We’re fortunate in Great Britain to have four seasons to delight in, each one distinct. They offer us special moments, opportunities and sensations that we look forward to each year, making each season particularly special. Seasonal flowers are so significant, just like seasonal food we rejoice in their arrival, celebrating their colours, fragrance, and beauty.
Flowers always make such a wonderful gift. If you’re thinking of buying flowers, don’t forget to think seasonally. There are so many charming and beautifully scented flowers you could buy that would make a truly special and heartfelt gift at any time of year, but don’t forget Valentine’s Day next month. Many people associate roses with Valentine’s Day, but it’s worth remembering that imported roses will have been picked quite a long time ago by the time the recipient receives them and won’t last very long. British cut flowers will naturally be fresher. I personally think seasonal cut flowers are more charming and sincere.
Plantpassion is a flower farm in East Clandon in Surrey, set up by Claire Brown, to provide locally grown seasonal, scented and sustainable cut flowers to florists, companies and private customers. If you live very locally, delivery is available if you order flowers via Plantpassion’s website – delivery is available in the area local to East Clandon. If you’re not local, Plantpassion have a number of Open Afternoons through the year where you can purchase their freshly picked flowers, and there’s always the option to purchase their flowers from local florists who stock Plantpassion’s flowers. If you wish to purchase flowers on a regular basis, money saving subscriptions are available. I recently caught up with Claire, from Plantpassion, who told me she hopes to have lots of scented Narcissus, Anemones, Tulips and Alstroemerias, plus lots of local foliage, available for Valentine’s Day.
In the 1890s, the ‘Violet Train’ used to carry violets from the South West to London to sell at the flower markets, these days many of the flowers sold at the London markets are imported from abroad and consequently many of us miss out on the joy of receiving a posy of violets. Groves Nurseries sell posies of violets during February when their violets are in flower. The posies are sent out by post – there are 20 highly scented violets in each posy and they come in a lovely range of colours. The posies are £5 each, postage is £5.99 per parcel. Due to the unpredictable nature of the British weather and violet flowering times, the nursery take orders over the phone for their violet posies: telephone 01308 422654 for more information and to place an order.
At Easton Walled Gardens in Lincolnshire, when they started renovating and restoring the gardens, thousands of snowdrops were discovered growing, hidden from view in the undergrowth. The snowdrops were probably planted in Tudor times and have since multiplied and spread, forming colonies of pretty nodding white flowers that flower each February. Easton Walled Gardens send out bunches of ten flowering snowdrop bulbs, freshly lifted from the gardens. The variety they send out is Galanthus nivalis, the common snowdrop, which is easy to grow and thrives on many different soil types; it will grow happily in clay, chalk and sandy soils. The honey scented flowers are a delight at this time of year. The flowering snowdrop bulbs are posted out in a protective tube surrounded by tissue, the snowdrops are wrapped in cellophane and tied with a ribbon – they make a lovely gift, that if planted in the garden, can be enjoyed every Valentine’s Day, as the snowdrops will flower each February and will over time multiply in your garden.
This article was first published in the January 2016 edition of VantagePoint Magazine.
Other articles that may interest you……………………….
To read an updated article featuring a longer list of florists who will be using beautiful, British grown flowers for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day 2017, please click here.
To read about reputable suppliers of Snowdrops sold ‘in the green’, please click here.
For tips and advice about using Daffodils as cut flowers, please click here.
To read about Ilex ‘Nellie R. Stevens’ and other beautiful hollies, please click here.
To read about my 2015 Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.
To read about my 2016 Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.
For gardening advice of what you could do in your garden or at your allotment from mid-January to mid-February, please click here.
For gardening advice for February, please click here.
To read about terrariums and bottle gardens, please click here.
To read my review of the features of the BiOrbAir, a specialised, automated terrarium from Reef One, please click here.
To read about Daffodils, please click here.