The Flower House Garden 2020 – The first 3 months

So here we go with the start of a year in The Flower House Studio garden!


As you can see there are plants in the garden in January which give colour through leaf or stem but it is quite bare. What you do and when in the garden has a lot to do with where you live. In general it is colder the more north you are and wetter the further west. We are right on the south coast so are pretty dry and generally do not get that many frosts or severe winters but we do get quite a lot of wind.

As I was rather late starting this blog, I am consolidating the first 3 months. January and February are not as busy months as others in the year particularly if the weather is wet and/or cold. The light levels are also very low and daylight is key for growing. 

However, January is a good month to have a tidy up, checking for any wind damage and to start getting things ready for what is to come. Sheds, greenhouse and the garden generally benefit from this. Pruning can also be done but you have to know which plants benefit from a winter prune. Any spring flowering shrubs should wait until after flowering so forsythia, bridal spirea, philadelphus and the like. But summer flowering clematis, buddleia, roses, spirea and cornus can be cut back hard, Wisteria is a bit of an exception as it like a prune in January and July.

Apple and pear trees can also be done now but my husband prefers to do this in the summer as winter pruning encourages vigorous growth. However if you have old branches or ones which cross and rub, get rid of those now then shape and thin to allow the light in later. These are very basic pruning rules, so it is best to check for your particular plants.

I have been known to start weeding in January as long as the soil is not too heavy and you can have some colour in the garden from mahonia, skimmia, hellebores and you might start to see the snowdrops poking through.


This is a good time for cutting back deciduous ornamental grasses, right back to the ground before new shoots appear. Evergreen varieties just need the old growth pulled out, they come out with a gentle tug.

Any pruning can be finished too and if you did not sort out your seeds last month do it now as some can start to be sown including sweet peas, cornflower, lots of veg – broad beans, kale, spinach and herbs but they have to be under glass. I have to say I tend to wait until March. But there is always the weeding to be getting on with.


This is when it really starts to happen, days get longer, remember the clocks go forward and spring officially begins. We see cheery daffodils, crocus, muscari and other bulbs starting to come out and the flowering shrubs will gradually become a mass of colour, like the Ribes above. It will depend on the weather though as March can still be very cold with snow, hail, rain and wind, remember the old saying ‘March winds and April showers’

But there is no denying the day time temperatures are usually on the up and with more day light hours it is the month to really get on with planting seeds.  Herbaceous plants and shrubs can be planted as well as divided in March as long as it is not too wet and it is a good time to mulch. We missed our opportunity this year with it being so wet and then we went into lockdown so could not get our usual manure. You need have completed the weeding before doing this because although one of the advantages of mulching is to suppress weeds it is not a way of ignoring them.

And we cannot forget early rhubarb, we plant different varieties so we have it from February right through to autumn. It has become a bit of a family joke that whenever people come for dinner or I take dessert to a someones, it will be rhubarb of some sort, be it rhubarb crumble cake, brûlée, fool or just straight forward stewed rhubarb. I love the latter for breakfast with yoghurt and why not if you have got it, use it!

Above are the cosmos and amaranths seeds planted earlier in the month along with the sweet peas below.

We also have larkspur, cleome which really has not come too much, penstemon, echinacea and my husband who is in charge of veg has leeks, tomatoes, peppers, courgettes and basil. We have learnt over the years only to grow what we really like and in sensible quantities. I will show how they are coming along in later posts.

Lawns are another area of the garden which start to need attention, if we have had a mild spell they might have already had a cut but March is the usual time they put on a spurt. Remember the first cut should not be too low, just take the top off. If you like to feed your lawn now is the time to do it and boarder edges may need redefining. 

There may be many more jobs I have overlooked but we seem to have been busy enough as it is. Getting dahlia’s out of storage and potting them up is one you may have noticed I have omitted. This is because I believe plants should work for me and not me having to work for them! I always felt having to lift, over winter and re pot a bit of a faff so did not ‘do dahlia’s’ but I like them and they are so useful in floristry.  Therefore I do have some but leave them in and so far the majority have come back each year. I have had the odd casualty and may have to review what I do this year as it was so wet and may have lost more. It would probably be wise to do as a fellow florist friend does and that is lift some as a back up.

