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Rumwell & Sweet Cicely Flowers team-up for British Flowers Week

Author: Cherry Pullinger Published: 15th June 2017 16:20

A FARM SHOP in Somerset will be supporting British Flowers Week for the fifth-year running (June 19 - 25, 2017) and linking with a grower in the county to demonstrate the benefits of buying British.

Rumwell Farm Shop has teamed up with Lucy Gowar from Sweet Cicely Flowers and will have a floral display at the farm shop during the event to show the selection and quality of cut flowers now available in the area.

Anne Mitchell, Joint Owner of the farm shop, which is located on the A38 between Taunton and Wellington, said: "British Flowers Week is a celebration of British flowers and the UK cut flower industry. We are lucky enough to have a fantastic grower right on our doorstep based near Lydeard St. Lawrence.

"Sweet Cicely Flowers supplies our beautiful flower arrangements. From two acres of fertile land set near Exmoor the company grows, cuts, arranges and supplies English country garden flowers. It grows more than 80 varieties of flowers, many of which you will not find in a florist's shop.

"In the five years that Lucy has been selling her flowers at our farm shop our sales have doubled each year on the previous year. We have a great relationship with Lucy and are delighted she will be designing some stunning displays of beautiful British flowers for our shop during British Flowers Week."

British Flowers Week is a campaign from the team at New Covent Garden Flower Market, the UK's largest Flower Market and also the hub for British grown flowers and foliage for centuries.

Lucy added: "In the same way that people are increasingly looking for food and drink products that are local and seasonal, the British public are becoming more aware of the beautiful, fresh varieties of British flowers that we can offer on our doorstep.

"We spend more than two billion pounds a year on buying flowers for each other but currently only £12 million of that goes on flowers that are grown in the UK. That is changing fast. There are several reasons why.

"Since Brexit, high street florists have struggled as the pound is weak against the euro, meaning that British flowers are no longer a lifestyle extravagance but are financially competitive with Dutch imports.

"In addition, there have been many crop failures around the world due to unusual weather conditions, therefore making the flowers they buy from abroad very expensive. This is another reason why florists are now starting to ask for British flowers.

"During the past five years there has also been a huge fashion demand for British country style flowers. It has been part of the nostalgia trend to go back to how things used to be. Traditional country flowers go hand in hand with vintage crockery and straw bales. It is my signature fresh posies in hessian jars that have been the best sellers at Rumwell Farm Shop, perfect for a birthday, thank you gift or a personal treat.

"Although it was hard at first to persuade high street florists to buy British flowers as they were often only familiar with those imported from around the world, into the Dutch markets and then transported to the florists in the UK. I now have a growing number of florists who buy direct from me. They trust my flowers for their freshness, vase life and variety. I can offer them flowers that are a bit different from what they expect from the big continental suppliers.

"There is also a strong trend for brides to get more ‘hands on' with the flowers for their big day. As a trained florist as well as flower farmer, I have a lot of brides coming to me and asking me to make their bouquets and buttonholes and they will then buy buckets of flowers from me to do their own arrangement for the reception tables."

Lucy also believes another factor in the rise in popularity of British Flowers is that people are becoming more aware of their carbon footprint. Roses in a shop bought bouquet normally travel thousands of miles often from South America or Africa.

Lucy added: "In general, the imported flowers are bred for lasting the journey in the hold of a cargo plane often at the expense of scent. How many times have you put a supermarket bouquet to your nose, inhaled optimistically and smelt nothing.

"I select many of my varieties specifically for their scent. I cut and condition them at their freshest so they will be a pleasure to have around in a vase, not just looking pretty but smelling good too.

"I am delighted that Rumwell are helping me in supporting British Flowers week, and showcasing that British Flowers have so much to offer."

Rumwell Farm Shop is an independent, family-run, award-winning business owned by the Mitchell family. It was originally a potato store, when David and Anne Mitchell began selling their potatoes and free range eggs at the gate.

Due to customer demand, the range of products soon increased and the farm shop grew into the place it is today. David and Anne's sons, James and Jack, are now also involved in the business.

Rumwell Farm Shop has a traditional butchery counter selling free range pork and Aberdeen Angus beef reared just four miles away on the family farm. There is also a delicatessen, bakery, jam kitchen and food hall.

Home grown potatoes are also still available, when in season, as well as everything from fruit, vegetables and groceries to plants, flowers, gifts and cards.

The Rumwell Cafe, which opened in May 2015, can seat approximately 80 people. The food prepared in the cafe kitchen is sourced from the farm shop, the Mitchell family farm and regional suppliers.

Families are welcome to the cafe and there is a menu especially for children. The cafe also serves afternoon teas, carvery on a Sunday and is licensed to sell alcoholic beverages.

For more information, please call Rumwell Farm Shop, which is located in Rumwell between Taunton and Wellington, on 01823 461599, visit www.rumwellfarmshop.com, follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/rumwellfarmshop or log on to www.facebook.com/Rumwellfarmshop.

Photograph caption: Lucy Gowar from Sweet Cicely Flowers.





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