Celebrate British Flowers Week

Don’t miss the glorious British Flowers Week 15 - 19 June, the annual celebration of British cut flowers founded by New Covent Garden Flower Market. Liz Anderson picks the best of the British cut flowers to grow in your garden.

sweet pea bouquet
Sweet pea bouquet. Image: Helen Jermyn for New Covent Garden Flower Market
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Liz Anderson
Liz Anderson

This blog post comes from Liz Anderson. Liz is a marketeer for New Covent Garden Flower Market, the country’s largest wholesale flower market and the team behind British Flowers Week. Follow the campaign and check out what’s on at www.britishflowersweek.com or on social media through #BritishFlowersWeek.

Giving and receiving flowers makes everyone smile, and locally-grown flowers have such charm and character. You can pretty much guarantee that no two stems will be the same! That quirkiness is what florists love about British cut flowers – they look natural, beautiful and freshly picked.

cornflowers
Cut cornflowers. Image: Rona Wheeldon

5 great, easy to grow summer flowers

  1. Among the pick of summer cut flowers are scented sweet peas. They fill your home with their heady scents and come in a range of heavenly colours from white and soft blush pinks and corals to the deep jewel-like reds, purples and blues.
  1. If you like your flowers big and blousy, a mass of ruffled petals, then peonies are the cut flowers for you. Their fragrant blooms can easily measure 15cm across. You buy them when their flowerheads are the size of a ping-pong ball, marshmallowy to the touch and the colour of the petals is showing. Pop a single stem in a slim vase or go crazy and buy a big bunch.
  1. Snapdragons are so called because when you squeeze the flowerheads, they supposedly look like a dragon opening and closing its mouth – perhaps after a glass or two, perhaps? These annual flowers are the classics of the country garden, and they are right back on trend with their fancy name of antirrhinums. You have to love their tall stems of soft rounded flowerheads.
  1. Cornflowers are great cut and come again flowers. You can grow them easily from seed and straight in the soil where you would like them to grow. They come in shades of white, pink, blue and deep purple-black. Once they begin flowering, cut the flowers often to encourage more and more flowers.
  1. Herbs are great multi-taskers. They are delicious in the pan, but also a firm florists’ favourite for summer bouquets and arrangements. Herbs like sage, mint, lemon balm and thymes soften your design, add delicious scents and last incredibly well. And you can always rustle up a feast later!
bouquet
Scarlet and violet bouquet. Image: Helen Jermyn for New Covent Garden Flower Market

Top tips for longer lasting cut flowers

  1. Remove all leaves from below the water level to stop them rotting
  2. Keep your flowers away from direct sunlight, heat or draughts
  3. Keep them away from fresh fruit, as ethylene will speed their demise
  4. Change the water and give the stems a quick trim, ideally every day
  5. Use flower food if you can

British Flowers Week

British Flowers Week is the ground-breaking campaign from the team at New Covent Garden Flower Market that brings growers, florists and the buying public in a national celebration of British cut flowers. Its ultimate aim is to bring British flowers back into British homes.

Across the country, flower farmers will be throwing open their gates to visitors during British Flowers Week (June 15 – 19 2015) , florists will be running workshops and giving demonstrations, and pop-up stalls will be appearing in town centres, while the internet will be flooded with images of British flowers and floral designs.

Find out more about what’s on during British Flowers Week at www.britishflowersweek.com

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