A sustainably sourced floristry concession is opening today (Thursday, 20 May) in family-owned retailer Booths.Advertisement
The concession will use locally grown flowers from celebrated florists ‘Petal and Twig’ at Booths Longton.
Angela Coulton is a second-generation florist who returned to her family business in 2011 after a career in Sustainability policy with Defra, during which she researched the high carbon footprint and other impacts of the cut flower industry.
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Determined to source locally grown flowers for the business, she found they had almost disappeared from the marketplace, so began growing them herself, and joined with other florist-growers in the Flowers from the Farm network rebuilding interest in British flowers.
Six years ago she approached Booths about retailing more sustainable, locally grown flowers, and since then, the relationship has blossomed, with selected Booths stores featuring locally grown bouquets from Petal and Twig and other florist-growers near to their stores.
Angela said: “85 per cent of cut flowers sold in the UK are imported and largely out of season and I want to reintroduce shopper to the delights of seasonally grown British flowers.
“Seasonal, locally outdoor grown flowers have around 90 per cent lower carbon footprint than imported out of season flowers flown in from equatorial countries or grown in fossil fuel heated glasshouses.
“From April to October, we grow a range of ‘cottage garden’ flowers at our farm in Tarleton, the kind that have disappeared from florists’ shops.
“Our bouquets change weekly and will feature scented narcissi and tulips in early spring, to scented stocks and peonies in May, sunflowers, zinnias and dahlias through the summer months, right through to chrysanthemums in the Autumn.”
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The flower stand will be restocked daily with simple bunches of flowers and foliage to arrange at home, and a selection of “pick up” posies and bouquets.
Bespoke bouquets are also available to pre-order and collect in store. From Thursday to Saturday there will be a florist in store to make up your bouquet whilst you shop.
Petal and Twig source from other British growers from Lancashire, Cheshire, Cornwall and Lincolnshire and choose the best of the season from the wholesale markets to supplement their own grown flowers. Petal and Twig are members and work with of Flowers from the Farm, the national not-for-profit network supporting small scale British Flower growers.
When sufficient British flowers are not available, they are committed to purchasing high quality certified imported flowers grown under good environmental and social conditions following sustainability principles guidance produced for florists, which Angela helped to develop with Coventry University.
Booths Buyer Tom Hargreaves said: “Booths are renowned for local souring in food, and that ethos can and should extend to horticulture and floristry. By working with smaller growers local to our stores, we can offer something wholly unique to our market.
“Our customers love the quality and local assurance of our picked today fruit and our dug today potatoes. Sharing the pleasure of giving or receiving locally grown, sustainably sourced, seasonal flowers is an extension of the Booths ethos.”
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Would shopping for sustainable flowers make you feel like you were doing more to help the environment? Let us know in the comments below.