It’s British Flowers week!
British flowers are a fairly recent discovery for me, but wow have I fallen hard for them!
I’ve always loved flowers and the floral aesthetic but in the last have been somewhat underwhelmed by the bunches of flowers I bought myself from the supermarket. It wasn’t until I started learning about the British flowers movement through the fantastic Flowers from the Farm co-operative, that I understood just what locally grown flowers can offer.
(My first bunch of locally grown flowers purchased from @theflowercrowdcotswolds with added borage from the garden)
When thinking about where our flowers come from there are few serious points to consider first.
- C90% of the cut flowers we buy in this country are imported. This means they are grown in places such as Columbia and Kenya, they are then mainly flown to Holland where they are sold on the flower market, before being shipped/driven to the UK in large refrigerated lorries. I had no idea this was the case, having never really thought about where flowers come from.
- There are various concerning factors affecting flower production abroad, they do not apply to all farms but do pose significant issues. These factors include poor working standards for employees, significant environmental impact including huge use of precious resources such as water, impact from chemicals used to deal with pests and disease to both human and animal life and the carbon usage from transporting flowers at refrigerated temperatures.
- Breeding practices have removed scent from the majority of our imported cut flowers, in addition the act of refrigeration and treating flowers to last the long journey further effects scent and their ability to grow and develop even when cut.
- Chemicals remain on the flowers even after we have bought them into our homes and handled them, some are even used to decorate cakes, or gifted to celebrate the birth of a new baby or as a get well soon present to a poorly relative.
There will always be a need for imported cut flowers as our demand is very high, and the service provided from the Dutch market to our florists is impeccable. However buying British, locally grown flowers, in season is by far the most environmentally sound decision, and I think it’s important that we make informed decisions.
Now onto the good stuff!
Locally grown flowers are exciting, beautiful, quirky and smell like nature. They are typically flowers you cannot buy elsewhere as they perhaps don’t travel well, but also us flower farmers genuinely love flowers and are always looking for new exciting varieties to grow. You will notice that British flowers continue to have life and movement in the vase as they have not been treated to gather dust for weeks on end!
(Chantilly and Madam Butterfly Anthirinum)
(David Austin garden rose)
It is unlikely you will ever have two bouquets the same as we work with the seasons, why would you want roses in March when you can have stunning ranunculus and heavenly scented narcissi?
This seasons Ranunculus, Italian corms grown in Gloucestershire)
British flower farmers care deeply about nature, the majority of usdon’t use harmful chemicals, preferring to use our farms as a haven for wildlife and to support the natural eco-system. The range of flowers grown are a rich source of nectar for bees who need a variety of plants to survive.
We grow our flowers with love and I can really see that reflected in the joy they bring to others.
if you haven’t already I would urge you to treat yourself or a loved one to some British flowers and in doing so support wildlife, the environment and small local businesses, you won’t regret it!
Thanks for reading.