- Written by Hannah Dunne
- June 19, 2017
It’s finally time to welcome a special event now firmly established on the flower calendar with a huge and growing popularity, and it’s a sure-fire sign that summer is well on its way; British Flowers Week begins today!
From June 19th to 25th the UK will see florists, growers and flower lovers getting involved in the nationwide celebration organised by New Covent Garden Flower Market. Now in its fifth year, the occasion attracts a whole range of events and activities with people taking part in most corners of the country.
Monday morning update! The first design photos by Mary-Jane Vaughan have been revealed, see them here.
Here’s a brief breakdown of what to expect throughout the week…
SOCIAL MEDIA HASHTAG STORM
• Social media is expected to whip up another #BritishFlowersWeek storm as last year 8.7 million shared their involvement. Make sure you use the hashtag and mention @MarketFlowers in your tweets and ‘grams too so the team can share your posts.
EVENTS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY
• It’s not too late to take part in an event or special offer with so many organised independently by florists and growers all over the country. To see what’s happening near you check out the What’s On page where you’ll find tons of events including growing or designing workshops, celebration evenings with fizz, stunning flower festivals, open cutting gardens, pop up stalls, grower and florist networking events and more.
SPECIAL OFFERS & IDEAS FOR FLORISTS
• Many of you will have used the British Flowers Week toolkit which is packed with ideas for organising your own celebration or activity to run next week. It includes tips for contacting local press, downloadable content, advice on where to buy British blooms, inspiration for designing a special bouquet, window dressing and much more.
KNOW WHICH FLOWERS TO STOCK
• Discover what’s in season with the British Flowers Week availability chart to help you decide what to stock during the all-important week. They’re available to pick-up from New Covent Garden Market, you can order a free poster from the Paper Studio or you can download it online.
LOCAL AND NATIONAL PRESS COVERAGE
• Look out for media attention promoting British flowers and the florist industry to a nationwide audience. British Flowers Week has enjoyed huge surges of interest each year with local and national press publishing news and images in celebration of the occasion. This year gardening guru Alice Vincent has already published a piece for The Telegraph, so stay tuned for even more.
USE FREE TAGS FROM THE PAPER STUDIO
• Any florist can take part by using special tags kindly provided for free from Grant McGowan at The Paper Studio. Grant tells us, “We are again providing free personalised tags for British Flowers Week. All florists have to do is to go to a special British Flowers Week page on our website where they can fill in a simple form with their business details and we will print and despatch a batch of free tags to them.
“We have already mailed out information and a window poster to 4500 florist shops. Over the last couple of years we have now sent out free tags to more than 1000 different florist businesses. This year we have sent out 7500 window posters and more than 40,000 tags. (some via Covent Garden market and some via wholesalers). We have also conducted a survey of florists to identify their favourite British summer flowers and produced a special set of 8 designs specifically to support British Flowers Week.
“We also funded the creation of two example window displays created by Helen Goodwin, who gave the talk on visual merchandising at the BFA Vision conference in April. One was at Wards in York city centre, the other was at Floral Elegance in Acomb, a suburb of York. Videos of both were made and we are finishing the editing of these. When done they will be put up on the BFW page on our website to help inspire and educate other florists on how to make their own stunning window displays.”
DESIGN INSPIRATION FROM 5 FLORISTS TAKING PART IN A SPECIAL PHOTOSHOOT
• Each year New Covent Garden Market organise an extra special photoshoot in celebration of the occasion. This year five florists won a competition to be selected to take part, and on each day of the week one set of designs — using their chosen British flower — will be unveiled to the awaiting press and British public.
Those in the spotlight this year are:
Carly Rogers Flowers | www.carlyrogersflowers.co.uk
Carly Rogers is a Camberwell-based artist stunning the flower world by combining a passion for flowers with contemporary art and fashion. Since taking a Saturday job in a flower shop in her teens to learn the basics, she’s been pushing boundaries to create dazzling artistic installations. From large-scale themed events, to weddings and enormous one-off installations for prestigious venues such as Mayfair restaurant Sketch, this is a florist going beyond the traditional floral arrangement. Seeing a demand from her clients for seasonal British flowers, Carly buys from the Flower Market daily and is dedicated to using British flowers and foliage as much as possible.
Jennifer Pinder Floral Styling | www.jenniferpinder.com
Taking her inspiration from the British countryside around her, Jennifer Pinder’s style is wild, natural, romantic, and totally spell-binding. A former lawyer who fell in love with floristry, she recently located from south London to the countryside completely driven by her love of flowers. Now growing and foraging all her foliage, with occasional top ups from New Covent Garden Flower Market and local growers, Jennifer specialises in wedding flowers and teaching floristry. Offering 100% British wedding packages, and for other weddings using as many British flowers as she possibly can, this is a home-grown florist proving the key to truly unique and beautiful work is using British flowers.
Mary Jane Vaughan
Mary Jane Vaughan Designs | www.maryjanevaughan.co.uk
Tipped by The Evening Standard as one of the best wedding florists in London, and current New Covent Garden Market Florist of the Year, Mary Jane Vaughan is one of the most sought-after and highly-regarded florists in the city. Along with her creative team, Mary Jane takes care of flowers for events and weddings in some of London’s most exclusive venues. Created in their studio just minutes away from the Flower Market, their designs have graced red carpets, sky scrapers and art galleries, amongst others. Mary Jane is committed to always buying British-grown flowers where possible, making her a perfect ambassador for this year’s British Flowers Week.
Petal & Stalk | www.petalandstalk.co.uk
Petal and Stalk is a village florist and flower school set in the heart of the Lincolnshire countryside, with a delicate neutral style incorporating herbs and unusual foliage. Abigail opened her shop in 2015 after the launch of a successful Christmas pop-up. It has gone from strength to strength, managing to decorate 30 weddings in the first two years of business alone. With a devotion to locally sourced foliage and flowers, often from their customers’ land, this is a florist wowing the local community. Part of the team of top florists selected to create the still-life floral installation in Trafalgar Square last year, Petal and Stalk have made a name for themselves by combining exceptional seasonal flowers with their unique P&S style to service weddings, events, dinners and stunning bouquets delivered throughout the Lincoln area.
Urban Flower Co | www.urbanflowercompany.co.uk
An independent flower and plant studio in North London, Urban Flower Co are inspired by botanical influences to create unique designs in a signature natural and unstructured style. Created and headed up by Matthew Richardson, these Flower Market regulars play with textures and tones with a heavy focus on one thing: greenery. Foliage features in a big way in all they do, from their selection of weekly-changing seasonal bouquets, to their installations, special commissions for events and weddings and styling projects and the wide selection of unique botanical plants on sale in the shop. With their fresh approach to floristry as an antidote to the chaos of urban living, Urban Flower Co are using British Flowers Week 2017 to put greens on the map.