Spring is on the horizon, UK grown tulips and narcissi are arriving in shops and the range of flowers and foliage from British growers is steadily expanding. Looking for something typically spring but a little unexpected as well? Your local growers and wholesalers are the places to go for the more unusual flowers that this season of awakening has to offer.
Snowdrops Galanthus nivalis
Fair maids of February, Candlemas Bells
Nothing lifts the spirits like coming across a clump of snowdrops poking their pure white heads through the soil, the first true sighting of spring. Short stemmed, they prefer to be arranged in water, group these delicate flowers together for maximum effect.
Colour: Pure white, some with green markings.
Vase Life: 5-7 days.
Ideal temperature range: 1-4°C.
Re-cut stems using scissors and handle with care.
Stand in deep water when first conditioning, out of draughts and direct heat sources.
Change water daily, adding a small amount of flower food.
Hellebore Helleborus foetidus
Green hellebore is an evergreen perennial with nodding flowers about 2cm across. Don’t be put off by its common name of Stinking Hellebore, its scent will fade once cut and some people find its rather curious smell appealing. Use this bushy hellebore in hand-tieds to accentuate more vibrantly coloured flowers.
Colour: Pale green with purple-edges.
Vase Life: 7-10 days.
Hellebores like a lot of water, re-cut stems and refresh water daily.
A small slit in the side of the stem will help water uptake.
Wilting heads can be revived by immersing briefly in water.
Will last longer when arranged in water rather than in floral foam.
All parts are poisonous, wash hands and workbench after using.
Green Iris Iris tuberosa
An early bloomer is the green iris, also known as Snakes Head Iris or Black Widow. Attractively coloured and small in stature – up to approximately 40cm - this is the perfect partner for shorter stemmed spring flowers.
Colour: Greenish yellow to a purplish brown.
Vase Life: Approx 5 days.
Handle with care, re-cutting stem with a sharp knife.
Cool conditions will ensure maximum vase life.
Keep out of warm draughts and direct heat sources.
Su Whale is a florist and freelance writer with over twenty-five years' experience in the floristry industry. She is the author and publisher of three best-selling books: Cut Flowers, 4th edition (2020) Cut Foliage, 2nd Edition, (2021) and Houseplants (2019), all bookshelf essentials for the professional florist.