The beautiful flowers in this article’s cover photograph are from The Great British Florist, these flowers were photographed on the 19th January 2017.
I love flowers! I cut flowers, stems, and seed heads, and gather pinecones, leaves, and all manner of natural materials from my garden and allotment, to bring indoors all through the year. Seasonal flowers brighten my home, and bring cheer to my day. I think it’s rather wonderful to take in the pleasure of the moment, and experience the joy and delight of seasonal flowers, which flower once, sometimes just for a short while, each year. The fleeting joy that seasonal flowers bring, somehow make the flowers even more precious, and their memories more beautiful.
Flowers make such a wonderful gift. If you’re thinking of purchasing flowers for a loved one, maybe for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or for another special occasion, 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.
Many people associate roses with Valentine’s Day, but it’s worth remembering that imported roses will have been picked quite a long while ago by the time the recipient receives them, and the flowers won’t last very long. Many of the imported roses given during winter time don’t have any scent, and the buds don’t usually open up at all. The flower buds of imported roses often just hang their heads limply after a day or two if you’re lucky, and fade rapidly. British cut flowers are fresher, and I think more charming, with their own sincere and delicate beauty.
The 14th February – Valentine’s Day, arrives very early in the cut flower growing year, when the weather in the UK is still rather chilly, consequently supplies of British grown flowers are limited. Not all florists are able to provide British grown flowers to mark this special occasion. By Mother’s Day, when the weather has warmed up a little, British grown cut flowers are a little easier to find, and the range of flowers available increases; as the spring season progresses, the range of British grown flowers that British growers and florists can supply widens greatly.
I’ve included photographs I have taken of some of my own, home-grown flowers which flower in early spring to accompany this article, just to give an indication of the flowers that are available at this time of year. The beautiful flowers in this article’s cover photograph are from The Great British Florist, you can see further photographs I have taken of flowers from the Great British Florist, further on in this article.
Let’s celebrate the season and revel in our British grown flowers, I’d like to encourage you to support growers of British flowers, and the florists that champion British blooms, creating beautiful posies, bouquets, arrangements, works of art, and imaginative displays with British grown flowers and foliage.
I’ve contacted lots of suppliers of British grown cut flowers to find out what’s available to discover where you can purchase quality British grown flowers and plants for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. I’d like to encourage you to buy seasonal, British grown flowers, and ask you to support our growers of British flowers. Here are some of the beautiful, British grown, cut flowers that are available now, for Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day 2017, with information on where you can order these very special flowers:
Addington Flowers is a small, but lovely, organic flower business based in Kent. Addington Flowers grow all of their flowers outside, so naturally their flower production season begins after Valentine’s Day. For Mother’s Day, Addington Flowers will have some beautiful Anemones, Narcissi, Tulips, Hyacinths, Forsythia, Viburnums, and Euphorbia available.
Babylon Flowers grow their flowers outdoors, at their nursery in Cuxham in Oxfordshire, specialising in perennials, ornamental grasses, and unusual garden flowers. None of Babylon Flowers blooms are grown under glass, so consequently they also start the season a little later. Babylon Flowers’ Mother’s Day bouquets and arrangements will feature: Narcissi, Tulips, Hellebores, catkins and seasonal foliage.
Much of Bayntun Flowers‘ work consists of flowers for events, photoshoots, or wholesale flowers. Bayntun Flowers will however be making a limited number of hand-tied arrangements for Valentine’s Day, these will feature Iris tuberosa, Rosemary, and Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’. If you’re looking for something brighter, their alternative Valentine’s option features paperwhite Narcissi, combined with Corylus avellana (hazel catkins), white Ranunculus, bronze fennel, and Portuguese Laurel. All of Bayntun’s bouquets are grown organically, their flowers are available for collection from Blackland, in West Wiltshire .
