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Chichester Cathedral’s Festival of Flowers 2018

The 12th Chichester Cathedral Festival of Flowers takes place from 31st May to 2nd June, when the Cathedral will be transformed with over 80 stunning flower arrangements using over 50,000 blooms.

Over 60 arrangers from the Petworth, Midhurst, Petersfield and Haslemere area (including the Midhurst Flower Club) are working together to produce this biennial event. They are joined by arrangers from all over the county, as well as students from Plumpton College and the Ferring Country Centre, bringing the total number of arrangers to 220. Philip Jackson, the renowned sculptor from the Midhurst area, will also be exhibiting.

Entering the 12th Century building that is Chichester Cathedral is a unique sensation which stimulates all your senses as you take in the sight and perfume of the arrangements and, when accompanied by a programme of music, makes the whole experience totally breath-taking.

This year’s festival title is ‘This Earthly Paradise’ which celebrates the theme of plants, plant hunters, lady gardeners breaking into a man’s world, plants from the bible, in medicine, and everyday life including community projects. Kew Gardens, the Royal Horticultural Society, the National Garden Scheme, the British Museum and the National Seed Bank have all contributed in various ways to the festival.

The arrangers will be producing flower displays varying in size from 1ft to 20ft long and 12 feet high. Titles of these exhibits will cover Europe, Australasia, the Water of Life, the Tradescants, the Bishops Palace Garden at Chichester, 90 years of the National Garden Scheme, Flowers of the Holy Land, from Potting Shed to Glasshouse, Plants in medicine and Plants that changed our lives, Vita Sackville West’s White garden at Sissinghurst in Kent, and the Green Man, a Roman ancient symbol. Some of these arrangers have been helping since the Festival started in 1996, 22 years ago.

Emma Bridgewater, British Designer and Businesswoman, whose distinctive ceramics have a worldwide following is the Patron of the 2018 Festival of Flowers and is producing a limited edition ‘Chichester Cathedral mug’ to celebrate the occasion; this is available to pre order or buy at the Festival. Details email: trust@chichestercathedral.org.uk

Apludram Roses, Chichester, is the grower of the Festival Flower rose ‘Nostalgia’, a fragrant hybrid tea with striking cream flowers, edged with rich cherry-red which will be available to buy at the festival (left). The festival will also preview new gerberas from Holstein Flowers, Holland.

A festival fair and plant market is held selling fresh flowers, food, clothing, gifts and accessories and a range of plants and garden items. Refreshments are available from the Festival Café where winners from a primary schools art competition will be on display.

The Chichester Festival of Flowers is known as the ‘Gold Standard’ of flower festivals and has raised over £1 million since its inception in 1996. The biennial event takes 22 months to organise and over 500 volunteers in various roles, help to put on this magnificent display. Over 14,000 visitors are expected to attend, including many disabled and visually impaired visitors.

Money raised from the festival will go towards the restoration of the cathedral high roof, costing £5.8 million, which will take four years to complete.

Tickets are available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/chichestercathedralflowers

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