9 beautiful flower festivals to experience in the UK

This verdant and pleasant land is the perfect place for plants and flowers to grow in abundance. In the UK we have sunshine, rain and all other types of weather that constantly alternate, so we have good fertile soil and the perfect conditions for growth. All of this makes the UK a great place to hold a flower festival. We’re quirky too, and I love how quirky some of the festivals we put on can be. From large, well-planned and delicately designed festivals to small, local festivals held in churches and parks and even some that stretch across towns and counties, the UK has some of the most interesting flower festivals you will ever have. never the chance to live. Here is my selection of flower festivals to visit in the UK.

Magnolia Mania (Photo credit: Great Cornish Gardens)

1. The Great Cornish Gardens

The Great Cornish Gardens are perhaps the UK’s most unusual flower festival, as it spans an entire county. This festival includes 13 of Cornwall’s most historically and horticulturally significant gardens. It takes place at the end of March in order to make the most of the beautiful blooms. The famous magnolias – native to the Himalayas – are the exotic models of the botanical world, with their stunning goblet-shaped bright pink flowers, some as large as dinner plates, providing a dazzling catwalk of floral color around the Great Cornish Gardens. Each year, the team at Great Cornwall Gardens keep a close eye on the flowering of the most prized Magnolia campbellii trees, waiting for them to reveal their beautiful goblet-shaped pink flowers. Once the magnolias from six of the 19 Grand Gardens Champion Trees have revealed their first 50 blooms, spring is officially declared to have begun in Cornwall. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, they are expected to flower up to a month before any other part of the UK. A milder winter so far means the first day of spring could be declared even earlier this year.

Pro tip

‘Magnolia Mania’ in Cornwall also heralds another burst of vibrant color as the gardens’ rhododendrons, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths unfurl to put on a dazzling spectacle. Magnolias steal the show here, but don’t miss the less-visited blooms of daffodils and tulips, which are equally beautiful.

Flower gardens in the grounds and historic medieval buildings of Penhurst Place.
Penshurst Place (Photo credit: Duncan Andison / Shutterstock.com)

2. Glorious Gardens, Kent

Penshurst Place in Kent holds an annual Glorious Gardens event every June to show off the best Grade I listed gardens. This is when the famous 100m long border of double pink peonies tends to bloom. The Peony Border features a glorious display of four different varieties of soft pink flowers that have a heavenly scent. People travel for miles to see the annual display, and you can sign up for a special alert line to be notified when the first flowers bloom. This is to give you the best chance of seeing them since the peony bloom season is notoriously short, often lasting no longer than 2 weeks. There are 11 separate garden rooms which were originally laid out in Elizabethan times, each with a distinct theme and planting. During Glorious Gardens, the rose garden – which will be in full bloom and offset by silver underplanting – is particularly beautiful. The Jubilee Walk’s grassy double border with poker-hot reds and oranges blending into the color palette of cool blues and purples creates additional perspective.

Judith Blacklock in blooming Belgravia.
Judith Blacklock at Begravia in Bloom (Photo credit: Judith Blacklock)

3. Belgravia in Bloom, London

Belgravia in Bloom, which runs alongside the Chelsea Flower Show in late May, celebrates flowers at various locations across the region. There is a huge flagpole adorned with ribbons and flowers erected outside the Judith Blacklock Flower School in the mews which is amazing to see. This year will be unlike any other as it is also a precursor to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and Belgravia in Bloom will help lead the way with incredible floral installations such as the British Maypole to be seen at Judith Blacklock Flower School . Chelsea in Bloom’s theme is ‘British Icons’ while Belgravia in Bloom’s theme is ‘Beautifully British’ as ​​it all comes close to the Queen’s Jubilee. To honor the show’s longtime patron, each Chelsea Flower Show satellite celebration draws inspiration from all things traditionally British. That’s why this year, the Judith Blacklock Flower School is creating this very British Maypole, traditionally decorated with ribbons and adorned with colorful seasonal flowers. The Maypole was chosen by Judith as it originally represented fertility and rebirth after spring when the flowers began to bloom, which is reflected in the show which returns this year at the usual time. But it’s also a long-standing tradition, just like the Chelsea Flower Show. Maypoles date back to the Middle Ages, when tall poles were erected and dances were performed around them at folk festivals and brought the community together. These then began to be dressed in ribbons and flowers.

