British Flowers Week (13-19 June), the annual celebration of the British cut flower industry and the independent florist, returns in June for a fourth successive year with British cut flowers in city centres, stately homes, gardening shows, flower farm open days and floristry workshops.
#BritishFlowersWeek is set to be trending once again as images of exquisite British cut flowers, bouquets and spectacular designs from the Flower Market Photoshoot flood the web.
But this year is going to be different.
The NFU is working with grower members to provide British Flowers Week with its first series of grower case studies for 2016. Looking at the diversity of British cut flower producers in terms of scale, production lines and market outlets, this year will see growers in the spotlight showcasing their skill and quality.
“British Flowers Week has become an exciting showcase for all that is truly brilliant about British flower growers and the independent British florist,” says Helen Evans of New Covent Garden Flower Market, the driving force behind the British Flowers Week campaign. “In the hands of professionals, British flowers and foliages are revealed at their inspirational best.”
It is no coincidence that British Flowers Week is held in the middle of June, just as the summer flowering season starts for flower farmers across the UK, when florists and the public alike can select from the best of British-grown sweet peas, peonies, lupins, alliums, delphiniums, snapdragons, flowering foliages, garden roses, garden pinks, cornflowers, lisianthus, stocks, sweet Williams, larkspur and countless more besides.
The British cut flowers movement is gaining momentum: during British Flowers Week 2015 wholesalers notice a marked sales peak in line with Mothering Sunday levels. The number of grower members of Flowers from the Farm (a network of artisan growers) is nearing 250, whilst DEFRA figures show an increase of 16% in land allocated to outdoor cut flower production in 2015 on the previous year.
Here is a taster of the activities during British Flowers Week
For the full events listing visit www.britishflowersweek.com
Green & Gorgeous Pop Up Nursery Day, Oxfordshire (15 June): Meet specialist nurseries to sell seeds, roses, dahlias and perennial varieties recommended for cutting; visit the Green & Gorgeous cutting beds; watch floristry demonstrations and pick your own sweet peas. £5 admission.
Flowers from the Farm at BBC Gardener’s World LIVE: (16-19 June): Artisan cut flower growers from the Flowers from the Farm network will be exhibiting at the NEC, giving talks on growing cut flowers, and leaving a trail of lonely bouquets for visitors to find. Show entry tickets apply.
Flower Crown Portrait Day at the Electric Daily Flower Farm, Bath (18 June): Make your very personal crown using flowers grown at Electric Daisy Flower Farm and then have your portrait taken wearing your creation. £120.
Summer Workshop with Miranda Hackett Flowers and 3-course lunch at The Hinds Head, Bray: Using flowers and foliage sourced from local growers, celebrate British Flowers Week by learning and practising how to make a hand-tied bouquet before enjoying a three course lunch at Heston Blumenthal's Michelin-starred restaurant. £85.
Floral demonstrations by Jonathan Moseley, Derbyshire & Yorkshire (14 & 18 June): The expert floral demonstrator and teacher - and Big Allotment Challenge judge - explores British flowers and floral design in two wonderful workshops. £35.
The Flower Union Introduction to sourcing, care and arrangement of British flowers, Buckinghamshire (13 June): A deliciously personal introduction to the world of British artisan cut flowers, with visits to growing patches, a floral lunch, a hands-on workshop and flowers to take home. £125.
Open Garden at Coombe Blooms, Dorset (17, 18, 19 June): Enjoy a walk through the beautiful cutting gardens, filled with distinctive natural scents of fresh flowers free from chemicals, and a daily floral demonstration. Free entry.
The Flower Market Photoshoot (13-17 June) ONLINE ONLY: Watch as the creative, inspirational floral designs commissioned from five leading London florists are revealed online over the course of the week.