This week is British Flowers Week, so why not show your support and join in?
What is British Flowers Week?
It’s a campaign founded in 2013 by The Flower Market at New Covent Garden Market to promote and support UK flower growers.
- To showcase great British flowers, plants and foliage through great British floristry
- Raise awareness of which British flowers are in season when
- Encourage the public to buy more British flowers. To bring British flowers back.
Until the 1970s, the only flowers you really saw for sale came from flower farmers in Britain. Today, most of the flowers in your high street flower shop will have been grown by large scale commercial growers and routed through the Dutch auctions.
Locally grown, seasonal flowers are so much nicer to give and receive. And, unlike mass global flower production, they don’t cause devastating cause to the environment. So, I am right behind this campaign and am very happy to help promote it.
For British Flowers Week 2020, organisers of the event are encouraging us all to show our support by creating British Flowers Week Windows, or arrangements, in our homes or places of work; preferably where passers-by can enjoy them. This can be as simple as a single stem, a handpicked bunch, a drawing or anything you like. Check out their online toolkit for plenty of ideas and resources including flower cut-outs and pressed flower guides to dress your window this British Flowers Week.
Show some love for British Flowers
Why not take a photo of your British Flowers Week Window, or floral arrangement, and share it on social media using #BritishFlowersWeek, #NewCoventGardenMarket? Tag @MarketFlowers to be automatically entered into the British Flowers Week competitions. Here’s my window image, using the flowers I picked this morning from my garden – roses, foxgloves, the first of the cosmos, verbascum, Canterbury Bells, the first snapdragon and ground elder flowers.
I made it using the beautiful ceramic bowl by Marches Pottery in Ludlow that Tammy from Wild Bunch Flowers gave me last year. (I spent a blissful day with her, learning to arrange flowers foam-free, using chicken wire and a florist’s frog. You can read the full post here).
Find inspiration in our Directory
Image credit: Bread & Roses
British Flowers Week is a great way to discover great new ideas and inspiration. One such find is amazing Bread & Roses who are an award-winning social enterprise on a mission to help women from refugee backgrounds to flourish. Founded in 2016 by Olivia Head, Sneh Jani-Patel and Livi Wilson, Bread & Roses aims to harness the therapeutic benefits of floristry as a tool for social good. Floristry training programmes offer women from around the world a forum to be creative, build their confidence and learn a new skill. In addition, their programmes provide an opportunity for women to practice their English, form new friendships and to learn more about local support services. Read more about their story here
Other ways to get involved
If you’re a UK florist or grower, there are lots of ways to get involved, whether your planning a virtual workshop, an online garden tour or a contactless British bouquet delivery, you can still make the most of British Flowers Week. Let them know what you’re up to and they will share on their website and spread the word as part of their media campaign. Use the hashtags: #BRITISHFLOWERSWEEK #NEWCOVENTGARDENMARKET and tag @MARKETFLOWERS on social media.
Image credit: JamJar Flowers
Virtual events for British Flower Week
There’s an inspiring list of demonstrations and workshops for the week that you can join in with. See the diary of planned virtual events here.
Videos of the tutorials are posted on this page after they’ve happened, so you can catch up with any you missed in your own time.
To give you a flavour of what you can enjoy over there, here’s ‘A British tablescape’ by Amy and Melissa from JamJar Flowers. Love how they have used a collection of old blue glass bottles to create a simple, utterly beautiful table setting that feels like a British summer meadow.
Expert tips for prolonging the life of your British Flowers
The video includes some really useful tips for getting the most out of your local blooms:
Make sure that the vase/vessel you use is as clean as possible. Bacteria cuts short the life of cut flowers.
Trim the stems on a slant before arranging them (increasing the surface area for water take-up).
Remove all leaves that will fall below the water level in your vase (they will rot and cause decay).
Use fresh, clean water and change it frequently (at least every other day), washing the vase and trimming off the stem ends of your flowers.
Never mix old flowers with new (the old ones will transfer bacteria to your new ones)
Display vases in a cool spot as they will last longer away from heat.
Flowers fresh from the farm
Looking to send British flowers to someone special? I love the new Fresh From the Farm English Flower box idea from The Real Flower Company and wrote about it last week. In essence, it’s a way to send a box of seasonal flowers (the selection changes each week depending on what’s in bloom) direct from the RFC Hampshire flower farm. I sent a box last week to an old friend I was supposed to be spending a surprise birthday weekend with. You can read the whole blog post here: English Flower Box sent Fresh from The Farm.
Find UK growers and florists in the Sustainable British Flowers section of our Directory.
I’ve shared some of myfavourite UK flower growers over on the blog too British Flowers – where to buy the best
Rosebie shares her expert tips on sweet pea growing here: How to grow sweet peas with Rosebie of The Real Flower company
Share my visit to the RFC flower farm in Hampshire here: Discover The Real Flower Company flower farm
Are you a maker, grower or creative course provider? Like to list with us and benefit from joining our supportive community? We’d love to hear from you. Check out the packages we offer on our Join Us page and get in touch…If you’d like to join our Virtual Market too, all you have to do is take out a listing in our directory and let us know that you’d like to take part. It’s the next best thing to getting to meet your customers face to face.
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