You may have seen a recent Channel 4 documentary that looked at where cut flowers come from: the majority sold in Britain come from the Netherlands, but there is now a resurgence in the number of small-scale British flower farms. In recent years, I’ve aimed to source as many British-grown flowers as possible. For Small Business Saturday on December 3rd, I thought it would be a good opportunity to celebrate the larger number of British flower growers we now have with a blog on this recent wedding…

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Farm to wedding
It can be a little more tricky to source British-grown flowers for weddings, simply because most weddings have a theme in terms of colour, as well as in style, and most often there’s a requirement for at least some particular flowers. I created the florals for a beautiful barn wedding at Pimhill Barn near Shrewsbury, Shropshire, over the summer, and was particularly pleased to have been able to source such a large proportion of British-grown flowers and foliages. The brief from the bride and groom was for pastel colours to complement antique pink bridesmaids’ dresses, with large blooms, thistles and white lisianthus. The style was a natural look, with the barn flowers to be placed in milk churns, jam jars and wooden boxes, with a garland for the top table.
Early summer brings one of my favourite traditional British garden flowers, the frilly-petalled and softly coloured pale purple scabious. These, along with the lovely large pink dahlia blooms, I sourced from a 60 year old family Cornish nursery Clowance Wood Nurseries. These Cornish grown scabious and dahlia are simply superior to any others, and are great examples of a number of flowers that are of a higher-quality when grown more naturally and in smaller numbers here in Britain.

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Also absolutely petal-perfect were the beautiful snow-white Lincolnshire lisianthus – they are the best lisianthus in the business. These, along with gorgeously sweetly-scented Suffolk stocks I collected from Manchester supplier NW Flowers, who trades both Dutch and British flowers. (Both these suppliers take part in British Flowers Week held in June each year, which is organised by New Covent Garden Flower Market, themselves a leading supplier of British-grown flowers.)

Herbs and foliage

Along with home-grown pink heather, and bay and eucalyptus for the garland, I used beautifully fragrant and rustic herb foliage of variagated mint, eryngium thistle and phlox from Shropshire growers Victoria and Barney Martin at their lovely walled garden, as well as soft purpley sage to blend beautifully with the pastel pinks and purples.

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I also combined these British flowers with some Dutch-grown: purpley pink Memory Lane! roses (the Dutch are really rather good at growing roses!) and gypsophila. Sourcing the wedding flowers of a bride’s dreams usually requires finding at least some flowers from the Netherlands (and beyond) but I prefer to combine these with the flowers that British growers grow best as much as possible. At least half the flowers used for this wedding were British-grown. This supports fellow small businesses; significantly reduces carbon footprint and the result was even more beautiful to boot! The verdict from the bride:

The flowers were absolutely beautiful. They looked fantastic, and my bouquet (you saw my face when I saw it) it was the most beautiful bouquet I have ever seen. I couldn’t stop crying when I saw it. We cannot thank you enough! They were more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.” Nikki

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Discover the beautiful array of British-grown flowers available and support British growers:

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Images: many of these images are courtesy of Amy Taylor Photography

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