British Flowers Week

We're nearing the end of British Flowers Week. The campaign, created by New Covent Garden Flower Market, now in its 3rd year, promotes British flowers and foliage and the UK cut flower industry. It's a celebration of seasonal, locally-grown flowers and foliage which aims to "shine a spotlight on the best of British Cut Flowers."

British flowers
Sweet peas, Cornflowers, Ox-eye Daisies, Alchemilla mollis

Personally, it has seemed like a really long week to me as Rosie, my 3 year old, has been home from nursery with the chicken pox. And very irritable she has been too. However, she has been "helping" in the garden, in between tantrums, pulling up big handfuls of Ox-eye daisies by the roots to make a 'rangement', as she calls it.

British cut flowers are enjoying a resurgence in demand with people appreciating the value of locally-grown, freshly cut flowers, mirroring the demand for locally produced food. By buying British flowers you will be supporting local industry and encouraging wildlife and biodiversity.

More than 80% of flowers bought in the UK are imported. The average supermarket bouquet may have travelled 20,000-25,000 km before arriving in your living room. Large flower farms in South America and Africa grow flowers on a vast scale to supply the demand for cheap flowers across the world all through the year. It may seem that we now have a huge choice of flowers, but just as fruit and vegetables are grown for uniformity and shelf-life, the same applies to flowers. You won't find flowers with anything other than straight stems, chemicals like silver nitrate will have been used to increase flower life and natural scent will have all but vanished.

Sweet peas in the cutting garden
A simple bunch of Sweet peas grown in the cutting garden

How can you find these British-grown flowers and foliage? Just look for independent flower shops across the country or it is possible to buy direct from an artisan flower grower though the  Flowers from the Farm website.

If you visit the British Flowers Week website, you can download a free wall planner which lists the large variety of British-grown flowers available throughout the year, showing what you can expect to be available each month. You may be surprised at the array on offer. Flowers include Agapanthus, Bluebells, Cornflowers, Lilies, Lupins, Sedums, Poppies, Tulips and Violets.
If you are really inspired and want to display something a little different in your vases then growing your own flowers is hugely rewarding and inspiring. A little word of warning - you may become addicted!