British flowers, British Flowers Week, flower petal confetti, Flowers from the Farm, grow your own cut flowers, New Covent Garden Market, Our Flower Patch, The British Flower Collective, The Cut Flower Patch
Well I couldn’t let British Flowers Week pass by without a post. This is the second year of the celebration of British grown flowers, an idea devised by the New Covent Garden Flower Market, the main hub of flower trading in the UK. The idea is to raise awareness about the choice and availability of home-grown blooms and foliage in a market dominated by imports.
My own cut flower patch is burgeoning at the moment. There’s love-in-a-mist, linaria, alchemilla, achillea, candytuft, ammi and pinks. I picked so many sweet Williams the other night that I gave bunches of them away to passers-by on the way home from the allotment, and at home there aren’t many surfaces left which don’t have vases on them. Even so my scale of production, a few beds on my allotment, is tiny compared to the new breed of artisan flower farmers springing up across the country. Certainly there seems to be a renewed interest in locally grown flowers, particularly with couples planning their wedding but there’s still a lot to be done to change the attitudes of the flower buying public, florists and supermarkets if we’re to reduce the amount of flowers brought to these shores from abroad. My local supermarket has a selection of British flowers for sale at the moment but it’s still only a few buckets in amongst the ubiquitous roses, lilies and carnations. It’s such a pity when I know what they could offer.
So here are a few ways you too could support British Flowers Week:
Look for British Flowers at the supermarket, there should be stocks, sweet William and sweet peas for sale at the moment. If they don’t have any ask the customer services desk why not.
When buying from a florist ask them about where their flowers come from. It’s surprising how many don’t know as most are shipped across from the flower auctions in Holland. I asked a florist in April if they could source British flowers, she seemed a bit stumped and then said she couldn’t because the weather in Britain isn’t good enough to grow flowers at that time of year. But what about the tulips, daffodils, scented narcissi, ranunculus and irises which were all being grown in April by small-scale British flower growers? If more of us ask for British flowers it will encourage florists to source them.
Search for a local grower. There are two fantastic websites The British Flower Collective and Flowers from the Farm which list flower growers across the country from Scotland to Cornwall.
Encourage your local school to start growing flowers. There’s a renewed desire amongst parents and those involved in education to get children outdoors and to get them to connect with nature. Our Flower Patch is a fantastic education resource aimed at primary schools and youth groups. It combines growing cut flowers with teaching elements from the National Curriculum and gives schools the chance to earn some much-needed money too from the sales of any flowers.
If you’re going to a wedding this summer buy British grown flower confetti or make your own – it’s surprising simple.
And finally, try growing your own flowers for cutting. Incorporate them into your garden or devote a special patch to cut flowers. It’s a rewarding experience which is fantastic for wildlife – providing pollen and nectar for insects, and it will go some way to reducing your carbon footprint. You’ll have a much greater choice of flowers available to you rather than the limited selection at your local supermarket and they’ll be super fresh. Whilst it might be a bit late to start a cut flower patch from scratch for this year, now is the perfect time to start planning for next year by sowing biennials and perennials.
To celebrate British Flowers Week a copy of my book The Cut Flower Patch is up for grabs. I know Christmas is a long way off, I’m sorry I even mentioned the word, but here’s a chance to cross a present off your list, even before summer is out!!
You need to live in the UK or Ireland to enter. If you’d like to be in with a chance of wining a copy then leave a comment stating that you’d like to be included in the draw. The competition will close at midnight on Friday 20th June. Wellyman will draw a name from a hat (he has a bit of a hat addiction so he’s got plenty to choose from) on Saturday 21st June. Please make sure I have an email contact for you so I can let you know if you’re the lucky winner. Good Luck!
Backlane Notebook said:
Great post. I am having such fun with my small but getting full cut flower bed on the allotment.
