We are starting to see an interest in British grown flowers, Lauren Hall reports
British flower farmers are bracing themselves for one of their busiest weekends of the year with customers looking for bouquets and posies to give to their loved ones this Mothering Sunday.
The floristry industry says there has been a rise in demand for British-grown cut flowers. Flowers from the Farm – an association for artisan flower growers – has seen its membership double in recent years.
Kim Fleming set up her flower farm 18 months ago in the village of Marlston in the Berkshire countryside.
She says it has been far more successful than she had hoped and she is unable to keep up with demand. She is now planning a large expansion later in the year.
“I think there’s a consciousness in the entire country about the environmental crisis that we’re facing” she told us.
“People are driving electric cars and they’re buying local produce and they’re shopping at their farm shop and they want to buy local flowers!”
We currently import 86% of our cut flowers, with the bulk of them coming from the Netherlands and some being flown in from parts of Africa and South America.
It means just 14% are grown in the UK.
However, the floristry industry says imports are still vital as they offer more variety on a much larger scale.
Those who want to buy British have to accept what is available at different times of the year.
Zena Alkayat, the founder of Bloom magazine explained: "I think the limitations of British-grown flowers are the same as the benefits in that farmers have to work with the seasons.
"So that means you can’t have roses in December, but what you can have is beautiful foliage and ivy and things that really reflect what’s going on in the natural world.”
We are now at the beginning of the season for British flower farmers which means we are starting to see a lot more on offer, including daffodils, hyacinths and hellebores.
It will be welcome news for those looking to buy British blooms this Mother’s Day.