British Flowers Week is coming up soon, 14 - 21 June 2021, and we’re delighted to commemorate this much-loved annual celebration of British cut flowers, plants, and foliage.
Here in the UK, there is an incredible wealth of floral varieties to be found both growing in the wild and cultivated by the many independent growers across the country. There’s nothing quite as delightful as a fresh bunch of British flowers cut straight from the field or garden and it’s wonderful to see the vast amount of varieties available at Covent Garden Flower Market every year.
As these locally-grown beauties begin to make their way back into season (and into the market) we invited our McQueens Flowers team to tell us about their favourite British Flower, and what they mean to them.
Ele - Cosmos
"I love the bright, daisy-like flowers of Cosmos, which to me signal the height of summer; hazy days, cut grass and late sunsets. I love the way they dance above the grass, or pop out of a bouquet. The many ruffles of a double Cosmos, the beautiful simplicity of a plain white ‘purity’ and the ever-delightful smell of chocolate Cosmos - I love them all."
"Poppies because I love how fleeting the flower is. It magically unfurls for a few days and then on the wisp of a wind it's gone. They always appear alongside the blue cornflowers that dot the sidewalks and I love the delicate splash of red in contrast to the blue, it reminds me summer is coming."
Marisha - Crocosmia
"Crocosmia will always be the British summer time champion for me. Although not a native flower, just a glimpse of their striking fiery hues transport me back to driving through Cornish country lanes as a child, their lush hedgerows punctuated by this elegant flower. With a name deriving from the Latin for ‘saffron’ which in past times has been used medicinally to brew a tea believed to ease melancholy. The humble Crocosmia live up to their namesake by always bringing a smile to my face."
Gina - Cornflower & Freesia
"Cornflowers are such an exciting British grown bloom for me! Their bright electric blue colour is something that’s quite rare to find in flowers, so when you have access to it, it’s a joy to work with! I also have a love for Freesias as they were my Grandma’s favourite, and adore their fresh, lemony scent."
Harriet - Sweet Peas
"Sweet Peas are probably my favourite British grown flower. Ever since I can remember my Mother has grown them every year, all over the garden in every container possible. There's something so nostalgic about them to me, from their amazing smell to their frilly petals, I just love them!"
Alison - Foxgloves
A newly leafed glade in dappled spring sunshine, encompassing a riot of foxgloves ,each tiny bell flower a purple spotty path way,to guide a bee deep in. Reversing out they carry the pollen on. Flower magic!
Hamish - Daffodils
"My favourite flower is a British flower. Aside from their beauteous scent and appearance, daffodils are graced with such cultural and scientific significance too. From its appearance in Greek mythology as a portent of death, to the converse English recognition of it as a sign of new life and fresh starts. From its anti-cancer properties, to its key compounds used in Alzheimer’s treatment; this fleeting spring stunner is more than a humble yellow cup-and-saucer on the roadside. It’s proudly the first real colour of the year, with stories to tell even more colourful still."
Izzy - Forget-me-Nots
"Forget-me-nots remind me of spring and birthdays and childhood and my Granny’s garden. I love their self-seeding wildness; that they emerge in the most unexpected of places. I’ve enjoyed the twinge of nostalgia spotting them on lockdown walks sprinkled along riverbanks or hiding in a shady spot in the garden."
Selina - Aquilegia
"Aquilegia is such an intriguing flower, their nickname ‘Granny's Bonnets’ seems too tame for a flower that can take on so many forms. With their delicate nodding heads, intricate faces, countless combinations of colours, and sometimes quite dramatic ‘tails’ extending from behind like a shooting star, they’re amazing little shapeshifters. I love that, despite their delicate appearance, they are surprisingly hardy, easy to grow, and self-seeding - once they’re in the ground it doesn’t take long before they start to make their presence known elsewhere. What’s not to like?
Lee - Delphinium
"When I think British flowers I instantly think of Delphinium, it is such a quintessential cottage garden flower - and they come in the most amazing, intense purples and blues through to light pastel hues, they are stunning."