Glad to see you’re enjoying your cutting patch – it’s so rewarding. 🙂
lovely post and would loved to be entered into the draw
Thanks Linda. Sorry you didn’t win but hope you might grow some of your own cut flowers at some point. 🙂
will done have a blessed evening
Reblogged this on Linda's wildlife garden and commented:
awesome post and thank you for sharing
Interesting post 🙂
rachael bentley said:
i already have your beautiful book, its the best of several cut flower books ive read. making it all seem achievable yet containing enough information to really get it right – pretty arrangement ideas too… but please include me in your competition as a spare will make a lovely gift for a friend.
Hi Rachael, Thank you. It’s lovely to hear you like the book – it makes all the hard work worthwhile.
Jan Willetts said:
Oh yes please, would love a copy! Now our veg plot is too big for the two of us, I would love to grow some flowers there.
Hi Jan, Sorry you didn’t win the giveaway but I hope you still decide to grow some cut flowers, it really is great fun. 🙂
Hi Louise, I love your ‘frothy’ arrangements. And yes, I’d love to win a copy of your book. Wishing you a happy British Flowers Week!
Hi Jan, Thank you! I love frothy flowers which conjure up cottage gardens. Sorry you didn’t win the giveaway but hope you might start to grow your own cut flowers. 🙂
I would love to be included in the draw, I have tentatively started growing flowers for cutting on the allotment and your book would help give me some much needed know-how.
email address: email@example.com,com
Hi Debbie, I’m really sorry you didn’t win the giveaway but I wish you the best of luck with your own cutting patch. 🙂
please include me in the draw for your book. Many thanks
Sorry you didn’t win the giveaway, Debra. Hope you might give growing cut flwoers a go though. 🙂
Gill Prince said:
Ooh how lovely – yes please!!!
Sorry Gill that you didn’t win the giveaway. Hope you might give growing cut flowers a go still.
sal ward said:
Hi, I too would love to be included in your competition draw from the hat please. I always have something cut from the garden in little vases in our outer entrance hall. That way everyone enjoys them as the come and go from the house.
Hi Sal, sorry you didn’t win the book. Hope you keep growing and picking flowers. That sounds like the perfect place to show off your blooms. 🙂
Maggie andrew said:
Yes please I would love your book. I love making up arrangements from the garden with odd things. I would like more ideas on what to plant. THANKYOU
Hi Maggie, I’m really sorry you didn’t win the giveaway. Hope you keep growing and arranging, there are so many flowers out there which look stunning in a vase. It’s very addictive. 🙂
Sarah Brew said:
Hi I would love a chance to win this beautiful book. We are gradually getting our new garden into shape and I love growing flowers for indoors.
Hi Sarah, Sorry you didn’t win the book giveaway but good luck with the new garden. Hope you find space to squeeze in some plants for cutting. 🙂
There is just the same problem here in Italy where there used to be a large cut flower production. Even they can’t complete with cheap ‘horrible’ flower imports. Sadly the Italians even seem to love dyed flowers which I personally can’t abide. If having a UK address is enough for me to go into the draw please enter me.
Hi Christina, Sorry you didn’t win the giveaway. Dyed flowers are dreadful. I can’t understand why you would want to ruin a beautiful flower. Hope your own cutting patch is growing well. 🙂
I’m pleased so far. It is difficult to know how many of each plant to grow and when to plant is just guess work this year. I hope to learn more as I am enjoying cutting the flowers very much.
Hi louise, I would love to win this book to give to my mother, who adores flowers around the house, but is only just starting to grow some for cutting and doesn’t know how she should start, even though I keep giving her tips! This would make her year! Thanks very much :)) janey x
Hi Janey, I’m really sorry you didn’t win the giveaway. I wish your mum the best of luck with her cut flower growing. 🙂 Louise x
Hi, please include me in the draw. I’m growing masses of sweet Williams on my allotment at the moment. I gave a big bunch to my allotment neighbour who was off to visit his dad in hospital. He said they were his favourites. Made me feel quite proud.
