Monday, 25 February 2013

"Seasonality" What Does It Mean To You?

As a seasonal cut flower grower I spend quite a bit of time explaining what I mean by 'seasonal' so I was interested to do a brief post on seasonality to share my thoughts and would love to know what others understand by this term too.

The seasonality of flowers has always been a huge passion for me. The excitement of seeing the first bulbs appear in early spring, then the abundance of mid summer flowers, contrasted with a relative ‘flower abstinence’ during the winter months, feels so natural and right. A beautiful deferred gratification and a celebration of the ebb and flow of the flower seasons in the country you live, what could be nicer? Of course following the 'seasonal flower path' can make it difficult for cut flower customers who are now used to selecting and choosing the specific flowers they want and when they want them.  So many flowers sold in the UK, are grown abroad, usually under cover, sometimes using heating, they are then picked, cold stored and flown to the UK usually via the Dutch auctions.  So as a business it’s always important for seasonal growers to explain what they mean by ‘seasonal’ and what the implications are for their customers.

As much as I adore all cut flowers I see them as a ‘want’ rather than a ‘need’ and therefore, for me, they come into the category of a ‘luxury’ that should be grown without using an abundance of resources. This is one of the reasons I grow all the flowers I sell outside.  Another reason, is so I can keep absolutely true to the seasons of the local area where I grow. Some people use polytunnels to extend growing seasons of flowers (cropping earlier in spring and later in autumn) but I feel this reduces the authenticity of the flower’s natural growth during that particular season and that particular year. As a result, whatever flowers you grow outside then become a direct reflection of the variability of that year’s weather, some flowers may perish with say, too much rain and can be composted, others will be abundant. So when we cut beautiful flowers that are grown outside naturally, they can potentially enhance our experience of synergy with the nature of our local environment in a more subtle way.  I can't think of anything more gorgeous.

My seasonal obsession also spills over to social media and I try and keep posts and blogs contemporaneous as much as possible, partly because it makes sense to me but also to share the feeling of seasonality with others.

Come on, let's celebrate our seasonally grown flowers and enable the familiarity of our seasons to be reflected in our blooms! 

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