From what seemed like a rather long winter and a wet spring the start of summer has finally begun with the country waking up from COVID gloom. With the sun shining and British Flower week on the horizon I thought I would mainly focus on all things floral in this edition of Craig’s Corner.
British Flower Week
British Flower Week is an annual, national celebration of the wealth and variety of British cut flowers, plants and foliage. Covent Garden will be dressed for the occasion and there’s also of host of virtual events: https://www.britishflowersweek.com/virtual-schedule-1
A short distance from the Club is the Garden Museum, a hidden gem that can be found in a converted church next to Lambeth Palace; it explores and celebrates British gardens and gardening. From 10th – 15th June 2021 they will host a week-long exhibition which will transform the Garden Museum into an immersive floral wonderland filled with the scents and colours of beautiful British-grown blooms. The museum also has a wonderful café.
London Blossom Garden
Located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London’s newest Garden has 33 blossom trees, each representing a London borough, including the City of London. The trees are arranged in three close circles made up of eight different species of tree. Every spring the garden will come alive with hawthorn, cherry, cherry plum, and crab apple blossom, creating a stunning scene of colourful blossoms against a backdrop of the vibrant green surrounding parklands and worth seeing throughout the summer months. The pathway contains 33 pieces of recycled concrete and reclaimed timber to echo the number of trees. Seating near each tree ring, provides a space for you to sit and reflect in the natural surroundings.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
I feel I couldn’t write an article on this subject without mentioning the magnificent Kew Gardens, with 50,000 living plants set in a UNESCO World heritage site. There is so much to see here and many of the attractions are reopening following the long closure. Stroll through the Woodlands, Rock gardens, Arboretums or sit by the lakesides and relax.
Flower Flash has been created by New York floral guru Lewis Miller and royal florist Simon Lycett. There are three installations in the capital with the simple aim to “create a positive and emotional response through flowers.” This one at Piccadilly Circus is simply stunning. But be quick, you are encouraged to pick the flowers and take some home.
In addition to this floral tribute, there are two further London ideas for you to ponder;
Royal Style in the Making - Kensington Palace
Located in the newly-conserved historic Orangery, this new exhibition explores the intimate relationship between fashion designer and royal client. On display will be the wedding dress of Diana, Princess of Wales, on show for the first time at Kensington Palace in 25 years, in addition to a rare, surviving toile for the 1937 coronation gown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Original sketches, fabric swatches and unseen photographs from the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection will form part of the display. After you have seen the exhibition, you can enjoy the formal gardens and the wildflowers that bloom in the summer. Hopefully in the weeks to come the Sunken Garden and famous Cradle Walk will open again.
The National Portrait Gallery has partnered with the National Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts and Sky Arts to launch a free augmented reality trail consisting of twenty life-size colourful frames and plaques on walls around London, each of which will contain QR codes and unique markers to unlock timeless masterpieces. Hold your mobile up to the QR code and amazing artwork will be displayed. The tour conveniently ends at Fortnum & Masons so why not pop into the parlour for one of their wonderful ice creams!
Hopefully these ideas help you enjoy London as it awakens and blossoms once again.