Sir Peter Blake helps launch Camellia Festival 2012

Chiswick House launches the annual Camellia Festival with the help of artist Sir Peter Blake

The Chiswick House Camellia Festival 2012 was previewed at an early day event on Thursday 16 February with special guest and much loved artist Sir Peter Blake who has a long association and affection for Chiswick House Gardens.

Media and press were given first glimpse of the beautiful displays inside the Conservatory as Chiswick House and Gardens Trust volunteers put finishing touches to the restored Italian Garden in which the building is set.

New additions to the festival this year include a gorgeous exhibition of blooms by Camellia specialist growers Trehane Nursery; elegant new pots on the historic stone shelving introducing the delicious scent of jasmine and hyacinth; lemon trees and the lovely 19th Century marble statue of A Girl (or Nymph) at the Bath, newly returned to the Conservatory from Chiswick House. Outside the Italian garden is planted with a lovely display of early Spring flowers in a palette of blues and yellows.

The Festival opened on Saturday 18 February and runs until 18 March. Tickets can be purchased online via Ticketweb using the link on the right. For group bookings, and information about the specialist camellia lectures by Jennifer Trehane see the links on the right.

Gallery of Photos from Festival event on 16 February


Artist Sir Peter Blake RA at the launch of the 2012 Camellia Festival
Sir Peter Blake at Chiswick House Camellia Festival 2012

Andrew Fane, Chairman of the Chiswick House and Gardens Trust, with presenter and Chair of HLF Wesley Kerr, and Director Sarah Finch-Crisp
From left to right: Andrew Fane, Chairman Chiswick House and Gardens Trust; Wesley Kerr, broadcaster and Chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund's London Committee; Sarah Finch-Crisp, Director, Chiswick House and Gardens Trust

Camellia specialist Jennifer Trehane at the 2012 Camellia Festival
Jennifer Trehane, Camellia expert and author, Trehane's Nursery

Broadcaster Vanessa Feltz at the 2012 Camellia Festival
Vanessa Feltz, broadcaster and journalist with her favourite pink Camellia at Chiswick House Camellia Festival 2012

Sir Peter and Lady Blake at the 2012 Camellia Festival
Sir Peter and Lady Blake, Chiswick House Camellia Festival 2012

Volunteers planting the Italian Garden
CHGT Volunteers planting the Italian Garden ready for the festival opening on February 18

All photos © Anna Kunst

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