Saturday, June 30, 2012

A closer look at the Royal Barge roses.

40 garlands with over 50 roses each adorned the sides of the Royal Barge
Recently I wrote about the seven-mile flotilla of over 1,000 boats that escorted the flower-festooned Royal Barge down the Thames as part of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.

Over a million onlookers viewed the floating pageant as it traveled along the river to Tower Bridge, which was opened to allow the Queen’s barge to sail through.

Dozens of gardeners and hundreds of plants turned the Royal Barge into a floating botanical garden
In all, the floral display included over 4,000 red carnations, 2,100 Darcey Bussell roses, 1,000 Patience roses and 500 purple and red sweet peas. 

There were 40 garlands, each created with more than 50 blooms of Darcey and Munstead Wood, all supplied by David Austin English roses.

My Munstead Wood
Twenty gardeners spent seven months planning and growing plants for the special event. It took seven days for 45 florists, gardeners and flower arrangers to decorate the barge.

Photographs of the extravaganza prove all the work was well worth the effort.

There has been nothing like the river celebration since the flotilla honoring King Charles II in 1662, when diarist Samuel Pepys wrote that there were so many boats he could “see no water.”

The pageant was a feast for the senses.

Roses, carnations and sweet peas created a floral scene fit for a Queen

Cheers rang out along the shore out as the vessels passed by, church bells chimed and bands played selections including Handel’s Water Music. 

The James Bond theme could be heard in the distance as the procession passed the MI6 spy agency headquarters.

It appears a jolly good time was had by all.


Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Lynn, I can't imagine the Thames filled shore to shore with boats! Oh my. Love the bouquet with the Sweet Peas.
Love that James Bond theme was playing.

Lynn Hunt said...

Thanks Janet! That James Bond theme was a bit of fun, wasn't it? I forgot one really cool photo of a huge bed in the middle of the barge. Will post it as soon as I water my poor thirsty garden.

The Redneck Rosarian said...

Exquisite post on Her Majesties Diamond Jubilee. For centuries, roses have been the flower of choice for the British Monarchy and it's wonderful to see them celebrated during this time of jubilee!

Rose Petals Nursery said...

That's amazing...would have been fun to see it with my own eyes, but your post was very close to that! Thanks Lynn!

Lynn Hunt said...

Thanks Chris, I was delighted to be able to post these photos. It's amazing how they were able to use to roses to match the royal colors. I have heard the Queen has her own private rose garden and some of her blooms were included in the extravaganza!

Lynn Hunt said...

Cydney,I was so happy to be able to show the fabulous blooms and add a bit of "local lore" to the story. It's hard to imagine all the work that went into the displays. xxoo Lynn

Les said...

I am an incorrigible anglophile and would have given nearly anything to see the flotilla. Better yet to be one of the many kayakers I saw paddling the event.

Lynn Hunt said...

It must've been a once in a lifetime experience for everyone who joined the flotilla, Les. I was interested to learn so many of the Dunkirk boats had survived or have been restored.

Sunil said...

I saw a feature on Gardener's World (UK, BBC) about these garlands. The sheer number of plants and flowers involve was mind-boggling and they had to assemble and site them all at the last minute so they wouldn't look wilted. It was quite amazing, just a shame it threw it down with rain on the day.

Lynn Hunt said...

Hi Sunil,
I'd mentioned in my earlier posting that they'd done several trial runs to see how the garlands stood up to wind and rain. Apparently they didn't fall apart and stayed fresh for three days. Wish some of my bouquets would do that!!

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