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Slow flowers. The importance of buying local and the virtues of naturally-grown flowers.

Updated: Jan 19

We don't just arrange flowers, we grow them too. But why does this matter?

The UK imports around 85% of flowers which are either cultivated in glasshouses in the Netherlands or flown around the world from every continent. The country of origin is not disclosed on the packaging which makes it difficult for consumers to make an informed and sustainable choice. Imported flowers are grown on a mass commercial scale, treated with chemical fertilisers, pesticides and preservatives. They are transported by air or refrigerated lorry either direct to the wholesaler or to the Dutch auction houses before they reach the flower markets meaning many cut flowers are up to 2 weeks old before they even reach florists, flower shops and supermarkets. These flowers last the journey because they have been treated with a cocktail of chemical preservatives as well substances to stop the flowers propagating in other countries and to kill any insects. The toxicity and high carbon footprint of cut flowers rarely receives the scrutiny it deserves because flowers look like such a natural product. It can be hard to believe that something so beautiful can be so damaging. Research by Rebecca Swin (University of Lancaster in 2017) calculated the carbon footprint of imported Dutch and Kenyan flowers that included 5 roses, 3 lilies and 3 stems of gypsophila equalled 31.132kg/CO2 (Kenya) and 32.252Kg/CO2 (Dutch). Locally grown flowers have a considerably lower carbon footprint than imported flowers; the same study found that a locally grown bouquet using 15 stems of outdoor grown flowers had a carbon footprint of 1.71kg/CO2.

By sourcing local flowers, you will find a beautiful array of varieties that are not available via the import market. These are soft, romantic, characterful flowers that simply do not ship well as they are too delicate and can be damaged easily during transport.

Breeding flowers for transcontinental imports has monotonised flowers; a lot like the blandness of a supermarket tomato compared to an heirloom, locally-grown and seasonal tomato. There is also a direct link between flowers with fragrance and vase life; the more fragrant a flower, the shorter its life span after cutting. In breeding flowers for a longer-lasting bloom, one that can still look 'alive' two weeks after it was cut, the fragrance is actively removed through a breeding and growing process. Imported flowers are grown for their sameness and robustness; they have to survive a long journey of 1000s of miles by road and air after all. The manufacturing of imported flowers removes any character or quirkiness; stems as straight as an arrow, stiff, lifeless, lacking in scent, each flower head consistent in its size, shape and colour, and even dyed different colours using synthetic pigments.

Naturally grown flowers are fundamentally different from their imported counterparts. Our flowers are grown naturally, in the open air and celebrated for each and every idiosyncrasy. No two flowers will ever be the same, even from the same plant. They seem to sway and dance, they are happy! Their colours are dynamic and live and often change in the vase, each stem is a product of true nature, environment, season, and weather. We love to grow the most exquisite and interesting flowers for our customers. The kind of flowers you would expect to find in a garden and ripe with nostalgia and inspiration. Flowers which can never be manufactured. We want our customers to feel the wonder of nature when they see our flowers and to feel the joy of stepping foot in a beautiful garden. We want our flowers to be the most beautiful flowers you have ever seen; unique, scented, seasonal, sustainable, and with a context and a story. We believe that beauty and sustainability can go hand in hand - from our hands to yours. Our flowers are seasonal and sustainable, grown on a farm in Scotland in the South Lanarkshire countryside. By purchasing them you are supporting a local flower-growing heritage in Scotland, greatly reducing carbon emissions and embracing the true nature of seasonality.

Each season brings something new and exciting. From the first flowers in of the year; the flurries of snowdrops, muscari, iris, and narcissi, to the ranunculus, anemones and tulips of Spring, to Summer's sweetest sweet peas, heavenly scented garden roses and golden meadow grasses, Autumn's burnished colours, seedpods and berries, to the beauty of winter evergreens and dried flowers. Each season has its own flavour and to live by this ever-changing array of flowers is to appreciate and find meaning in a natural sequence; savouring the beauty of each season and then letting it go, until next time. We use natural growing methods, providing food for pollinators and composting all of our green waste to nurture our future flowers. We don’t treat our flowers with any chemicals, either in the ground or in the vase. Our flowers are harvested from our flower field 24-48 hours before they reach our customers and have a vase life of approximately 3-14 days depending on the variety, the care and the conditions. It is important to understand and accept the ephemeral nature of seasonal flowers, you cut them and they fade, it's the most infinite joy for the shortest time. A bunch of roses from the supermarket lasts for 2-3 weeks because it has gone through a post-harvest preservative process of chemicals and at what environmental cost? Our flowers are delicate and intricate, each stem with a unique curvature, dynamic colour and intoxicating perfume. For their delicate nature and their unique shape, they can't be flat packed into a box and shipped great distances without water. When you buy our flowers, they are cut for you, carefully wrapped and stored in a bucket or vase of water and delivered personally by a member of our team.

Would you like to sign up for a local flower subscription? View our subscription options and gift bouquets by clicking here.


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