‘Queen’s Garden’: Superbloom at the Tower of London Back to previous

‘Queen’s Garden’: Superbloom at the Tower of London

Photo credit: Historic Royal Palaces

Author: Izabella Kasinska


Superbloom opens to the public on 1 June 2022

Lead sponsor Burberry

In celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a ‘Queen’s Garden’ will be created at the Tower of London this summer, as part of Historic Royal Palaces’ Superbloom display. Taking inspiration from The Queen’s 1953 coronation gown – designed by famed British couturier Sir Norman Hartnell – a lawned area known as the Tower’s Bowling Green will be transformed into an elegant garden featuring a combination of meadow flowers, topiary and summer-flowering perennials, bulbs and ornamental grasses.

The Queen’s Garden will be in bloom ready for the Jubilee Weekend and will remain in situ until the end of September. Designed to be viewed from the outside – in the spirit of other picture gardens cared for by Historic Royal Palaces at Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace – it can be enjoyed by all those visiting the Tower of London or Superbloom over the summer months.

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The concept for the garden was developed by Andrew Grant and James Clarke of Grant Associates, the lead designers for the Superbloom project, and draws on the colours, shapes and motifs employed by Hartnell for the coronation gown. The layout of the space – with its concentric scalloped hedging – is intended to evoke the scalloped tiers of embroidery which feature on the gown’s silk skirt, while Nigel Dunnett – the Lead Horticulturalist for Superbloom – has selected a delicate semi-formal structure of shrubs such as lavender, santolina and brachyglottis greyi to frame a sparkling mix of summer flowers, hinting at the gold bugle beads, pearls and diamante which dazzled viewers around the world on coronation day.

Rising from the garden will be 12 cast glass forms representing the national emblems featured in Hartnell’s embroidered design, including the thistle of Scotland, the Australian wattle and Canadian maple leaf. In the centre of these motifs will sit a glass crown, a reminder of the Tower of London’s ancient role as home of the Crown Jewels; the sacred regalia used in Her Majesty’s coronation, and those of previous British monarchs going back centuries. Specially created for the Queen’s Garden by glass artist Max Jacquard, these hand-crafted artworks will catch the light and provide an elegant visual spectacle.

Superbloom at the Tower of London – Yeoman Warder standing amongst flower blooms in the moat.

Eva Koch-Schulte, Creative Producer at Historic Royal Palaces, said: ‘The Queen’s Garden is a really integral part of our plans to mark the Platinum Jubilee at the Tower of London this summer, and it seemed only fitting to share news of this tribute from us at Historic Royal Palaces on Her Majesty’s birthday. In its inspiration, the garden references the Tower’s ancient association with coronations, while drawing on the best of contemporary horticultural design and British craftsmanship in its creation.’

Glass artist Max Jacquard said: ‘This is a terrifically exciting project to be involved with, and we have tried to pay homage to Her Majesty and to Norman Hartnell in the crafting of the emblems embroidered on The Queen’s coronation dress. Inspired by Hartnell’s embroidery techniques, we have put a contemporary twist on the designs by using rich patterns translated into coloured glass. It has been an honour and pleasure to combine our own creative practices with the design concepts of Grant Associates and the input of the Historic Royal Palaces team. We are looking forward to seeing them in situ!’

The garden has been commissioned by Historic Royal Palaces as part of this summer’s Superbloom project – which will see the Tower of London encircled by millions of flowers in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen – and made possible thanks to the support of the Drapers’ Company. With favourable weather, the bloom will begin to flourish at the beginning of June, filling the historic dry moat with a vibrant field of flowers and creating a welcoming new habitat for wildlife.  The ‘Superbloom’ will then evolve throughout the Summer, becoming a haven for pollinators and creating a stunning spectacle of changing colours and patterns, flowering until September. With a planting scheme designed to attract bees, pollinators and seed-eating birds, the display will provide a biodiverse space to support wildlife. Historic Royal Palaces hopes that the transformation of the moat – a previously underused space – will inspire similar positive change across the country.  Schoolchildren are being invited to take part in a major schools initiative to support the project; growing their own displays, created from a special palette of seeds, to bloom alongside the one at the Tower – and learning about what gardens can do to improve sustainability and support ecology as part of that process.

The Superbloom and its accompanying schools initiative are generously supported by Lead Sponsor Burberry, Coronation Crown Platinum Partners Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Rothschild & Co and Schroders, State Crown Platinum Partner Bloomberg and Diadem Platinum Partner Marsh; generous donors including The American Friends of Historic Royal Palaces Inc, The City of London Corporation, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust, the Hiscox Foundation and others who wish to remain anonymous; as well as a number of City of London livery companies: The Grocers’, Drapers’, Fishmongers’, Goldsmiths’, Merchant Taylors’, Clothworkers’, Wax Chandlers’, Tallow Chandlers’, Saddlers’, Airpilots’, Builders’ Merchants’, Actuaries’ and Engineers’ Companies.