BRITISH FLOWERS WEEK | Celebrating British Flowers and Flower Farmers
17th June 2016
Photo: Catkin Flowers
You've decided to have a really natural wedding celebrating the seasons and the countryside that inspires you. Of course part of that will be your choice of flowers both for your bouquet and to decorate your wedding venue be it a tent, barn, city space or beach hut.
So to round off British Flowers Week I’m celebrating those dedicated British flower farmers and wonderful wedding florists who use seasonal British flowers whenever they can, producing the most amazing natural and creative wedding decor you could possibly wish to grace your own wedding.
I hope I can inspire you to support these wonderful people growing and nurturing fabulous flowers in your own little corner of the British Isles ...
When I first moved to Devon from London I was a wedding florist (yes I was!) and my plan was to grow and use my own home and British grown flowers as much as possible for the weddings I was working on. It was difficult 20 years ago and I found this ideal impossible to achieve, often having to fall back on the dreaded ‘Flying Dutchman’ in his truck from Amsterdam, with great angst time and again.
I confess I gave up and went digital, launching Green Union so that I could preach to others about the need to buy and support local.
I’m now really delighted to say that since launching GU 10 years ago, the British flower movement has taken on a momentum I never thought would have been possible and I’m in awe of those wonderfully passionate flower farmers and arrangers that persisted, stayed the course who are now reaping the rewards of their years of hard work and dedication!
When I was working on weddings I so loved being able to use flowers from my own garden or from across the valley, chosen for a wedding across the next valley. The flowers may have been wonkey and sometimes totally unmanageable, and that tangled mass of clematis would take extra long to get some sort of sense out of, but this is what gives floral arrangements, created with ‘real’ flowers, the character that has now become so seriously trendy.
I loved trekking out to those small independent flower farms dotted around the countryside and finding those really unusual flowers, sometimes long lost varieties in amazing colours with heady scents, that had been sought out and nurtured by passionate growers.
These growers know just when to cut their flowers to make the best of their beauty. They care about the colours and the stem lengths, whether the flowers have enough perfume and if they’ll be ready in time for your wedding.
These are the reasons why I work my cotton socks off promoting British flowers and flower growers and why I encourage you, tomorrow’s brides and grooms, to use British flowers for your weddings.
I’m determined that the flower farmers dotted all over the British Isles continue to grow and make a success of their businesses.
I don’t deny that there is always going to be a need for the ‘Flying Dutchman’, just to keep up with our insatiable demand for cut flowers but I do think it would be wonderful if you could just try and buy British as often as possible.
Your 'impulse' buys could be a highly scented bunch of peonies, old fashioned sweet peas and scented English roses in the summer; hellebores and spring blooms in the Spring and delightful dahlias in the autumn, all from your your local farmers market or WI stall. Likewise you should choose to throw your wedding in the season that reflects your blooms of choice.
Personally I will always grow my own and seek out those unique flowers grown by local friends whenever I’m working on a photo shoot, demonstrating floral skills or just taking a bunch of beautiful blooms to a friend.
You can find some of these wonderful florists and flower farmers, who specialise in growing and arranging wedding flowers, on our website.
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