Fantastical flora and fauna

Blenheim Palace park and gardens from the air.
Blenheim Palace park and gardens from the air.
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A star of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Sir Ian McKellan swaps fantasy for flora when he opens this year’s Blenheim Palace Flower Show, which runs from Friday to Sunday (June 17 - 19).

Sir Ian has gained more than 60 awards for acting and was awarded the Companion of Honour by the Queen in 2007 for his services to drama and equality, writes Steve Mills.

Sir Ian said: “I am really looking forward to visiting Blenheim Palace on Friday. It is 300 years since the birth of Capability Brown.

“It will be intriguing to see how he transformed the Palace’s parkland and how it looks today.”

A record number of floral and garden exhibitors are taking part this year which marks the fourth edition of the Blenheim Palace Flower Show at the World Heritage Site in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, which was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.

At the heart of the show will be a 20,000 square foot Grand Floral Pavilion featuring more than 30 floral displays and a large selection of flowers and plants from the UK’s finest plants men.

The show will also feature a selection of inspiring Show Gardens designed by some of the country’s leading garden designers.

Visitors will be able to browse and purchase the latest products from hundreds of floral and garden exhibitors, as well as sampling delicious foods and nibbles in the food marquee.

Show director Matthew Upson, managing director of Aztec Events, said: “Blenheim Palace Flower Show has really established itself as one of the great summer occasions and there couldn’t be a finer setting for a flower show than the beautiful landscape of Blenheim Palace.”

For more information and to book tickets visit www.blenheimflowershow.co.uk.