Also you have to remember I am only commenting on our garden, other gardeners will have different priorities, likes and dislikes but whoever you are and wherever you garden the rewards are great including pickings for a vase or two! Forsythia, ribes, rosemary, euphoriba, hellebore, muscari, broom, bridal spirea and grevillea – spring in a jug!

The next post will be all about April.

The Flower House Studio Garden

As it is going to be a while before I write new wedding posts I decided to do regular posts about the garden. These will show how it changes through the year and serve as a journal for me, particularly as I am bad at remembering which plants are where! I see something coming through and have to wait until I recognise the foliage or form and then it comes flooding back.This first post though is to show how it all started and has evolved over the 6 years we have been here. We are in lovely spot in East Sussex on the River Brede near Rye. We overlook open pasture which has  sheep grazing from when the lambs appear in March to about October.

Above is looking down the garden from the back of the house to the river and beyond taken in October 2013, the year we moved in. Below is taken at the same time but looking towards the house, before the renovations.

The garden faces north west but gets the sun for most of the day. It is dry with an  average annual rainfall of 650mm (25.95 inches) and being close to the sea we do get our fair share of wind. It is probably classed as a medium sized garden measuring approximately 40m in length and 13m wide (130ft x 40ft).

I do not claim to be an expert, I just have a love of gardening and passion for flowers and plants. I did do a garden design course many years ago and my husband and I have created 3 gardens virtually from scratch. Outside space has always been important to us and being a florist it is great to have material on hand.

We did not really get started until April 2015 because up until then we still had the florist shop and not much time for gardening. The garden was essentially a rectangle of lawn with 5 trees, 3 apple, a cherry and plum. There was one small flower bed between the shed and then summer house.The first job was to decide on a design and wanted one that could be on going as we did not want to create all the beds in one go as they would have needed to be planted up to prevent weeding over (we have done that before!) and that would have been very costly.

My husband suggested, and I was hesitant at first, to create circular beds around the trees on the left side of the garden. My hesitation was that the trees would take too much moisture and light but we wanted to maintain the view and therefore did not want central beds. There also had to be places to sit, pathways and the more functional aspects like water butts, greenhouse, washing line, compost and storage areas.

Initial design decided and on to the plants. There can be many reasons which dictate the plants you choose; location, soil type, the style of garden you wish to create, scent, colour and of course your own personal favourites. I also have the added requirement of growing plants, shrubs and flowers I can use in my business. If you do not know where to begin a good rule of thumb is to look at what is growing in gardens around you, if they thrive there then the likely hood is they will in your garden too.

I did a basic plant plan for each bed with the idea of adding more over time and topping up with annuals. The garden style is loosely cottage garden but it is important to have a structure of shrubs both evergreen and deciduous as they help to give interest all year. The above selection got us started and included Euonymus, Spiraeas, Philadelphus, Guelda Rose (Vibernum), Cornus,  Elaeagnus, Cardoon, Bronze Fennel, Sambucus nigra (Black elder), Senecio or Brachyglottis as it is now called and my must have favourites of Hardy Geraniums, Alchemilla mollis, and Sedums. There were Clematis, Honeysuckle, Fuschia, Forsythia, Ribus and Roses already in the boundary hedgerows and over the shed which really helped.

The planting was fairly sparse but gave room for growth and you really have to think of 3 to 5 years for a garden to establish.

Over the next couple of years we added paths, a veg bed and greenhouse. I mean ‘the Royal We’ as it was my husband who did most of the heavy work with my supervision of course!

Also the summerhouse became my studio.

We added perennials including astrantia, astilbe, delphiniums, lupins, peonies, penstemons, many grown from seed and more recently various grasses.

The next major job was to expand the beds by removing the grass between them so they all linked up.

