Belfast Telegraph

Royal seal of approval for willow artist

By Amanda Ferguson

Her first paying customer was daytime television queen Fern Britton.

Now Portrush willow artist Louise McLean is set to receive an actual royal seal of approval.

Louise has just finished working, as part of a team, on six giant willow arches for the garden at Windsor Castle to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation.

The 50-year-old, who has created everything from baskets and life-size cows to a giant coffee cup and candle holder, told the Belfast Telegraph she is looking forward to attending a garden party at the royal castle on September 14 when the sculpture will be unveiled.

Louise, supported by Coleraine Borough Council, was the only willow artist from Northern Ireland selected to work on the Royal Windsor Rose & Horticultural Society project.

The giant floral installation measures five metres tall, by nine metres wide, by 60 metres in length. It will be adorned with 10,000 roses for the event, hosted by gardening champion and broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh.

"It's been an unreal experience," Louise said last night. The Queen's gardener was out chatting to us. It's an incredible privilege to be asked and to work alongside willow artists from England and Wales."

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