Free flowers

‘Seasonal hand tied posy’; pick some flowers from the garden, put them in a jar on the kitchen windowsill. Instant cheer!

Infintitely more environmentally friendly and definitely cheaper than buying them. I like to forage wild flowers, beautful and always make me smile.

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Foraged ladiesbedstraw (the last of) Red clover, Honeysuckle and Greaterplantain.

I just wanted to take a moment to research and get my facts straight, and to share with you what the actual costs of flowers from the supermarket are.

According to this http://www.greatbritishflorist.co.uk/why-buy-british “Nearly 90% of the flowers sold in the UK are actually imported, and many travel over 3000 miles. In fact the last survey I saw was that the average bouquet on Valentines Day travels 4365 miles!”

Thats a heck of a carbon footprint for a generic bunch of roses that you felt you were ‘supposed’ to buy? Oh the romantic in me is getting cross at how cynical that sounds, it isnt cynical. Really. A romantic gesture should take a bit more thought than supermarket flowers shouldnt it? 10% from the UK. Think about what the impact might be if it was 50 or 60 or 70% or 80%.. on jobs, the economy, on supporting local, being able to buy local?  for fields full of flowers providing homes and habitat for the genetically local bees*

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common mallow

http://flowersfromthefarm.co.uk/  “The group has much work ahead of it.  Twenty years ago, over half the cut flowers sold in Britain were grown in these islands; now it is fewer than 15%.  Colombia, Kenya, Israel and Holland now supply our markets with blooms that have travelled thousands of miles.  Carnations, chrysanthemums, roses and lilies have become the standard supermarket fare because of their ability to travel and to survive without water for long periods of time.” “The public have become conditioned to expect the same varieties to be available year-round. They have forgotten the seasons and the wide choice. They have forgotten the joy of fresh flowers and the scent of sweet peas. These failings offer us a wonderful opportunity because our flowers are different.”

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chamomile and corn flower in my garden

That is a positive message from Gill of @fieldhouseflowers in Yorkshire. Oh and more than a bit true! I have a feeling though that it is very hard for UK flower growers to compete, much harder than any of us is comfortable admitting.

So it’s OK to say dont buy me supermarket flowers thanks, its not ungrateful. It’s demanding better, better for the planet, the environment and the workers packed onto buses in Kenya being paid less than they are comfortable with, how important is 12 red roses? and if it is important then they shouldn’t cost you barely a second thought whilst robbing the planet and starving families,  should they?

Fair Trade Roses

http://www.organicblooms.co.uk/organic-seasonal-flowersis a Social Enterprise which offers an alternative option for those who care about their impact on the planet. Aside from their low carbon footprint, we believe that our extensive range of traditional, natural cottage garden flowers, many of which you just can’t find in a florists or supermarket, will speak for themselves! We grow a high proportion of traditional and native species since they are well adapted to being grown in the locality and therefore need fewer resources or special conditions to grow. We grow varieties such as cornflower, corncockle, cosmos and marigold that florists don’t usually sell because they don’t travel or store well. The natural look that our flowers create is becoming an ever increasing favorite among brides, people organising events and those looking for a more ethical gift.” https://www.facebook.com/fionafee/posts/10152796354926388?comment_id=10152796497171388&offset=0&total_comments=1&notif_t=share_comment

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*I am developing some interest in entomology and I’m pretty keen on our pollinators and keeping them local this article would agree http://entomologytoday.org/2014/07/15/are-local-honey-bees-healthier-than-imports/ our bees need habitats if we had more sustainable and organic (I’ve just made conscientious decision not to avoid those words here becaue you know what I mean by them and I object to the deliberate and devicive corruption of them) If these flower farmers were supported the knock on effect would be endlessly positive.

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Romanticism; a personalised gesture, a consideration, an effort that cost you time and thought. Time and thought are the best gifts to bring and they are free. Romaticism is an artistic ideal, and a reaction to the industrial revolution, that had a major influence on politics, and was at it’s peak at the end of the 19th century. It elevated folk art and ancient custom to a noble status, made spontaneity a desirable characteristic (as in the musical ‘impromptu’) and argued for a natural epistemology of human activities, as conditioned by nature in the form of language and customary usage. Romanticism reached beyond the rational and Classicist ideal models to raise a revived medievalsim and elements of art and narrative perceived to be authentically medieval in an attempt to escape the confines of population growth, urban sprawl, and industrialism.

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Something that, again, we have a very clear and pretty cool local connection with. Cant mention Roamtisicm and flowers without some poetry and art.. I narrowed my selection to reflect something of the above and perhaps may selection says something about me.

Ah! Sun-flower

William Blake

Ah Sun-flower! weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the Sun:
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the travellers journey is done.
Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow:
Arise from their graves and aspire,
Where my Sun-flower wishes to go
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The sleeping gardener By Gary Bunt

“He is helping other cancer patients benefit from art therapy by teaching them how painting can become part of their recovery process. Gary, 46, has always had an artistic flair, but his love of music had a more powerful influence, luring him into a career as a professional guitarist. It brought him a rock and roll lifestyle, but one that led him along a path to self destruction.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3602778.stm

william-wordsworth-poet-that-though-the-radiance-which-was-once-so

http://splendourinthegrass.com/gallery.html

 

What if you slept?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

What if you slept
And what if
In your sleep
You dreamed
And what if
In your dream
You went to heaven
And there plucked a strange and beautiful flower
And what if
When you awoke
You had that flower in you hand
Ah, what then?”

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http://aworkofartstudio.blogspot.co.uk/2011_12_01_archive.html

 

And Thou Srt Dead as Young and Fair

Lord Byron
“I will not ask where thou liest low,
     Nor gaze upon the spot;
There flowers or weeds at will may grow,
  So I behold them not”
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own photo: Wild chicory

The Cloud

Shelley

  I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
         From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
         In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
         The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother’s breast,
         As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
         And whiten the green plains under,
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
         And laugh as I pass in thunder.
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