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Go floral!

Posted in SPORTS & ACTIVITIES By Maggie O' Sullivan

All is not lost if you can't make it to RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week – here's a bunch of other great ways to get your floral fix this summer.Hand-tied Bouquet Masterclass/London Flower SchoolIt will be so long supermarket stems, hello exotic blooms once you’ve done a course at the inspiring new London Flower School in King’s Cross, where day masterclasses include Hand-tied Bouquet (£250; 15, 22 & 27 August) and Inspired by Art (£250; 23 June, 7 & 29 August). For those with more serious floral intentions, one, two and four- week courses are also on offer (from £1,600).Fleuramour/ECT Floristry ToursIf you’d rather leave the floral arranging to the experts, ECT Floristry Tours organises trips to many of Europe’s top floral events. Belgium’s Fleuramour, for example, is one of the leading art and floral shows in the world. Held every year in Alden Biesen Castle in Bilzen, the event is renowned for showcasing the newest trends in floral design and arrangements and kicks off each year with an extravagant floral fashion show. Departs 22 September 2017. From £425 per person based on two people sharing a twin room, including return flights from London Heathrow to Brussels (also available from Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh and Manchester), return airport transfers, two nights at a 4-star hotel on a B&B basis and one day’s entry to Fleuramour 2017 with a coach transfer.RHS Gardens of Normandy Tour/Brightwater HolidaysOn the other hand, if you'd prefer to see flowers blooming in their natural environment, Brightwater Holidays specialises in garden tours, both in the UK and abroad, and also works with the RHS. The RHS Gardens of Normandy package in August, for example, comprises five days in and around Rouen and includes visits to Monet’s beloved Giverny, Le Bois des Moutiers and the chateaux of Mirosmesnil and Bosmelet, as well as the Jardins d’Angélique, the experimental Jardin Agapanthe and the contemporary Jardin Plume. Departs 31 August. From £725 per person, including four nights’ B&B and one dinner; return Eurotunnel travel and services of a professional tour managerFlowers of Cape Province/Ramblers Walking HolidaysAugust is also the month when South Africa’s blooms are at their finest, the mountain and coastal walking trails awash colour. Ramblers Walking Holidays’ Flowers of Cape Province trip takes in the diverse fynbos on Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain, the Overberg Coast and inland to Swartberg Nature Reserve. Trip highlights include some of the region’s best national parks and reserves, the famous botanical Kirstenbosch Gardens, Prince Albert’s ‘Cape Dutch’ architecture, the Cape of Good Hope and spectacular journeys across mountain passes. Departs 22 August 2017. From £2,475 per person, including return flights, 16 nights’ half-board accommodation, services of a dedicated tour leader and all local transport costs. 

BY MAGGIE O'SULLIVAN

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