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VM choice: Apple Watch flowers at Selfridges

For those who have braved London’s Oxford Street recently, the giant flowers filling all 24 windows at Selfridges to promote the new Apple Watch may already be familiar.

The installation features 254 large flowers, mostly in groups of three, 50 medium sized flowers, and more than 5,250 small flowers, including some small life-sized ones for the two niche windows either side of the main entrance. Many spill over the fascia of the building.

The choice of a yellow horned poppy is especially appropriate for Selfridges. Its corporate colour is yellow, as seen on the famous shopping bags.

I particularly liked that most of the flowers selected bloom in the late summer/early autumn, as for this lace-cap hydrangea, which is in magnificent flower in UK gardens just now. This would seem to be happenstance as they are actually the flower images that appear on the watch face.

The niche windows follow the lead of the larger ones, filled with life-size roses as here on a pale pink ground, featuring an Apple Watch on a slender stand.

Created from cast resin, the smaller components are 3D printed and vary in size from 20cm to 1.8metres. Each window features a watch on a simple stand in the centre of the window, with an Apple logo and the word ‘watch’ on a foil in the centre of the glass. This is a very neat combination of a stunning window, yet one that does not overwhelm the relatively small merchandise.

This is the first time Selfridges has ever devoted all its window space fronting Oxford Street and both side streets, Duke Street and Baker Street, to one piece of merchandise. It looks great. This window shows a quintessential rose.

Love in a mist, nigella damascene, is a delicate, pale-blue tinged annual flower, found in many English gardens. Its name comes from the lacy bracts around the flower that gives it a hazy appearance from a distance. Found with pink, white, or lavender flowers, it has attractive poppy-like seed capsules too. A must for every garden.

Of all the flowers selected, the passion flower, passifolia caerulea, found on almost every continent, is the most complex.

It is so named because the number of its component parts are said to refer to the passion of Christ on the cross: the pointed tips of the leaves resemble the lance used to pierce Chris’s side; the tendrils (it is a climbing plant) represent the whips used to flagellate Christ; the ten sepals and petals represent the ten faithful disciples (excluding St Peter and Judas Iscariot); and the radial filaments represent the crown of thorns. The chalice-shaped ovary as the Holy grail; and the three stigma represent the three nails and the five anthers below them as the five wounds of Christ. The blue and white colour represents Heaven and Purity in the European painting tradition.

Elsewhere in the world, the flower is said to resemble a clock - perhaps this inspired Apple’s choice? The flower is known as the clock plant in Japan and Greece; in Israel as the clock flower, and in India the plant is associated with Krishna.

The lilac walls flatter the almost purple toned flowers and form a complex and arresting background for the watch.

The window runs until the 13th of October.