The above was taken in June 2017 showing the linked beds and lavender totally obscuring the path but who cares when the scent wafts around as you brush past! We grew annuals from seed which filled the gaps in the boarders and gave great colour.

In January 2018 ‘we’ created another bed for a cutting garden which would have loads more annuals for me to use.

And there it is planted up with sweet peas, cosmos, amaranthus, larkspur, nigella and cornflower.

And this last one is from June last year showing the lupins, delphiniums and ammi in all their glory. I hope you have enjoyed the journey so far as much as we did creating it.

The next post will be about this year and how we start getting the garden prepared for the seasons ahead.

2019 Weddings Catch Up

There were a few weddings where I did not have the professional photos when I did my other posts so this is a catch up of those 2019 weddings.

Above is Hannah and her bridesmaids with a close up of their bouquets below.And now for Hannah with hubby Luke. They got married at Blackstock Country Estate and went for ivory and blush but with the added drama of burgundy in the Picasso calla lily.

Such a lovely moment here. All photos by courtesy of Matthew Page

Above is an image of Natalie & Toby’s table centres at the lovely Cherry Barn They are in wooden creates made by Natalie’s father from larger apple creates. It was quite a personal affair as Natalie’s mother made the wedding cake – such a creative family! Another white, green & blush wedding.

Next up we have the 2 Sam’s wedding! They also got married at Blackstock Country Estate in September and had photo’s taken by Clare Fitzgerald

They too went for calla lilies but this time mango to reflect the change in season. Sam also had feathers, wheat, hypericum berries, dahlia’s and roses.

And here are a few I just like that did not make it into the other posts. Black and white photos just seem to have a romance to them added to the fact that here Loulla is looking a little apprehensive as she arrives at the church. Thanks to Georgina Piper for that lovely shot.

How happy does Georgie look foot loose and fancy free, such a beautiful dress, captured by Rebecca Claire

And finishing off with another photo from Catherine and Matt’s June wedding in Rye as they walk down from the Town Hall snapped by Duntons Photography

Flower Crowns

It was not until I looked back over last years weddings that I realised how many flower crowns we did. It started with this lovely lady in April, Natasha loved her crown and it held up brilliantly for photos by David Long on the very windy Camber Sands. Flower and foliage crowns are nothing new though they apparently date back to ancient times, typically being worn on festive occasions. Roman brides would wear a crown made of verbena that they had picked themselves. Queen Victoria made the wearing of crowns fashionable by having a crown of orange blossoms for her wedding. Flower crowns have been a symbol of love, fertility and celebration throughout history and around the world. They are very popular today as apart from being very pretty they can depict a certain style, boho for the relaxed wedding, full on bloom for the romantics and shear cute for the flower girls.

Catherine went for white spray roses, wax flower & grey/green foliages in keeping with her general flower colour scheme. Thanks to Steve Smith for the image

Racheal and her flower girl daughter both wore them, Racheal’s being of mixed flowers and foliage.Whilst her daughters was more delicate with all wax flower.

Barbara wanted a her whole wedding to have a ‘Boho Chic’ feel and went for a narrow foliage band with flowers at the front to accommodate her veil. Photo’s by Cooper Photogrphy

Chloe went for a mainly foliage crown with a few little September flowers which was appropriate given the month she got married and it tied in with her green & white bouquet. Images by Paul Read

We then had a flower girl crown for Rebecca & Sam’s wedding in October with spray roses and wax flower. Lovely shot by Duntons Photography blowing bubbles

Hannah went for a few flowers and foliage rather than a full crown to compliment the veil

Great shot by Eliza Claire looking from above

I could not resist this although it is not fresh flowers but the flower girl is sooo cute! Lovely moment from Georgie & Ian’s wedding by Rebecca Claire Photography

This is a bit of a cheat too as it was not from last year but a wedding shoot we did with Debbie Sanderson but I really like the colours and it shows a more full crown with bright ranunculus. A nice way to end a post.

