Our wonderfully wonky phonebox had a repaint this year, ready for our latest installation for British Flowers Week.
An interesting thing I have learned on my journey about flowers, is how in the UK we came to rely so heavily on imported flowers. Okay our climate is not suited to growing exotics, and customer taste changed towards them in the 1970's, perhaps at the crucial moment we voted in to the EU. But it seems the combination of the two factors pretty much saw the end of commercial growing in Britain - with some notable exceptions. From the mid 1970’s, the British flower industry has faced one challenge after another, and struggled to be financially viable.
Well now it seems we’re going full circle. Environmental awareness and economics mean we’re taking another look at how far our flowers travel before they get to our stores. It’s perfectly possible for us to have flowers on our table the day after they were picked in Costa Rica – but how long before that becomes unacceptable given we know the environmental cost?
And for the less exotic? Flowers we are more than capable of growing in the UK - like Tulips and Ranunculus, Peonies, Roses - are all currently imported from the rest of Europe in thousands of tonnes per day. Our trade arrangements with the EU are still to be decided and no one knows how it will turn out, but the likelihood is importing will become more expensive than it is right now.
The time for investment in British flower growing has never been more perfect. The growers are there, they are expanding rapidly, seeking support, buying the land, developing their stock, their range… They’re devising clever means of combatting bugs and beasties, whilst encouraging diversity. Not returning to an old model of mass-production, but trying to find new and sustainable ways of growing that will offer us, the flower lovers, all the abundant blooms we could possibly wish for.
We encourage our customers to help this growing trade by buying British flowers. Look out for British Flower arrangements in our growing collection of Little Garden workshops, and exciting news of this growing industry as it succeeds.
Our first year of Phonebox decor!
This year featured a simpler
understated flower 'halo' to coincide
with the Gaydon Village Fete