“consider the lilies”


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Now I’ve normally got little time for a plant unless I can eat it, however there are times when flowers play an important role in our lives. Even I, a miserable frugal shopper, sometimes find myself buying cut flowers. Before you ask not to smooth over an argument between the wife and I!! Whether it’s weddings, funerals, birthdays or anniverseries a bunch of flowers can mean alot to somebody.Don’t worry I’ve not gone all ‘hippy’, here comes the ranting bit.

The commertial flower industry is big business, billions are spent every year across the world on giving that special somebody a bunch of flowers. We often read about organic, fair trade and local when it comes to food and drink but how often do we consider it when buying flowers? Well we should considering the fact that around 65 countries are involved in the cut flower trade, the main countries being Colombia, the Netherlands, Israel, Ecuador, Spain and Italy.

Flower growing is a big operation, and like most mono crops, productivity is king. Chemical spraying is vital for the level of production that we require. If flowers are gifts of affection then we should treat them as we do the food that we put into our and our familys bodies. If you would not give chemically sprayed out of season produce to your family why would you give them flowers treated in the same way?

I have made a commitment not to buy flowers from florists or the supermarket and only to source them locally or grow my own just as I do with vegatables. Like my choice not to give greetings cards it is met with comments of being tight fisted but who cares.

It is also worth remembering that flowers purchased from the supermarket are more than likely going to be from Africa or south America as these countries can meet demand but at what cost? There is not only the Fair trade issue to consider but the standardisation of the flowers themselfs, just as we lose varietys of fruit that don’t fit the mould we could risk the same with flowers.

It is easy to grow flowers, even more than veg so why not grow your bunch of flowers? or go out and pick some wild ones. It’s true that there are more flowers about at certain times of the year but why should that be a problem just make the most of it while you can. I think that a carefully grown plant or flower says alot more about you than a bunch bought at a service station on the way to a party. I always buy bulbs for my mothers birthday and plant them up on that day, not much to look at but after a few years when they all come up together around her birthday, I think it’s worth it.


3 thoughts on ““consider the lilies”

  1. kethry says:

    i quite agree. which is why my windowsill is full of sweetpea seedlings, ready to go out in the garden, so i can have a house full of cut flowers, grown myself, all summer. (with luck, anyway!)


  2. I go along with your sentiments. It’s wonderful to receive a bunch of colourful clover, daisy and dandelion and such flowers picked by a child. Such flowers arranged with greenery in a colourful vase look well as a table centrepiece. the Flowers grown in my garden have a companionable function -to attract beneficial insects. Having flowers to pick is a bonus. When we came to our place, previous owners left discarded horticultural spray containers – we needed to arange to have these disposed of by the local council. Local orchid growers blast their plants to get perfect blooms for export markets. Also of concern is the energy consumption used to generate optimum growing greenhouse conditions and the transportation to the market.

  3. mooominmama says:

    some flowers are grown in this country, on the isles of scilly, for example, (as well as mainland cornwall) flower growing is one of the few things that keep us going, aside from tourism…the beautiful narcissi are sold in supermarkets too….as much as i hate that…

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