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Fabulous floral displays at Stamford's Burghley House

By kay_kelly  |  Posted: October 07, 2012

Burghley House Head Gardener John Burrows' 'Setting the Royal Standard'

Burghley House Head Gardener John Burrows' 'Setting the Royal Standard'

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This year's flower festival at Stamford's Burghley House focuses on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Six floral societies - along with Burghley staff and Head Gardener John Burrows - have decorated nine rooms at the beautiful Elizabethan property, taking their inspiration from the royal celebration and the individuality of the rooms.

In the Old Kitchen, Stamford Floral Arrangement Society's creation is 'The Staff Tea Party'.

The choice of flowers is influenced by what may have grown in the estate glasshouses when the house was built – carnations, lilies, roses, chrysanthemum, ferns, perhaps even orchids – and fruit and vegetables are also used. Some of the colours reflect the copper pans and kitchen utensils on display.

A team of Burghley House staff, with no formal floral qualifications but a love of flowers, foliage and the property itself, has designed 'Crowing Glory' in the Bow Room.

Their theme is the coronation – finding the room's rich, royal colours and sombre atmosphere are reminiscent of the coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey. The display focuses on the figures of the Queen and her consort, with the flowers and foliage used representing the colours of the ceremonial robes and floral emblems of the countries of the UK and Commonwealth.

Floral decorations in the Black and Yellow Bedroom are the work of Melton Mowbray & District Flower Club.

The club decided to depict 'Royal Maundy' because the room's gentle colours suggests a sincere occasion such as the giving of Maundy Money – at which posies of spring flowers are presented as part of the ceremony. Pastel colours are predominant to compliment the colours of the curtains and drapery around the bed. With spring flowers unavailable, seasonal flowers are used in the posies instead.

Sleaford & District Flower Lovers' Club were inspired by the beautiful corner fireplace and magnificent marquetry furniture to create their untitled displays for the Marquetry Room.

The club chose a pink theme to contrast the dark green of the walls and pick up the pink hues in the fireplace rug. It also decided on more contemporary designs as a contrast to the traditional room.

The eye-catching lunar, astrological and world globes in the Pagoda Room are the influence for Yaxley Flower Club's 'Floral Globoda'.

In its lunar arrangement, the club uses pastel flowers in various shapes and textures to replicate the moon's surface and incorporates small 'diamonds' to both represent twinkling stars and to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee. The world globe display uses darker flowers to reflect the earth's surface and bluey-grey foliage to represent the oceans.

The club also showcases its own interpretation of a pagoda and has created a display in a side room, used as a gentleman's dressing room.

Burghley House Head Gardener John Burrows created 'Setting the Royal Standard' in the Blue Silk Bedroom.

He was inspired by the reds, blues and gold of the bed which reminded him of the Royal Standard which flew over Burghley on June 13 this year when The Queen visited as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

'Fit for a Queen' in the Second George Bedroom – where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert stayed during their visit in 1844 - is the work of Rutland Flower Club.

Drawing on this, the club has created simple floral designs to enhance and not detract from the room's beauty. The pedestal arrangement, although modern, reflects the burgundy red and soft pink and gold in the wall tapestry hanging beside it. Peacock feathers also suggest the birds featured in the tapestry.

Cascading arrangements adorn the commodes on either side of the bed, seasonal flowers in red and orange colours suggest the warmth of an open fire in the silver fireplace, and two stools have been created in the form of floral tapestry cushions with designs representing both queens.

In the Third George Room, a pair of still life paintings by Neopolitan Master Guiseppe Recco, sparked the imagination for Peterborough Floral Decoration Society's 'Floral Harmony' arrangements.

An abundance of flowers, in colours to complement the décor of the room, and foliage are used as well as craftwork and gilded leaf detail.

Burghley House staff also decorated the Heaven Room – taking inspiration from Neptune's seascape depicted on the north wall to create a river pageant, just like the one which took place on the River Thames in June this year.

Floral boats, representing different Commonwealth nations, are carried across the room on a swathe of blue 'water'.

"As a house built by Queen Elizabeth I's most trusted and senior minister, we think it's fitting to cap this wonderful Diamond Jubilee year with one last tribute," said Jo Tinker, Marketing Manager for Burghley.

The Royal Pageantry, Floral Art to Celebrate The Diamond Jubilee, runs until next Sunday (Oct 14).

For more details visit www.burghley.co.uk.

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