Celebrating local business during British Flowers Week 2018
19 Jun 2018
To mark British Flowers Week, floral suppliers share their reasons why we should support local businesses
Image: Bridget's Flowers
A week-long campaign to unite the floral industry with an appreciation for homegrown flowers and local growers, British Flowers Week runs from June 18-24. With a host of events and activities to grow awareness and spread the love, British Flowers Week celebrates the best of British floristry.
Here, we meet six wedding suppliers who share a love for flowers and a willingness to support nearby businesses. Discover the benefits of buying local...
Bridget’s Flowers, Norfolk
Bridget’s Flowers is based on the outskirts of King’s Lynn town centre and has been since 1983.
Megan Nurse of Bridget's Flowers says: “Here at Bridget’s we adore anything and everything to do with wedding flowers. I am the design influence behind Bridget’s Flowers and spend my free time getting involved in styled shoots, keeping active and pottering around the garden.
“Along with my team, I am passionate about flowers that ooze unusual, natural and modern vibes. We are so in love with creating natural, contemporary and fascinating bouquets, floral creations and much more.
“All the beautiful blooms used in our creations are lovingly grown, tendered and picked from our army of local farmers/growers. When necessary we are able to source from further afield however we love the idea of supporting local and tend to forage locally to support and maximise our designs as much as possible.”
Your Cherished Moments, Crewe
Providing couples with their dream wedding flowers since 2011, florist and venue stylist Louise Hannon began her business venture when planning her own wedding.
Commenting on how the wedding industry has seen a shift in trends, Louise says: “For many years, florists and shops around the UK have been mainly buying imported flowers from around the world to guarantee that they can get certain flowers all year round, including ourselves. Around 90% of the flowers in the UK are imported, yet we grow amazingly colourful and scented flowers here in Britain.
“Over the past few years we have found that our brides are changing the way they want their wedding flowers to look and are instead opting for flowers that are in season at the time of their wedding.
“As a wedding florist we now not only buy British flowers but also grow many of our own in our own garden to use in bouquets and buttonholes, so most of our couples have British grown flowers and foliage included. When buying British flowers you are supporting local farms and florists, reducing the carbon footprint of your flowers and having fresher, more scented flowers that last much longer."
Image: Pink Skylark David Austin Roses
Pro Posies, Norfolk
Based in Ashill, Pro Posies offers a traditional and contemporary floral design service to wedding couples at an affordable price point.
Detailing why you should buy British flowers for your bouquet or wedding flowers, Claire Crummett, owner of Pro Posies, says: “Natural, seasonal flowers are always the best choice because of their scent, texture, form and colour. Their enduring qualities complement the chosen theme for your wedding. There is a huge selection of flowers available in a wide range of colours throughout spring, summer and autumn.
“At the moment, blues, lilacs and purples are one of the more fashionable colour schemes for a beautiful wedding design. Here is a selection of flowers available in these colours: delphinium, aster, aquilegia, alliums, nigella, anemones, clematis, sweet peas, old fashioned roses, tulips, hyacinths, muscari, eryguim, lavender and hydrangeas. Availability of these fantastic British blooms is dependent on the month that you are getting married.
“Using British flowers for your wedding also benefits our planet as they are not transported thousands of miles across the globe. This is so much better for the environment.”
Offering biodegradable natural petal confetti, Shropshire Petals champions the best of British.
Jim Bubb, owner of Shropshire Petals, says: “Buying British is key to keeping our economy flowing. At Shropshire Petals, we grow British flowers which help to support the environment, encourage biodiversity as well as providing a much-needed habitat for a variety of British wildlife.
“By supporting local businesses when choosing suppliers for your wedding, you can see exactly where your products have come from. We grow and hand-pick our flowers on our farm in Shropshire to ensure couples only receive the best natural petal confetti possible. During the summer, you will even see our fields awash with colour as we harvest our flowers.
“Knowing where your flowers in particular come from is key to sustainability and accountability. A huge percentage of flowers sold in the UK are actually imported and travel thousands of miles to get here; support your local businesses and buy British where possible for your wedding, reducing the air miles and carbon footprint.”
Image: June Mix of the Month: cherry blossom, icing sugar and frosted blue delphiniums and blue bird cornflowers (£12.50 per litre)
Passion for Flowers, Warwickshire
From intimate gatherings to grand celebrations, Passion for Flowers caters to all types of wedding and covers Warwickshire, the West Midlands, Worcestershire and the Cotswolds.
