General ramblings

Say it with (British) flowers…

February 13, 2013

With the Lovely Hubby’s birthday being just a few days beofre Valentine’s Day (more on that tomorrow..), the annual slush fest tends to pass us by a bit.

I am have usually exhausted all my present ideas for his birthday, and we usually go out for a meal, or cook something nice, so the desire for another big meal is somewhat dampened.

And this year, it has to be Make Do and Mend too…

Where do flowers come on the whole buying nothing new thing?

I have had this debate before when trying to think of something to send some friends who were having a tough time (I plumped for homemade brownies in the end) and have still yet to reach any firm conclusions.

They are after all a perishable item, so could be lumped in with food and things.

But they are not really a necessity. And are often not particularly sustainable or planet-friendly having been air-freighted around the world from sunnier climes, and kept refridgerated to extend their shelf life.

I think I have decided that if I am going to buy flowers this year, they should be as sustainable as possible. British grown, native blooms are some of the best in the world, and if they are grown organically, and packaged appropriately, I reckon they can sneak in under the Make Do and Mend radar…

So, where does one find sustainable, organic British grown blooms in the middle of February..?

You might be surprised at just how many British flower growers there are out there! And many of them are organic. And although they may have to grow some of them under tunnels at this time of year, the carbon footprint of doing this must be far far lower than flowers that have been trawled halfway round the planet on an aeroplane, and at least you know the growers are not being exploited (well, I hope so anyway)

Here are some suggestions for you. All of them offer a nationwide delivery service:

  • The Great British Florist-is based in Herefordshire and is part of the Wiggly Wigglers company, which among other things, supply great wormeries to help you use up any food waste! Heather tells me that at the moment they have ranunculus, Veronica, September flower, bay, rosemary, tulips, dogwood, berries, & more!
One of the Valentine's bouquets on offer from The Great British Florist, complete with a willow heart and a slab of faritrade chocolate!!

One of the Valentine’s bouquets on offer from The Great British Florist, complete with a willow heart and a slab of faritrade chocolate!!

  • The Garden Gate Flower Company-organic British grown flowers from Cornwall. Currently using helebores, hyacinths, daffodils, anemones, lots of blossom, and pretty foliage like ivy with berries, and pertosporam
An example of one of the gorgeous bouquets available from The Garden Gate Flower Company

An example of one of the gorgeous bouquets available from The Garden Gate Flower Company

  • Common Farm Flowers-just down the road from us in sunny Somerset! Georgie tells me they are using tulips, narcissi, pussy willow, euphorbia, hazel catkins, grey poplar catkins and rosemary for their bouquets currently
Fresh cut flowers from Somerset from Common Farm Flowers

Fresh cut flowers from Somerset from Common Farm Flowers

  • The Flower Mill Cornwall have some gorgeous Daffodils in their online shop at the moment
  • Cornish Blooms also have some beautiful looking bouquets, with bunches of narcissi, or Seasonal Spring bouquets, which include Yellow Narcissi, White Narcissi and Daffodils from their fields, ready for Valentines Day
The seasonal Spring Bouquet from Cornish Blooms

The seasonal Spring Bouquet from Cornish Blooms

Other suggestion include buying good old British daffs from your local market stall, or British bulbs in a bowl.

And if you don’t fancy flowers this Valentine’s day, then here are some great Eco-friendly date ideas from Recyclebank!

Whatever you are doing this Valentine’s Day, whether you are fortunate enough to be spending it with a loved one, or  spending it on your own, have a good one, and spread the sustainable love!!

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20 Comments

  • Reply Plant it… | My Make Do and Mend Year June 4, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    […] I know I have debated before where cut flowers fit into My Make Do and Mend Year, and The Rules, and not really arrived at any firm conclusions, and I suppose if we were being […]

  • Reply My Make Do and Mend Mother’s Day…. | My Make Do and Mend Year March 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    […] a little bit as to what to get the ‘grown-up’ mummies. I contemplated some gorgeous British blooms, but the jury is still out on whether or not buying flowers counts as buying new. And then I saw […]

  • Reply Heather February 20, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Thank you for this list of British flower companies. I’ve been having a look around for ethical cut flowers this week for my Nan. It’s her 84th birthday so I wanted to set her some ethical flowers and then the kids and I are going to bake her a cake to go with them.

