British Flower Week is blooming marvellous for Cambridge’s independent florists
It’s British Flowers Week and it’s going to be blooming marvellous - not least local independent florists have gone all-out to bring the brightest, most fragrant displays and bouquets to your doorstep.
The best week of the year for floral enthusiasts can be celebrated by anyone, and you can show your support this year by creating British Flowers Week Windows, or arrangements, in your homes or places of work, preferably where passers-by can enjoy them. This can be as simple as a single stem, a handpicked bunch, a drawing or anything you like. There’s lots of information and resources information and resources available including flower cut-outs and pressed flower guides to dress your window for British Flowers Week starting Monday (June 15) - and lots of encouragement to take a step further and create your own flower bed.
Ready and waiting for your orders are The Flower Project, Nature’s Posy flower farm, Midnight Garden Flower Farm, Clare Kenward Flowers and Small & Green.
The Flower Project is a local independent florists who cycle deliver there bouquets and plants in and around Cambridge. Founder of the Milton-based enterprise, Clare Cook, says: “At this time of year all our bouquets are British flowers only, so we’re working closely with local flower farmers and suppliers to create beautiful, seasonal and fresh bouquets.
“We are an environmentally conscious company and all of our packaging is recyclable or biodegradable. Ordering bouquets and plants on our website is really easy and we keep the customer well informed from the moment it is ordered to it being delivered. We deliver to CB1, CB2, CB3, CB4, CB5, Milton, Histon and Waterbeach.”
The Nature’s Posy flower farm is run by Debbie Richards, one of a growing number of artisan flower farmers producing seasonal British flowers for the local market. Based on a ½ acre site just south of Cambridge and part of the Flowers from the Farm network, The Nature’s Posy supplies bouquets and posies to order, with mixed buckets of foliage and flowers also available for those who love arranging their own flowers.
“Now more than ever we need to connect with nature, learn to love what we have and appreciate the passing seasons,” says Debbie. “Embracing seasonal, local flowers means we can do just this.”
To celebrate British Flowers Week - June 15 to 21 - Debbie will be giving a virtual tour of the flower farm, offering a rare behind-the-scenes look at setting up a new farm site. She is also giving away a gift bouquet to someone special within the Cambridge area. To nominate someone who you feel deserves this treat email firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday (June 19), giving a short reason why your nominee is special. The delivery will be made on Saturday, June 20.
Cathy Marchant runs the Midnight Garden Flower Farm from her plot in Stapleford. She grows a wide selection of annuals, perennials and bulbs for cutting from end March to October. All the flowers are grown without chemicals and the plot is a magnet for wildlife and pollinating insects. She has been growing commercially for about eight years and has built up a loyal clientele of florists who buy from her for weddings and gift bouquets. Every year she is expanding her range and quantities to keep up with the growing demand for British, local flowers. Almost all of her flowers this week will be going to florists for use in their own gift bouquets.
She also creates bouquets for local delivery packed with seasonal blooms and regular weekly flower orders and sells bunches at Shelford Deli. When things are up and running again, she will be running courses teaching growing flowers for cutting and also arranging classes.
“The demand for British, local flowers has rocketed during the Civid crisis across the whole country,” says Cathy. The Flowers From The Farm website, which she is a member of, is a great way of finding a florist near to you who uses British flowers in their work.
Clare Kenward Flowers has been providing flowers for gifts, weddings, parties and eco-funerals in and around Cambridge since 2015. She creates contemporary floral designs full of colour and texture with a focus on seasonal flowers. Using locally grown flowers means designs truly reflect the Cambridge growing season. For British Flowers Week, her gift bouquets will feature flowers from The Midnight Garden Flower Farm in Stapleford and from further afield in the east of England. She will also be taking part in the ‘British Flowers Week Window’ event at her home in Cambridge.
“Weather - and flower - dependent, the installation will either be outside my front door or on my bay window ledge,” says Clare. “I’m on a fairly busy Mill Road side street so it will be easily viewable. For those who don’t live locally to me, I’ll be sharing pictures on social media and on my website later in the week.”
To mark her business’s fifth anniversary which also falls this week, Clare will be giving away two luxury bouquets via her Instagram feed, @clarekenwardflowers.
Small & Green is run by Janet Fox, who has been a professional gardener for 20 years, and run her own gardening business for 12 of them.
“I launched Small & Green in March 2019 because I wanted to bring plants inside people’s homes,” says Janet. “House plants and terrariums can provide calming green spaces for even the smallest dwelling. Plants have been shown to improve people’s health and happiness, reducing stress and some even help to purify the air. Caring for them can give you a sense of wellbeing and inner confidence and they don’t have to be expensive.
“I source pots from a variety of suppliers trying to find ones that have an interesting story attached to them. I currently sell 3D printed ones made from corn starch: I also sell ones made by local potters.
“I source the plants from the UK and Holland but the cacti and succulents come from a nursery in the Midlands where they have been grown since 1973. I try to use recycled plastic ‘inner’ pots where possible. Some of the plants I grow from bulbs, for example Oxalis triangularis which makes a stunning house plant with leaves that respond to the light by opening and closing like butterfly wings.
“Terrariums are the new mini garden and are so easy to care for. I make them in a range of sizes and with a variety of different plants. I also give out a care leaflet with every purchase. I also stock cards made by an artist who lives in St Ives and I have recently started selling tiny glass frames with pressed leaves and flowers inside them made by a small company in London.
“I sell from my market stall in the centre of town every Wednesday and I also do pop-up shops in cafes and businesses around the city.”
Don’t forget to take a photo of your display and share it on social media using #BritishFlowersWeek and tag @MarketFlowers to be automatically entered into the British Flowers Week competitions. Categories include adults, children, florists and other businesses: all will be judged by Rauri from Pinstripes & Peonies.
Flowers from The Flower Project, and Small & Green, can be ordered via Click It Local.