I love growing my own flowers but there is one downside – there’s no need for anyone to send them to me now. My mum does still ask if I’d like a bouquet for our wedding anniversary or my birthday but when nearly every room is filled with flowers throughout the summer it just doesn’t make any sense. I know, I know, as downsides go it hardly even registers on a ‘woe is me’ scale, so I’m by no means wanting any sympathy. However, when the lovely team at The Great British Florist asked if I would like to review one of the bouquets they are putting together for Mother’s Day I jumped at the chance.
I used to do yoga before I moved over to Wales. One day, mid-way through a class, the yoga teacher said she really missed going to yoga classes herself and she really must fit in a session sometime. It was a comment that stuck in my head because at the time it struck me as being quite odd. Initially, I didn’t understand what she meant; she taught yoga classes all week, how much more yoga did she want to do. It took a while for the penny to drop (it does sometimes). What she meant was that teaching yoga was very much different to being able to experience the full benefits of the class as a student and that even once you’re a teacher you still need to carry on learning. I know, you’re wondering why I’ve gone off on this tangent, I will be getting back to the flowers. It’s just that I think the yoga story is relevant to so much in life. It’s very easy to get quite fixed in our thoughts and habits with pretty much everything we do. Perhaps modern life makes this more likely, everything is done at such a pace so we can cram so much into our days that maybe we don’t have the time to stop and think and look at things in a different way. And this is where the beautiful bouquet which turned up yesterday comes in. Not only was it a really special treat for me, it’s good for the creative juices to see what other British flower growers are growing and how they put their arrangements together.
Anyway enough of me rambling, let’s get to the flowers. I’m aware when I talk and write about British flowers that not everyone has the space to grow them themselves or is lucky enough to have a flower grower local to them. But there is another alternative – mail-order. I’ve been a bit worried about mail order flowers in the past and whether they will survive being transported. Well I had no complaints about this bouquet. The substantial, sturdy box had clearly done its job as the flowers emerged looking beautiful. Rather than being packed in water, a water-soluble gel is used instead. This keeps the flowers fresh and contains plant nutrients and it won’t leak if the box is tipped over. I had chosen the vibrant Mother’s Day bouquet which came packed with scented narcissi, irises, lilies, freesias, ranunculus and alstroemeria. It was lovely to catch the intoxicating scent of the blooms as I lifted the bouquet out of its box. And the real joy – they’re all grown here in Britain.
The two busiest times of the year for flower sales – Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day come early in the growing season. I’m sure a lot of people are completely unaware that it is possible to buy such a varied choice of flowers grown in this country at this time of year, even I was impressed with the selection. There was plenty of foliage too, a mixture of eucalyptus and bay. The £50 bouquet is huge and was enough to fill two good-sized vases. If I hadn’t been having one of those days I would have divided the material up into lots of smaller vases and put them all around the house. I’m pretty sure I could have had a posy in every room. There’s also a smaller £35 bouquet, the choice of a pastel-coloured arrangement and other selections throughout the year, if they are more to your taste and pocket.
The only tiny problem I had with the bouquet was the one sheet of plastic sheeting that was wrapped around the base of the flowers – all the other packaging is recyclable. There is, of course the necessary practicality of needing a watertight material in which to keep the flowers fresh while keeping the cost of packaging to a minimum. As Heidi from The Great British Florist explained, it is a balance trying to keep the flowers in tip-top condition whilst keeping the costs of packaging to a minimum, maximising the amount of flowers they can include in a bouquet and maintaining their environmental ethos. Considering all of this, it’s remarkable that the flowers come with so little non-recyclable packaging. I arranged a bouquet for a friend recently that was purchased from a high street florist and it came with a mountain of unnecessary and non-recyclable packaging.
The Great British Florist is part of Wiggly Wigglers, the company which became known for its worm composting products. Based at Lower Blakemere Farm in Herefordshire they grow some of their own flowers and the rest are bought in from specialist British growers across the country. The farm is run with caring for the environment and wildlife at its core. If you’d like to find out more about this idyllic place take a look at The Great British Florist. And, if you would like to order from them for Mother’s Day or throughout the year then here’s a link direct to the floristry section.
Thank you to the team at The Great British Florist for their gorgeous bouquet.
Weeding the Web said:
What a lovely bouquet. Regarding cellophane – if it really is cellophane, then it will compost because it’s made of cellulose. See Garden Organic http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/todo_now/faqs2.php?ids=88 . Same goes for Sellotape, (but not plastic sticky tape).
They are so bright and cheery
I have to smile at your comments in the first paragraph.
That looks, and sounds like a really lovely bouquet. I also like that you’ve noted the packaging.
British florists, and growers, deserve all the help we can give them which this post recognises unreservedly. xx
PS – I haven’t ignored mentioning your excellent book on my blog but thought that I’d wait until until everyone else has done so!
Thanks Flighty. That’s OK about the book. I just hope you like it. 🙂 There have been quite a lot of reviews which is excellent and I know it’s the only way to get the book out there, sell some copies and actually make some money from it. I have been a bit worried people would get sick of hearing about it though. 😉
Have a fabulous weekend. We’re off to one of Wellyman’s piano nights tonight which should be good. I’m sure he’ll write a post about it next week. Louise x
What a gorgeous bouquet – so vibrant! And at a time of year when colour revolves around pink and yellow! Who would have thought that so much would be available in Britain at this time of year? I will definitely consider their options when wanting to send flowers. And I totally understand your yoga comment. My son spends all day training people, but feels deprived if he can’t have a work-out himself!
Thank you for this. I regularly send flowers to my mother and it is so difficult to find a good quality mail order service and almost impossible to find UK grown flowers. Give me a bunch of Cornish daffs over Kenyan roses anyday!
Super bouquet and its so good to know that all the flowers are British!
Beautiful. There’s some of my favourite flowers included in the bouquet.
Sending you a virtual bouquet WW 🙂 I’m all for buying British flowers but rarely send bouquets as I think that they last a relatively short amount if time. I would rather buy a more permanent gift. Having said that I would not object if such a bouquet came my way.
The Editors of Garden Variety said:
A beautiful floral arrangement…
Interesting article Wellywoman. My parents always manage to have a vase of flowers in the house throughout the Summer thanks to the garden. Perhaps because of that I really try to only give flowers if they have come from my garden but I admit that this not possible all the time. My Godmother has sent me flowers over the years and hers have always come from Jersey and I rather naively thought that they must be grown over there. Your article prompted me to look them up on line and I was disappointed to see that it is not the case. The Traditional Flower Company has homegrown flowers for sale on line with delivery and although they may be pricey they are stunners and scented.
I now have a copy of your book and will make it my first book review. I have plans for expanding the range of cut flowers at the big house this year and your book has given me a few prompts on which seeds to buy. Thanks. D.
Gorgeous vivid colours in that bouquet. And so much better, on every possible level, than buying one of the plastic shrouded offerings from the supermarkets. I have to admit I gasped at the price though, it is a long time since I bought flowers, and I am sure they are worth it, but confirms my need to grow my own!
Better late than never (thank you, nasty flu), but that is a really good-looking bouquet. I really related to your comments about other people’s approaches: when you spin and knit, people assume you’re not interested in other yarns or knitting, but I always am. Looking at what other people do in your field can be inspirational…