THE MODERN MINT BLOG
Growing Cut Flowers in the UK
One of the most amazing ways you can use your garden space here in the UK is to grow your own cut flowers.
Cut flowers are such an unusual product – they are basically plants that are being chopped whilst in their prime, sent out for sale, then we are buying them and placing them in a vase in order to watch them die.
To do this with flowers grown in other countries means the flowers are put through several modes of transport (trucks, planes, lorries, trucks again, then cars…) just to reach our homes.
It also means –
They were probably grown in a glasshouse
The varieties available will be a much narrower choice, as all flowers grown a long distance from the UK must be robust and have a long life after being cut… which will also mean less scent to begin with, as the variety of flower will have it bred out for the prize of durability!
They need huge amounts of energy to keep them cooled to 2 degrees during transport
They must be dipped or sprayed in a fungicide
They will lose any scent after being dipped in silver nitrate to extend their best appearance
It may be 4 days before they get to the shop – and then they may be another 3 days on the shelves!
The cellophane they come in is going to end up in landfill
You will need to add a sugary solution of ‘plant food’ to perk up the blooms, and that just means another unrecyclable piece of packaging to go straight into the dump
So flowers grown outside of the UK, for a UK home, have quite a few cons stacked up against them.
Another Way for Cut Flowers?
Yes, of course! As we said at the start of this post, growing your own cut flowers is a brilliant way to use any land you have available to you to grow plants. Daffodils make a really easy, early season bouquet…
Though the best flower power in spring will always come from tulips…
What else is great about local, UK cut flowers?
They are likely to be chemical free – if they have been sprayed, it is likelier to have been sprayed with a seaweed solution than anything dangerous
They don’t travel far, so are less stressed
You will probably get flowers like sweet peas (when in season) as they are difficult to cut and transport too far. A bouquet of sweet peas gently tied with a bit of string and bunged into a vase (simple!) must be the most heart-warming present you can ever give someone….
Growing your own will get you outdoors, using your brain muscles as well as the muscles in your body, and so keep you fit and healthy
Local flowers will last a long time in the vase!
They are going to smell great.
Cons of Local Cut Flowers
You won’t be able to buy your loved one roses on Valentine’s day fellas, because the season does not support the flowering of roses – but you know what, who cares? Why would you give the one person you love a flower dipped in fungicide anyway?
So now you know – growing your own cut flowers is a great way to get a better choice of flowers, which have a wonderful fragrance and last longer in the vase. They are also far better for our environment.
What is stopping you growing cut flowers in your garden?
Brought By Bike is an excellent website I found last month, where businesses offer their services by (of course) bicycle. Modern Mint and my topiary work is now live on the site offering my topiary services, via bike, to the following two postcodes – CM1 CM2 Now I can imagine I will need to borrow a ladder should anyone have a larger shrub, but most town gardens in the Chelmsford area have a need not just for privacy but to let light into the house… so a balance must be struck when shaping hedges and shrubs to cover both needs. …
Transforming Topiary – a video made for the European Boxwood And Topiary Society by Charlotte Molesworth and I, in her garden. We take a dog topiary and work out how to update it, turning it into a bird. Worth a watch I think, and hopefully useful to you! You can see more of my clipping on the topiary page. Or read my Spring 2021 Topiary Provocation here.
Phillyrea is one of my favourite plants for topiary. I have been using it for quite a few years as a specimen shrub, mostly due to the fact it clips well and has a tough habit – all good characteristics for a topiary plant. It also has a reputation for being an excellent nectar source for bees… Read more about Phillyrea here. Mentioning this to Malcolm Thicke, a market garden historian and writer, he sent me a some photos of topiary and phillyrea mentioned by John Worlidge in Systema Horticulturae from 1682…. incredible! He also mentioned to me that in …