The Duchess of Cornwall Visits Garden Museum and Opens British Flowers Week Festival

Photograph of HRH's flower arrangement - British Flowers Week. Credit: Clarence House, 2020



The Duchess of Cornwall will visit the Garden Museum to open the annual British Flowers Week festival in collaboration with New Covent Garden Flower Market. Her Royal Highness will tour the floral installations which are designed around the theme ‘Healing’. The displays will showcase the unique seasonal quality of British flowers, plants and foliage. 

Her Royal Highness will then visit the museum’s new exhibition, Constance Spry and Fashion for Flowers, curated by Royal florist Shane Connolly. 

Her Royal Highness will be greeted by The Deputy Lieutenant, Ms Rosi Prescott at the Garden Museum and Shane Connolly (who holds The Prince of Wales’s Royal Warrant). 

Her Royal Highness will then be greeted by Christopher Woodward (Director of the Garden Museum) and Mark Fane (Chairman). Her Royal Highness will be escorted by Shane Connolly around 10 floral installations that make up the British Flowers Week festival. During the tour The Duchess will have the opportunity to meet the florists alongside their displays. 

HRH will also meet representatives from Covent Garden Flower Market. Shane Connolly will then say a few words about British Flowers Week before presenting HRH with a bouquet with rosemary in as a sign of remembrance, acknowledging that today would have been the birthday of The Duke of Edinburgh. 

HRH will then proceed to the gallery to view the exhibition Constance Spry and the Fashion for Flowers before meeting two representatives from Floral Angels of which Her Royal Highness is Patron. Floral Angels is a charity that recycles donated flowers from events and arranges them for use in hospices, women’s refuges and care homes throughout London. 

Her Royal Highness will also visit the Clore Learning Space and meet pupils from Notre Dame Girls School and their Head of Science, Lorna Carroll, taking part in a Plant Science Learning session lead by Samia Qureshi, Garden Museum Science Learning Officer. Her Royal Highness will have opportunity to take part in an experiment herself. 

After this, will be given a posy by Samia Qureishi’s daughter, prepared by Shane Connolly. 

Her Royal Highness provided a video message last year to mark Flower Week. 

Her Royal Highness last visited British Flowers Week in the Garden Museum in June 2018 when she opened the exhibition. The Museum reopened to the public, post-COVID, on Monday 17th May. 

British Flowers Week 

Founded by New Covent Garden Market in 2013, British Flowers Week is an annual, national celebration of the wealth and variety of British cut flowers, plants and foliage. The week aims to: 

  • Showcase great British-grown flowers, plants and foliage through great British floristry and talent in floral design 
  • Raise awareness of which British flowers are in season when 
  • Encourage the public to buy more British flowers 

In 2018 New Covent Garden Market partnered with the Garden Museum on what is now the annual British Flowers Week exhibition. The exhibition is an opportunity for five of the finest floral designers in Britain to showcase their creativity through site specific pieces on a theme, creating innovative installations using environmentally sustainable methods (and no floral foam), transforming the Garden Museum into an immersive floral wonderland filled with the scents and colours of beautiful British-grown blooms. 

The 2020 exhibition had to be postponed due to the pandemic, and therefore this is the first exhibition for two years. 

Garden Museum 

The Garden Museum is the UK’s only museum dedicated to the art, history and design of British gardens. House in the medieval/Victorian deconsecrated church where Britain’s first great gardeners, the John Tradescants, are buried, and were founded in 1977 by Mr and Mrs John and Rosemary Nicholson. The Prince of Wales is the Patron of the museum. 

Education is at the heart of the Garden Museum. The museum runs Food Learning and Science Learning programmes for children and adults. The Clore Learning Space classroom is used for school groups, to study plant biology using microscopes and plants grown in the museum’s gardens. The Learning Studio kitchen is used by children and adults to make meals from scratch, as well as study nutrition and the origins of the food on our plate. 

The Museum attracts over 70,000 visitors per year to its exhibitions and award-winning Café. 

Constance Spry and the Fashion for Flowers 

This summer the Garden Museum is celebrating the doyenne of flowers, the 20th century’s most influential floral decorator, Constance Spry. Guest curated by floral designer and writer Shane Connolly, this new exhibition explores Spry’s exceptional life, achievements and legacy, with exclusive access to her archive at the RHS Lindley Library. 

For this exhibition the Garden Museum has gained exclusive access to Spry’s personal archives, which were deposited at the RHS Lindley Library after her death and have not been displayed publicly since. The exhibition features 100 never before seen photographs, documents and personal items from these archives, a precious record of an extraordinary life. 

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