This week a friend of mine sent me a lovely and completely unexpected gift; beautiful scented pinks from the Scilly Isles. In an array of gorgeous colours, they are both brightening my sitting room and filling it with their lovely spicy fragrance. I was sent enough to fill three of the bottles I use for posies of flowers—our minimalist flat is still empty of vases! I like to use old vintage jars and bottles for flowers anyway, and these seem to suit perfectly.
Pinks are a member of the genus Dianthus, along with other familiar favourites such as carnations and Sweet Williams. They’re a hardy perennial with lovely silver-grey foliage, which likes full sun and does well on a variety of well-drained soils. They make a great, long-lasting cut flower, so they’re definitely worth a space on any cutting patch!
What I loved about these flowers is that they’re British grown by the people at Scilly Flowers. In the winter the company send out scented narcissi, and in the summer, scented pinks. The flowers are packaged up into boxes, sent by boat to the mainland and then posted. It’s a complete joy to receive flowers through the post!
The British cut flower industry is one that is well worth investigating. As well as supporting passionate growers who are very often small businesses, there are carbon issues with both the growing and transporting of flowers around the world. Plus, if you buy British (or home-grown where-ever you live), then you’re buying flowers that are in season and that often support the vitally-important pollinator insects. I think British growers are great at creating a ‘cottage garden’ or ‘foraged from the hedgerows’ look, which comes from putting together a casual arrangement of flowers, picked at their best. It’s my favourite kind of floristry and one that I’m hoping to explore more myself on a trip to Covent Garden soon!
For British cut flowers, I also recommend Wiggly Wigglers, I’ve bought flowers for lots of people from them and always with good results. If you’re interested in finding out more about the British cut flower industry, then have a look at this great list of suppliers and florists using British cut flowers on the beautiful Flowerona blog.