Flowers can be sourced from all around the world, offering so much choice and variety. We can now enjoy exotic plants from far-flung corners of the world and, of course, the many varieties grown right here in the UK.
Which flowers to choose
Some flowers make you instantly think of a place. Holland, for example, is famous for growing tulips and there are so many different flowers we associate with an English garden.
- Tulips – These usually come from Holland where si many are grown that the bulb fields prove to be popular tourist attractions.
- Carnations – These usually come from flower farms in Kenya, allowing us to have fresh-cut flowers even out of season.
- Anemones – The Keukenhof Gardens in Holland grow a number of different flower types, including anemones.
- African Violets – These exotic little plants can be grown in a warm spot in your home. They do take a bit of looking after but they can flower right through the year.
- Orchids – The Lady’s Slipper orchid is one of the easier orchids to grow yourself, providing you can provide a humid environment.
How to achieve the look
- Asian style – This style is easy to create with oriental lilies, which are native to Korea and Japan. They are the largest of the lilies and can grow up to two metres tall. Asiatic lilies would also work well and they take up less space than oriental lilies.
- South American – A lot of traditional flowers are grown in South America, such as carnations and roses. But to achieve the look you need something more exotic, such as succulents, cacti and poinsettia. The sunflower also comes from South America.
- African – To achieve this look go for showy plants such as the Bird of Paradise, which can be paired with other natives, such as the African Violet and asparagus ferns. For pots, try anything in a natural material. Heavy wooden containers work well for the larger plants.
- European – This style isn’t very different to what we see here in Britain in terms of flowers. The arrangements tend to be quite modern in style and, because it’s so close, it’s easy to collect pots and planters from the continent. Try orange tulips for a Dutch feel or bell flowers for a taste of the Alps.
Did you know?
- A few tropical houseplants not only bring the outdoors in but they can give you a feel of other countries. The Ponytail Palm, which isn’t actually a palm but a succulent, is a great way to brighten a warm room. They originated in Mexico and love the dry conditions of a centrally heated home.
- A third of the UK’s imported flowers come from Kenya, where about 70,000 people work on the country’s flower farms.
- The reason the thistle is the emblem of Scotland is because during the reign of Alexander III (1249-1286), an army of Norsemen landed on the coast of Largs during the night. So as not to wake the sleeping Scots, they removed their shoes. It only took one of the attacking army to step on a thistle and shriek out in pain to alert the Scottish to their presence.