Tomorrow marks the start of British Flowers Week, a celebration of UK cut flower growers and the independent florists they supply, as well as a call to the nation to buy home-grown and seasonal blooms.
Our once-flourishing flower industry has suffered since the 1970s, when cheap imports from large scale commercial growers in Holland started to dominate cut flower sales. Today, the UK continues to import around 90% of its flowers from Holland, South America and Africa, with supermarket sales accounting for approximately 70% of those sales.
Thankfully, consumers are beginning to wise up and demand for fresh, locally-sourced, seasonal flowers is on the increase, as is the resurgence of flower farms in the UK. British Flowers Week aims to capitalise on this trend with talks, workshops, competitions and other events happening across the country to encourage people to buy British. (Click here for more info.)
So how can we help? Eschewing cheap bunches from the supermarket in favour of blooms from a local florist is a great idea, particularly if you request flowers grown in the UK. For online flower orders, I have found Appleyard to be excellent. Aside from their stunning bouquets and prompt next day delivery, they’re environmentally savvy, sourcing their flowers from UK growers whenever possible and minimising the amount of packaging they use.
But of course, nothing beats a freshly-snipped stem or two from the garden; a hand-picked posy should always be the first choice (cue gratuitous flower photos from our garden…)
(PS. Yes. Ade likes clematis. A lot.)