It's no secret we love flowers here at 91! To be honest who doesn't?! Whether it's a simple single stem in a bud vase, a huge extravagant bouquet or a summer garden of wildflowers they never fail to raise a smile.
Our current issue of 91 (buy here) and the latest free e-zine (register to receive here) both celebrate beautiful blooms in their various forms. Stylist/photographer Catherine Frawley created a stunning feature for the magazine sharing ideas of how to craft and decorate with flowers in slightly unusual ways - from table settings to wreaths. We worked together on this with The Real Flower Company - who promote provenance and sustainability by growing their range of cut flowers in either their UK-based and fairtrade farms. We are thrilled to share that we have one three-month flower delivery package to give away to one lucky reader! What could be better that receiving a stunning bouquet of flowers every month?! Or you could treat a special someone perhaps... You can enter at the bottom of this post, but first, do have a read of our chat with founder Rosebie Morton....
91: At The Real Flower Company you grow your flowers at your own English and Fairtrade sustainable farms. I'm sure a lot of people would not even consider sustainability when it comes to flowers, but can you explain why this is so important?
Rosebie: As flower farmers, we take our responsibility to our environment and to wildlife very seriously. Our goal is to improve and enhance our natural surroundings rather than to deplete them. Our aim is to improve the soil, to encourage beneficial insects and to grow flowers as nature intended. We are members of the Farm Wildlife Advisory Group, part of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and we are certified under the Assured Combinable Crops Scheme. Through the way we farm and grow our flowers, we want to leave our world a better place than we found it.
91: Many people probably also don't realise that most commercially grown flowers have their scent gene removed! Your passion is to ensure this gene is kept intact. Is there anything gardeners can do at home to improve the scent intensity of their own blooms?
Rosebie: What is important is the species and varieties you choose to grow rather than how you grow them. For instance, I love the wonderful clove-like scent of Dianthus – my favourites include Doris, which has a nostalgic romanticism, and the pretty frills of Mrs Sinkins, Dianthus Cathusianorum which has a bright pink pretty flower and is great for cutting and Dianthus Arenarius, pure white with delicate flowers and an incredible scent. Then for me, no English garden is complete without scented roses and sweet peas. My mother and grandmother were both keen gardeners and it was the fragrant roses of my childhood that inspired me to start The Real Flower Company. In terms of scented roses, I love Chandos Beauty, Margaret Merril and Romantic Antike.
91: People always want their cut flowers to last as long as possible – what tips can you share with our readers for getting lasting enjoyment from your flowers?
Rosebie: Start by trimming the stems at a 45-degree angle with a sharp pair of scissors or secateurs. Then place them straight into water, either with some cut-flower food or add a teaspoon of sugar, two to three drops of bleach and a dessertspoonful of vinegar to prolong their life. Change the water regularly and keep your flowers in a shady spot.
91: Flowers definitely seem subject to fashion. What are your predictions for floral trends in the year ahead?
Rosebie: I think the big shift will happen next year when there will be a move to more bright and vibrant shades. This year it’s very understated and soft, calm and muted tones have been popular. We’ve always championed a natural, ‘just-picked-from-the-garden’ look so it’s great to see this increasing in popularity. I also think Meghan and Harry’s wedding flowers will have an impact for the rest of this year.
91: Finally, what would you have in your absolute ultimate bouquet?
Rosebie: For me, it’s whatever is in season and scented – so right now I have a beautiful bunch of Lily of the Valley from our farm close by. Soon our English rose season will start and then Margaret Merril – the quintessential English rose with a scent like no other – hand-tied in a natural arrangement with wild flowers from our farm’s wildflower meadow will be taking pride of place on my table and filling my home with its exquisite scent.
Thank you Rosebie! What a lovely insight into what sounds like an absolute dream career! The images that Catherine Frawley shot for us highlight how simply stunning The Real Flower Company's flowers are don't you think?! Now, to be in with a chance of winning that 3-month floral subscription worth £165 - a gorgeous seasonal bouquet delivered to your door each month (or the door of someone you want to treat!) - all you have to do is enter your details below. A winner will be drawn at random after the closing date which is 15th June 2018. This giveaway is only open to UK entrants due to the nature of the prize (see UK delivery exclusions below), and please do read the full terms and conditions below before entering.
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED & a winner was picked at random. Congratulations to emma boyns.
Terms and Conditions
1. Only entries made before the closing date – 15 / 06 / 2018 will be valid.
2. The winner will be selected at random and will be notified via the email address they provided shortly after the closing date.
3. The winner will have five working days to respond with the delivery details they wish the flowers to go to. If a reply is not received by this date, they will forfeit the prize and a new winner will be chosen.
4. No cash alternative.
5. The giveaway is open to UK only.
The Real Flower Co can deliver to most UK postcodes but there are exceptions in the highlands and islands as it can take two days to reach by van and sadly the flowers don't suit that environment.
Unfortunately they are unable to deliver to:-
AB37-38, AB41-56, IV1-20, IV25, IV30-37, IV63, KW1-3, KW6-10, KW14,PH15-26, PA21-35, PA37-39, PH33,49, IV21-24, IV26-28, IV40, KW5,KW11-13, FK18-21,PA36, PA40, PH30-32, PH34-41,PH50, HS1-9, IV41-56, KA27-28, KW15-17, PA20, PA41-49, PA62-76, PH42-44, ZE1-3 Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Scilly Isles.
6. By providing your email address & ticking the check boxes in the above form you are giving permission to be added to the mailing lists of 91 Magazine and/or The Real Flower Co. Your details will not be shared with any further third parties.
7. One entry per person.
This post was sponsored by The Real Flower Company. Images by Catherine Frawley for 91 Magazine.