A special bouquet to mark the Queen’s 90th Birthday will be placed at Durham Cathedral on Friday, one of nine bouquets to be placed around the region, each marking a decade of the Queen’s life.
The initiative has been organised by the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS).
In the NAFAS Northumberland and Durham Area, nine special places have been selected: The Alnwick Garden, The Bowes Museum, Durham Cathedral, Gibside, Hexham Abbey, Lanercost Priory, Preston Park, Seaton Delaval Hall and St Mary’s Cathedral Newcastle.
At Durham Cathedral the special bouquet will be placed next to one of the pillars that divide the Nave from the Quire and there will also be an information card with the bouquet to explain to members of the public the significance of this special placement in honour of the Queen’s 90th birthday.
The initiative forms part of UK-wide celebrations on Friday 6 May marking National Flower Arranging Day, to generate awareness of the work that flower arrangers do across the country.
Each year NAFAS’s 60,000 members are asked to celebrate National Flower Arranging Day by leaving small posies of flowers known as ‘lonely bouquets’ in the streets as a random act of kindness to a stranger. Members of the Northumberland and Durham area of NAFAS, many of whom are also volunteer flower arrangers at Durham Cathedral have been placing the ‘lonely bouquets’ for several years and Helena Johnson, who is also on the NAFAS board of directors nationally, said: “We have placed ‘lonely bouquets’ in and around the Cathedral as well as on top of the tower for several years now and we are pleased to be able to repeat this tradition and combine it with the Queen’s special 90th birthday bouquet. We know from our counterparts across the country that the cheerful bouquets are much appreciated by members of the public, who often take to social media to express their surprise at the kindness of the gesture.”
“The flower arrangers here at Durham Cathedral do a huge amount of work throughout the year and many people do not realise the research that goes into these arrangements. Flower arrangements, especially in church, are not simply placed to look pretty, but often the types of flowers and foliage or the colours chosen have special significance too.
“Flower arrangements mean a huge amount to people when you think about when we use them: to celebrate, to mourn, to commemorate; flower arrangements and bouquets are an integral part of our culture and that is part of what we celebrate on this day.
“We also hope that by placing these simple but beautiful ‘lonely bouquets’ on Friday 6 May, more people will be inspired to join a flower club and learn about flower arranging. It is a great hobby that can be a lot of fun when you join a group and it’s a wonderful talent to have to be able to give beautiful arrangements to friends and family too!”