Taking place from 5-8 July, Bloom! will celebrate York’s rich and varied horticultural heritage as well as showcasing activity currently happening across the city. The jam-packed programme includes the involvement of more than 70 regional businesses and more than 100 fringe events connecting horticulture with art, music, literature, cinematography, gastronomy and science. Four days of floral spectacles will see a village green, hidden gardens and even a floral boat blossom in historic York during a new flower festival marking the 250th anniversary of the Ancient Society of York Florists, the oldest of its kind in the world.
The Science Of Plants
Curious visitors will be invited to visit York St John University to learn about botany - the science of plants. Here our leading science experts along with York St John University and Stockbridge Agricultural College amongst others, will be on hand to share their knowledge, host talks and events and even offer the chance to grow your own herbs from seeds or pick up a special York Minister key ring.
Come join us in the Science Hub – Essentially the theme of the stand is have a go at being a plant pathologist for the younger audience we are calling ourselves Plant detectives and have activities that revolve around them finding out what is wrong with a plant and diagnosing it. APHA have bug hunt on in the grounds so we are also going to make use of that and have plant pests and symptoms put around that the members of the public can find and come diagnose at our stand. All the “ologies” will be represented so there should be something for everyone from bugs and nematodes to bacteria, viruses and Fungi.
Fera Senior Bee Ecotoxicologist, Selwyn Wilkins, will be talking about the work of both Fera and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) to help honey bees and other important pollinators such as bumble bees and solitary bees.
Charles Lane, Plant Health Consultant, will be speaking about recent invasive species and explain how everyone can be involved in protecting our plants and the natural environment from pests and diseases. Book a place now!
Interested in Science? Why not listen to our podcasts.
Other Highlights of Bloom! include:
The annual summer Flower Show of the Ancient Society of York Florists, sponsored by TalkTalk, will offer a two-day spectacle of roses, sweet-peas, geraniums and glorious floral arrangements in Parliament Street in the heart of York. Here, at the festival’s core, visitors will also be treated to large floral installations, a farmers’ market and a one-day flower market.
Whilst the flower and plant displays offer a feast for the eyes, a Vegetarian Street Food Market also known as ‘The Vegetable Patch’ will provide delicious sustenance for the body.
An urban village green complete with real grass, meadow flowers and white picket fence, will take over St Sampson’s Square with the help of WowGrass.
York’s Hidden Gardens: A Trail; will unearth the secret green spaces behind the walls of some of York’s great buildings. Visitors will be invited to take this self-guided tour of some of the less visited and often completely hidden gardens of the city whilst also visiting stunning secret gardens new to York this July.
Bloom! Window Dressing Competition: strolling round the beautiful streets of York, visitors will be treated to many horticulturally-themed windows created especially for Bloom! Whether it’s a floral installation, giant paper flowers, a window filled with wheelbarrows or a tree emerging from a shop front, York’s retailers know how to dress a window in remarkable style for visitors to enjoy day and night. Sponsored by York Conservation Trust.
York’s First Floral Boat: Decked with flowers and greenery, The Captain James Cook will be sending charters out for the four days of Bloom! An ideal way to take to the waters and view the city from the River Ouse whilst taking tea upon York’s first floral boat – particularly apt given that 2018 is the 250th anniversary of the famous voyages taken by the boat’s namesake. Created by the experienced hands of the New Dimensions Flower Club through the sponsorship of Ice Cube Consulting.
An outdoor exhibition of the International Garden Photographer of the Year set in York’s Museum Gardens and sponsored by NFU Countryside will pop up in one of the city’s most famous urban green spaces. Here too, yoga in the gardens, story-telling and a family festival on the oft-forgotten Library Lawn alongside York Explore Library will provide hours of fun for every member of the family.
Coney Street will be transformed into the Curious Realm of Floribunda – visitors can expect traditional plants and flowers to be interspersed with fabric creations for a remarkable spectacle along one of York’s busiest shopping streets. Made possible through the sponsorship of GT Flowers Ltd. and the support of numerous businesses and individuals from the city.
Demonstrating that you don’t need a huge garden to engage with horticulture, the Miniature Magic Garden Competition on Library Lawn will see 30 small-scale gardens created by primary schools from across York in a series of brightly coloured wheelbarrows. Sponsored by Hungate Regeneration with Yorganics and Stones4Homes Ltd.
By happy coincidence, a Secret Garden next to York Theatre Royal created to coincide with the production of the play of the same name will be opening up this July. Sponsored by Northminster.
Further pop-up gardens will also be appearing at Exhibition Square, sponsored by Nestlé; and in St Helen’s Square, sponsored by McArthur Glen Designer Outlet.