From Monday 10 June to Sunday 16 June, independent florists and flower-growers celebrate British Flowers week. Each year, we make a special bouquet using only flowers from British Growers.
What is British Flowers Week?
Before the 1970s, most flowers stocked by florists in the UK were home-grown on British farms. Over the next 50 years this changed dramatically so that now most of the flowers in shops and supermarkets come from large, commercial growers who sell through the Dutch flower market. As well as a huge increase in air-miles, this means that the freshness and individuality of many flowers has declined. British Flowers Week aims to reverse this trend.
By stocking British flowers wherever possible, we are part of the move towards buying from local, independent flower-growers. Currently we have home-grown lupins, cornflowers, herpiris, lavender, peonies, sweet william, grass and yarrow. For more information on events and ways to encourage British growers, see the British Flowers Week website at https://www.britishflowersweek.com/.
We have changed our wrapping to use Eco-craft biodegradable cellulose. This wrapping is made in the UK from renewable wood chips and is fully bio-degradable and compostable. Cellulose comes from the walls of plant cells. It breaks down into carbon dioxide and water, which are then used by trees and plants to grow. The composted cellulose has been tested to ensure that it has no negative effects on subsequent plant growth. It is also vegan-friendly.
As well as biodegradable wrapping, this year we started to send all green waste (leaves, stalks, fallen petals, soil) to compost rather than landfill. This reduces the use of unsightly and environmentally damaging landfill and it means that unused plants and flowers go straight back into the natural ecosystem.
The summer flowers are here! This is the most glorious time of year for flowers. The season has started with peonies in coral, white and pink. We also have sweet peas, lupins, cornflowers, lavender and sunflowers. Our current favourite is the large peony, Coral Charm; starting as a tight ball, the flower opens into a huge coral peony which gradually turns bronze-pink over the next few days. We also are keen on English Hesperis – a tall frond of delicate white or purple flowers which is part of the brassica family.
We also have started to stock some intriguing succulents and some new houseplants such as the sweet and exotic-looking Chinese Money plant.
Kensington Flowers donated flowers for the opening of the edible garden at Christ Church, Kensington. The garden opened in the evening of Thursday 23rd May.
After years of planning, the charity Growing Space has created the garden for local schools. It aims to engage young people in growing food: to know where it comes from, to enjoy healthy eating (by tasting their own produce) and also to bring in the local community as volunteer gardeners. We were very happy to be involved in this project for a second time, after running a floral workshop for the charity in December 2017, attended by parents and teachers at St Thomas’s school.
One of the first (and best) summer events in London is the Chelsea Flower Show. As well as the garden competition, growers introduce completely new varieties of plants which are judged by the Flower Show judges. Our favourite from the shortlist for Plant of the Year was the new peony, All that Jazz , which has creamy-apricot petals flecked with dark red and a dark red centre. The winner was a sedum shrub, Atlantis Nonsitnal, which has yellow variegated leaves and small flowers in the summer.
It’s spring! Here at Kensington Flowers we are looking forward to the new blooms of 2019. Coming into the shop in the next few months will be the best of the English spring flowers – home-grown tulips, jewel-coloured anemones, sweet Cornish narcissus daffodils and scented hyacinths. As we re-learn to appreciate English growers (and to care for the environment by reducing air-miles), we are especially glad to showcase these flowers.
For growing plants, this is the season for the pretty primula, primrose, growing hyacinths and the various daffodils. We will have pre-planted pots and baskets in the shop and and we can plant to order with your own choices. If you already have pots or bowls which you would like us to plant, please do bring them in.
This season we also look forward to Mother’s Day on 31st March, for which flowers are always appropriate. March is also the month of Norooz, or Persian New Year, which is traditionally celebrated with hyacinths (and goldfish in bowls on the table for the true traditionalists).
Of course, we will have roses and beautiful Spring flowers but, if you would like to give your loved one something different this year we suggest the vibrant pinks and purples of anemones and orange tulips or an elegant potted Lily of the Valley. Please see the Mother’s Day section below for more details on our favourite gift ideas (including cakes by delivery!).
We can make these in the traditional Spring flowers & colours, including soft pinks, yellows and whites, with the options of adding pops of purple or blue. We particularly enjoy tulips ranging from bright pink to soft peach and white, hyacinths in pinks, blues or whites and the lovely yellows and scent of narcissi.
Instead of a single bunch, we offer flower subscriptions. We will deliver flowers to your mother, friend or relative over a period of days, weeks or months. A lovely gift that will keep on giving! We also offer gift vouchers, so that flower-lovers may come in and have the fun of choosing for themselves.
A special sweet treat to spoil someone you love. We have a range of myBaker cakes, mini cakes and macarons, delivered with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. myBaker cakes are available in a range of different sizes and flavours. Our favourites include vanilla & raspberry cake, vegan chocolate cake, honey & lavender macarons and the lemon & poppyseed mini cakes.
Flowers & A Meal at Launceston Place
We have collaborated with our friends at Launceston Place to offer delivery of flowers to your table when you make a booking at the restaurant over the Mother’s Day weekend.
