Camellia Festival Time Approaching

Rare blooms feature in the Chiswick House Gardens annual event

What's on in Chiswick

The Chiswick House Camellia Festival 2014
Chiswick House, W4 2QN
Dates: 1st March – 30th March 2014
Conservatory opening hours: Daily 10.30 am – 4pm (Closed Mondays)
Chiswick House: exclusive ‘Festival’ weekend openings 10am – 4pm
Advance bookings and information:
Tickets: £8 including free Camellia Show guide.
Concessions: £7
Memberships: English Heritage & National Art Pass £5
Children under 16: Free
For details of discounted group bookings and booking special group guided tours see

Chiswick House and Gardens Trust

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Chiswick House and Gardens Trust brings a burst of colour to the winter season with the 4th annual Camellia Festival running from March 1st to 30th.

The Festival will take place in the Conservatory, a 300ft glasshouse designed by Samuel Ware in 1813 for the 6th Duke of Devonshire. The Conservatory overlooks the semi-circular Italian Garden, celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. Admission is £8 - for details of opening hours and concessions, see below.

Camellia japonica

The Camellias on display are believed to be the oldest collection under glass in the Western world and include rare and historically important examples of these beautiful plants, many descended from the original planting in 1828.

Among them is the unique Middlemist’s Red, originally brought to Britain from China in 1804 by Londoner John Middlemist, a nurseryman from Shepherds Bush. It is one of only two in the world nown to exist – the other being in Waitangi in New Zealand.

Camellias have enjoyed a special allure. By the 1840’s, when the Duke of Devonshire’s collection was well established, the Camellia was at the height of its fashion as the luxury flower. The Parisian courtesan Marie Duplessis, who died young in 1847, inspired Dumas’ La Dame aux Camellias and Verdi’s La Traviata. And the white Camellia was Coco Chanel's favourite flower.

The Festival Shop will be selling special Camellia inspired merchandise, including a limited edition print of their Camellia japonica ‘Incarnata’ by Sir Peter Blake, as well as a range of varieties of Camellia plants. The Chiswick House Café will be serving a seasonal menu.

All funds raised from the Festival support Chiswick House and Gardens Trust, the registered charity dedicated to the preservation and continued enhancement of Chiswick House Gardens,

February 23, 2014