4th July 2023
Have you noticed that growing your own flowers for cutting and arranging is becoming ever more popular? It’s an ever-increasing trend. And that might just be a good thing for all of us. Read on to find out why…
Growing cut flowers brings joy
Everyone loves to have fresh blooms on display in their homes – they’re so vibrant and uplifting. There’s nothing more special than using your own flowers to mark significant events, from Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day to weddings and funerals. Cut flowers are symbolic and play a big part in our lives.
But the environmental impact of the flower industry is devastating.
Local home-grown flowers are best
Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) tells us that only 14% of the blooms sold in the UK are actually grown here. 86% of our flowers come from the Netherlands or from warmer countries like Kenya, Ethiopia and Ecuador.
Imported flowers are flown hundreds, if not thousands, of miles in refrigerated planes. In Europe, most imported plants originate from East Africa. That’s a long way to travel!
Grow your own cut flowers the sustainable way
Perhaps this is why more and more people are growing their flowers sustainably in their own gardens, either for their personal enjoyment or to sell locally.
The UK’s love for decorating homes with flowers
There’s no getting over it, cut flowers are loved in the UK. According to The Guardian, 50% of British households purchased cut flowers in 2021. That’s a lot of households! (In 2021, there were 24.8 million households in England and Wales alone.)
It’s easy to see why people are changing their ways and growing their own flowers. Not only is the carbon footprint of cut flowers being reduced, but the local environment is being enhanced for our much-needed pollinators.
Flowers for pollinators
The UK Government’s Bees’ Needs campaign explains that there are five things we can all do to help pollinators in our gardens:So, growing your own cut flowers organically, without the use of pesticides, is a fantastic thing to do for bees, butterflies, moths, wasps, flies and beetles – our crucial pollinators – which have been decimated in recent years due to loss of habitat, climate change, disease, and the use of pesticides.
1. Plant more flowers, shrubs and trees.
2. Allow areas of your land to grow wild.
3. Don’t mow the lawn too often.
4. Leave insect nests and hibernation spots alone.
5. Think very carefully about the use of pesticides – do you really need them?
Local flower growers to the rescue
Lately, in the UK, many small businesses have been established to grow and sell their own cut flowers from nearby land or from their own gardens. You can look up these businesses on the ‘Flowers from the Farm’ website: https://www.flowersfromthefarm.co.uk/
‘Flowers from the Farm’ is a non-profit organisation. It was established in 2011 and it has doubled its membership in recent years. Many of their growers use peat-free, organic conditions in which to grow their flowers, and they use paper wrapping instead of plastic. The businesses listed on the website supply flowers for special occasions or sell bouquets in nearby shops. And the variety of flowers can be staggering and, delightfully, the selection changes according to the season – as it should do.
Plan your own cut flower garden
If you’d like to start growing your own cut flowers, Country Living explains which are the best flowers to grow according to the season, from hyacinths in March, to pussy willow and tulips in April, to hydrangeas and jasmine in June. You can find out more by reading this interesting and highly useful article: https://www.countryliving.com/uk/homes-interiors/gardens/a26926413/seasonal-british-cut-flowers/
You can also follow the monthly tips we share from our cut flower expert Sophie @floraldaysintheshires over on Instagram.
What do you need to make a flower garden?
If you want to start experimenting with some blooms of your own, you might want to consider purchasing some Forest Garden Raised Beds. By using raised beds, you can introduce a different type of good-quality soil into your garden and you can improve drainage for your flowers. As the beds are raised, they’re also easier to keep weed-free. Forest Garden has a variety of styles to offer, and some of our raised beds make attractive features in their own right.
If you don’t have much space in your garden, then some of our planters might suit you better. From our Accessible Gardening Planters, which wheelchair users and the elderly can reach easily, to our beautiful Planter Sets, you will be able to create beautiful displays of flowers which are easy to access and pick.
Cut flowers make beautiful gifts or they can adorn your home with radiant beauty and natural fragrances. Why not go “blooming” crazy – for your own sake and for the planet’s?