The Floral revolution
“This country is in the midst of a floral revolution.”
This statement is from The New York Times T Magazine and yet could as easily have been from any of our UK presses in 2017 ~ our time is coming.
Locally grown, seasonal and exquisitely beautiful flowers are making waves this side of the pond too… it is a quiet revolution gaining voice and we are just beginning to be heard…
To me, just as home-grown strawberries in summer taste a thousand times more indulgent than those flown in from around the world and chilled in a supermarket refrigerator in February, so too do mass-produced flowers flown in from overseas lack a certain essence of being.
They are pretty but the scent, the quirkiness and the individuality have been bred out, the longevity and uniformity bred in.
I’ve loved flowers since I was a small girl. The flowers in my grandfather’s garden were as beautiful and as fragrant as the strawberries were delicious in the height of summer.
Years later, whilst wandering through the woods it was the leaves and the blossom and the scents and the textures that sparked my interest as much as the sounds, I never knew then that they would mean as much to me now as they do.
This quiet floral revolution says no to sameness and year-round availability and instead stretches outspread, welcoming arms to slow-living, intentionality and embracing the moment.
This revolution says yes to enjoying something only in its season, to longing for it for months on end and to finding that it smells more glorious and is more beautiful than we remembered.
Flowers are so special because of their fleeting nature, and by trying to prolong that ‘specialness’ by flying it in from all over the world we lose the very things that make them wonderful.
It can’t be Christmas every day, and to be quite honest most of us wouldn’t want it to be, the build-up and the excitement and the planning and the waiting make it what it is.
Half of the joy in flowers is that we look forward to their arrival and appreciate what we have for those fleeting days, weeks or months that we get to bring some of them into our homes or hold them in our bouquets…
The smell of sweet peas and garden roses, rosemary, lavender, mint and peonies all muddled together is how I most strongly remember my wedding day, and if in the summer I happen upon any of those when I’m going about my business I stop in my tracks and am transported to that moment when my husband said ‘I do’. Scent is a powerful thing and for me the slow flowers movement is all wrapped in that.
Taking time, appreciating what we have and being grateful for each and every bloom grown here according to its own schedule is a simple joy – to know that we’re not adding huge carbon footprints across the globe but supporting local growers and being a part of this most beautiful revolution makes me really happy.
To work with seasonal blooms is a privilege and to be able to bring them to someone’s wedding day is an honour.
I’m going to make the most of every home-grown flower in its rightful season that I possibly can, and welcome you to join us in the studio to create designs of your own too, or just to go log on to Flowers from the Farm and find your nearest local flower grower and discover the difference for yourself.
We have a few weddings each year where brides have asked for non-native varieties. We talk openly to our brides about British seasonal alternatives and often they embrace these with gusto.
Although many of our clients come to us because we aim to use solely British-grown flowers, occasionally if there is a non-native flower that has a particularly strong sentimental meaning to our clients, we try our best to honour this.
We either buy the stems on a plant and then grow that plant for further use (possibly in the greenhouse if it is exotic!), such as orchids. Or, if we must buy cut stems from abroad, we research the most ethical source and plant something to offset the air miles!!
This is such an exciting time to be working with flowers – I think our revolution is just beginning… and I don’t think there’ll be any looking back.