Sweet, sweet peas x

The Sweet Peas (Lathyrus odoratus) are coming and will be included in all our bunches for the next few weeks – they are a gorgeous, scented and long stemmed flower that makes me think of summer. Cutting sweet peas is also such a pleasure as it needs to be done every day so you get an improptu aromatherapy treatment while you are working!

File:Mixed sweet peas 'Lathyrus odoratus' at Boreham, Essex ...

Sweet peas were originally sent around the world in 1699 by the Sicilian monk, Franciscus Cupani, who was writing a Flora of Sicily and sent seed to various institutions and plant collectors….this was the first foray for the sweet pea into the wider world – now Sweet Peas are grown in every country in the world.

One of the early adopters of the sweet pea was Caspar Commelin at the botanic gardens in Amsterdam. His attention grabbed, he included a picture of the flowers in the catalogue of plants he published in 1701. This is the earliest botanical illustration of a sweet pea (bottom left) 

From left: Caspar Commelin's sweet pea illustration; A 20th-century catalogue by sweet pea specialist Henry Eckford

Possibly the most significant of Cupani’s gardening friends was English plant collector Dr Robert Uvedale. He shared his seeds with a variety of enthusiasts, who set out to breed and improve the flower, and in 1724, the first sweet peas were released commercially.

10 Best Tips for Growing Sweet Peas | Empress of Dirt

If you would like a bunch of flowers which includes some lovely sweet peas then contact me here

Sweet and loving Honeysuckle.

If you were to design a flower – what would it look like?

One favourite for many people is honey suckle and it is completely in season at the moment so this is a good time to look for it in the woods, hedgerows. scrubland and Summerbottom Flower bunches.

Honeysuckle has a very straightforward meaning – happiness! it also symbolises friendly affection which is the perfect for us as many of our bunches are ordered by people to be delivered to their friends or loved ones.

Ancient folklore believed that if honeysuckle was grown around the entrance to the home it would prevent a witch from entering. In other places it is believed that honeysuckle grown around doors will bring good luck and that if it grows in your garden then you are protected from evil. Honeysuckle’s intoxicating, sweet scent is particularly strong at night – pollinating moths may detect it from a quarter of a mile away!

Honeysuckle is a climbing shrub which can grow to six metres tall, It has deep crimson buds which give a jewel like quality to hedges and our flower arrangements. There are also varieties which are white and yellow. I love that when I put it in an arrangement it will respond differently to the different colours of the surrounding flowers – sometimes it looks more golden, sometimes pink and at other times, white.

Honeysuckle is currently in all our arrangements – sending you lots of happiness and affection – and definitely no witches!

Flowers which are ‘grown not flown’

Did you know that an estimated 90% of the flowers sold through UK florists, supermarkets and wholesalers are imported not just from Holland, but flown from as far afield as Ecuador, Colombia, Kenya and Ethiopia? 

Flowers grown by Summerbottom Flowers are freshly picked to order, early in the morning, and locally delivered, saving thousands of travel miles.

Not only are our flowers not flown but they are flowers that would probably not survive a plane journey because they are delicate and rare varieties. However, they will survive at least a week in your home as I provide details of how to care for them with every bunch.

My current favourite (apart from the Roses as they will always be my favourite!) is Astrantia from the Latin word Aster for star. This flower looks very delicate but it is a long lasting perennial, which you can also use as a dried flower.

All my bunches currently include some astrantia along with roses and other seasonal flowers, grasses and foliage.

I look forward to preparing your bunch in the future – either as a treat for yourself or one that I can deliver to a friend on your behalf.

Paula x

Wild Edric is starting to appear…

This beautiful and fragrant, thorny rose from David Austin is the stuff of fairy tales…

Wild Edric was a Saxon Lord from Shropshire. He was a leader of the English Saxon resistance during the Norman Conquest. Legend has it that he married a fairy princess who agreed to marry him, as long as he never reproached her…wouldn’t that be wonderful!

Edric Bunches can be mixed with other roses or specialise in Edric for a really striking display

Click here to order an Edric bunch