Pro tip

There’s also a special class during the week that teaches students how to make a hand-tied bouquet, followed by the refreshing Judith Blacklock cocktail at Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor bar.

Manchester Flower Show.
Photo credit: Manchester Flower Show

4. The Manchester Flower Show

This annual flower event marks the start of summer with flower displays on the streets, retailers and businesses of the city of Manchester. When you visit the Manchester Flower Show, you can see the city come alive with the urban version of Manchester on the traditional British flower show. It’s unusual to have a flower festival in a busy big city like this, but it’s a breath of fresh air to walk around and see the bursts of color and smell the aroma of the flowers in the urban life.

RHS Bridgewater Garden.
Pete Stuart / Shutterstock.com

5. RHS Garden Bridgewater, Salford

In nearby Salford, RHS Garden Bridgewater is also set to host the Interflora Florist of the Year final in July and the Interflora World Cup in 2023. You can watch the contestants create their floral designs and put down roots for your favorite. The RHS Garden will host a New Blue Peter Garden in 2022, the centenary year of the BBC TV show. The original Blue Peter Garden moved from the Television Center to Media City in 2012 when production of the show moved to Salford. The New Blue Peter Garden will be previewed at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May and will then move to RHS Garden Bridgewater in the autumn.

Blenheim Palace Maze - Malborough Maze - with statue and hurdles.
Blenheim Palace (Photo credit: Nevada Dru / Shutterstock.com)

6. Blenheim Palace Flower Show, Woodstock

A riot of colors, scents and weird and wonderful plants, the 20,000 square foot Grand Floral Pavilion forms the centerpiece of the Blenheim Palace Flower Show and features the UK’s best nurseries and growers giving expert advice and gardening ideas. Visitors can enjoy Garden Talks with experts and enthusiasts, fabulous food and drink, over 300 exhibitors, an outdoor plant village and live entertainment throughout the weekend. The Blenheim Palace Flower Show is the place to find your favorite plants, flowers and a range of gardening products, from unique garden gazebos, greenhouses and arbors to beautiful flowers, gardening items and hundreds more products.

Pro tip

If you want to do it all while you’re here, you can, as admission is included with Palace, Park, and Gardens tickets. Buy a ticket for the palace and enjoy the gardens as well as the house.

7. The RHS Malvern Spring Festival

The RHS Malvern Spring Festival, held in early May, is a glorious celebration of flowers and the annual RHS Flower Show is included as part of the event. The festival is a bright and flowery weekend, with televised gardener talks and workshops on growing and growing flowers, and of course the beautiful flower gardens you can stroll through. Brand new for 2022 is the Floral Green, which is a dedicated floristry space with displays and demonstrations from some of Britain’s top cut flower experts.

Chichester Cathedral Flower Festival.
Photo credit: Chichester Cathedral

8. The Chichester Cathedral Flower Festival

The Chichester Cathedral Flower Festival is a 4-day floral spectacle that takes place in early June. The cathedral themed the festival differently every year, and this year it’s ‘Life in All Its Fullness’. Visitors can admire 60 spectacular flower arrangements created from more than 50,000 flowers on display in the 900-year-old cathedral. The arrangements will respond to the theme of “Life in All Its Fullness”, exploring the benefits of art, nature and music in healing, and will be portrayed as picturesque tableaux, gardens and pedestal arrangements.

9. The National Flower Show, Chelmsford

The National Flower Show is held at Hylands Estate at the end of May. It’s a great celebration of flowers, plants, stalls and shops that offer everything you need for your home and garden. The festival has plenty to keep you busy over the 3 days it takes place, including the outdoor plant village, a beautiful floral pavilion, food and drink pavilion and a house and countryside pavilion . You can even browse the stalls for quirky handmade gifts and jewelry, making this a lot more than a flower festival. Flowers are always the star of the show, and a stroll past the lavender display will remind you of the beauty of these incredible creations.

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