surrounded a third of the house. I remember being stunned to learn that she could change the colour of the blooms by adjusting the pH level in the soil. At times there would be a tonal hydrangea rainbow around the house, white through pale pink to red, deep purple and then bright blue. I thought she was magic.”

For Mr Fountain, working with flowers is a sculptural exercise, and he charges himself with ensuring every flower, stem and branch is visible. “They are so complete when I receive them – a lesson in colour harmony, and a perfect realisation of texture and form.” And while being surrounded by blooms on a daily basis is certainly a perk of the profession, it’s the experience afforded other people that he finds the real reward. “People always take a sharp in take of breath when they receive a bunch or walk into a room filled with flowers,” says Mr Fountain. “You can see people being visibly moved. That makes up for the early mornings and the dirty fingernails.”

Photography Liz Ham | Styling Jolyon Mason
Grooming Linda Jefferyes | Hair Sophie Roberts