The Chelsea Flower Show brought a burst of colour to London once again in 2012. The blooms on display at Chelsea in May brightened many a city visitor’s day, despite predictions that the cold and wet weather would make it a washout! This year saw the launch of the fragrant Rosa ‘Royal Jubilee’, a new David Austin rose to help celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. What could be more proudly British?
However, it wasn’t only quintessential English roses that impressed in 2012. One of Chelsea’s standout attractions this year was the Tropical Paradise exhibit in the Great Pavilion. This exotic display by Suzanne Gaywood MBE enlivened Chelsea with the colours and scents of the Caribbean island of Grenada.
It also inspired many a visitor to think about seeing more of the flowers of the world with their own eyes, perhaps in the flowers natural setting, beside beaches and in gardens and forests abroad. So for flower-lovers with itchy feet, Thomas Cook suggests some novel ideas for enjoying blooms on your breaks:
Jasmine on the Night Air – Tunisia
Jasmine irresistibly reminds me of holidays in hot places. If you’re familiar with Tunisia holidays, you probably find the scent of Jasmine takes you back there in an instant. That’s because little bouquets of Jasmine, Tunisia’s national flower, are sold everywhere by small boys – who even offer the fragrant bunches to motorists stopped at traffic lights.
Wildflowers and Wreaths – Greece
Travellers weary from hiking among wildflowers on one of the many great cheap holidays Greece has to offer, with the hillsides and fields of Rhodes particularly being a great place to go for wildflowers, could find themselves honouring Greece’s floral emblem when they sit down to a restorative local feast!
A branch of bay laurel is both Greece’s floral emblem and also the source of the bay leaf, which is so essential in Mediterranean cuisine. You’ll also be familiar with laurel from the wreaths that since ancient times have crowned the victorious – including the Greek god Apollo.
A Native Daisy – the Canaries
While the national flower of Spain is the carnation (which aptly symbolises passion), Spain’s Canary Islands have their own floral treasure. The Marguerite Daisy, a pretty perennial well-loved in gardens worldwide, is native to the Canaries.
The Marguerite may be easy to find everywhere, but plant-lovers will find that there’s much that’s unique to the Canaries. Whether for holidays in Gran Canaria, Lanzarote or Fuerteventura, visit the Canaries in February or March, following winter rainfall, for the most colourful blooms and lushest vegetation.