Historic Royal Palaces unveils plans for Platinum Jubilee ‘Superbloom’ at the Tower of London

23 November 2021

23 November 2021

The Tower of London will be encircled by millions of flowers next Summer, for a stunning new ‘Superbloom’ display, celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen.  From Spring 2022, 20 million carefully selected seeds will be sown in the Tower’s famous moat, creating a vibrant sea of flowers which will continuously evolve from June to September, changing colours and patterns throughout the Summer.  With a planting scheme designed to attract bees, pollinators and seed-eating birds, the display will provide a biodiverse space to support wildlife.  ‘Superbloom’ will be the first stage of a permanent transformation of the famous moat into a new natural landscape in the heart of the City of London.

In recent years, the vast 14,000 square metre moat is best known for being the setting for two major commemorations of the Centenary of the First World War: the 2014 ‘Poppies’ and 2018 ‘Flames’ installations.  However, the space has had many uses in its long history. In the 19th century the moat was drained and grassed-over, and used as a grazing ground for Victorian livestock, and even allotments during the Second World War. In 1977, to mark HM The Queen’s Silver Jubilee, the moat provided a fitting location for a garden display.  Now, almost half a century later, the moat will once again be the setting for the Tower’s jubilee tribute. For the first time, a space dug and filled in the 13th century to keep people out of the Tower, will welcome visitors in -  from June 2022, it will be open every day for visitors to explore and see the spectacle of the ‘Superbloom’ close up.

The project has been conceived by Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) – the charity which cares for the Tower of London - and planned for several years.  HRP is working with landscape architects Grant Associates and University of Sheffield Professor of Planting Design and Urban Horticulture, Nigel Dunnett – both of whom have extensive expertise in urban horticulture and landscape design – to bring the project to life.  Their design will bring a burst of spectacular natural beauty to the Tower, whilst creating a significant new and much needed resource for pollinators and seed-eating birds. Early tests in Summer 2021 have already demonstrated the power of even a small number of flowers to increase the biodiversity in the moat.   When the ‘Superbloom’ display ends in September 2022, the new natural landscape created to support it will remain in the moat as a permanent Jubilee legacy.

An explosion of colour within London’s urban landscape, the Tower’s ‘Superbloom’ will also celebrate the value of nature to our wellbeing.  The positive impact of green space on health is widely recognised and the pandemic has highlighted its importance.  Historic Royal Palaces hopes that the transformation of the moat – a previously underused space – will inspire similar positive change across the country.  Schoolchildren are being invited to take part in a major schools initiative to support the project; growing their own displays, created from a special palette of seeds, to bloom alongside the one at the Tower – and learning about what gardens can do to improve sustainability and support ecology as part of that process.

Historic Royal Palaces also plans to host smaller floral displays across its other sites – including at Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace and Hillsborough Castle, to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. 

Tom O’Leary, Public Engagement Director, Historic Royal Palaces, said,

‘We’re thrilled to be bringing some joy, colour and spectacle to the Tower of London in 2022, in celebration of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.  Everyone at the Tower is looking forward to sharing the project with everyone as it develops – and hoping for some luck with the weather next Spring!

We hope that this thriving new landscape, surrounding London’s formidable fortress, will celebrate the power of nature to unite us all.’

Andrew Grant, Director, Grant Associates, said,

"The prospect of transforming the Tower of London moat from barren amenity grassland into a spectacle of nature was irresistible and we look forward to seeing this historic evolution unfold over the coming months. This is set to be a highly significant transformation - one that will build on the moat’s legacy to create a nature-rich, sustainable landscape for the benefit of both biodiversity and the communities of the Tower, Tower Hamlets, London and all future visitors. We anticipate this bold intervention will be a catalyst for many other transformational projects across the country, bringing colour and life to renew our urban neighbourhoods.”

