12,500 visitors descended upon the 900 year old Leeds Castle in Kent for the annual Festival of Flowers to view the state rooms adorned with beautiful floral creations on the theme of ‘A Queen’s Castle’. Head Florist at Leeds Castle, Louise Roots, always creates breathtaking arrangements in the castle and this festival captivated all – such beauty and grandeur simply can not be matched!
Often referred to as the ‘ladies’ castle’, Leeds Castle is famed for being owned by six medieval queens. It is the legacy of these influential Royal women that inspired designs by international award winning floral designers from Dutch Master Hans Haverkamp’s Bridal Bouquet, Neil Whittaker’s Rich Royal Colours and Dennis Kneepkens Whimsical Woodlands & Whipped Cream.
The official opening was hosted on Saturday [24th September] by English garden designer and television personality Joe Swift who gave a guest talk on ’30 years of Garden Design’ to a packed room in the 17th century Fairfax Terrace. Joe’s talk concluded an afternoon of demonstrations and talks on the themes of Botanical Beauties, Fun & Funky Flowers and Flower Arrangement Techniques.
The official opening attracted invited guests and friends of Leeds Castle including TV presenters Joe Swift and Jan Leeming, Helen Grant MP, Lady Monkton, Amanda Cottrell OBE and Sandra Matthews March from Visit Kent, Jane Streatfield from the National Garden Scheme and gardening experts including Steven Edney, Head Gardener from The Salutation, Jo Thompson Landscape Garden Designer and Marion Boswell Landscape Architect.
TV presenter Joe Swift cut the ribbon to officially open the festival and chose Louise Roots’ creation of ‘A Royal Banquet’ to win his award for his favourite design of the festival.
The festival of flowers takes months of preparation and design and here are some facts about the displays which really highlight just how much work was involved behind the scenes to ensure Leeds Castle looked fit for a Queen…
- 20,000 stems of flowers and foliage used in the flower festival
- 158 different types of flowers were used
- 50 different types of foliage were used
- 28 designers worked on the festival
- The flowers need to be fresh for 10 days – ensuring the flowers look as beautiful for the last person in the Castle as the first.
- It took 8 van loads to deliver all the flowers!
- It took 2 days to condition the flowers.
Scroll down to see some of the stunning displays Leeds Castle Festival of Flowers had to offer…