Karen Morgan, owner of Passion for Flowers, says: “We love creating lush bridal bouquets and to celebrate British Flowers Week, we created this cascading bouquet with a mix of honeysuckle, peonies, ammi, honesty, grasses, philadelphus, alchemilla mollis, love in the mist, trailing jasmine and a sprinkling of spray roses – all locally grown.
“British flowers should be enjoyed all year round and we are proud of the wealth of knowledge and experience of British growers. By using seasonal flowers and foliage we can support our growers while ensuring we are offering an excellent choice of flowers and foliage to our wedding couples. By flying the British flag and supporting the British flower industry and its growers you are helping them to develop and thrive. Make sure you ask for British and local where you can.”
Image: Photography by Sabine Darrall
Beau Blush Events, Hampshire
Beau Blush Events in Hook is a one-stop-shop for wedding décor and floristry, offering everything from centrepieces and backdrops to top table arrangements and bouquets. Covering Hampshire, Surrey and beyond, the expert team are proud to support British businesses.
Michelle Cheung, director of Beau Blush Events, says: “There are so many reasons why couples should buy British and support local businesses. By buying British, you're not only helping the local economy thrive, you're also getting better quality and a more personal experience. Flowers from a local florist will look fresher, smell fresher and last longer with less chance of wilting. At seasonal highs, they can even be cheaper.
“Whether you know what flowers you're looking for or not, a local florist will always be on hand to help you from beginning to end. You'll get a more personal touch with bespoke recommendations of flowers that suit your style and budget, and in the end, tailor-made flowers that are personal to your wedding.
“Right now, we absolutely adore British sweet peas. With such a wide variety of fascinating colours and its fruity fragrance coupled with its delicate and fluffy texture, they're easily one of our favourite summer blooms.”
Image: Sweet peas
Mad Lilies, Surrey
You will often find the Mad Lilies team out foraging in the Surrey countryside for the perfect foliage to achieve their trademark ‘outside/inside’ look, so working with local suppliers and using their British grown blooms is a natural extension to their business.
Owner Alison Howe says: "The growth of the ‘farm-to-table’ movement also makes sense for flowers. Working locally means we can have a conversation directly with the growers, it helps us understand the natural rhythms of the countryside as well as promoting biodiversity. If picked in season, June to October, the flowers will not only have less air miles (grown not flown) and a beautifully imperfect quirky character, but most importantly they will have the most amazing scent.
"We find that many of our brides, if given an option, will choose British flowers, knowing that they are supporting local businesses and understanding the provenance of their bouquet can actually be quite an important factor in making their final decision. Quite simply, in our opinion British grown flowers picked in season are at their most robust, and their amazing aroma will be forever associated with our couples' special day."
Image: Photography by Simon Pope of Beunveiled; British flowers including scented stock, lisianthus and scabiosa
Rhubarb & Bramley, Surrey
With two bases in Carshalton and Dorking, Rhubarb & Bramley is a family-run business offering a full floristry service.
Supporting British Flowers Week, owner Ashleigh Kington comments: "We are Rhubarb & Bramley like to use homegrown flowers where possible, as they are the freshest and most scented product available and arguably longer lasting. If you care about sustainable farming, perhaps you feel the same about artisan flower farmers too.
"Rhubarb & Bramley florist is sister company to a fruit and vegetable business, so the subject of buying British is one close to our hearts. Unfortunately, the UK now only grows between 10%-15% of our British flower industry, the majority is imported. However, by investing in British flowers and produce, you are supporting the local economy as well as the local environment. Plus you’ll have the variety and quality of seasonal British flowers in abundance."
Image: English garden roses
Lavender Green Flowers, London
With more than 25 years' experience in decorating weddings and providing brides with their bouquets, Lavender Green Flowers knows how important it is to support local and promote the company's British heritage.
Sue Barnes, owner of Lavender Green Flowers, says: "I grew up spending more time in the garden than the house and have always been fascinated by the scents of the various English garden roses and herbs my family grew. So British seasonal blooms are always the first choice at Lavender Green Flowers.
"We share a passion for providing the best quality flowers and supporting what is locally grown. We've noticed an increase in brides wanting to know where their flowers come from. Nothing beats a freshly picked garden rose from a specialist grower only 30 miles from your wedding venue. It may not always be the cheapest option but for those conscious of their carbon footprint or wanting to support local and British, this is an increasingly popular request.
"For the summer season we always recommend beautiful peony, delphinium, foxgloves, larkspur, stocks, sweet pea and of course roses."
Image: Sweet pea, astrantia, lily of the valley, astilbe and myrtle
Are you supporting British wedding businesses with your wedding planning? Tell us how you're doing it by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.