South East News

Gold for Leeds Castle Florist at RHS Flower Show

Wildlife, bugs and beasties are the inspiration behind the fragrant floral interpretation of an English country garden, which caught the attention of the judges at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017 to win a Gold RHS Award for Louise Roots, Head Florist from Leeds Castle in Kent.

The award winning design is on display in the Floral Marquee within the Floral Design Studio at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and is open to the public until Sunday (9th July). Louise will be hosting a floral demonstration in the Roses and Floristry Theatre at 1pm and 4pm on Wednesday 5th July.

The 360 degree floral design stands at an impressive 12 feet high, took a full two days to construct and was designed to represent ‘a wildlife haven’. Louise took her inspiration for this year’s entry from the beautiful cottage gardens of Leeds Castle and her own rural home.

Commenting on her award win, Louise Roots said: “I spent a lot of time drawing ideas from my own garden and the beautiful gardens at Leeds Castle, seeing how they changed over the seasons and which plants attracted the most wildlife. I wanted to include Foxgloves in my design as they are iconic to an English garden and I had the notion for a central beehive from the incredible number of bees seen at this time of year, especially attracted to flowers such as Alliums, with their strong garlic scent. Most of the flowers I have used can be seen growing in the gardens at Leeds Castle.

I was inspired to submit an entry to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this year after running the Leeds Castle Festival of Flowers successfully for the past four years and seeing the wonderful creativity from floral designers to showcase design concepts on a theme. I am overwhelmed to be awarded Gold for a second year running, it is an unexpected honour and makes all the hard work and effort worthwhile.”

Praising Louise for her award, Leeds Castle’s Chief Executive Sir David Steel added: “Once again Louise has demonstrated her immense talent and everyone at Leeds Castle is so proud of her. Helped once again by Colin Swain, our carpenter and all her colleagues in the Castle’s Floristry department, Louise’s second Gold medal at RHS Hampton Court is an immense achievement and we are all thrilled for her”.

Louise Roots leads a large team of florists designing flowers for over 100 weddings, corporate functions and events every year as well as providing fresh flower displays to adorn the state rooms of Leeds Castle every day of the year. Her work also includes leading the concept, design and delivery of the Castle’s annual renowned Festival of Flowers.

This year the Festival of Flowers: ‘An Enchanted Castle’ takes place from 23rd to 28th September where Leeds Castle visitors will be able to attend specialist workshops hosted by Louise and guest floral designers. The official opening will be hosted by English garden designer and television personality Joe Swift on Saturday 23rd September.

Leeds Castle rises majestically from the moat and is set within 500 acres of beautiful grounds, in the heart of the garden on England.. Today, the Leeds Castle Foundation continues to maintain surrounding parkland, farms, woodland, a 9-hole golf course and formal gardens.

Leeds Castle is located near Maidstone in Kent just off Junction 8 of the M20 within easy reach of London. Grounds open at 10am daily and the Castle is open from 10.30am. Last admission is 4.30pm and gates close at 6pm.