Sweet peas at the Althorp Estate

Here are a few pictures of the sweet peas at the Althorp Estate, home to the Spencer family. There are four pieces to see there, and they are ready to see now as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Each of the 5,000 sweet peas are handmade and glazed so they’re all unique.

Sweet peas have been chosen for the Althorp Estate because they have a close connection with the Spencer family. Although introduced to the UK in 1600 by the Sicilian monk, Father Francis Cupani, the modern sweet pea can be traced back to the Earl of Spencer’s gardens circa 1901, where it was bred and named Countess Spencer. It carries 4-5 blooms on each stem. Punnett and William Bateson used the sweet pea to form their ideas that fundamentally influenced the development of genetics.

Click on the images to get a closer look:

English Flower Garden Exhibition Opens

The final Friday of February saw Pauls English Flower Garden exhibition open in his home city of Derby.  With a packed year of shows as part of the Cultural Olympiad the event had the air of anticipation as the Derbyshire artist unveiled new sculpture for the first time.

The event was attended by people from across Britain as they took the opportunity to have a private preview of the works to come during 2012.  In attendance at the event were Rory Slater (Derbyshire 2012 Legacy Co-Ordinator), Paul Brookes, Saphia Smith (Assit Combined Arts, Arts Council England), John Coyne (Vice Chancellor, University of Derby), Sara Sanderson (Relationship Manager, Diversity in Arts Practice, Arts Council England) and Rosy Greenlees (Executive Director of the Crafts Council).

The project is part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. It has also been selected to be part of the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration from 21 June and running until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.