British-grown cut flowers are enjoying a revival, now representing 14 per cent of UK cut flower sales, says the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.
The increase is attributed to a boom in artisan flower farming with the Flowers from the Farm network championing an exciting new band of mostly female growers showcasing a wilder style.
The emphasis is on seasonal native-grown flowers rather than imported blooms, promising zero air miles, fresher flowers and a natural beauty rather than hothouse uniformity.
Wolves Lane duo Camila Klich and Marianne Mogendorff are leading lights in the new floral wave.
They met at Cambridge University and both left advertising and fashion producing jobs to pursue their “life of soil, not a life of toil”, as they put it.
“Real garden geeks” but with no formal horticultural training, they learned all they know through trial and error, but were determined from the start to eschew chemicals and to grow sustainably.
“We wanted to work with flowers but couldn’t stomach the carbon footprint,” says Camila. “We try not to come across as the flower police, but our generation is more involved with the environment.”
Hottest dahlias right now? “We particularly love the dark Arabian Night. Nothing really beats it. We also love Palmares, Jowey Winnie and Apricot Desire.”
Fans of dark dahlias will also adore Darkarin, Rip City or Jowey Mirella, says Camila. If you love orange go for Totally Tangerine or Apricot Desire, or stretch to yellow with Platinum Blonde.
Dahlia Mania is on Sunday, August 18 at Wolves Lane Flower Company, N22, 12-2pm. The open day is part of the Flower Farmers Big Weekend, over August 16-18, where growers across the country are opening their gates to the public — see flowersfromthefarm.co.uk for a grower near you.