Nigel Dunnett, Professor of Planting Design and Urban Horticulture, University of Sheffield, said,

‘We hope that the effect of being surrounded by a sea of colourful, sparkling and vibrant flowers will release feelings of pure liberated joy in visitors to the Superbloom – it will be such a powerful, emotional and celebratory experience.  We’ve undertaken a lot of testing and trials to ensure that we deliver dramatic and beautiful impressionistic blends of colours, a long and continuous sequence of flowering, and a wonderful place for pollinating insects.’  

The Superbloom will be seeded in March 2022 and open in June 2022, but work to prepare for its installation has already begun this Autumn. Tickets for the display will go on sale from 6 December 2021.

The Superbloom and its accompanying schools initiative are supported by Platinum Partner sponsors Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Rothschild & Co and Schroders; generous donors including the Hiscox Foundation; and a number of City of London livery companies: The Grocers’, Drapers’, Fishmongers’, Goldsmiths', Merchant Taylors', Clothworkers’, Airpilots' and Actuaries' Companies.

 

For further information or images, please contact the HRP Press Office via [email protected] / 020 3166 6166 

 

Historic Royal Palaces is a team of people who love and look after six of the most wonderful palaces in the world. We create space for spirits to stir and be stirred. We want everyone to feel welcome and accepted. We tell stories about the monarchs you know and the lives you don’t. We let people explore and we set minds racing. We are a charity and your support gives the palaces a future, for everyone.   

Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk 

Grant Associates is a pioneering international landscape architecture practice, based in Bath, UK and Singapore. Its work reconnects people with nature in insightful, delightful and distinctive ways whilst addressing the global challenges of urbanisation, the climate crisis and biodiversity extinction. The practice’s design process is underpinned by a knowledge of human behaviour, nature and ecological science combined with innovative design technology. Grant Associates’ varied portfolio includes ambitious large-scale, landmark projects through to small, local ventures.

For more information visit https://grant-associates.uk.com

AboutFreshfieldsBruckhaus Deringer 
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is a global law firm with a long-standing track record of successfully supporting the world's leading national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments on ground-breaking and business-critical mandates. Our 2,800 plus lawyers deliver results worldwide through our own offices and alongside leading local firms. Our commitment, local and multi-national expertise and business know-how means our clients rely on us when it matters most. 

About Rothschild & Co 

Rothschild & Co is family-controlled and independent and has been at the centre of the world’s financial markets for over 200 years. With a team of c.3 600 talented financial services specialists on the ground in over 40 countries, Rothschild & Co’s integrated global network of trusted professionals provides in-depth market intelligence and effective long-term solutions for our clients in Global Advisory, Wealth & Asset Management, and Merchant Banking.  

Rothschild & Co is a French partnership limited by shares (société en commandite par actions) listed on Euronext in Paris, Compartment A with a share capital of €155 465 024 €. Paris trade and companies registry 302519228. Registered office: 23 bis avenue de Messine, 75008 Paris, France. 

About Schroders plc 

Founded in 1804, Schroders is one of Europe’s largest independent investment management firms by assets under management. As at 30 September 2021, assets under management were £716.9 billion. The founding family remain a core shareholder, holding approximately 48% of the firm’s voting shares. Schroders has continued to deliver strong financial results. It has a market capitalisation of over £9 billion and employs over 5,500 people across 37 locations. Schroders has benefitted from the most diverse business model of any UK asset manager by geography, by asset class and by client type. Schroders offers innovative products and solutions across their five business areas of solutions; institutional; mutual funds; private assets & alternatives; and wealth management. Clients include insurance companies, pension schemes, sovereign wealth funds, endowments and foundations. They also manage assets for end clients as part of their relationships with distributors, financial advisers and online platforms. Schroders’ Wealth Management offering reflects their strategic ambition to provide wealth management and financial planning services to clients across the wealth spectrum. 

Schroders’ strategic aims are to grow their asset management business, build closer relationships with end clients and expand their private assets and alternatives business. Schroders’ purpose is to provide excellent investment performance to clients through active management. The business channels capital into sustainable and durable businesses to accelerate positive change in the world. Schroders’ business philosophy is based on the belief that if they deliver for clients, they deliver for Shareholders and other stakeholders.