Scent from the heart – celebrating and supporting British Flowers Week

British Flowers Week – igniting the passion for British cut flowers

When you receive a bouquet of flowers, you’re likely to bury your nose among them and inhale deeply. But all too often the scent doesn’t quite live up to expectations. Part of the reason is that many commercially-grown flowers are bred for better endurance during international shipping, sacrificing fragrance along the way. Now, consider the difference when you dip your nose into a beautiful bouquet of fresh-cut flowers grown by your local British flower farmer. You’re greeted by a symphony of delightful fragrances, charmed by their natural softness, and captivated by their diverse array of blooms. It’s an experience that can transport you back to cherished memories of flower-filled gardens from your childhood.

It’s a sobering thought that almost 90% of the flowers available through florists, supermarkets, and wholesalers are imported from other countries; some near, like Holland, but others, such as Ecuador, Colombia, Kenya, and Ethiopia, many thousands of miles away. British Flowers Week was established just over a decade ago to counter this trend, to support local flower farmers and raise awareness about the cultural, environmental and economic benefits of choosing locally grown blooms. It also provides a focus for the celebration of a the beauty and diversity of British-grown flowers.

Image by Sarah Weal


Why does it matter?

At Sofas & Stuff, we feel a genuine connection to this cause, sharing a passion for the gentle beauty of locally grown flowers, and a commitment to support British flower farmers who are working long hours to bring us the freshest, most exquisite blooms. As a founder-led, family-run company, manufacturing our sofas and chairs at our own factory in Preston, Lancashire, we understand the importance of supporting local production and the immense benefits that brings. Here’s why this annual celebration of British flower growers and the ‘scentsational’ blooms they produce, resonates with us so deeply:

First, there’s the matter of ‘flower miles’. By choosing British-grown flowers, we can significantly reduce the distance flowers travel from field to vase, which means fresher blooms and a smaller carbon footprint. It’s a win-win for us and the environment, and it aligns perfectly with our commitment to sustainability.

Secondly, raising awareness of homegrown flowers helps preserve our floral heritage, something that resonates strongly with us and, indeed, forms part of the context for our wonderful design collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), and has influenced some of the fabric designs we have created from the archives of the RHS Lindley Collections. Promoting native and seasonal flowers helps preserve biodiversity. British flower farmers often grow a wide range of species, contributing to the conservation of plant varieties that might otherwise be overlooked in commercial growing operations.

When it comes to British-grown flowers, it’s all about their character and charm. Unlike mass-produced blooms, local flower farmers don’t select flowers for uniformity. Instead, they cultivate small quantities of a wide variety of flowers, each adding its own unique touch to arrangements.These flowers have a natural whimsy to them—stems may wiggle and twist, tendrils may reach and sprawl. It’s this natural charm that makes them so special and full of personality.

Then, there’s the sheer joy of buying from local growers. The flowers are fresher, more fragrant, and you get that wonderful personal touch that you just can’t find in mass-produced bouquets. It’s the same care and attention to detail we strive to offer in our own products and services.

Image by Sarah Weal

To celebrate British Flowers Week, we wanted to share some exciting events happening near our showrooms. Experience the difference of locally grown flowers with us and indulge in the delightful fragrances and natural beauty that only British blooms can offer.

London and the South

  • In London, the Garden Museum will celebrate British Flowers Week with their annual exhibition of floral installations, open this year from Thursday 6 – Monday 10 June where five of the country’s top floral designers will be invited to build showstopping floral installations around the museum using seasonal, British-grown flowers.
  • Wattle & Daub in Godalming, Surrey are carrying on the celebrations with a Botanical Tile Workshop on Saturday 22nd June. Create a beautiful decorative tile using seasonal foliage and flowers, complete with cake and conversation. Just over a 30 minute drive away from our Fittleworth and Walton-on-Thames showrooms.
Images by Gemma Lewis

South West

  • If you’re getting married and want to design your own wedding flowers, Best of the Bunch in Bristol are hosting a workshop this Saturday 8th June, on how to make bridal and bridesmaid bouquets, as well as table decorations for your big day. Just a short six minute drive from our Bristol showroom.

Midlands and West of England

North of England and Scotland

  • Songbird Meadow Flower Farm in North Yorkshire are holding a free flower field tour on Saturday 8th June. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and learn about growing your own flowers, as well as creating a small posy to take home with you. Just a 57 minute drive from our Harrogate showroom.
  • On Thursday 6th June, enjoy a seasonal handtie and vase workshop at Broughton Street Flowers in Edinburgh, just a short 11 minute walk from our Edinburgh showroom. Using Scottish-grown stems, you’ll learn to create your own garden style hand-tied bouquet under the guidance of in-house florists, Melissa and Jenny.
Image by Sarah Weal

British Flowers Week is a wonderful reminder of the beauty and importance of supporting local. It echoes our own values and inspires us to continue bringing the outside in with our designs.

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating this special week and the incredible work of our local flower growers.

Abby Gadd