NAFAS Floral Art & Design Tour, London, England 2019

NAFAS Floral Art & Design Tour, London, England 2019

August 4th – 11th,  2019

Derek Armstrong has been given the momentous and very exciting task of designing the 60th Anniversary Diamond Events at this very important show.

“It will be an amazing show with 3 days of talent,“showcasing to the world how floral design can enhance our lives with this mesmerizing art form in a unique style. The capital city has been chosen to bring these talents together, staging a remarkable and very visual design-filled experience, at the Business Design Centre in London. Whilst this is an outstanding building with a long history as an agricultural venue, it will never have looked as amazing as it will once our talented designers have completed their creations. Prepare yourselves to be truly amazed.” Derek Armstrong.

I got so excited when I saw this show coming up in London as I had been to previous shows, the last being WAFAIreland when I took a group there. London, a city that is filled with history and culture always surprises and now I am now presenting a tour of this show PLUS beautiful gardens around London that will also surprise, inspire and delight. 

NAFAS, just in case you do not know what they are, is the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies and has been a mainstay since 1959 for those who love flowers and flower arranging NAFAS is affiliated with the RHS and World Association of Flower Artists (WAFA). I have seen many of the floral designs that are created each year by their members for the past 20+ years at RHS Chelsea and all I can say is that they are truly breathtaking.

Preview Night August 7th at the show is a very special private ticket event and a chance for you to have your first glance at the glorious work of the floral designers as you walk around with a glass wine in hand or perhaps a canape or three.

You will have a day of Leisure on the 8th to either go to the show on your own or discover London BUT on August 9th, you are in for a very special treat as we are honoured to have a NAFAS Associate take us on a short walk about of this incredible show and Derek Armstrong, who is tasked with designing the 60th Anniversary Diamond Events at this show will have VIP Gift Bags ready to hand out to my tour guests. I have also included lunch at the show so you can rest up and reenergize for the afternoon delights, courtesy of

A tour for floral, garden and London lovers…we will visit some very special gardens on this tour as well… gardens that have their own story to tell. All easy walking gardens and full of character.

The tour group size is not large. For this land package, you will arrive and depart London, England and stay 7 nights in just one hotel… Hope you can join me!


Get in touch with me if any questions

Please click on each day to bring up the itinerary for that day

August 4th Sunday Day of Arrival and Welcome Dinner

Day of Arrival into London and make your way to the hotel. Check in Time is 3 PM

Hotel is the Copthorne Tara Hotel, 7 nights including breakfast.  Standard Room includes Free wifi, hairdryer, coffee and tea making facilities, in room safe.

Welcome Dinner this evening in the hotel restaurant includes Wine, Water and Tea or Coffee

August 5th – Monday Special Visit of Buckingham Palace & Gardens and Chelsea Physic Gardens

Have you ever been inside Buckingham Palace? It is so worth the visit just to glimpse the artwork, sculpture and porcelain in person rather than seeing it on T.V. or in the news. Of course we will only get to see a very few of the 775 rooms that are the Palace, but you will not be disappointed. The gardens have been described as a unique ecosystem as so many different plants grow here and we will enjoy a guided visit of them. Described as ‘a walled oasis in the middle of London’, it contains hundreds of different types of wild flowers, trees and a three-acre lake. Your visit will start by touring the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace with a complimentary multimedia guide. After the State Rooms there is time for you to take in the panoramic view of the lawn from the Garden Café and to visit the Garden Shop. Your Garden Highlights Tour will start 2 hours and 15 minutes after your State Rooms entry time and will last 45 minutes.

Our visit to Chelsea Physic Garden is a visit back in time….

The Garden’s location feels special and secret. It is nestled behind walls and positioned close to the River Thames. The ideal Thames location is no accident as back in 1673 the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries chose their Chelsea village site for its proximity to the river to make the most of its warm air currents. It gave them a base to moor their barge, allowing them to conduct plant finding expeditions in surrounding areas and to teach their apprentices to identify plants, those that might cure and those that might kill! The site is also blessed with a south facing aspect and good quality warm light soil, having previously been the site of a market garden. The River access allowed plants arriving from around the world to be introduced to the British Isles via the Garden, allowing the Garden to make a big impact from early on. Its international reputation was established quickly as a result of the global seed exchange scheme, known as Index Seminum, which it initiated in the 1700s and continues to this day. The Garden’s unique microclimate and location has allowed many of our gardeners throughout our history to grow plants not frequently found outside in the UK, including the UK’s largest fruiting olive tree. In 1976 the head gardener collected a record crop of 7lb of ripe olives, which is a London crop record! Chelsea is no longer a village but the Garden’s location still feels special and has been a huge factor in its success to this day. There is a shop and café here.


Breakfast included with lunch and dinner on own.

August 6th Tuesday Visits to Sissinghurst Castle Garden and Great Dixter

Often quoted as “England’s Most Romantic Country Garden” Sissinghurst Castle Gardens will be a treat to visit in August. The White Garden should be in full glory at this time to showcase what Vita Sackville-West and her husband, Harold Nicolson, created during their life here. Did you know that it was Harold who planted the white garden in the 1950’s? Although the plants may have changed since it was white glads, irises, dahlias and white Japanese anemones, it is still white and sweetly scented to enjoy as you stroll through.  Sissinghurst is a garden of rooms with each room showing itself shyly as you enter it. The Herb Garden will be a joy to visit as the enclosed walls will bring the intense fragrances out in full force in August. The roses on the walls will a delight to see and smell. Out in the vegetable garden, it should be full and ongoing harvest as this also goes to supply the restaurant.

Suggested Reading…

 “Sissinghurst: Vita Sackville-West and the Creation of a Garden” co author Sarah Raven who also lives on the grounds at Sissinghurst.