Common Farm Flowers, run by husband and wife team, Georgie Newbery and Fabrizio Boccha, grow absolutely beautiful, British cut flowers on their farm in Somerset. Very early in the year, home-grown foliage and flowers on their farm are supplemented by blooms grown in Cornwall and Lincolnshire. Georgie hopes to have Tulips, Narcissi, Ranunculus, Anemones, and other seasonal, British grown flowers available for Valentine’s Day. Orders for Valentine’s Day need to be placed by Friday 10th February 2017.
Georgie Newbery is holding a Posy Tying for Mothering Sunday Workshop on Saturday 25th March 2017 – learn how to create a hand-tied bouquet and a jam jar posy with fresh, seasonal, British grown flowers. Attendees will learn about arranging and conditioning their flowers to make them last longer. Tea and cake will be provided, places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment. Common Farm Flowers also run gardening and flower farming related workshops on subjects ranging from Flower Farming for Beginners to Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers.
Based just outside Strensall, in York, Ducks and Daffodils is an organic flower growing business. For Valentine’s Day Ducks and Daffodils will have: Anemones, Tulips, scented Narcissi, Ranunculus, and Hellebores, which will be combined with spring foliage and seed heads. For Mother’s Day, Ducks and Daffodils will be offering: Anemones, Tulips, scented Narcissi, Ranunculus, Forsythia, Viburnum, and Hellebores.
At Easton Walled Gardens in Lincolnshire, thousands of snowdrops were discovered, hidden from view in the undergrowth, when the work started as they began renovating and restoring the gardens some years ago now. These snowdrops were probably planted in Tudor times, they have multiplied and spread, forming colonies of pretty nodding white flowers each February. Easton Walled Gardens send out bunches of ten flowering snowdrop bulbs, freshly lifted from the gardens. The variety of snowdrop that Easton Walled Gardens 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.
Easton Walled Gardens‘ flowering snowdrop bulbs are posted out in a protective tube surrounded by tissue, the snowdrops are wrapped in cellophane and tied with a ribbon. Snowdrops make a lovely present that can be enjoyed every Valentine’s Day, as the snowdrops should re-flower each February, and will over time multiply and spread in your garden, offering a better display of flowers each year. The snowdrops can be planted straight out into the garden, or the flowers can be enjoyed indoors first. The honey scented flowers of Galanthus nivalis are a delight to have indoors at this time of year where their scent intensifies in the warmth. This snowdrop gift comes with full planting instructions, so it makes an ideal gift for a novice gardener, as well as a more experienced galanthophile. I have checked with Easton Walled Gardens, they have lots of snowdrops available for purchase.
Artisan florist Emily Wisher grows flowers to use in her arrangements at her cutting patch in Staffordshire, Emily supplements her own home-grown blooms with British flowers, grown in Cornwall and Lincoln. Favouring an English country style, Emily is hoping to have Narcissi, Hellebores, and snowdrops for Valentine’s Day. Emily will be including Hyacinths, Narcissi, Irises, Ranunculus, and Tulips in her Mother’s Day arrangements.
Fentongollan is a family run business, they grow 170 acres of daffodils at their farm on the Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall. Fentongollan grow 400 different varieties of daffodils, as well as the traditional yellow trumpet daffodil, they also grow a wide variety of deliciously scented daffodils, including jonquils and multi headed, scented varieties – these daffodils have sweet, heady scents which are akin to Hyacinths in their fragrance, these special daffodils are just a dream for daffodil lovers like me! Fentongollan also supply double daffodils, bi-coloured daffodils, daffodils with pink trumpets, and miniature daffodils, including Narcissus ‘Cornish Chuckles’, which as the name suggests, was bred in Cornwall. All of Fentongollan’s daffodils are hand picked in at their farm in Cornwall.
Fentongollan sell daffodils with flowers in a variety of colours and colour tones, from yellow, lemon, white, orange, red, and pink, Fentongollan include as many different daffodil varieties as they have available in each order. Fentongollan sell their daffodils in boxes of 30, 60, or 100 daffodils, their beautiful daffodils are available now, these lovely and very special daffodils will also be available for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
Fentongollan offer a Month of Colour, where 60 of their daffodils will be sent in bud through the post, each week for four weeks. Featuring a variety of different daffodils, this would be a very special gift. For something even more special, Fentongollan offer an increased Month of Colour – 100 daffodils a week, for four weeks! Heaven!
