The British flower twitterati have been buzzing and it’s all due to the Great British Garden Revival on BBC 2, 7pm all this week 6-10 Jan. Monday’s episode featured the growing movement surrounding British cut flowers – a hot trend for 2014! Search #britishflowers. Just watching the enthusiasm of Rachel de Thame (presenter), the growers and more importantly the florists has fired me up that this mildly romantic, whimsical business idea of growing and arranging my own cut flowers is going to work!
Bursting with ideas and inspiration on Tuesday, I attended my first meeting of the Northern Ireland Flower and Foliage Association NIFFA, a group of passionate growers and flower farmers steadfastly committed to seasonal home grown flowers. The discussion was lively and enjoyable but more importantly this group is my network for sourcing locally grown blooms for my wedding work and I hope to learn and develop horticultural skills from them. Northern Ireland grown flowers (#niflowers) are fresher by days than those imported from Holland and beyond. They are also more cost effective – imported flowers cost the earth, in air miles, refrigeration, preservatives and that’s not even taking into account the whack the wholesalers take!
It was last August when I successfully pulled off my first wedding using only Northern Ireland grown cut flowers and foliage, supplied mainly by Valerie Orr Trainview Farm (@TrainviewFarm) and raids on my own garden for Dahlias and foliage. Whilst the summer is clearly the best time for seasonal home grown flowers this experience proved to me that you can deliver beautiful, seasonal blooms, without importing from abroad.
This week has inspired me and solidified the fact that I am a grower florist wholeheartedly committed to the Northern Ireland and British cut flower industry. I can’t wait for the first of my home grown blooms to burst open in my polytunnel and I hope you too will support ‘Local’ and what could be a floral revolution!