Hi Zoe, Sorry you didn’t win the giveaway. I love sweet Williams, they’re such a pretty flower and smell wonderful in this warm humid air we’ve got at the moment. I gave some flowers away to a elderly gentleman the other night and his daughter stopped me yesterday to thank me. I felt exactly like you did. 🙂 #flowerpower
A lovely post supporting a good cause. Please don’t include me in the draw for the book. xx
Thanks for the mention for OFP. We love any opportunity to get children growing flowers. Your book is fab. Pop me into the hat of opportunity please and, if successful, I will happily pass it on to a friend, neighbour or total stranger, depending on how the mood takes me.
Not a problem. Always good to lend support to a great business. 🙂 Sorry Wellyman didn’t pick out your name. :(( Glad you like the book though. x
Jane Harries said:
I would love to win a copy of your book, thanks. My email is the one on your mailing list – thanks.
Hi Jane, sorry you didn’t win a copy of the book. Hope you might grow some cut flowers though. 🙂
Lorraine Sorrell said:
Hi Wellywoman. I’ve been following you on Instagram and love seeing all of your beautiful pictures. I have an allotment but haven’t yet developed my cut flower dream of at least 1/3 flowers. I’d love to be entered into your competition. It’s also drawn on my birthday so I will have everything crossed for a birthday win!
Many thanks. Lorraine ( mayrain33 ) x
Hi Lorraine, Really sorry you didn’t win the book but I hope you had a fantastic birthday. Keep up the dream of a third of your plot being flowers – it’s so rewarding. 🙂 Louise x
I would love to win a copy of your book! Great post and so nice to see so many people promoting British flowers!
Hi Marti, Sorry you didn’t win the book. Yes it has been fantastic to see so many people promoting British flowers. Fingers crossed we can start to change people’s ideas about cut flowers in the same way people now think of locally grown and seasonal food. Louise x
Gill Bourbage said:
I’m growing flowers for cutting but the slugs particularly like to munch on them. I’m experimenting with varieties they won’t touch. I’d love a copy of your book.
Hi Gill, sorry you didn’t win a copy of the book. Slugs are a nightmare. Organic slug pellets from Growing Success do help and starting plants off in pots so when you plant them out they’re more able to cope can help. Good Luck! 🙂
Su Mee said:
I would love to be included in the draw to win your beautiful & very informative book. Many thanks. Su.
Hi Su, sorry you didn’t win a copy of the book but hope you might start growing some of your own cut flowers. 🙂
jocelyn bennett said:
yes please 🙂
Hi Jocelyn, sorry you didn’t win a copy of the book but hope you might start growing some of your own cut flowers. 🙂
Karen Woods said:
Hi Wellywoman – please add me into Wellyman’s hat! Fingers xd!
Hi Karen, sorry you didn’t win a copy of the book but hope you might start growing some of your own cut flowers. 🙂
Hi Wellywoman, your bouquet from your allotment is incredible beautiful! I am living in Southern California, but I basically try to do the same as you and organically grow my own cut flowers in my garden. I haven’t bought any florist bouquets in ages. I would loved to be included in the drawing, but alas I live too far away. I wish you good luck for the sales of your book and hope for many more lovely flower bouquet photos on your blog. That would be so inspiring! Warm regards,
Hi Christina, So good to hear about your growing out there in California. There is something very special about growing your own. Sorry you couldn’t enter the draw and thank you for your good wishes. My book is available in America if you did want a copy – sorry for the plug, I’m not very good at the sales bit 😉 I’m sure there’ll be plenty more flower photos on the blog. Louise
Thanks for the timely nudge about British Flowers Week. Most beautiful pickings from your allotment and those sweet william bunches must have been welcomed with open arms. Please do not enter me for the draw Louise as I’ve been lucky enough to already win a copy of your excellent book through a give away. Maybe too early for a C…….. gift (dare not utter the full word yet) but what a fabulous prize to celebrate the summer solstice.
Angela Thomas said:
I have just started to grow my own flowers too, and now have blooms on statice, dianthus, ageratum, amaranthus, sweet pea and cosmos and my dahlias are also in bud. I would love a copy of your book to keep me inspired and become more creative, so please include me in your draw.