‘There’s much to love in this book. Read it for the history of a renowned garden, for the insights into the gardener who cared for it and for ideas and inspiration to bring to your own patch of earth.’

Even if you have seen this garden just once or 20 times like I have over the years, there is always something new to discover at Great Dixter.  “High on the list of garden pilgrimages is Great Dixter, the passion project of the late “imperial wizard” of English horticulture, Christopher Lloyd. The audacious gardener and celebrated writer’s Edwyn Lutyens-designed manor house, open to the public for nearly six decades, launches the first episode of NOWNESS’s weekly Great Gardens series, here captured by photographer and filmmaker Howard Sooley. “Christo was like Paddington Bear with teeth,”

Watch the short video on this garden and get inspired to see much, much more on our visit.

Breakfast included with lunch and dinner on own.

August 7th Wednesday Visit to Fenton House & Gardens and Evening Preview for NAFAS Diamond Floral Art & Design Show

Fenton House is a historic house located in the leafy Hampstead area of North London. Now owned and managed by the National Trust, it’s regarded as one of the finest remaining examples of a 17th-century merchant’s house, offering visitors the chance to see how well-to-do-Londoners of this era lived. As well as the fine exteriors, Fenton House is also famed for its unrivalled collection of historical musical instruments, European, Oriental and English porcelain, and 17th Century needlework as well as its many fine portraits. The charming, split level walled garden has also been little altered since its planting. The formal garden is on the upper level near the perimeter terrace and has a sunken rose garden. Below the sunken roses there are more stairs down to the lower level which is where the orchard, glasshouse and kitchen garden are. This garden always had fruit trees incorporated into the design with over 30 varieties of apple trees alone, but it also uses herbs to create a border between vegetables that looks like a miniature version of the hedges in the formal garden above. It’s a clever idea…

An article on the collections inside the house here…–an-exquisite-collection/

And a wonderful blog about it too…

This evening we will attend the preview of NAFAS…. This will be a very special ticketed preview evening from 8.00pm until 10.00pm. This will be an exclusive first glance at the amazing Floral Art & Design Show.

Breakfast included with lunch and dinner on own.

August 8th Thursday Your Day of Leisure

This would be the day to book a show or the theatre because you are in control of your time. When we are on tour days it can be very hectic with traffic so please do not book any shows or theatre except on this day or tomorrow night.

Breakfast included with lunch and dinner on own

August 9th Friday NAFAS Floral Art & Design Show

– More details to follow to those who have booked the tour

We will drop you off at the show and you can spend as long as you like here…when you are finished you can make your way back to our hotel.  It is a lovely 1.5 hr walk back to the hotel or you can take a taxi or the bus or tube. I love walking and often find the most wonderful photos on my walks, especially at this time of year. Stop for a drink, or a coffee or tea and enjoy the sights that London has to offer.

For those who have booked the tour I will have more information to send as we get closer to tour date.

This would be the day to book a show or the theatre.

Breakfast included with lunch and dinner on own.

August 10th Saturday Visit to Kew Gardens including Entrance to Kew Palace & Farewell Afternoon Tea at Botanicals Restaurant at Kew

Kew is London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage site offering unique landscapes and iconic architecture from every stage of the Gardens’ history. Our collection of living plants is the largest and most diverse in the world, growing out in the Gardens and inside our glasshouses.

There’s an impressive 250 years (and counting) of history in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Nowadays the Gardens stand at a whopping 300 acres, but they started out a little more humbly in the back yard of what was once the royal palace – favoured most by George III. Given the exceptional upkeep and wide variety of fauna, you’re sure to be inspired. And if the plants aren’t doing the trick, try seeking out the sculptures, which feature Henry Moore’s ‘Reclining Mother and Child’ in a stunning setting that changes with the light of each season. In fact, the art alone could take up your entire visit – see the Eduardo Paolozzi sculpture ‘A Maximis Ad Minima’ and visit the Marianne North Gallery and the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art. Kew Palace was the summer home of King George III. Cafes and shops here.

Traditional Afternoon Tea with finger sandwiches, miniature cakes/pastries, scones with jam & cream and a selection of teas or coffee. Opposite Palm House.

Breakfast and Afternoon Tea included and dinner on own.

August 11th Sunday Day of Departure



– 7 Nights Hotel Accommodation

– 7 Full English Breakfasts

– Welcome Dinner at Hotel, 3 course with Wine

– Farewell Afternoon Tea

– Visits to: Buckingham Palace state Rooms and Gardens, Chelsea Physic Garden,

Sissinghurst Castle Gardens, Great Dixter House & Gardens, Fenton House & Gardens,

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew & Kew Palace

– Preview Evening at NAFAS Floral Art & Design Show

– Full day ticket to NAFAS Floral Art & Design Show

– Full Day of Leisure

– Coach & Driver on Tour Days

– Tips & Gratuities to Driver

Not Included:

Flights, insurance, meals and drinks not noted, items of a personal nature and extra hotel charges such as luggage porterage and daily maid servicing.

Dates  August 4th – 11th , 2019

Land package GBP per person for twin sharing or Double

For those wanting their own room please add GBP to above price (single rooms very limited)

Tour is priced in GBP because that is the currency in England.. please convert into your own currency.

Tour is priced in the currency we pay our suppliers at destination.  Due to exchange rate volatility, we only convert to Canadian dollars at time of final payment at the prevailing exchange rates at that time. Your final payment will be in Canadian Dollars.

If you wish any pre or post tour nights at the tour price, please get in touch with me.

Note: Minimum of 15 must be registered for this tour to run, so please do not book your air until you are notified that we have reached this.


Tour is subject to changes in itinerary but not tour dates

Leave your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *