GROWN, NOT FLOWN, WEDDING FLOWERS

Fresh Blooms on your wedding day are a MUST for almost every couple. Have you considered where those fresh blooms come from? The majority of flowers available worldwide are flown in from Holland, Africa, and South America. Most are heavily treated with chemicals and fertilizers, have no scent and arrive at your big day with a massive carbon footprint, having been flown into the country to keep them fresh. In Britain there is the most amazing movement. GROWN NOT FLOWN. A passionate, dedicated group of farmers, retailers and florists growing, sourcing and using blooms and foliage grown in the UK. These flowers have wonderful aromas, - yes roses should smell -  are fresh as a daisy, and last well past your wedding day.

We sat down with Sula and Oliver, owners of Nice Bunch, who are sustainable flower farmers and florists based in Somerset to find out why grown not flown flowers are so important and for suggestions on how to upcycle your wedding flowers so that they can be enjoyed for more than just a day. 

Fresh Blooms on your wedding day are a MUST for almost every couple. Have you considered where those fresh blooms come from? The majority of flowers available worldwide are flown in from Holland, Africa, and South America. Most are heavily treated with chemicals and fertilizers, have no scent and arrive at your big day with a massive carbon footprint, having been flown into the country to keep them fresh. In Britain there is the most amazing movement. GROWN NOT FLOWN. A passionate, dedicated group of farmers, retailers and florists growing, sourcing and using blooms and foliage grown in the UK. These flowers have wonderful aromas, - yes roses should smell -  are fresh as a daisy, and last well past your wedding day.

We sat down with Sula and Oliver, owners of Nice Bunch, who are sustainable flower farmers and florists based in Somerset to find out why grown not flown flowers are so important and for suggestions on how to upcycle your wedding flowers so that they can be enjoyed for more than just a day. 

1. What does “grown not flown flowers” mean to you? 

To respect the natural world, using locally-grown flowers is important in reducing our impact on the environment. For us, though, we try to go further than simply reducing air miles. We grow or aim to source organic and chemical-free flowers. We'll avoid single use plastics and never use floristry foam.

Aesthetically, sourcing locally frees us up from the mass-produced, uniform shapes and colours available on the mass market. We are able to find more interesting textures and tones, which helps us create wild and playful arrangements. It also means the flowers naturally draw through seasonality into our work, feeling more in-keeping with the local flora and creating more of a sense of place.

2. What made you decide to grow as well as create flower arrangements?

We founded Nice Bunch with two priorities. The first was to make sure our work felt natural and playful whilst the second was to make sure we had a sustainable business. My parents are career horticulturalists and were keen to help us. We actually started by planting a few rows of dahlias at their smallholding for our own wedding. From there, growing the cutting garden felt like a natural step for us all to take.

Photos of Sula and Oliver's big day at Matara

3. What is the greatest challenge to using grown not flown flowers for weddings? 

In today's world, we can generally get whatever we want, whenever we want it. For example, red roses on Valentine's Day are abundantly available but are generally flown in because it's still winter here in the UK. So that availability comes at a cost to the planet. The most challenging time for us is therefore winter time when British flowers don't tend to be in bloom. So we use like to use dried British flowers and local foliage wherever possible, and will import only from Europe if our clients want to add fresh focal flowers into the mix. We always strive to find the flowers our couples want, however the unpredictable British weather can mean certain flowers arrive earlier or later than expected. So we tend to talk about our work using colour palettes rather than specific flowers, just in case.

Look at this sumptious hanging arrangement of dried flowers by Nice Bunch. Can you imagine this hanging in the dome at Matara for your big day and then taking it home to hang over your dining table?!?!?! or in your bedroom? 

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4. What would you like to see couples use more in their floral arrangements? 

Colour.

 

5. What's the best way for couples to upcycle their wedding flowers? 

There are a few things we can do to make sure couples' wedding flowers go further. We encourage our couples to use the same arrangements for different spaces throughout their wedding day. Table arrangements can often be used as favours by decanting them into jam jars at the end of the evening. And for the leftover flowers, we offer a pack down service where we take them away to make dried confetti and compost down everything else for the cutting garden.

Nice Bunch's stunning arrangements for a recent Matara wedding - including the line-up of upcycled flowers from the floral arch at the front door for guests to take home the next day.

Get in touch with Sula and Oliver to talk flowers: 

e-mail them here

follow them on Instagram and Pinterest

Did you know there is a British Flowers Week campaign founded by New Covent Garden Market? It is an annual, national celebration of British flowers, plants, and foliage, and the UK cut flower industry. This year it runs from June 15th to 21st 2020. #britishflowersweek