An Eco-Floristry Festival
As we move into an age of climate uncertainty, being eco-friendly has never been more important or more relevant to our society. Salisbury Cathedral has been a leading presence in the ecclesiastical community, driving eco-friendly initiatives forward into a sustainable future. As a result of the Cathedral’s efforts, Salisbury was the first Cathedral to win a Gold Eco-Church award from A Rocha UK, a Christian nature conservation charity, on 16 June 2021.
Moving forward, this year at the Cathedral will be no different, as we continue to put eco-friendly measures in place. Our 2022 Flower Festival will certainly be a spectacular event, in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and our first major festival in quite some time.
Traditionally, floristry and flower arranging aren’t known for eco-friendly practices, with high air miles and the use of harsh materials such as toxic floral foam which is non-biodegradable and non-recyclable. However, this year at the Flower Festival, Salisbury Cathedral will be taking an eco-friendly approach to flower arranging, practicing eco-floristry. All flowers have been locally sourced with Southeast Flowers and will be composted after. In place of the harmful traditional floral foam, the Cathedral will instead be using the new and naturally derived, fully biodegradable Fibre Foam as well as crowdsourced glass jars which will be recycled after. In place of plastic tethers, we are using string or wire throughout the displays which can be re-used in the future.
Following this theme of recycling and re-using, the festival will house a thought-provoking display in the Cathedral Cloisters. Some of our incredible flower arrangers have crafted an installation out of litter, turning rubbish into works of art – creating inspiring displays out of household waste such as bottle caps, cans, plastic and more. Some salvaged waste materials which were found washed up along the beaches of the Jurassic Coast, could have travelled across oceans to finally be repurposed as art in our Cathedral Cloisters.
One of the pieces which is sure to grab your attention is a baked bean chandelier, created by Patricia Rowell from All Saints Church in Burbage. When asked about her experience creating this display for the festival, Patricia said:
“The brief was to reuse or recycle everyday objects that would be thrown away and give them a new purpose.
I am using 7 bean cans, so family and friends were asked to eat beans and give me the tins! I used an old wire cloche, used to protect plants from rabbits, to hang the tins from using old green garden twine.
I think it’s a great idea to be eco-friendly. I haven’t done anything like this before, though as a garden designer by profession I often repurpose old objects as containers or features in gardens.
I feel very excited and privileged to be taking a very small part, I was quite overwhelmed to hear there are over 400 people taking part. I’m sure our beautiful Cathedral will look magnificent and hope lots of people come to see the flowers and are touched in some way by the festival.”
Another piece poignantly depicts a well-known landmark in Dorchester, out of household waste such as yoghurt pots, cardboard and more and was created by Jennifer Tett. When asked about her inspiration for the display, Jennifer said:
“I thought of the piece I am doing because it is a very well-known landmark. As you enter Bridport from Dorchester the first thing you see is Colmers Hill in the distance. The name Colmers was given much later in the 19th Century named after the reverend John Colmers. He was the landowner and local rector of symondsbury from 1805-06. I was inspired because I can see Colmers Hill from our bedroom window. Three of our group depicted the sea and the others depicted the landscape and hills around the Jurassic Coast.”
Though creating these displays for the Cloisters was certainly a change of pace for our flower arrangers, all of them have created truly remarkable pieces none the less which expertly convey our eco-friendly message. You can see these wonderful pieces along with the incredible botanical arrangements at our Flower Festival from 10 – 15 May.