We are a nation of farmers, of gardeners, of flower lovers, and our cut flower industry is worth more than two billion pounds a year.
Flower farms were once a familiar feature of the British countryside and market gardeners grew flowers among their vegetables.
In the 1800s, larger farms sprang up as transport links improved and daily trains carried violets from Dawlish, snowdrops from Lincolnshire and narcissi from Cornwall.
Flower production has always been linked to transport, and with the advent of planes came distance. Now we can have any flowers at any time of year, flown in from the Equator, or hothoused in vast Dutch greenhouses.
Recently a number of smaller British flower farms have sprung up, fed by fresh interest in environmental sustainability and local seasonal produce. An organisation has been set up – Flowers from the Farm which is celebrating the domestic flower growers of Britain, past and present.
Just like with food, people are increasingly demanding more locally grown flowers to celebrate the seasons and support British growers. Often scented, British flowers have a natural charm, beauty and just-picked freshness that make them the florist's favourite.
Up until the 1970s, the only flowers you saw came from flower farmers in Britain. Today, most of the flowers in your high street flower shop will have been grown by large scale commercial growers and routed through the Dutch auctions, being transported to the Dutch markets and back! Flowers from the Farm are aiming to change this.
We are lucky to have a British flower grower on our doorstep – Carol Siddorn at Carol's Garden, Harthill . She has been selling her flowers at the Village market for some years, but has now developed her business providing flowers for florists from Manchester, Liverpool, Shropshire etc., also doing wedding flowers, and flowers for all occasions. This year she helped set up a Flowers From the Farm stand at the Chelsea Flower Show. This week alongside her normal activities, she has provided flowers for the Garden Museum in London to celebrate British flowers week.
Check out Carol's website by CLICKING HERE.