As the daffodil varieties that flower in January are different from the daffodils that flower in February, March, April, and May, any time you order daffodils from Fentongollan the varieties of daffodils you receive will be different. Fentongollan’s daffodil gifts can be supplemented with handmade, luxury chocolates and special Cornish grown tea.
The Great British Florist is based on part of the Duchy Estate in Herefordshire, where flower farmer Phil grows beautiful flowers to use in their bouquets and arrangements. Phil’s flowers are supplemented when required by blooms grown by specialist British flower growers from all over the UK, which enables The Great British Florist to supply a wide variety of beautiful, British grown flowers right through the year.
I am so enjoying these beautiful, British grown flowers from The Great British Florist, which arrived on the 19th January 2017. As you can see in the photographs, the flowers are fresh and lovely, but what you cannot see is their fragrance, I wish I could share with you the scent of the Freesias and the Narcissi in this hand tied arrangement, the fragrance has gently enveloped my room with its loveliness.
Hand tied arrangements like this one from The Great British Florist are wonderful to send. These flowers arrived in a study cardboard box for protection. Inside, the flowers were beautifully arranged, the flowers had been placed in water, wrapped in cellophane and tissue paper and placed in a gift bag. As well as looking very attractive, the gift bag allows the flowers to stand unaided and prevents the flowers toppling over. The flowers in this lovely arrangement arrived in water, so there was no need to rush to put them in a vase, which is very handy if your Valentine is out, or unavailable when the flowers are delivered.
The Great British Florist has designed some beautiful bouquets for Valentine’s Day, their arrangements will feature: Tulips, Ranunculus, Anemones, Lilies, Alstroemeria, Narcissi, and herbs. For Mother’s Day the Great British Florist’s arrangements will include: four varieties of Narcissi, Tulips, Ranunculus, Alstroemeria, Leucojums – also known as snowflakes, Scillia, Lilies, and Eucalyptus.
Rachel Siegfried and Ashley Pearson from Green and Gorgeous Flowers, grow an array of lovely, seasonal flowers at their flower farm in Wallingford, in Oxfordshire. For Mother’s Day they offer scented Narcissi, Tulips, Anemones, Hellebores, with cherry blossom, pussy willow, and eucalyptus. The Farm Gate Sales that Green and Gorgeous offer resume in April.
Becky Groves’ Grandfather started the Groves Nurseries‘ collection of violets in the 1960’s; this family run business holds the National Collection of Sweet and Parma Violets. The collection is on show from January until March each year while the violets are flowering, this is also when the full range of varieties are available for purchase. Some, but not all, of Groves Nurseries’ violet varieties are available to purchase all year round. Groves Nurseries grow about 2500 violet plants a year. The Violets are available for purchase directly from Groves Nursery in Bridport, but happily they are also available online. The violet plants are sold in 12cm pots, the majority are priced at £3.99, some of the more unusual and rare varieties are more expensive, they also sell violet seed.
Naturally Becky’s favourite violet is Viola odorata ‘Becky Groves’, which her father bred and named especially for Becky – how lovely! Becky’s violet has a sweet fragrance, but not all violets are strongly scented; if you’re looking for scented varieties, choose odorata or parma types as they have a beautiful scent. If you’re looking to purchase some violets, you can’t go wrong with our native sweet violet, Viola odorata and its white form Viola odorata alba.
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, so 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 violet posies are sent out by post, there are 20 highly scented violets in each posy which are 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, or to place an order.
The Home Grown Flower Company, based in Mayfield, East Sussex, was started by florist and flower grower Zelie Billins, who is now accompanied by Amelia Holmwood. The Home Grown Flower Company will be offering Valentine’s bouquets filled with Narcissi, Ranunculus, Tulips, Hellebores, and seasonal foliage. For Mother’s Day, their bouquets will feature forget-me-nots, wall flowers, Irises, Narcissi, Ranunculus, Tulips, Hellebores, and seasonal foliage. The Home Grown Flower Company also offer potted spring bulbs and planted baskets, which are for collection only from their premises in East Sussex.
