Looks like Glenn has let me loose on his blog again… Back in mid-September I went on a late September flower arranging course. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon I thought, but what I also wanted to get was more information about what it was like to get hold of the end product for a change and what florists thought about flowers.
We’re so lucky to have real seasons in the UK and cut flowers really represent that. From daffodils in March, to peonies in June and dahlias in September, the flowers in your window should be your seasonal giveaway. But florists and consumers demand all flowers, all year round.
The place I went is a rarity: tucked away in a walled garden in Saffron Walden, I must have driven past it a 100 times and never known it was there. They only grow and arrange seasonal flowers. Yes, I appreciate not every florist has the capability or space to grow their own flower stocks, but they do have the capability to demand British seasonal flowers from their wholesaler.
Peonies in September?
Having visited cut flower farms in Kenya, Holland and the UK, I thought I had a pretty good handle on demand from the end market perspective being a “flower consumer” with an inside knowledge into production. What I hadn’t thought about was actually just how fussy florists are. But actually it’s not the florist is it? It’s their customer; the bride who wants her flowers exactly like the picture she found on Instagram 18 months ago without thinking about seasonality. Wanting peonies in August. That sort of demand is something that the UK grower has zero chance of meeting.
But in actual fact, is it down to the florist to promote the seasonality of British flowers, to say “no, I can’t get you a peony, but I can get you a dahlia”?
Having had my eyes opened to UK seasonal flowers, never will I wonder why I can’t get certain blooms in February and I always look for the Union Jack when buying flowers, which I do every week. I look for it religiously on fresh food, why not fresh flowers as well?
In actual fact it’s not dissimilar to the Red Tractor mark you find on food. Traceability is becoming ever more prevalent as we head towards the juggernaut of unknown that is Brexit, locally sourced is going to become more and more important for food and for flowers produced here in the UK.
And this got me thinking. How can we as Syngenta support British growers and the flowers they produce? Syngenta Ornamentals is growing (pun intended) in the UK, we champion the British flower – why wouldn’t we? British flowers seem to be the unsung hero in floriculture, yet they are the cornerstones of the seasons. Thinking back to the beautiful yellow daffodil says that winter is coming to an end.
So, you got all that from arranging some dahlias?
Pretty much. The marketing mind works in mysterious ways. We’re not here to detract from your abilities to grow incredible flowers, we’re here to support your growing crops throughout the year.
Watch this space on support we can provide you to make sure every flower counts.
As always, don’t forget to follow us on socials for more glorious pictures and information all year round: