The Great British Florist is part of our small company Wiggly Wigglers based on Lower Blakemere Farm in Herefordshire. Wiggly Wigglers has been supplying British Flowers for the last nine years as part of our natural gardening business. We have found that people love to buy proper real flowers that vary from bouquet to bouquet, that change through the seasons. It makes a real change from the usual imported mass produced alternative.
In 2012 we decided to focus on British Flowers and offer a larger selection and so The Great British Florist was born. Our farm has planted a cutting patch packed with traditional garden flowers to add to the sunflowers, wheat and barley it already produces for the florist.
There are arguments to support overseas flower production in terms of income and jobs, - but to my mind it is simple. At the moment only 10% of the flowers sold in the UK are actually grown here – that’s just madness.
Why ship flowers half way around the world when we can grow them here, and when we do there’s extra free benefits to be had. Our cutting patch, by it’s very nature, is providing a feast for bugs, butterflies and birds. By buying British Flowers, not only are you sending something beautiful and lovely, you are supporting British Wildlife and biodiversity at the same time. A very lovely win, win.
We work hard to minimise our impact on our surroundings - we compost our flower waste, we recycle our plastic and shred our cardboard and all the obvious you would expect from a company like ours, but our real values lie in the fact that our farm is a mixed family enterprise. Basically this means we have arable crops and animals with both elements benefitting from each other, helping to ensure we have a diverse farm. Our crops range from grass seed, through to wheat, barley, peas, and sunflowers, and we have a single suckler herd of cattle as well as the occasional couple of pigs for the table, and some very free range chickens… We have a huge network of native hedges as well as wildflower meadows and strips. We have ponds and woodland and our farm supports all sorts of wildlife – from deer, hares, badgers, through to skylarks, yellow hammers, and so much more that I could be writing here for some time…
If you want to know more about our farm (or farming in general) please follow Farmer Phil on Twitter and ask @farmrphil or pop to Wiggly Wigglers.
If you’d like to read more about flower production overseas here are a few links, and I would really recommend Amy Stewarts book – Flower Confidential if you want to find out even more…
Ethical Flowers on your Big Day - Featured in The Guardian
Is it OK ... to buy cut flowers?
Is water falling off the public agenda?
Cut Flowers: A Multi-million Dollar Industry Blooms in Rural China