2019 Weddings – Blue is the Colour

This arch shows a number of blue flowers – hydrangea, pale and darker delphinium, larkspur  and how well different shades of pink, white, mauve and of course green work with them. There are not that many ‘true’ blue flowers but the following are what is generally available in each season. In spring you have muscari, bluebells, forget-me-nots, hyacinths, iris, in early summer nigella, meconopsis (Himalayan Blue Poppy), cornflower, delphiniums, gentiana and late summer hydrangea, agapanthus. Thistle tends to be available most of the year and many other flowers are called blue but are in fact purple such as lisianthus, veronica, clematis. There may be a few I have over looked but the above are the most readily available and grown in this country.

At the end of this post I will comment on blue generally as it is this years Pantone colour of the year but first onto our weddings. Love this one of groom Damian in charge of his wife’s bouquet! There are thistle, delphinium and nigella amongst the white and green.

Linnea & Damian’s wedding was at Salomons Estate in late April, you can see how blue featured in the flowers, for the bridesmaids dresses, grooms suit and even the carpet which brings out the blue delphinium in the milk churns perfectly.

And it was a windy one, we had quite a few of those last year, glad photographer Scott Kendall Photography got that shot.

Gemma & Kevin got married in June at The George They had quite a journey leading up to the their wedding as Kevin was very ill but as you can see from Jacqui McSweeney’s  great photos they had a wonderful day and Gemma just does not stop smiling.

The bridesmaids dresses were a pretty pale blue and all ladies had pale blue hydrangea, delphinium and thistle along with ivory roses and lisianthus.

Such a happy lady

And another blustery day but makes for such fun shots.

Barbara also had pale blue for her and Robin’s laid back beach wedding at The Gallivant in August. Another very smiley bride and why not when you can go bear foot in the sand. They had the ceremony and canapes in the dunes at Camber

Pale blue drapes, table runners and chair ties adorned the marquee along with succulent place names and vases filled with nigella, wax flower, roses, phlox, green bell & eucalyptus And it was all in the detail, lovely menus stands, bespoke welcome & order of the day boards made by Hire Love and photos taken by Cooper Photography

And I could not resist finishing with this one!The reason I chose to do a separate blog for blue weddings is because the Pantone colour for this year is Classic Blue.

Blue has always been a popular choice for weddings, particularly navy bridesmaids dresses which work well at most times of year but come into their own for winter and Christmas weddings. This was Helen & Chris’s wedding we did in November 2018, 5 navy dresses but all different styles.Thanks to Clare Randell for that shot.

Blue works for the boys too. This was Dino & Lyndsey taken by Sarah Williams at their December wedding last year and looking back the majority of grooms wore blue suits of one shade or another.

And thistle is always a winner for buttonholes

Below is a lovely mixed bouquet found on Pinterest showing how blue can be incorporated both with flowers and by using beautiful flowing ribbons.

So what will your wedding colour be? I know from recent consultations that whites and greens are still a favourite combo but so far we have quite a range of colours and I am looking forward to working with them all.

The next blog is about the flower crown as looking back I realise how many featured in our weddings last year.




2019 Weddings – Colourful Blooms

People choose their wedding colour scheme for all different reasons but there are some key things to consider: skin tone, the season, the venue, some have very strong decor, favourite colour and current trends – the colour of the year tends to influence all aspects of weddings from the bridesmaids dresses through to invitation design and everything in between. However I believe particularly in this age of sustainability and being conscience of the environment, seasonality can be the biggest player. We are increasingly being asked for seasonal and locally grown flowers. And rightly so, there are so many great flowers and foliages to choose from which ever month you get married. The above is an excellent example of an autumnal wedding, Rebecca’s vibrant bouquet captured beautifully by Duntons Photography

The arrangement below shouts summer, overflowing with typical summer flowers including delphiniums, larkspur, garden roses, ammi, lavender, achillea, hydrangea and grasses. It was for Racheal & Rob’s August wedding,

