Hey lovelies! I wanted to finish the week by filling your screens with gorgeous colour, design and general weddingness, and at the same time tell you a few things you might not know (because I didn’t) about the fabulous blooms you’ll be using to add oomph to your wedding styling. For anyone who hasn’t noticed, it’s British Flowers Week, so what better time to consider using British flowers for your wedding!
I work with British and imported flowers, but I have a definite preference – hopefully I can convince you, too!
British flowers have a much lower carbon footprint that imported ones. They are available by courier, or you can collect them from a farm yourself. Imported flowers are flown into Holland from all over the world, sold then shipped back out all over the world. That’s a lot of air-miles. There’s another environmental benefit to British flowers, too- they use fewer, safer pesticides, and sometimes none at all; my local farm is organic. Imported flowers can be a week old before I get them. I cut British flowers two days before the wedding. They are much, much fresher. And because imported flowers are sold in a global market, the prices can sky-rocket when it’s Mothers’ Day somewhere else in the world. British flowers are more consistently priced- that makes my job so much easier!
Have you noticed how the roses in your garden smell divine, but the ones from the supermarket have no scent at all? What a disappointment. Mass-produced roses are bred for their long stems and longevity, at the expense of beauty and scent. Who wants an unscented rose? I love the fact that when I’m at a farm, picking the flowers myself, I can choose the best there- no mouldy stems and dropping petals because that’s all the supplier was able to obtain for me. In full control, I can get the best of what’s available, and pay only for what I need. I prefer to use a little of everything for a gardeny look so if I just want five of something, I don’t have to order in ten, twenty or even fifty. It’s so much more efficient- great for the environment but also great for the budget!
I revel in selecting flowers that look good together in a way that you just can’t predict; nature throws up such variations in colour, shape and size, even with imported flowers, so the best way to have flowers that work well together is to go out and get them yourself, bucket and secateurs in hand! Flowers grown in our open fields are full of twists and turns and quirks that add such energy and dynamics to wedding flowers. Straight stemmed roses make my heart sink a little, if I’m honest. The twisty stems I gather from the field are a challenge, but the end result is just so exciting! You can never predict exactly what will be available, so the final result is always a surprise. Nobody else will have the same flowers in the same combination as you- your flowers will be unique, and isn’t that how your wedding should be?
So, what else should you know before deciding to go British? Well, British flowers are at their best (in my opinion) May to September. This is when brides and florists really can use their local farms, and it is possible to have a bit of a colour scheme, although I always advise against being too restrictive in case the wonderful British weather conspires against you. It is possible to order British flowers by post out of season through Flowers By Clowance (other suppliers are available), but you are limited to a narrow range of colours and varieties. To find your local farm, or florist who works with British flowers, check out The British Flower Collective and Flowers From The Farm. There are even growers in Scotland! If you had British flowers at your wedding please share them with us!
By Lisa Carey, floral fairy, vintage vase hoarder, small-scale flower grower and British flowers fanatic at Most Curious Rose.
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Image credits: Jodi Hanagan Photography | Most Curious Rose | Hire-Love | Lucy Can’t Dance | Helen Morris-Clarke Designs | Emma Page Buttercream Cakes | Calligraphy for Weddings | Black Cherry | The Gardens