Flowers shows: Great bunch of top festivals

CHELSEA

This year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, (May 21-25) all eyes will be on The Duchess of Cambridge’s Back To Nature Garden.

As ever, the show gardens will defy logic by looking like they’ve been established for years and the extraordinary, dazzling displays of flowers – and vegetables – inside the Great Pavilion will inspire.

A first for the show this year will be artisan garden: The Donkey Sanctuary: Donkeys matter, which will depict the habitat they have to work in fetching water for communities. 

Tickets from £30; rhs.org.uk

GUERNSEY

The Channel Island of Guernsey will be positively blooming from June 2-30.

Throughout the whole month, the Guernsey Floral Festival will feature special events, guided walks and even visits to nearby islands of Herm and Sark by ferry.

Thanks to its mild climate, the varieties of plants and flowers are different to those than the rest of the UK.

Highlights include the Guernsey Lily, woods of bluebells and wildflower strewn meadows.

FlyGuernsey offers a three-night break during the Guernsey Floral Festival from £209 with accommodation at Le Friquet Country Hotel, B&B, based on two sharing.  Price includes return flights from London Gatwick, departing June 6, 2019. To book, flyguernsey.com 

JERSEY 

On neighbouring Jersey, you can take on the Battle of Flowers. On August 8 and 9, this two-day spectacle includes flower covered floats, musicians, dancers and entertainers.

First staged in 1902 celebrating a Royal Coronation, there’s a competition for the best, most colourful float of the day.

Stay at The Atlantic Hotel Jersey for two nights from £760pp. Price includes dinner, B&B and hire car. 

theatlantichotel.com, 01534 744101; flights with easyJet to Jersey start from £66 

KEUKENHOF 

Carpeting a 32-hectare site, the Keukenhof Festival, a dazzling display of tulips near Amsterdam, is celebrating its 70th anniversary.Visits can be daunting if you do it alone.

Titan Travel (as part of its six-day DutchWaterways and Tulips river cruise) has an expert on board.

You’ll also explore Zaanse Schans windmill village and Amsterdam via the canals.

Six days from £1,399pp includes most meals, excursions, VIP door to door service and Eurotunnel or ferry crossings.

To book, titantravel.co.uk, 0800 988 5873. Departures April 1 and 6.

HARROGATE

The genteel Yorkshire town of Harrogate Spring Flower Show (April 5-28) includes show gardens, flower demonstrations and live entertainment.

Budding florists from flower clubs and colleges across the UK will be showing their creations and there will be plenty of advice sessions too.

Chefs on hand will show you how to prepare seasonal dishes.

Tickets from £19; flowershow.org.uk

MADEIRA

The pretty island of Madeira hosts the Madeira Flower Festival (May 2-19).

There will be a glorious flower parade, street murals and carpets of flowers.Two garden visits are also included.

JulesVerne offers four days, starts from £845, B&B and excursions, departs May 18. 

Flights from Gatwick with transfers and guide services. vjv.com, 020 3553 3722

TATTON PARK

Set in the grounds of Tatton Park, the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show (July 17-21) is renowned for its friendly atmosphere.

The carnival atmosphere extends to Bus Stop Boulevard, innovative show gardens including the poisonous garden and great talks from world-renowned gardeners.

Depart July 20 on a two-day coach break, including one night’s accommodation, half board basis, show entry and travel from £144pp.

Pick up points in the north west and NorthWales.

shearings.com, 0344 874 8220

BLENHEIM

The birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, is hosting its annual Flower Show (June 21-23).

In attendance will be TV’s George Clarke holding Q&A sessions.

There’ll be a floral art competition, inspiring displays in the Grand Floral Pavilion and talks as well as shopping opportunities and plenty of food and drink.

And of course, you can wander around the beautiful sprawling gardens and grounds.

Tickets from £15; blenheimflowershow.co.uk

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