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Flowers? For me? You shouldn’t have….

Ok, there’s a reasonable chance – start hinting! – that there might be some flowers flying around over the weekend.  Whether it’s a dozen roses (traditional) or a last-minute service station bunch of carnations (more likely), chances are those flowers will have travelled a fair old way to get to you.

flowers 2

There’s been a lot of talk about food miles in recent years – but not so much about flower miles.  (Is that a thing? It should be.)  Food is all about provenance now, isn’t it?  So there’s definitely something to be said for thinking about where those flowers come from, too – beyond, did he actually go to a florist or did he just grab a bunch when he filled up the car on the way home?

Helen Reeley is a local landscape gardener and plants woman who is passionate about British flowers as well as making sure that you know where your flowers come from and where they’ve been grown.  She’s been telling me how imported flowers have, more often than not, been dunked in all kinds of nasties (fungicides, herbicides, pesticides, that sort of thing), as well as grown in huge climate-controlled greenhouses, in order to arrive on your doorstep looking ‘perfect.’

Common Farm's Valentine's Bouquet

Common Farm’s Valentine’s Bouquet

As well as the obvious British choices (Cornwall, the Scilly Isles) there are some brilliant local options for home-grown flowers.  Yes, you might not get roses – it is February, people! – but Helen Reeley suggests British-grown hellebores, ranunculus, daffodils, pussy willow, tulips & other spring flowering lovelies.  I know I’d be more than happy if Mr C came home with that lot.

Credit: Heather Edwards Garden Photography

Credit: Heather Edwards Garden Photography

Here in Herts, there are places like the Baldock Flower Farm and Gillyflower, near Berkhamsted, that are busy growing gorgeous seasonal British flowers that will be ready once things warm up a bit.  Further afield, but available online (and in time for the weekend!), Common Farm in Somerset grows for a full 10 months of the year with no chemicals at all and only using organic growing compost – so you (or someone who loves you…) can order a Valentines bouquet that’s not only gorgeous, but also original and good for you and the planet.  Result.

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