And then the milk churn for Josie & Dan’s was a transition in seasons from summer to autumn

Such a sweet moment for Belinda with her granddaughter flower girl at her & Les’s wedding in April.Belinda’s bouquet was a mixed pallet including, lilac, ranunculus, clematis, thistle, lisianthus and we even managed to get sweet peas which were particularly special to her. Just look at those nails! The photos were taken by Emma Johnstone

Can’t be bad when the groom matches his suit to the flowers! Amanda & Sam at their wedding in May at Blackstock Country Estate

Bethany wanted a real summery mix of blue, pink, yellow, white and touch of burgundy for her June wedding. We also supplied a couple of buckets of blooms for her and her family to fill the table jars.

They looked great in Eridge Village Hall along with the bunting and pompoms!

Alison & John went for pink tones at their July wedding with peonies, roses, astrantia, veronica & astilbe

And what a setting the The Old Rectory is, how pretty nestled in the boarders.

Hopefully you can see the colours of Rachaels bouquet match the earlier urn arrangement. Lovely summer colours with both bride and flower girl wearing flower crowns.

Suzy & Dave also decided on a summer pallet, pastels for the bouquets but more vibrant for  the amazing St.Thomas a Becket Church, literally in the middle of Romney Marsh. The sky was threatening at times but fortunately it stayed fine.

They then had their reception at The Gallivant so had some great photos on the beach.

And that was not the end of it, they really went for different as they stayed in Rye Windmill. It must have been photographer Teri V’s dream wedding with all those fantastic locations!

It was great to see Maria & Kevin go for ‘Living Coral’, last years Pantone colour of the year, so vibrant.Lovely and bright with dahlia’s, roses, hypericum, antirrhinum & astilbe for their August wedding at Blackstock Country Estate

Well they are having fun! Thanks to Anna Pumer for the lovely photos.

Summer faded into autumn and we had some lovely seasonal weddings with Charlotte & Leyton having a Spanish theme, who needs San Sebastian when you have Udimore Village Hall!

A short walk to Rye Town Hall for the ceremony and then the kiss.

Leyton is a chef so organised and cooked most of the food. They went for Spanish tapas so a casual affair rather than the traditional sit down wedding breakfast. The vibrant red, orange, yellow and burgundy flowers were arranged in food tins in keeping with the general theme. I don’t know if you can see from the above photo but Leyton & the boys had quirky buttonholes with ‘tapas pins’

Rebecca & Sam had full on autumn with orange protea, ranunculus, berries, burgundy foliages along with a touch of champaign and blue. There is close up of Rebecca’s bouquet at the start of this post.

The buttonhole flowers were in gun cartridges which were also used on the cheese stack.

And for the tables we used Hendrick gin bottles nestled into a foliage garland of bay, rosemary and eucalyptus.Thanks to Duntons Photography for all the photos.

We now come to the winter weddings. I am a fan as I get to use some of my favourite foliages, skimmia and acacia baileyana purpurea both of which are in the bouquets below along with astilbe, amarnthus, astrantia, scabious, roses and eucalyptus. Those colours bring some warmth to chilly days. Sarah and all her girls outside The Gallivant 

Here is a close up of Sarah’s bouquet nicely finished with velvet burgundy ribbon. Photos taken by Vicky of Vivanity Photo

Ruth & Mark wanted seasonal foliages for their December wedding so we used skimmia, pine, ivy, eucalyptus, fir and acacia in the aisle chair tied bunches, table flower and bouquets.

Marks buttonhole of skimmia, acacia, thistle and lisianthusHow stunning Ruth looks with Camber Sands as a backdrop. Who would have thought it was December.Thanks to Simon Booth for the photos.Finally Mel & Mike had their wedding at Blackstock Country Estate and went for winter whites with a touch of red in Mike’s buttonhole to match his tie.

Mel’s bouquet had anemones, ranunculus, spray roses, brunia, eucalyptus and grevillea foliage.

