The Tower of London will transform the dry moat around the medieval castle into a spectacular flower display called The Superbloom for the Queens Platinum Jubilee.
This year is very special for the UK, the overseas territories and the Commonwealth countries. Her Majesty Elizabeth II, celebrates her Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne. Many places and organisations across the globe will take this opportunity to honour her long reign by instaling various displays and exhibitions.
We have already published a guide to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee if you’re looking for more general information, this piece will focus on the Superbloom, so let’s dive into a blooming good read!
The Superbloom is the name given to the amazing display commissioned by Historic Royal Palaces. Millions of carefully designed seed mixes have been scattered in the tower’s moat over the last few months and these will be complemented by mature plants for a display of spectacular natural beauty.
Landscape architects have been working for months on the planting design. The flowers will form a vibrant field of new colours in the moat. Together with sculptural elements and a specially commissioned sound installation, the moat will become a green haven in the busy Capital offering a dramatic and engaging experience.
Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the most famous sites in the Capital and attracts thousands of visitors annually. The umbrella organisation is Historic Royal Palaces, as a charity, they are responsible for the day to day running of the Tower. The famous fortress is still very closely connected with the Royal Family, it’s home to the magnificent Crown Jewels and is well worth a visit during your time in London.
Tower of London Moat
As a medieval castle, the Tower of London features a moat. In the beginning, it was a safety feature and welcoming habitat for flora and fauna. It was once used as a fishery in the 13th century. Eventually, the stagnant moat became a smelly mess and had to be drained. The dry moat bed has been used for various events over the years:
- Ice skating ring – an annual event during the Christmas period
- Poppies at the Tower – to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1
- HM Silver Jubilee in 1977 – to mark 25 years of the reign of Elizabeth II
- Allotment – during WW2 the moat provided fresh produce to all the Tower residence
If the History of the Tower fascinates you, you’ll enjoy our guide to Everything you need to know about the Tower of London
There has been extensive expertise put into the landscape design, with the colours and patterns creating a display which will change form over the months. More than 20 million seeds have been planted featuring 29 different flower species. Those flowers were specifically selected for their colours and their ability to thrive in the urban space.
There will be three stages of the Tower of London Superbloom all coordinated by the colour of different flowers
- First Stage (June) – yellow and orange
- Second Stage (July) – blue and purple with a hint of vibrant red
- Third Stage (August-September) – gold
Urban Space and wildlife
The London Superbloom is primarily here to celebrate Queen’s Platinum Jubilee but it will also provide a new natural landscape for fauna. The greenery has been carefully designed to attract pollinators such as bees, birds and insects.
Urban horticulture is essential in any city. The team at Historic Royal Palaces have fully embraced this idea to form a new biodiverse habitat where seed eating birds will happily live in the city centre.
Why not challenge your kids to see how many animals they can spot during your visit. We understand the Tower is preparing a handy checklist to keep your curious children entertained too.
An important part of the Superbloom display will be Queen’s Garden which will feature on the Tower Bowling Green. The project was developed by Andrew Grant and James Clarke, both of whom are part of award-winning landscape architects Grant Associates.
The motifs and symbols seen in the garden are not new, they all featured on the coronation gown worn by Her Majesty in 1953, designed by Sir Norman Hartnell. We think it’s a beautiful link between the coronation and this celebration queen’s platinum jubilee.
The centre of the garden is dedicated to 12 cast glass forms representing various flowers and national emblems, such as the thistle of Scotland, Canadian maple leaf or a glass crown symbolising the role of the Tower of London today.
The glass forms will be surrounded by semi-formal sculptural elements of shrubs and a mix of summer flowers.
The Legacy of Superbloom at the Tower
The Tower of London Superbloom display ends on 18th September, however, that doesn’t mean that it will completely disappear after that. The idea has always been to create a space in the moat, which has only been used sporadically over the years.
The natural landscape created for the platinum jubilee is expected to remain in some form leaving a permanent jubilee legacy. This permanent transformation will create a beautiful new green space in London for years to come. Who knows, maybe it could become the perfect spot for afternoon tea in the shadows of a world famous fortress! We expect the legacy will soon feature in our guide, What to See at the Tower of London.
An unsually dry start to the year has meant the flowers are growing more slowly than expected. Anyone who has a ticket booked prior to the 15th of June will be offered a free voucher to return later in the year to see the superbloom in all its glory!Update 05/06/22
When: 1st June – 18th September
Where: The Tower of London
Closest Tube station: Tower Hill
We hope this has given you a good overview of The Platinum Jubilee Superbloom. When you are visiting London, we would love to show you around, The Tower of London Tour is one of our most popular activities, make sure you book early so you don’t miss out!
If you have any more questions about the Superbloom, or London in general, feel free to contact us.