This is by no means a simple task, and requires months of meticulous preparation starting in the autumn. From February the bulbs are kept in greenhouses at specific temperatures so they come into bloom on Easter Sunday and are transported in refrigerated trucks to the Vatican on the Tuesday before.
A team of 25 is this year led being led by floral designer Paul Deckers who has been involved with the St Peter’s displays since 1988. He said positioning of the flowers starts at 6am on Saturday morning with a final check taking place in the early hours of Easter Sunday. The Vatican approve their plans and are keen to ensure that the flowers do not block television cameras filming the liturgy.
This year Deckers was keen for the display to reflect the mercy of God, a theme which the Church is currently marking with a jubilee year. For this reason he chose to use 3,500 ‘Avalanche’ roses in a range of colours including soft pink and peach.
“I want a colourful interconnectedness,” he said. “I’d like to create a sense of the flowers speaking the languages and feelings of people.
After Sunday the fresh flowers are then distributed to nearby churches and monasteries while the bulbs are planted in the Vatican gardens.
While he might be in charge of a huge operation, Deckers stressed that creating an Easter floral decoration at home need not be complicated. He suggests getting a basic landscape of foam, moss and wood and use simple flowers such as daffodils. “It doesn’t have to be a lot,” he said. “Look at nature and you get inspiration.”
Article by Christopher Lamb (The Telegraph)