And how can you resist the ‘confetti’ shot to round off a post! Thanks to Matthew Page for these images.

The next post will include our 2019 weddings with blue flowers as it ties in nicely to show which flowers compliment 2020’s colour of the year. Thanks once more to all the above photographers for the great photos and our couples.

2019 Weddings – Green & White

It is incredible how many different greens there are and types of foliages to choose from. We use a lot of Ruscus Aculeatus commonly known ‘soft ruscus’ as it is a great base for garlands or as a fine garland in its own right. It is deep green and very long lasting. However the most popular foliage last year was eucalyptus, there are numerous species with various size and shaped leaves but it is the grey hue and scent that makes it so attractive. Thanks to Paul Read for the above photo of Chloe & David’s cake table at The Pilgrims Rest last September. There is more of their wedding below along with all the others who choose a green and white pallet.

I think the reasons green is so often used is that it suits most people, you can put virtually any colour flower with it and it was Pantone Colour of the Year in 2017.

Charlotte & Adam wanted a very sustainable wedding so we used British seasonal flowers & foliages as much as we could, no floral foam and twine to tie the bouquets & buttonholes. There were foliage garlands on the mantles and tables for the reception at The George along with foliage tied bunches on the aisle chairs.

Foliage table centres featured in a few weddings last year, including Loulla & Billy who can be seen below coming out of Sandhurst Church captured by Georgina Piper and then had their reception at Swallows Oast.

Catherine & Matt had a touch of blue but essentially the flowers were mainly whites and greens with foliage garlands on the mantles at The George

Catherine looking lovely with her bouquet and flower crown and with her bridesmaids below.

And we must not forget the celebratory drink of bubbly

Along with the cake table, all taken by Steve Smith

I then had the privilege of providing the flowers for and attending my friends daughters wedding who also added a touch of blue and lavender.

Jon’s suit was a winner, the groomsmen had matching tartan waistcoats and Emma looked beautiful captured here by Natalie Hyland taken at Rowhill Grange

Harriet’s bouquet looked very fresh with the grey brunia, olive and eucalyptus.

Hannah and Tom got married at Wadhurst Castle, we provided the bridal flowers and supplied them for the tables but Hannah and her family arranged them in their own jars and bottles.

Always a special moment as a bride descends for the ceremony, taken here by Eliza Claire

Such a sweet photo!

Wonder what made Hannah giggle?

And on to more of Chloe and Davids September wedding at The Pilgrims Rest

Chloe looking dreamy and less windswept than below – great shot by Paul Read

And the happy couple

A showery October day did not deter Lizzie and Matt having some lovely photos at  The Gallivant and on Camber beach by Lemonade Pictures

Lizzie’s mum did an excellent job in nurturing numerous succulents for the cake display and tables

And then it was December when Lyndsey a Scot married Greek Dino, traditions were fused at St.Mary’s Church Sevenoaks and Westerham Golf Club 

Lovely stoles for a winter wedding

The foliage table centres make their final appearance of 2019

The cake by Sharon Lord was pretty special too

Happy memories created by Sarah Williams

Green was a popular choice for bridesmaids dresses too, mainly sage but mint and what I would call a bright emerald made a few appearances.

Barbara & Robin’s bridesmaid above taken by Cooper Studio Photography and Natasha & Andy’s below by David Long both from weddings at The Gallivant

So that was it for green and white in 2019 and let’s finish off with a table centre vignette from Catherine & Matt’s wedding. Thank you to all the above mentioned photographers for letting me use their lovely images and couples who chose me to provide their flowers. In the next blog there will be colour!


2019 Weddings – Green, White & Blush

Well I have finally got round to looking back at last year’s weddings. It was quite a year and I would say a year of the foliage garland, I’ve lost count of exactly how many I made! Blush along with green and white were the most popular colours but we did have the occasional vibrant wedding and one coral paying homage Pantones colour of the year. Actually pale blue featured quite a lot too. 

I have been pondering how to review them, chronologically, by colour, venue, I suppose it does not really matter as long as you get to see the lovely flowers!

