I want everyone to buy British flowers. Every year in the UK, we spend around £2bn – that’s right, TWO BILLION POUNDS – on cut flowers. Approximately ninety percent of these are imported from hot all, year-round climes. But I’m on a mission to reduce that. I want everyone to grow their own if possible. Or at least, I want everyone to buy beautiful British seasonal flowers. They will have been produced with love and care right here in good old Blighty.
But what are the advantages? Why is it worth taking that extra time to buy British flowers when it’s easier to nip to the supermarket? I get asked this all the time – as do many of the new flower farmers who have started up after joining me on the Seed to Vase course. So I’ve pulled together five good reasons you should only buy British flowers. I could have written fifty, but this is a blog, not a tome.
British flowers smell incredible
Next time you’re in the supermarket, stick your nose in one of the plastic swaddled bouquets at the front of the store. Take a good sniff. What do you notice? Yup – that’s right – they don’t really smell of anything.
Now, head to your own flower bed, or poke your nose into a neighbour’s display. Tell me what you notice. That’s right – the scent.
Over the years, we have become desensitised to the fact that our flowers no longer smell. They might look pretty, but that’s not the deal. They should to smell amazing too!
And that’s just what you get with British flowers – the whole package.
I have lost count of the number of times a bridal party has arrived at the venue after I have finished the arrangements. They have been blown away by the scent of the perfume of the flowers.
But why is this? What’s the difference? Well, the main difference is that British flowers are grown seasonally. They’re not forced. They are left to do their thing in their own time in partnership with the birds, bees and butterflies.
British blooms last longer
British flowers don’t have far to travel. If you’re lucky enough to have a flower farmer close by, your blooms will likely be in a vase the same day they’re cut. Imported flowers will already be a few days old- having journeyed across the world – by the time you get them. So while it might seem that cheaper flowers give you more bang for your buck, this isn’t the case.
You’re putting money directly into a real person’s pocket
British Flower Farmers, by and large, are not part of giant multi-national corporations. They’re more likely to be one woman – or man – bands, employing local people, giving young people summer work. Working within their community to help develop skills and trades. The money you spend locally goes straight back into the local economy, so it’s a complete win-win.
British Flowers are brilliant for biodiversity
The UK is home to more than seventy thousand species of animals, microorganisms, fungi and plants. Which sounds great, but dig a little deeper. You’ll find that the UK is far from world-beating when it comes to biodiversity. It’s the absolute opposite.
A 2020 report for the Natural History Museum found that centuries of farming and industry have depleted the UK’s nature incredibly badly. Just a little over 50% of the UK’s biodiversity remains intact. And it’s not getting any better.
Although it’s a tiny part in the grand scheme of things, the more British flowers grown, the better for our country’s biodiversity. That’s something we can all play a small part in achieving. So why not have a bash at planting your own cutting patch?
British Flowers showcase the British seasons perfectly
Roses and Sunflowers in summer. Daffs and Tulips in spring. Pansies and Winter Honeysuckle at Christmas time. Snowdrops in late winter… need I say more?
Like I said earlier, I could write 50 reasons. Another big reason is sustainability. Find out more about that one here