British Flowers Week (15-19 June) is here, and what better time to celebrate the wonderful variety of flora and fauna grown in the British Isles?
We asked award-winning wedding and special event florist Jay Archer of Jay Archer Floral Design to share her favourite British flowers to grow in your garden now. These easy-care favourites will add a splash of colour to any green space.
Pretty and full of scent, sweet peas are a popular choice for an English country garden. Although many choose to soak the seeds overnight and pinch the tips, Jay recommends tomato feed and tying the stems at the bottom. This way, once established, the plants tend to look after themselves.
Rewarding and plentiful, cornflowers are easy to grow and will give your garden some striking colour from June to September. Small blue pops and long stems make for beautiful arrangements in the home, like the dining or kitchen table.
SCENTED LEAF PELARGONIUMS
Deliciously fragrant, pelargoniums have an impressive variety of scents, including mint, lemon, rose, and hazelnut. They do flower, but the buds are small and insignificant; you grow pelargoniums for the scent.
Lovely but completely underrated, wallflowers take little or no looking after and, like cornflowers, just keep on flowering! They have a delicate fragrance and the petals hold so many colours – like a watercolour painting. They’re one of the first things to flower during winter/spring.
ALCHEMILLA MOLLIS – LADY’S MANTLE
Perfect for flower borders and beds, lady’s mantle is an herbaceous perennial with soft, slightly hairy, light green leaves. The little shocks of lime green are tiny flowers, borne in large sprays, which look wonderful cut and used as foliage in arrangements, especially with peony pinks and dianthus.
Jay has recently opened a Flower School, which offers a variety of creative floristry courses for all ages and abilities, with an emphasis on seasonal, British blooms. Courses at the Jay Archer Floral Design Flower School start in September 2015. Pre-booking is available by visiting the website www.jafdflowerschool.com. For further information about British Flowers Week visit www.britishflowersweek.co.uk