Welcome to my very first blog! I’m looking forward to giving you a little glimpse of my flowery world. When I started Daphne and Doreen Flower Studio I was very keen to do my bit in supporting the British flower industry as I love to use seasonal flowers.
Despite the challenges of the great British climate and tough international competition, British flower growers’ brilliant horticultural skills, creativity and sheer hard work always shine through in the wonderful variety and quality of flowers they grow. They produce the most beautiful fragrant blooms, many of which you will never find in a flower wholesaler. They are super-fresh too as they are often picked one day and delivered the next and there are not thousands of air miles used in getting them to the florist. I usually collect my flowers from the local growers and it’s good to know that the flowers were probably still growing less than 24 hours before.
Many British farmers use minimal chemicals in the growing of their flowers so the flowers are pretty much as nature intended. This also encourages plenty of bees and other insects to the farm. It’s lovely to walk the field and see butterflies, hear bees buzzing and birds singing. I won’t say I would never use the imported flowers in my work but wherever possible I will use British.
This year my daughter and I have started our own cut flower patch. We started quite late in the season so our first crop will be mainly annuals. It’ll soon be time to sow perennial seeds for next summer and order bulb catalogues for the spring. Hopefully later in the summer our own flowers will supplement what I buy in from other local growers. There’s great satisfaction to be gained from growing your own, be it flowers or veggies. I recently did some freelance wedding work with a local flower farmer/florist and I thought how amazing it must be to flower a wedding with flowers from your own plot. To see a happy bride with her gorgeous bouquet and think “I grew those flowers” must be so rewarding.
British Flowers Week is an event started several years ago by New Covent Garden Flower Market to promote British grown flowers and foliages. During this week florists and flower farmers all over the UK will be holding workshops and other events to promote British flowers. I will be celebrating the occasion by having a little pop up shop at my local farm shop, Paddock Farm shop in Mulbarton, Norfolk on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th June between 9am and 1pm. My little bunches are already on sale there each week, and as well as these, I’ll also be showcasing a few other things to give customers an idea of the kind of flowering I do. My flowers will be sourced from local growers and some from Cornwall.
I love how British flowers reflect the passing seasons and how fleeting some blooms are. I always feel excited when the ‘first’ of any flower blooms, the first paperwhite narcissi, anemones, tulips, ranunculus, fritillaries, alliums, peonies…. Many of my personal favourites are spring bulbs. There’s so much pleasure in these early flowers which bloom when the days are dark, cold and damp. That little splash of colour and fragrance makes the heart sing and all the hard work on the flower patch totally worthwhile.
British flower farming is definitely enjoying a renaissance with plenty of recent press coverage. I think it’s time we florists do whatever we can to bring them to our customers’ attention. I will be doing my best to do this, showing British flowers off in all their beauty. I hope, like me, that you’ll enjoy them.