I think Amy & Jake’s wedding can be slipped into the green, white & blush although they did include thistle for a touch of blue. Thanks to Debbie Sanderson  for this photo and the one above. 

There was the very sad event in July of a devastating fire at the wonderful George Hotel in Rye

This resulted in some weddings moving location, date or being postponed and has had a knock on effect for this year too. But here is the Ballroom in all it’s glory for Kate and James wedding in June.

They went for green, white & blush with peonies playing a big part. Images by adamnicholasfilms

Continuing with green, white & blush, one of my favourite weddings was Natasha & Andy’s in April at The Gallivant

Just look at that pose on Camber Sands, at the ceremony and in the hotel coastal garden, they are definitely enjoying themselves. Captured brilliantly by David Long Photography

Georgie & Ian chose this colour pallet too with their wedding in June at Laughton Barns 

Georgie’s dress was to die for as was her flower girl. Photo’s by Rebecca Claire Photography

We saw it again for Natalie & Toby’s wedding in August at the wonderful rural venue of The Cherry Barn

Patrick & Tori bridesmaids were in blush dresses at their wedding in October at Blackstock Country Estate

I know there were a few others with this colour scheme and will post them when I receive the professional photo’s but now it’s time to move on to the next colour wave of just green and white.

Christmas Wreath Workshops

Try your hand at making your own wreath. All the materials are provided along with guidance and refreshments. There will be lots of gorgeous seasonal foliages, berries, seed heads and festive materials to use. We will be in the lovely new Carriage Barn at Wadhurst Castle on Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th December starting at 10am and finishing 12.30pm. Booking is required and all for £50 per person. Email to book your place

If you are a group and these dates do not suit, please get in touch to arrange an alternative.

British Flowers & DIY Weddings

The wedding industry like all other areas of life is becoming more aware of the environment and call it eco friendly, sustainable, green or whatever term you choose, it cannot be ignored. Flowers are no exception as more and more couples are asking where flowers are coming from and the most environmental options possible i.e. seasonal, no pesticides, no plastic, foam free, low carbon foot print. This is where British grown flowers and foliages can tick many of the boxes.

It was good to to hear at the end of this year’s British Flowers Week, now in its 7th year, that British grown flowers now make up 14% of the total UK market. There is still a long way to go given that back in the 1970’s all flowers available in the UK came from British flower farmers. However this is changing and whilst when I first opened a shop in 2005 I struggled to find British and more particularly locally grown flowers, today it has become much easier. There are flower growers popping up all over the country, many of whom are members of Flowers From The Farm, a not-for-profit, co-operative of British cut flower growers with over 500 active members from Cornwall to Inverness.

I am luck to have Orchard Farm Flowers near to me. Zoe grows numerous British flowers starting in April with anemones, ranunculus, wallflowers to name a few going right through to September and October with dahlia’s taking centre stage. Currently the peonies are just coming to an end with the sweet peas in full swing, the stem length is incredible along with the scent.

Zoe like most growers offers flowers to florists and the public who can buy by the bucket getting a mix of what’s available that week or put in a specific order. There will be no plastic packaging, the buckets re-used and no air or road miles! See the antirrhinums below just coming into flower on Orchard Farm

For brides it is always beneficial to visit the grower preferably the year before the wedding to see what will be in flower at the time of the wedding. This can usually be done individually by appointment or by attending scheduled open days or as Zoe does, bridal open evenings which this year are on the 10th July and 11th September. I will be on hand too for any floristry questions and some sample bouquets, table arrangements and buttonholes. It’s not too late to book!

Below are some of the flowers a recent bride had to decorate the venue along with the end result. 


And we did the bridal flowers.

This brings me on to the point that due to the rise in interest of brides wishing to do all or part of their own wedding flowers we now offer DIY Wedding Workshops to give guidance on all aspects of DIY weddings.

So go on give it a try – buy British, buy local!

Jug full of garden grown blooms.



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