Flowers delivered to the door during the Coronavirus emergency
What could be more cheering than receiving a bunch of English flowers during this horrid Coronavirus emergency?
Luckily a few plucky wholesalers and growers are battling on. I have talked to a wholesaler and a florist who both specialise in British grown flowers:
‘Flowers don’t know there is a lockdown,’ says Ben Cross, the renowned champion grower of alstroemerias. ‘My plants keep chugging along, I have tens of thousands of stems daily.’
Ben, aka ‘Alstroemeria Ben’, is the 4th generation of his family to grow flowers at Crosslands Flowers Nursery, near Chichester, West Sussex. In an inspired move to beat the lockdown and wastage of all of his lovingly tended blooms, he has teamed up with Beach Town Blooms in a letterbox scheme to deliver nationwide.
£20 buys a box of 15 premium stem alstroemerias. They are available in a thrilling range of different colours, pink, lilac, lemon, cerise, orange and bi-colours. ‘Each variety is very different.’ Ben advises cutting the stems a couple of centimetres each day, to ensure that the blooms last for about two weeks. He is also offering a fortnightly subscription service.
Ben opines that many florists are struggling at the moment, as lots of wholesalers have closed. ‘I have had to act very swiftly and be extremely flexible. But British flowers still rock even in these crazy times.’
‘These delicious boxes of banging blooms fit straight through your letterbox, no need for any human interaction’ says Dave of Beach Town Blooms.
In the past few days Ben has sent flowers all over the country even as far as Northern Ireland.
DM Ben on Instagram @AlstroemeriaBen,or Twitter @AlstroemeriaBen, Facebook: Crosslands Flower Nursery or Dave on @beachtownblooms or 07530 227244 for all orders.
‘I’ve already sold out for this week,’ says Georgie Newberry of Common Farm Flowers. Fortunately for Georgie, she runs her floristry business from her home. ‘My flower fields are literally outside my backdoor,’ she says, but obviously at the moment she is working without any help. ‘There is a limit to how much I can do on my own. But as long the courier keeps going, I can still take orders.’ At the moment she is picking up to 2,000 stems every week. Astonishingly, last week demand was as great as for Mothering Sunday on the 22nd March. ‘I have been very touched by the loyalty of many of my customers. Some have even said if you can’t deliver just keep the money.’
Three kinds of tulips, narcissis, anemones, daffodils, wallflowers and apple blossom are the main staples ready to be harvested at the moment. ‘Everything is springing into bloom and each day there is that little bit more to choose from, as the flowers blossom and the leaves unfurl’.
At the weekend she dreamt up a novel way of cheering everyone – the #30stem challenge on Twitter and Instagram – a novel home floristry project to entertain keen gardeners and florists stuck at home. Can you find 30 different flowers and leaves in your garden? Do watch her videos posted on her Instagram account @commonfarmflowers
From now until November, Georgie grows all her own flowers. Over the winter months she relies on Cornish growers to supply her.
Like Ben, she says as long as the couriers are working she can deliver to you. But remember to get your order in quickly for next week.