The ornamental horticulture industry has been essential in helping millions bid farewell to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in tribute to her sad passing on Thursday 8th, September.
During this period of National Mourning in the UK, people from all over the world have been queueing to lay flowers outside Her Majesty’s royal residences, including Buckingham Palace, Windsor, Sandringham and Balmoral, the retreat where she died peacefully. Over the weekend, the Royal Family visited some of these locations to read the tributes.
The Queen was a hugely keen gardener and took a special interest in developing the gardens at Buckingham Palace, Balmoral and Sandringham. Her love of the countryside was unrivalled.
Her attendance at Chelsea every year is a testament to that wider interest and support of the industry. The iconic planting of a tree is symbolic in many of her duties and ceremonies. And this year, the huge take-up of tree planting across the land to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee under the banner of the Queen’s Canopy.
International horticultural association members have sent WhatsApp messages offering sincere and deepest condolences during this sorrowful time to our publisher, AIPH – International Association of Horticultural Producers. Including this tribute from the President of Asocolflores, the association of Colombian exporters of cut flowers.
James Barnes, chairman of member Horticultural Trade Association, said: “The HTA would like to pay tribute to Her Majesty for the immeasurable stability, dignity and prestige she has bestowed on this nation in many ways and for many years. For us in particular in the field of Horticulture.”
According to GTN Xtra, the UK garden centre industry has been paying its respects to HM The Queen through actions and messages.
Hillier Garden Centre, one of several companies within the horticultural sector to hold a Royal Warrant, thanked the Queen for her unstinting support through visits to its exhibits at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Some garden centres closed the day after the announcement of the Queen’s passing, while others, including the team at The Old Railway Line Garden Centre, Brecon, created a Tree of Thanks display in its plantaria. The commemorative display will be added to by customers writing messages of thanks on cards and hanging them on the tree.
At Perrywood Tiptree, a picture of The Queen is displayed on an easel surrounded by a bouquet of everlasting red, white and blue flowers. In Shiptonthorpe, Langlands Garden Centre plans to plant a special rose and create a memorial display to express its appreciation and gratitude.
Some have taken the decision to close on the day of the funeral, Monday 19 September, whilst others have decided to limit their marketing activity during the mourning period.
For now, the floral tributes have been overwhelming and since Monday, 12 September, mourners are being guided to leave them at dedicated sites nearby in London’s The Green Park, with plans for composting after the funeral and for them to be used in the Royal Parks afterwards.