We are offering 10% discount on flowers & plants, and the offer will be valid for the weekend of the 30th and 31st of March. Please use discount code MDLP19 when placing your order online on our website or over the phone. Please note the offer is not valid for our flowers & cake products, flowers & gift boxes or our gift cards and vouchers.
Floral Spotlight: The Daffodil
The Daffodil (or Cennin Pedr in Welsh) is the national flower of Wales and they are out for St David’s day on 1st March. Their fresh white and yellow faces are the signature of spring and many come with a delicate scent as well as the fresh smell of the leaves and stalks. It is unsurprising that they symbolise rebirth and new beginnings. In the traditional language of flowers, daffodils are a faithful flower – they represent loyalty, friendship, chivalry and modesty.
Daffodils are easy to grow and replant inside or outside. Growing in the shop we will have the minuscule, bright yellow Tete-a-Tete, the tiny all-white Paperwhite and the taller, creamy Bridal Crown as well as bunches of cut narcissus in yellow and white.
We hope to see you soon in the shop in Victoria Grove and we wish you all the best for 2019.
We are pleased to announce that Kensington flowers gift vouchers are now available to buy online or in store.
Gift vouchers are an ideal gift to treat someone who loves flowers. Vouchers offer the recipient the opportunity to choose what they want, when they want.
Our vouchers are valid for 12 months from date of purchase and can be redeemed in store or over the phone and used to purchase one of our beautiful bouquets, cut flowers, plants or vase arrangements. Available in denominations of £25 and £50.00.
The Signature Gift Vouchers are packaged in an all white card and envelope, delivered with a hand written message on your behalf.
Option to collect in-store or next day nationwide postage by Royal Mail recorded special delivery.
For same day London delivery, please contact us us directly on 020 7225 3176, so we that we can arrange courier services.
We are lucky enough to be located across the street from Thomas’s School in Kensington. As neighbours we enjoy a lovely relationship with the staff, students and parents of the school, many of whom are customers in the shop and have been wonderfully supportive of our business over the years.
Occasionally when the school are fundraising for charity projects, we are able to return the favour and lend our support to the cause. Juliet has lent her time teaching the staff and parents how to make Christmas wreaths and decorations for sale at the Christmas Fair and we have donated vouchers and plants over the years.
One of our more recent donations was in aid of the CAIRN trust (Children’s Aid In Rural Nepal). This trust is one of the schools permanent charities and funds raised go towards providing children with education, books, and access to libraries and school places.
The recent fundraiser hosted by the PTA at Thomas’s School in Battersea raised £203,000 for the CAIRN trust. A donation of this size provides sweaters, books, education and facilitate construction of library buildings.
We are very pleased to have been able to contribute and to be in some small way involved with this wonderful charity and the work that they do.
To celebrate British Flowers Week this week, we thought we would share a little bit about how we shop for our flowers, our favourite British Flowers and why we choose to buy British.
Why do we love British Flowers?
Nowadays there are many different ways to buy flowers as a florist. Dutch flower lorries mean you can have a mobile shop full of fresh flowers delivered to your door. There are flower farmers and now small local growers in Britain who supply freshly cut flowers from their cutting gardens, wholesalers selling on line as well as from retail units and and then there is the New Covent Garden flower market in London.
For us at Kensingtonflowers, Juliet makes the journey to New Covent Garden Flower Market each morning to stock up on fresh flowers, foliages and plants for the shop.
We usually stock the shop with a mix on British and imported flowers depending on the season.
We choose to buy British whenever possible, because the fewer air miles a flower has flown to get here means that the flowers stay fresher for longer. British flowers are generally of a higher quality and at a better price when they are in season. We also like to support local growers where we can, given that we are a small independent business ourselves, we like to shop local!
To celebrate we thought we would share our favourite British Flowers.
For Douglas, who is the right-hand man in the shop and responsible for our brightest bouquets, there is no better British flower than the Anemone, in particular the rich dark purple anemone. UK grown anemones are available for a limited time but are truly special.
In the shop you will find it in Douglas’s bouquets mixed with parrot tulips, ranunculus,, rosemary and herbs.
For Juliet, who owns the shop and is the driving force behind Kensingtonflowers, she likes to keep it simple and elegant with lily of the valley.
In the shop, when in season, you will find these beauties in little pots of their own, or as tiny cut bunches, allowing their simplistic beauty and signature fragrance to shine.
Our limited edition, British Flower Week bouquet.
In support of British Flower Week we have created our own limited edition British Flower Week bouquet. This bouquet is filled with peonies, sweet william, scabiosa, astrantia, and myrtle. It is a celebration of all the things we love about British Flowers.
You can purchase the bouquet on our online website shop.
If you would like any more information on British Flowers Week or any of the events being held, you can visit their website here: British Flowers Week
For more information on the New Covent Garden Market, opening times and flowers, you can visit their website here: New Covent Garden Market
Fresh Flowers Grown in the UK Wherever Possible
Flowers from Fairtrade Certified Farms Wherever Possible
Kensington Flowers is an Independent Family Business
to Central London, Next-day Nationwide Wherever Possible