I only buy flowers that I am confident will fill the brief I’m working on. Sourcing the right flowers for the job is more complicated than you’d think. We need to consider colour, texture, form, price, and something that lots of people forget – sustainability.
Lots of people (and indeed many of my clients) like to know where their vegetables come from, so why not understand where your flowers come from? I’ve always been really interested in locally sourced flowers, and often chop a few stems of Mint or a Sweet pea here or there from my garden to add to my bouquets.
However, the flowers I grow in our garden are not always in bud when I need them or available in the right quantity. So buying from growers and wholesalers who know what they’re doing is essential. Based in the heart of Wickham, I’m lucky to live in the centre of an incredible amount of talented growers and wholesalers.
The English Flower farmers I know are so hard-working whatever the weather, they are floral enthusiasts, and I’m happy to call some of the better ones my friends. Within a 40-minute round trip, I can collect flowers from one of the bigger growers & a handful of smaller growers nearby. These guys grow seasonal fresh flowers in tunnels, giant flower beds and coppice branches from their Woodland areas too.
Florists like me can ask for a particular quantity of flowers, or a special colour palette then arrange to collect them. We set the flowers in buckets of water and then take them home to work our magic. Tree branches are tricker to get in the van, but they always fit in the end!
Now, I’m not a completely full blown British Flowers girl, I trained using sprigs from my garden but mostly florals supplied by the bigger companies who import flowers via the Dutch markets. After nearly 9 years in business, I’m well-established enough that most of the bigger wholesalers will very kindly deliver overnight to my workshop. I love the fact that I can check prices quite far in advance and order top quality florals in bulk.
This way, most flowers with a seasonal twist are possible I understand the growing seasons, and likely availability. This combination between visiting flower farms, ordering from bigger Dutch companies and raiding the garden for Mint and Lavender works for me. It ensures all the flowers I have a unique recipe, look, and feel and scent. My clients often say they are wowed by the variety of flowers I can get hold of. I’m grateful to my brilliant suppliers, and the good relationships I have with them.
Where do you buy your flowers? Do you grow your own?
P.s. Image for this blog by Alisa Roberts Photography; a hybrid mix of English & Dutch imported blooms.