LU Mason must surely be the most active artist at Bloom!, York's four-day floral fiesta that opens today.

You may have spotted Lu on Tuesday morning and afternoon assembling her Weeds And Wildflowers paper-cut installation in the window of the Tudor Herbert House in Pavement, the aptly deserted former premises of Jones the Bootmaker, now back in the hands of the York Conservation Trust.

Her garlands are already hanging from the ceiling of the arty Partisan restaurant and coffee house in Micklegate; likewise her lupin paper chains at the Owl & Monkey home goods store in Heslington Road and further horticulture-inspired mobiles in her studio space at PICA Studios, in Grape Lane, as part of the studio artists' multi-faceted contribution to Bloom!.

Weeds And Wildflowers is subtitled "The rebels and outlaws of the plant world" and is accompanied by a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem that Lu first encountered "beautifully carved on to the side of the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh". "There are many poems carved into stone on that building, but this one really struck a chord with me, as I had already decided to do a piece of work about weeds," Lu recalls.

The poem reads: "What would the world be, once bereft of wet and wildness? Let them be left, O let them be left, wildness and wet; Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet."

York Press:

Lu Mason's festival garlands for Partisan In Bloom, at Partisan, in Micklegate, York. Picture: Frank Dwyer

Hopkins' sentiments struck a chord with Lu. "I really wanted to get back to paper-cut and installation work after doing Perspex pieces, as installations can be bigger and be seen by a lot of people in public places. They're inclusive and open to everyone," she says.

"So the Weeds And Wilderness exhibit is about being a rebel, an outsider, a survivor, in a hostile environment, and how the spirit of weeds grabbed me: the way they take over places that humans have deserted or walked away from, and then life returns, like dandelions coming up through Tarmac, which is one of my favourite sights.

"Then I linked it to the use of empty shops, like Jones the Bootmaker. You wait, new things will come, like in the natural world, where it doesn't need a watering can. That survival spirit, to think that fantastic things will happen in our city [centre], fantastic things that you can't even predict...I do believe in that."

Weeds And Wildflowers also celebrates "trying to find beauty in something that's not conventionally beautiful, something that's shunned, and yet there's beauty in a wildflower growing out of break".

Lu's first work set in motion was her paper-lupin window display at Helen and Matt Harris's shop Owl & Monkey, created as an homage to York's heritage as the birthplace of the Russell Hybrid Lupin. This "shimmering hanging wonderland of colourful lupin flowers" will form part of Flourish, an exhibition of floral installations that will extend well beyond Bloom! to August 11.

"I started by doing the lupin window display at Owl & Monkey, then the PICA artists decided to do a window together, so I've done something on the theme of 'flowerless plants', such as funghi and lichen, in the form of paper mobiles," says Lu.

York Press:

Lu Mason's lupins for Owl & Monkey, in Heslington Road, York

"Then I bumped into Florencia Clifford, from Partisan, who said 'I want you to do something for our Partisan In Bloom' show, and at first I thought, 'oh, I'm rather busy', but then I learned that Florencia is from Argentina and I love the way Argentina celebrates carnivals and festivals. Bloom! is a festival, and other works I've done weren't celebrating festivals, so I've done seven garlands for the Partisan ceiling that do just that. All these creations have just tumbled out of me all at once!"

Bloom!, a festival curated by Lotte Inch, of Lotte Inch Gallery, for Make It York, celebrates the 250th anniversary of the Ancient Society of York Florists, the oldest florists’ society in the world, York's horticultural heritage and its abiding flower power today.

"I think Bloom! is absolutely fantastic and what's so great is that Make It York has gone with someone's who's not a [recognised] gardener to run it: Lotte is young, has a vision, thinks outside the box, and as soon as I knew she would be the curator, I wanted to be involved because York is full of creative people needing opportunities, and I knew Lotte and this festival would look beyond the obvious," says Lu.

"It's massively impressive how much is going and if you're a creative person, this festival gives you a reason to kickstart your creativity, not in galleries, but in places for everyone to enjoy, so Bloom! is a very positive image of what York can do.

"I feel so privileged that York Conservation Trust has given me access to somewhere so historic in York [Herbert House], to do something that's not subversive, but not traditional either: a mix of gorgeous heritage but with the twist of a contemporary mindset. As I was making it, people walked past, stopped, looked up, commented on it or smiled, and what could be better than that?"

Bloom!, celebrating 250 years of horticulture in York, runs from today until Sunday. Visit for the full programme.