There is a quiet revolution in flower growing going on which aims to get more British-grown blooms into our vases.
A campaign is underway to get people to buy a wider variety of home-grown flowers, which are produced locally, rather than flown around the world to be used in bouquets and arrangements.
Leeds florist Jayne Ford, of Alan Brown Flowers, in Kirkgate Market, said: “I use as many British flowers as I can.” She said she used varieties such as lilies, tulips and sweet williams that were grown in the UK but would love to use more if more were available.
Gill Hodgson, of Field House Farm, in Everingham, near York, who set up as association called Flowers from the Farm, to promote British flowers and encourage and support growers says only around 10 per cent of flowers we see in the shops in this country are actually grown in Britain and she is leading a campaign to increase this to 20 per cent.
“There’s a whole generation that has grown up that has only seen supermarket flowers and that’s because they can stand being transported by sea and other means,” she said.
She says while some blooms are still grown in Britain such as tulips and lilies, many other cut flowers tend to be imported from abroad.
And unlike locally-grown blooms they don’t tend to have a scent.
Mrs Hodgson creates arrangements using what she has in season using blooms she has grown such as Bells of Ireland, a tall spire of green and sweet peas.
She says there is a place for imported flowers, particularly in the winter when the weather dictates the abundance of homegrown species, and the group is not working to stop imports, but rather highlight what consumers are missing out on.
Details of local growers can be found at www.flowersfromthefarm.co.uk
Next week is British Flower Week (June 15-19) and members of the group Flowers from the Farm will be appearing at RHS Harlow Carr, at Harrogate, all day on Wednesday, chatting to visitors about British flowers, arranging flowers and demonstrating floral skills.