Where are the flowers?

Garden-poseyWhere are the flowers? Well, certainly not in my backyard. Disappointingly, this is the second summer for me in my 20 plus years of gardening that I have not had a patch of earth yielding some floral delights. The fencing was only erected last week so at least now I can begin to see ‘defined space’ (or lack of it) to plan some planting. As a stop gap I have stuck a few pelargonium and sweet pea plugs into pots, but they went in rather late and show no signs of blooming yet.

Feeling flower starved I trotted down to the local florist. I think like many small businesses old fashioned florists have had their casual, walk-in trade almost obliterated by the big supermarkets undercutting them. It seems to have left florists with the traditional wedding and funeral business plus the odd corporate event. The consequence of this change in retail habits has resulted in some florists, understandably, reducing the range of flowers being stocked in their shops. I was disappointed with what was on offer especially considering that we are in high summer. Dispiritingly this is the best I could manage

florist-flowers.jpgand the arrangement includes stealing a blousy hydrangea bloom from the single surviving shrub at the front of the house.

The local park has offered more treats for the florally deprived with swathes of English lavender contrasting with clumps of achillea.Park-lavenderAnd, last month there were field poppies blooming cheerfully in the unexpected heatwave.Hairy-stemsHowever, back home it was a disappointing and scentless flower situation until a visiting friend came to the rescue with a gorgeous scented posey of flowers from her garden.Sweet-Peas-daisiesSweet peas and cheerful daisies. I really don’t think you can beat homegrown flowers. In this case there are no air miles, very few road miles and no excessive irrigation and/or glasshouse heating costs. There is just a delicate, visual treat and an intoxicating, seasonal scent filling my workroom.Cheerful-daisies

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About agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.
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6 Responses to Where are the flowers?

  1. Fran says:

    There are some consolations. At least you’re not battling to keep your plants alive in this heatwave!

  2. margaret21 says:

    I wonder if you have a purveyor of flower such as we now have? A local woman who has a ‘Secret garden’ now sells the many flowers she grows in the kind of bunches you might like to pick for yourself from your own large garden if you had one. Sometimes single varieties, sometimes varied cottage garden selections. I gather she’s not at all alone.

    • agnesashe says:

      Wow that does sound very interesting and such a great idea. I have no idea for my area, but one of my new neighbours with a young family, has an allotment and knows all the local ‘doing different’ folk so I will ask them. Thank you for that very welcome info.

  3. Echoing the above comment, not far from me is a small farm (tucked in among houses and right behind a shopping mall) and they sell pick your own flowers – you go right out there and get them. I love it (though I’ve never done it, I have friends who have, and I do love looking at the place whenever I go by). I remember reading about a book about the floral industry a couple of years ago (it gave a fascinating account of flowers flown into the US from South America to meet Valentine’s Day demands, given the summer/winter flip) and it mentioned the existence of flower farms outside most large cities, because flowers could not be shipped as they are today.

    • agnesashe says:

      Yes, it looks like we might be turning full circle on flowers and floristry doesn’t it? I have never been keen on the out of season flower demands of Valentine’s Day. It often strikes me as an opportunity for some shameless price hiking.
      I am hoping that I might find some flowers available locally. If I drive out from the town we do have folk that sell flowers from their country gardens at the side of the road, but I haven’t been here long enough to be in the know.

      • I had a customer many years ago who was a wholesale florist and I visited the warehouse on the day before Valentine’s Day. What a spectacle that I’ve never forgotten.

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