Salisbury Cathedral. A beauty, inside and out. Always a pleasure, but this weekend something really special. Transformed into a floral wonderland, Salisbury Cathedral hosted Celebration: A Festival of Flowers.

One venue, 800 years of history and the Queens Platinum Jubilee celebrated over five days using 30,000 blooms.

The main body of the cathedral was transformed into a sea of pink blooms and love hearts. The hanging hearts were created by local day centres, care homes and schools. I love pink and many of my favourite flowers were here- peonies, hydrangea, roses, delicate gypsophila. Special love for the peonies, though.

Never mind Christmas, I think peony season is the most wonderful time of the year.

The festival was originally planned to take place in 2020 to mark 800 years since the laying of the foundation stone, but Covid happened. The rescheduled festival includes some beautiful floral celebration of the Queens Platinum Jubilee. Including this thing of beauty…

The famous ermine trimmed robes, recreated in pampas grass, seeds and pressed leaves. The elements were sprayed for colour and then carefully stitched together. There’s an estimated 300 hours of work in this piece alone.

At the opposite end of the festival, there is a celebration of the Queens earlier years. A floral recreation of her nursery included vintage toys and a blanket made up of pampas grass with hundreds of tiny orange, yellow and cream blooms.

So far, so beautiful. Not all the exhibits were designed to be conventionally attractive. The floral artists involved in staging the show were given the brief ‘celebration’. That came to life in hundreds of different ways, from the Banksy inspired to a celebration of punk and beyond…

Other displays ranged from the traditional to the ultra modern, filling every corner. Despite the vast amount of flowers and resources used in the show, a huge push has been made towards sustainability. Many materials used were repurposed and all displays foam free. Florist foam of old is bad news, it doesn’t break down in landfill and can’t be composted.

It wasn’t all about carefully curated displays. The exit was home to a mini meadow, a wild flower walk through. Complete with butterflies created from dried leaves and felted bees. A reminder that flowers are beautiful to look at, but they also have important purpose. Made me want to go home and plant some wildflower seeds.

The Festival of Flowers at Salisbury Cathedral ran from the 10th-15th of May, so although I’m hopeful it will make a return next year, it’s too late to include a link for tickets this year. I did find a couple of UK Cathedrals hosting similar events. Linked to details below.

Festival of Flowers at Chichester Cathedral 8th- 11th June 2022

Lincoln Cathedral Flower Festival: Vision 4th-8th August 2022

And not exactly a flower exhibition, but this London flower themed day out looks amazing. I’m really hoping to squeeze this in before the Summer holidays as I suspect it will get busy.

If you liked this post you might also enjoy reading about Herrenhausen Gardens or the Secret Herb Garden.

Helen x

20 thoughts

    1. The flowers definitely brought something special to the place! It was a lovely day. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment.

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    1. It was absolutely beautiful, I can’t imagine the planning that went into it. I think it was truly enjoyed by all who visited. Thank you so much for reading and commenting, much appreciated.

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    1. Thanks Anabel, it was gorgeous. And the scent…my Grandmother was a florist and the the scent took me right back to being in her shop.

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  1. Simply fabulous, Helen! I remember Durham Cathedral being decked in flowers a few years ago but I don’t remember the occasion. I will be back in England in early August but I’ll struggle to make it to Lincoln. You never know!

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    1. I did look at Durham to see if they were doing anything similar but sadly not just yet. They do a fabulous annual light show, too. All flowers are beautiful but to see them en masse like that and so creatively displayed was really lovely.

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    1. They are so beautiful. I love all the flowers that just grace us with a short season- blossom is another much loved bloom of mine. You just enjoy them while they are around. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment, means the world to me!

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    1. It was really lovely, and well balanced. You could still enjoy all the cathedral features but you were wandering through a floral fantasy to do it. A really nice way to spend the morning.

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  2. I went to Salisbury Cathedral relatively recently but it was in the winter. I would have loved to visit the festival of flowers. It looks amazing! Thanks for giving us the opportunity to experience the festival virtually. I have some deep red peonies growing in our garden. They are beautiful but never seem to last very long.

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    1. Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed a virtual visit. I love all the flowers that have a fleeting season, I think they remind us just to enjoy what is good sometimes!

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  3. Ah, this is wonderful. My eyes lit up at the Beatles arrangement and then, whaaat, The Sex Pistols in a cathedral!? How unusual, I wholeheartedly approve. By the way, is that Frank Zappa with the black beard and hat? Sladja and I have visited countless churches during our stay in The UK over the past five months and never grow bored by them. I’ll put Salisbury Cathedral on the list for next time.

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    1. The diversity and creativity of the arrangements was amazing! I guess you really can ‘say it with flowers’. The guy with the beard and hat was Guy Fawkes… but now you’ve said Zappa I can’t unsee it. Salisbury Cathedral is definitely worth a visit, there are some beautiful old buildings in the square around the Cathedral green too.

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