Everyone loves flowers, but most bought in England are imported from countries where the blooms are sprayed with toxic chemicals (grown by farmers with poor welfare standards), air-freighted (arriving feeling the same way you would after a long-haul flight), wrapped in plastic and then sold in supermarkets, florists and petrol stations. It’s perfectly possible to grow beautiful heirloom flowers in England, which last longer and have unique scents.
Many flowers (including all bulbs) are toxic to pets, so avoid planting or displaying near them (or sending them to households with pets). Just brushing a tail against a lily or sago palm can harm. See make your garden safe for pets to know toxic plants to avoid near pets (also avoid cocoa mulch, pine mulch & fresh compost near them). Removing indoor flowers from near windows, helps to prevent birds flying into windows (they can get confused and believe it’s outdoor vegetation).
Grow & Arrange Your Own Flowers
To display flowers in a vast, cut each stalk on the diagonal and add a little homemade flower food (add 1 tsp of sugar and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar to the water). Florists can order biodegradable floral foam from Eco Fresh Bouquet.
- Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden shows how to grow, harvest & arrange organic blooms year round. Written by flower farmer Erin Banzakein, read her other book Floret Farm’s A Year in Flowers which contains 25 seasonal arrangements including posies, bridal bouquets & festive wreaths.
- Slow Flowers is a book of 52 beautiful bouquets using local seasonal flowers (and in winter, the bouquets include grasses & twigs). All 4 seasons have their own botanical character. Includes design tips & bouquet recipes.
- The Flower Farmer’s Year is a lovely book by Georgie Newbury, who gave up a career in fashion to run an organic flower farm in Somerset with her husband. This book shows how you can do the same, by earning an income from flowers you grow. Her other book Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers includes tips to make your own posies, buttonholes & flower crowns.
Where To Buy Local Organic Flowers
- Flowers From The Farm is a beautiful site. Just enter your postcode and find local florists who sell organic flowers.
- Organic Blooms (Gloucestershire) is a social enterprise that employs people with learning difficulties to grow flowers for sale. A nice gift idea for someone is to sponsor an organic flower bed in their name.
- Blooming Green (Kent) grows organic flowers, in the middle of a fruit farm. Available from April to October, these rustic bouquets include native wild species, and meadow flowers. They are only picked a few days before sending.
- Tregothnan Flowers (Cornwall) is from an estate that grows its own tea. The flowers are not always organic, but they are local (their Bees for Development Town Box is ready to plant).
- For later in the season, Isles of Scilly has a warmer climate, so can often grow blooms for autumn and early winter (some are organic, but not certified for cost reasons. Isles of Scilly Flowers & Scented Narcissi both sell daffodils (toxic near pets).
Flowers to Help Others
- If you live in London, Floral Angels & The Flower Bank recycle donated bouquets from weddings & other events, and turn them into beautiful free bouquets, to cheer up people in need.
- Allergic to flowers? Social enterprise Page & Bloom employs domestic abuse victims to train them in producing beautiful paper flowers, made from old books & maps (they are looking for vegan craft glue, get in touch if you can help).
- Flowers for Dreams (Chicago) is a nice inspiring business idea from Chicago. All flowers are from ethical suppliers, delivered by bicycle in biodegradable hessian. A quarter of profits are given monthly to local animal shelters, botanical gardens & children’s cancer patients (so far they have raised over half a million dollars to good causes in the local area).