It’s British Flowers Week, so if you’re buying flowers this week, make sure you get the best of what’s in season and support growers by buying British!
There’s no point beating about the bush: 2018 has turned out to be a difficult growing season. The exceptionally cold and inclement periods during March, followed by the intense heat of this spring and a continuing lack of rain, is having an impact. But in spite of the troublesome season, there are some absolute star species that are persistent in battling the conditions and are holding up well.
As a rough guide to what to look out for, here’s a round-up of what’s coming into it’s own this week here at Organic Blooms. We also asked James, one of our newer trainees who loves colour and shape, to describe what he likes about them.
This gorgeous flower is one of our favourites just now. James says, “I like the colour of our mallow – it’s a deep pinky red – and I really like the bold shape.”
Molucella (bells of Ireland)
These strong spikes of flowers contrast beautifully with the round shape of the malope blooms. James says, “The flowers are actually lime green – they’re like lots of bells.”
Last but not least, the humble ammi
We grow two varieties of ammi: the delicate, cow parsley-like ammi majus and the tighter-bloomed ammi visnaga. We love ammi because it makes such a lovely filler in bouquets and jugs. James describes it as, “white, with flowers like stars in the night sky”.
Different sizes, shapes and tones of flowers each play a different but equally important role in nature, attracting different pollinating insects in different ways. Not every flower can be big, bright and showy – it would create sensory overload for us, let alone confusion for our bird and insect friends. So just as Nature herself creates a well-balanced mix, we do the same with our cut flowers and the delicate subtlety of ammi makes an excellent foil to our more eye-catching blooms like malope and molucella. Thank you, Nature, for ensuring that these fabulous British floral partners bloom at the same time!
Also among our flowers doing well at the moment are clary sage, the delicate spikes of veronica, delphiniums and their smaller relative larkspur, roses, achillea (yarrow) and to provide the background to bouquets and arrangements, dorcus (carrot), feverfew and alchemilla mollus (lady’s mantle).
It’s great to see that two previous Organic Blooms students, Marianne Mogendorff (also one of our lovely wedding clients) and Camila Klich of Wolves Lane Flower Company in North London, are one of the six floristry businesses creating installations for this year’s British Flowers Week celebration at the Garden Museum – congratulations Marianne and Camila, we’re rooting for you!
If you’d like to learn how to grow your own fresh flowers – or are even thinking about joining the growing ranks of small British growers – our horticultural skills and cutting garden courses are for you. Our next full-week horticultural skills course, on which you will achieve a City & Guilds level 1 certificate in practical horticulture, with the possibility of upgrading this to a level 1 diploma, is in August. We also offer individual horticultural skills units as one-day courses, as well as a range of other horticulture, flower farming, cutting garden and floristry skills courses.
Visit the British Flowers Week website or search #BritishFlowersWeek to find out more about British flowers and what’s happening this week.
PS We’re pleased to announce that we’ve teamed up with organic veg box company Abel & Cole this week. Together, we’re exploring ways of bringing British seasonal flowers into the lives of more of their customers and to mark British Flowers Week, Abel & Cole will be selling British flowers plug plant kits featuring plug plants specially grown here at Organic Blooms.