Mill Pond Flower Farm is based in Foulden, in Berwickshire, in the Scottish Borders, they mainly sell flowers wholesale to florists. For Mother’s Day, Mill Pond Flower Farm will have Anemones, Narcissi, Tulips, and Muscari available. Mill Pond Flower Farm also offer workshops, for all the details, please click here.
Organic Blooms are a social enterprise based near Bristol, that grow seasonal cut flowers, without the use of additional heat or artificial chemicals. Organic Blooms employ specialist staff to train and guide people with additional support needs, teaching their trainees valuable horticultural skills on their nursery.
Organic Blooms don’t supply flowers for Valentine’s Day, though they will have blooms in time for Mother’s Day. For a special gift to yourself, or for a friend or family member, Organic Blooms offer a Year of Flowers – 8 beautiful hand-tied bouquets delivered each month, from May until October, or if you prefer take out a Pick of the Flower Garden Subscription, which offers the recipient a delivery of flowers every week, or every fortnight, or each month, depending on your preference, from May until the first frosts in October. Organic Blooms offer an array of different courses and workshops, for all the details, please click here.
Claire Brown runs Plant Passion, a lovely flower farm in East Clandon, in Surrey, where she sells Valentine’s bouquets created with Anemone, Alstroemeria, Tulips, Hippeastrum – which is also known as Amaryllis, Narcissi, twisted willow, ivy berries, Senecio, Eucalyptus, foliage, and herbs, to local people. Claire delivers bouquets between Guildford and Cobham. Plant Passion will also be offering Mother’s Day bouquets to local people, these will feature Anemones, Tulips, Ranunculus, Hyacinths, Alstroemeria, and Irises, Claire Brown runs a number of different workshops through the year, where you can learn an array of new, flower related skills.
Plant Passion sell the flowers they grow to florists from April to October each year. Very helpfully, Claire has produced a book with advice for florists on what flowers, filers, and foliage are available during each month of the year, you can find out more here.
Based in St Mary’s and St Agnes, on the Isles of Scilly, eight family run flower farms supply scented Narcissi to the Scented Narcissi, The Blue Box Flower Company. The location of these flower farms benefits the flower farmers with a milder climate, thanks to the warmth of the Gulf Stream. For Valentine’s Day the following varieties of yellow Narcissi will be available: Narcissus ‘Soleil d’Or’, N. ‘Scilly Valentine’, N. ‘Royal Connection, and N. ‘Hugh Town’. These white Narcissi varieties will be available for Valentines: Narcissus ‘Avalanche’, N. ‘Grand Primo’, N. ‘Paperwhite’, N. ‘Daymark’, N. ‘Erlicheer’. For Mother’s Day the following yellow varieties of Narcissi will be available: Narcissus ‘Golden Dawn’, and N. ‘Scilly Pride’. The following white Narcissi varieties will also be available for Mother’s Day: Narcissus ‘Avalanche’, N. ‘Erlicheer’, N. ‘Scilly White’, N. ‘Silver Chimes’, N. ‘Sir Winston Churchill’, N. ‘Jammage’, and N. ‘White Lady.
Kathryn Hurst from Shelsley Herbs and Flowers, grows colourful, fragrant flowers, and herbs in Worcestershire. For Valentine’s Day Kathryn has especially grown some beautiful varieties of Hellebores, a variety of different coloured Anemones, red, pink, and white Tulips, blue and white coloured Muscari, paperwhite and pink Narcissi, and snowdrops. For Mother’s Day, Kathryn has bluebells, which she picks from her own bluebell wood, which I think is absolutely marvellous! Kathryn has also grown: Tulips, Narcissi, Irises, pink, white, and pale blue Scabious, and beautifully scented wall flowers for Mother’s Day.