Hi Angela, sorry you didn’t win the book. It sounds like you’ve got a burgeoning flower patch there. Hope you get lots of pleasure from it this summer. 🙂
Sara here. Thank you for the mention for Our Flower Patch! We love your book and We love British Flowers! Wishing you a wonderful year of British Flowers, after all a week simply isn’t long enough to celebrate them!
As I’m in Australia, I can’t enter the competition but I wanted to let you know that you provided the main inspiration for my cutting garden, which I have just started preparing here in Australia. Your posts last year about growing flowers on your allotment got me thinking and dreaming. I am planning to buy your book when the budget allows, but for now thanks for the inspiration!
Hi Lyn, Thanks so much for your lovely comment. It makes me feel very happy to hear I’ve inspired someone to grow flowers. I hope you get as much pleasure from it as I do. Be warned though – it’s addictive. 😉 Louise x
Jill Anderson said:
Great post, lots of useful info., yes please include me in the draw!
Hi Jill, sorry you didn’t win a copy of the book but hope you might start growing some of your own cut flowers. 🙂
Ellen Bowden-Hawkins said:
Hi Welly women Lots of interesting comments here
What a beautiful arrangement – a froth of lime and white! And I love the container (but is that any way to spell “flower”? ;). Yes, cutting gardens seem to be coming more popular recently, due to your book, I’m sure! But also due to initiatives like the British Flower Collective and Our Flower Patch, which I’ve been following through Cally’s blog. It’s all very exciting and good to see. It’s really got me thinking! And, although as you know, I already have a copy of your book, I would love to spread the word, with a copy for a friend. So please include me too, thank you!
Hi Ali, Sorry you didn’t win the book.So pleased to hear that the message of British flowers is being spread. Louise 🙂
Hi there, I try to support British Flower grower whenever possible. If we don’t support them, we will lose them! Please enter me in the draw. Thank you.
Hi Cyndi, sorry you didn’t win a copy of the book but hope you might start growing some of your own cut flowers. 🙂
Liesbeth ten Ham (@Liesbethflowers) said:
Lovely blog. I’ll be following you from now on. I’m very inspired by British flower week. When I set out with my challenge of growing a bunch of flowers a week myself, I had no idea that there are so many wonderful people around that grow flowers for their homes and every week I get more and more inspired by people like you! Yes please, do enter me in the draw!
Thanks Liesbeth. Sorry you didn’t win the book but I love your challenge. I’ve found it so inspiring to discover so many people are passionate about growing flowers rather than buying imported flowers. Louise
Jackie Harrison said:
Hello, lovely flowers! I would love a copy of your book.
Hi Jackie, sorry you didn’t win a copy of the book but hope you might start growing some of your own cut flowers. 🙂
Lovely post. I am stunned that a florist would think there were no British Flowers available to them in April. Please include me in your draw 🙂
Emma Seward said:
Fabulous post! Would love to be entered into your draw – thank you! 🙂
Hi Emma, sorry you didn’t win a copy of the book but hope you might start growing some of your own cut flowers. 🙂
CAROL PATRICK said:
Please include me in the draw for your beautiful book. I absolutely love flowers. We have a large garden and I love to sit out and enjoy the colours of the blooms.. I used to enjoy gardening but due to chronic rh. arthriitis I can no longer take care of the garden, but lovely hubby looks after things.
Hi Carol, Sorry to say you didn’t win a copy of the book and sorry to hear about your arthritis. Your husband sounds wonderful – maybe you could suggest some cut flowers for the garden next year. 😉
Lovely post. Please enter me into the draw
Hi Caroline, sorry you didn’t win a copy of the book but hope you might start growing some of your own cut flowers. 🙂
I’ve actually got round to sowing my sweet williams and wallflowers this year, the seeds usually languish in the packets until it gets too late with them being biennials, it’s always busy around the time they need to be sown. I’m hoping I’ll have my own flowers to cut next year.
You’ll be so pleased you sowed your biennials when you’re picking them next year. 🙂