Last Wednesday I had the absolute pleasure of spending the day with Zoe and Neil from Swan Cottage Flowers. Celebrating British Flowers in all their glory. With this week being British Flowers Week, today’s post could not be more fitting! We started with a tour of their cutting garden, there were so many different flower varieties growing it was every flower lovers dream! The smell from the Garden Roses was just heavenly and the Sweet Peas too! It was so interesting to see how Zoe and Neil run and manage the farm from a flower growers perspective. I already had a feeling that a hell of a lot of work goes into growing flowers. Hearing about all their processes first hand and what they do day to day really did reconfirm this.
What amazed me when walking around the garden was that each time I would spot a different variety that you hadn’t seen before, there was just so much beauty to take in that you needed to walk round two or three times to absorb it all! I spotted a yellow scabious which was pretty special, I have never come across a scabious in this colour before. That’s the beauty of British Flowers, all the unusual and rare varieties that you can’t source at a flower wholesaler. The garden felt so tranquil too, there was a light breeze and I could have watched the flowers rocking for hours, the perfect place to spend an afternoon reading a good book.
We stopped for lunch and Zoe had prepared the most delicious spread of home made quiche, new potatoes and salad. I of course ate every last crumb! Along with the Garden Roses and Sweet Peas was a plethora of other British delights that I was lucky enough to choose from. The phrase a ‘kid in a sweet shop’ most definitely springs to mind. I had the whole garden to choose from, I know lucky girl right! Some of the ingredients I picked included; Fox Gloves, Alliums, Salvia, Geum, Orlaya, the most dreamy coloured lilac Geraniums. Another colour I hadn’t seen in that variety before, the last of the Ranunculus and the first of the Dahlias.
I created a bridal bouquet and centre piece with my beautiful British flowers, I showed Zoe my front facing technique I use when creating my bouquets, she said it always interesting to see how other florists create things as everyone has their own unique way of doing things and I totally agree. In fact it’s one of the things I love most about working with flowers. You can have a class of people all with the exact same flowers and yet each persons will look different. That’s the wonder of mother nature and each persons own interpretation of the flowers a magical combination.
Those lilac Geraniums really did steal my heart, they are just so pretty and delicate. The centre piece I decided to create in my shell vase and was foam free, with the most sweet smelling garden roses in the prettiest blush pink shade. There were also Sweet Peas, Salvia and Fox Gloves. amongst other goodies. I adore all the different textures in this design and of course I’m a sucker for a wiggly stem as you know!
You may remember this guest post featuring Swan Cottage Flowers where Zoe explains the benefits of using British Flowers. For me personally I like to use British flowers as much as possible. Particularly during the summer season when there are a wide range of varieties available. The main reasons being that they are fresher as they don’t have any air miles attached to them, the scent particularly with the Garden Roses and Sweet Peas and because you can get your hands on some really unique varieties that you just can’t source anywhere else.
I do however feel there is a bit of a misconception that British flowers are cheaper then imported varieties. This is not always the case but that’s not why I choose to source British flowers. I use them for their freshness and high quality. To grow the most perfect size and shape Cafe Au Lait Dahlia requires a lot of work. Nurturing the flower and making sure the growing conditions are just perfect. That of course all needs to be reflected in the price. The proof is in the pudding as they say as with British flowers you have the best and most beautiful flowers and if you would like your designs to be different, they are definitely worth incorporating.
I hope you have enjoyed today’s post, celebrating the Best of British flowers. If you would like to find out where your nearest British growers are located. Take a look on the Flowers from the Farm website. I’m also delighted to announce that we will be doing a collaborative floral workshop with Swan Cottage Flowers, something we are both very excited about! Do keep an eye out for more information and dates, these will be announced soon!
Are you a fan of British Flowers? Do you use them within your designs? If you have any questions or queries please do comment on the post or drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org we would love to hear from you. If you would like to keep up to date with all our floral shenanigans, including workshop announcements you can sign up to our newsletter. Link on the footer of our homepage.
Image Credits: Zoe at Swan Cottage Flowers