The Suffolk Flower Farm is based just outside Boxted, south of Bury St. Edmunds, in Suffolk, where it’s run by Margaret Willemsen. The Suffolk Flower Farm’s flower season starts in March, so instead of supplying flowers for Valentines, The Suffolk Flower Farm supplies flowers for Mother’s Day, when their bouquets will include: Anemones, Tulips, Hyacinths, and Narcissi, which will be combined with Cornus and other spring twigs.
At Tregothnan they are committed to only growing and supplying British flowers, which they grow on their estate, in Truro, Cornwall, or source from local growers. Tregothnan supply British grown flowers all through the year.
For Valentine’s Day, Tregothnan will be creating pretty arrangements with Tulips. For Mother’s Day, Tregothnan will have: Stocks, Narcissi, Tulips, Alstroemerias, and sweet William, which will be combined with beautiful foliages such as: Camellias, Eucalyptus, Manuka, Eleagnus, Laurel, herbs, and trailing foliages.
A Mother’s Day Floristry Workshop will take place on Friday 7th April 2017, at Tregothnan, Truro, Cornwall, TR2 4AJ, from 10am until 4pm. The course includes a tour of the garden and flower growing areas around the estate, followed by a talk at the workshop to learn about the history of floristry and ‘house flowers’, where you’ll learn how the gardening teams working at country estates created floral displays. After lunch the attendees will create their own floral displays with guidance from Tregothnan’s floral designer, using beautiful flowers from the gardens. The day concludes with a cream tea in the estate shop. Tickets are purchased in advance, and arrive in a voucher presentation pack which can be presented on Mother’s Day.
If you’re looking for something a little different, perhaps a gift for a keen cook, Tregothnan can create an Edible Herb Bouquet, which can be used fresh when it arrives, or alternatively, the recipient can dry the bouquet for later use.
Carole Patilla, from Tuckshop Flowers in Birmingham, grows, arranges, and sells, beautiful British grown flowers. Carole uses snowdrops, a range of different, beautifully scented Narcissi, as well as: Tulips, Anemones, Alstroemeria, Ranunculus, witch hazels, Viburnum, Magnolia flower buds, and Eucalyptus, in her flower arrangements for Valentine’s Day. Carole also grows Crocus in old china tea-cups, which she sells as a special treat for Valentine’s Day.
At Wiggly Wigglers all their flowers are British grown, they don’t import any of their flowers. Many of Wiggly Wigglers’ flowers are grown on their farm in Herefordshire, but when the weather is very cold they have a supplier in Cornwall who provides additional Cornish grown flowers. There is both colour and scent in their Valentine bouquets, which feature lots of pretty spring flowers including: Ranunculus, scented Narcissi, Alstroemeria, ornamental cabbages, Lilies, Chrysanthemum, and even Freesias. Their pretty Valentine’s posies feature Hyacinths, Tulips, Narcissi, Alstroemeria, and pussy willow.
If you are a florist inspired to use British grown flowers in your arrangements and posies, Flowers by Clowance are a wholesaler who can fulfil your needs; they also sell directly to retail customers. Flower Farmers from all over the UK can be found at Flowers From The Farm. Another option is the New Covent Garden Market in London.
Other articles that may interest you…………….
For information on gardens offering discounts on entry on the 11th March 2018 – which is Mother’s Day, and info on other garden events held over the Mother’s Day weekend, please click here.
For details of beautiful daffodil gardens and daffodil events that are being held in 2018, please click here.
For information on reputable nurseries selling snowdrops ‘in the green’, please click here.
To see photographs from the 2017 Orchid Extravaganza at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Please click here.
For information and advice on using Daffodils as cut flowers, please click here.
To read about winter flowering plants, please click here.
To read the results of my 2016 Peat Free Compost Trial, please click here.
To read my review of Trug Makers No. 7 trug, a traditionally made, hand-crafted Sussex trug, made by a family business that offer next day delivery, please click here.
For information on terrariums and bottle gardens, please click here.
To read the first part of my Miniature Orchid Trial, please click here.
For advice on what to 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.
For gardening advice for mid-February to mid-March, please click here.