Bloom! York is bringing a splash of colour to the city during the four-day floristry festival from 5 to 8 of July.

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If we were to describe this festival as a bouquet of flowers, it would be a combination of Daffodils and Bird of Paradise. A splash of colour and a nod to the carpet of Daffodils surrounding the City Walls. The message of this combination of flowers is key. Bird of Paradise represents excitement, whilst the Daffodils are a metaphor for new beginnings, and Bloom! is definitely both.

Starting off as a celebration of 250th anniversary of the oldest florists’ society in the world, the Ancient Society of York Florists, Bloom! became a celebration of nature and horticulture. The program of events is truly overwhelming with over 100 events! We’ll share our thoughts on the events that shouldn’t be missed.

Annual Summer Flower Show

For the first time in history, the Ancient Society of York Florists’ Annual Summer Flower Show will be held on Parliament Street for all to enjoy. From professional florists to amateur gardeners and surrounded by an open-air flower photography exhibition - it is a perfect place to start off your horticultural adventure!

Out the corner of your eye (if you can even take your eyes away from the flower show) you might just spot a majestic Knavesmire Racehorse installation. A perfect photo-op! And don’t forget to pick up some beautiful flowers from the Shambles Flower Market – open for one day only on the festival’s finale.

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Continuing on to St. Helen’s Square, transformed from a meeting place for locals, into an inviting, lush, sensory garden, taking inspiration from Moorish-Stitch and heathers from the North Yorkshire Moors. Enjoy your lunch break there but don’t blame us if you are late to return to work!

Bloom! Performances

If you are lucky, you might spot Mr and Mrs Flora there. A couple of enchanted forest dancers, Mr and Mrs Flora will be making their official Northern debut in York! Another perfect photo opportunity to wow your Instagram followers. If you use #BloomYork you might even get featured on the Bloom! York Instagram.

Talk by Celebrity Florist Simon Lycett

There will be an incredible opportunity to learn all about #floralfabulousness with renowned celebrity florist, Simon Lycett. The Royal Florist has incredible passion for flowers equal to his delightful personality. Tickets to this event WILL go quickly, so we recommend booking now.

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Bloom! York

As you’re wandering around the city, don’t forget to stop by the Exhibition Square. Here you’ll find the statue of the famous York artist William Etty transformed with an abundance of bright, seasonal blooms.

Secret Strolls and Hidden Gardens

Taking a relaxing stroll on the iconic medieval City Walls will bring you to the ‘Blooms’ installation by Bishop Burton College. The show-stopping creation by Floristry students at the college will present another great photo opportunity (don’t forget #BloomYork). And if you love photography as much as we do, don’t miss the International Garden Photographer of the Year exhibition at York Museum Gardens.

York hides many secrets and Bloom! is your time to uncover some of them. Explore some of York’s most beautiful, but often overlooked or unknown gardens with York’s Hidden Gardens Trail. From gardens that you walk past every day, to ones created especially for the festival – it’s an adventure worth taking!

Bloom! York

You’ve heard of botanical gardens, but what about botanical boats? Enjoy the festival in a unique way. Have a delicious afternoon tea surrounded by greenery and flowers whilst sailing aboard the City Cruise boat. For those seeking an alternative experience City Cruises York is also organising a ‘60s Flower Power Cruise’ filled with retro tunes and a BBQ.

The Great Window Dressing Challenge

And don’t forget about The Great Window Dressing Challenge – keeps your eyes peeled for the variety of businesses across the city that took up the challenge to decorate their windows with the horticulture theme. They’ve transformed their windows into pieces of art created with real flowers, plants and trees, with some using paper and silk floral decoration. Royal Florist, Simon Lycett, will be special guest to judge and choose the winner. Tell us which ones you think deserve a win by taking a photo and tagging @BloomYork2018 and #BloomYork.

Follow Bloom! on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using @BloomYork2018. For more information visit

Planning on staying in York for Bloom! York? Find trusted hotles, B&Bs and other accommodation in York and book directly through Visit York.
Bloom! York is one of the many festivals taking part in York. Find out about the other festivals throughout the year on our York Festivals page.

Visit York Blog Written By Ana Ignatova