Beyoncé, Mary, Malala and Audrey: window designs at Leeds Castle

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The theme for last week’s Festival of Flowers at Leeds Castle was ‘Ladies Day’ and the Good Florist Guide design team were offered a special opportunity to take it in four different directions with buckets of creativity through their four installations in the Gloriette Corridors.

As visitors walked through the upstairs corridors of the castle, adorning each of the four windows were floral displays representing four famous and influential women. The colour schemes of each display were chosen to echo the character of the well-known personality they symbolised.

Nicola Roberts of Beau-K florist in Eastbourne decorated a windowsill in honour of Mary Berry, Karen Lindsay from Flowers by Karen Kilmarnock decorated a windowsill inspired by Audrey Hepburn, Laura Thompson of Pinks Florist in Hazelmere designed her windowsill around Beyoncé and Keri Walker of Keri the Florist in Wallingford created hers in honour of Malala Yousafzai.


Windows new


At nearly 900 years old, Leeds Castle is a majestic old building brimming with charm in every corner. Its windows are no exception, and at 132cm high within deep brick alcoves they’re the perfect size for filling with imaginative floral displays.

Each installation was accompanied by a frame showing a picture of the person the design was inspired by, along with a biography about why she has made a difference. Hat boxes supplied by OASIS® Floral Products were used in abundance; being an ancient building of great importance, windowsills had to be covered with protective plastic and nothing could be attached to the surrounding surfaces, though they could still get creative using the full space by suspending flowers from above.

Each designer created a thoughtful homage to their famous female in question, complete with props such as tea cups for Mary, a mortarboard for Malala, pearls for Audrey and bling for Beyoncé.


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The Good Florist Guide design team tasked with decorating the windowsills were; Keri Walker from Keri The Florist, Karen Lindsay from Flowers by Karen Kilmarnock, Laura Thompson from Pinks Florist Hazlemere and Nicola Roberts from Beau-k. 

Want to get involved with events like this? Good Florist Guide membership is open to florists all over the UK and joining the GFG family could mean you’re soon embarking on exciting opportunities you never thought possible.



About the florists

Karen Lindsay, Flowers by Karen, Kilmarnock, Scotland

Karen started as a Saturday girl 26 years ago before gaining a BA Hons in Media. She worked for the local newspaper but it became clear her heart was in floristry and 16 years ago opened Flowers by Karen aged just 23. An active member of Good Florist Guide, Karen admits she loves what she does given no two days are the same and as a florist you are constantly challenged by ever changing trends.


Keri Walker, Keri the Florist, Wallingford, Oxford

Keri started her career some 20 years ago and now not only runs a hugely successful shop in Wallingford, near Oxford but is a brand ambassador for Flowers of Colombia as well as a regular demonstrator. Previously a tutor at BCA, she was recently invited to be part of the Good Florist Guide in recognition of her commitment to providing the best possible designs, flowers and service to her wide base of customers.


Nicola Roberts
Beau-K, Little Chelsea, Eastbourne, East Sussex

Originally a singer in a band, a natural performer and showman, progressing into the world of floristry was a natural; just a different creative stage. Now Nicola owns beau-k florist which has gained the reputation as Eastbourne’s most beautiful floral boutique. Regularly called upon for high profile photo shoots and home styling, let’s just say that her diary is always full of the most varied and fun floral work, being creative is what keeps her motivated.


Laura Thompson
Company Name Pinks of Hazelmere, Hazelmere

This year Pinks of Hazelmere celebrate their 20th Anniversary, providing beautiful flowers and unique home décor and are proud, long standing members of the Good Florist Guide. Laura, who recently joined the team as shop manager, has over 10 years’ experience and plenty of qualifications to her name - including the prestigious Society of Floristry Intermediate Certificate. Now she’s taking her years of experience in the London events scene and huge knowledge base to bring the London look to the leafy Home Counties.


Huge thanks go to those companies committed to boosting good floristry and raising industry standards by supporting Good Florist Guide; top quality flowers for the event were sponsored by Fleurametz, while a fantastic range of sundries and accessories were sponsored by OASIS® Floral Products and Corsage Creations.

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