Flower power spirit floats through holy walls for return of Salisbury Cathedral Flower Festival

By Culture24 Staff | 07 June 2011
A photo of the inside of an enormous cathedral covered in flowers
© Ash Mills
Festival: Salisbury Cathedral Flower Festival, Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury, June 14-19 2011

Chelsea Gold Medallists Michael Bowyer, Pam Lewis and Angela Turner return to Salisbury’s 750-year-old cathedral for their first floral takeover since the 2008 festival, which attracted 18,000 visitors to witness a dizzying array of traditional and contemporary explosions of bloom inside the haunting building.

More than 500 people have been involved this time, with large-scale installations at the West End and Spire Crossing and arrangements inspired by quotes from the King James Bible, in honour of its 400th anniversary.

“We have been working for many months putting together some totally original displays,” promises Bowyer, who says the festival is “on a massive scale”.

“Our integrated and co-ordinated design encompasses not only the whole interior of the Cathedral but also the main entrance areas, the Chapter House and cloister garden.

"There will be 20 floral banners along the pathways outside the Cathedral. It’s going to be hugely exciting and I can’t wait for people to see it.”

A photo of the inside of a cathedral with tall green flowers on stands
© Ash Mills
For those who haven’t visited the cathedral before, the Chapter House is also the place to see the finest original copy of the 1215 Magna Carta in the land. But for once the tome will have to take a back seat as more than 150 urns of flowers get splashed across the mane nave, as well as a structure inspired by an Antony Gormley sculpture on the South Transept and “cutting edge” creations in the Morning Chapel.

“We know that many of their designs and stunning installations from 2008 have since been emulated in different guises in many different locations,” observes Chapter Clerk Mark Elcombe, who says the cathedral team are hoping to set a “new standard” through this year’s programme.

“Michael and his colleagues are again designing what will clearly be a magnificent flower festival.”

  • Open 10am-5pm (9pm Thursday, 12pm-4pm Sunday, closed Monday). Admission £9.50/£8. Book online.
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