    • Reply Jen February 20, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      What a lovely idea! Hope your Nan has a great day 🙂

  • Reply Our homemade Valentine’s… « My Make Do and Mend Year February 14, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    […] I said in the “Say it with (British) flower’s” post recently, Valentine’s Day tends to pass us by a bit, as it is preceeded by the Lovely […]

  • Reply Robyn February 14, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    The British growers have been massively hit over the past few years by all the hothouse flowers imported from elsewhere. it’s such a shame, so lovely to see this list.
    Vivienne, just wanted to add my best wishes to you. This can’t be an easy day for you. xx

    • Reply Jen February 14, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      Thanks Robyn. There can be little better than seasonal British blooms 🙂

    • Reply Vivienne Downes (@VivienneDownes) February 14, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Thankyou ! Yes the shops go overboard so you can’t ignore it but I think of the song from “The King & I ” can’t quote exactly but something along the line of … “Hello young lovers … I had a love like yours …”

      • Reply Jen February 14, 2013 at 9:55 pm

        Hold on to the good times, and what you had together. xx

  • Reply Chris February 14, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Rather than cut flowers which will die in a week or so I always go for a british grown potplant ie an orchid which will go on flowering year after year if you look after them.

    • Reply Jen February 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      Great idea Chris. I am not very good at looking after plants I am afraid. Things only get fed and watered in this house if they squawk loud enough..!

  • Reply hmk71 February 14, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Thanks for the list Jen. I’ve used Wiggly Wigglers before, but hadn’t come across the others.

    I’ve always told my husband not to buy me flowers on Valentines Day because I can’t stand the huge price rise (not that fussed about red roses either)- I’d rather have hyacinths I can plant in the garden afterwards! They aren’t ever as big as when they are first growing in the pot, but they look a bit like bluebells and still smell lovely!

    I agree with Vivienne’s idea for growing things in your own garden. It’s amazing what you can grow that will pick well. I don’t have a proper ‘cutting garden’, but lots of plants like Pulmonaria, Euphorbia, climbing roses, Japanese Anemone and rosemary that are multi-purpose in my garden!

    Hazel

    • Reply Jen February 14, 2013 at 8:02 am

      I really should get more into gardening! My mum is the green fingered one in our family, and I have to confess that our garden is rather neglected (and rather small!) and only ever gets anything done to it when my parents come over!! Maybe I will plant some cutting flowers this year 🙂

      • Reply hmk71 February 14, 2013 at 8:21 pm

        haha! I plant very little specifically for cutting. All of those plants grow with minimal input from me. In fact the Pulmonaria (lungwort) is flowering right now through the snow!
        I’d love to have a Sarah Raven style cutting garden, but…

  • Reply Vivienne Downes (@VivienneDownes) February 13, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    PS I found a heart shaped potato in a bag of spuds … covered in foil it now serves as a base for the display & weight it down too !

  • Reply Vivienne Downes (@VivienneDownes) February 13, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    If you plan ahead you can grow your own cut flowers, spring bulbs, or pot plants … but if its too late what about just gathering what you have growing in your garden?
    I made a lovely floral display from evergreens & winter flowers like mahonia & skimmia to take to the crematorium for my sadly departed hubby. They last longer & bare the winter weather far better than any shop bought flowers AND they have grown in the garden we shared & tended with love <3

    • Reply Jen February 14, 2013 at 8:01 am

      Vivienne that sounds gorgeous. So thoughtful. It must be very difficult at this time of year. My thoughts are with you.

      • Reply Vivienne Downes (@VivienneDownes) February 14, 2013 at 10:14 pm

        Thankyou ! I had a lovely day out at Southport doing the kind of things we did together, browsing in the shops & arcades along Lord Street, lunch, walk round the marine lakes & to the end & back of the very long pier, then along the sea wall. Stayed to watch the sunset on a spectacular sunny day after an horrendous wintery one y’day it was like Peter was smiling down on me with that lovely sunshine :o)

  • Reply daisymarmalade February 13, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    What about buying a fruit bush or tree that you can plant and enjoy the produce together? Or plant up a bowl of bulbs that you can plant out when they have finished flowering. My lovely husband bought me a lemon tree for my birthday last year which is lovely to see in the conservatory – one of my middle names is after my Greek grandmother, Lemonia 🙂

    • Reply Jen February 13, 2013 at 10:33 pm

      That’s really lovely Daisy. And what a pretty name 🙂

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