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If you’re a keen gardener, you probably already know something about what flowers when in the UK. But if you don’t grow or garden, it’s easy to think that some flowers (like strawberries) are available year round: after all, roses (and strawberries) are in the supermarket for 52 weeks a year. Everything has its natural season – when the weather and length of daylight hours combine to produce the perfect environment for growing and for glorious blooms. In our learning resources we share the amazing variety, scent and charisma which can be found throughout the year in cutting gardens and flower farms across the UK.

A florist and a flower grower explain the benefits of working together with the best seasonal ingredients.

This short film explores how Rachel, owner of Edinburgh floristry business, Hedgerow, works closely with Paula of Millpond Flower Farm who grows exactly the style of natural ‘garden gathered’ flowers which her wedding and event clients crave. Chatting together they make plans for the year, share stories and build an understanding of how their businesses can work together. As we watch Paula cutting huge branches of silver birch for spectacular floristry to come, we meet Larry the sheep – a key member of the Millpond Flower Farm team and learn why he’s not quite so stupid as he looks.

A quick guide to seasonality

We guide you in brief through 10 likely cutting patch ingredients for each month of the year – if Mother Nature is on our side!

  • January: structure, texture and preserved flowers

    Commercially grown alstromeria, anemones, narcissi, ranunculus and tulips; resin scented eucalyptus foliage; flowering shrubs like viburnum, sweetly scented winter box; hazel catkins; dried flowers.
  • February: a quiet start to growth

    Commercially grown alstromeria, anemones, narcissi, daffodils, ranunculus and tulips; petite snowdrops, hellebores, the start of pussy willow season, scented skimmia flowers.
  • March: Springing into life

    All the commerically grown winter flowers; plus hyacinths, architectural green spurges, elegant snowflakes, honeywort, guelder rose, delicate damson and cherry blossom, camellias, early iris.
  • April: Tulip fanfare

    The lengthening days give a boost to growth. Now we welcome yellow kerria, poppies, wallflowers, sweetly scented dame's violet (honesty), sweet rocket, more fruit blossom, outdoor grown tulips, fritillaries, ranunculus and tunnel protected sweet peas.
  • May: Chelsea flower show month!

    Oh boy - the list could go far longer than ten now! Alliums, bluebells, perennial cornflowers, poppies, sweet peas, ranunculus, iris, sweet rocket, scented lilac and the gorgeous greens of bursting fresh foliage. (shh, we didn't say it loudly, but if the weather's on our side, there may be peonies)
  • June: Let the abundance begin

    Flouncy divas take the stage (peonies, roses) with a supporting cast of sweet peas, love in a mist, foxgloves, delphiniums, cornflowers, astrantias, lady's mantle, sweet Williams.
  • July: Pick! Pick! Pick!

    A rainbow of flowers in a multitude of forms: roses (peonies now exhausted), agapanthus, scabious, phlox, snapdragons, sweet peas, sunflowers, bells of Ireland, wild carrot, cosmos daisies...
  • August: Dahliatastic

    Dahlias pick up the baton from now til the first frosts, sedums, feverfew, bright zinnias, lavender, snapdragons, hydrangeas, the many forms of amaranthus (love lies a bleeding), asters, sunflowers.
  • September: The spotlight's still on dahlias

    Dahlias remain the mainstay and hit their stride fully accompanied by plumed grasses, cosmos daisies, amaranthus, hops, hydrangeas, altstromerias, rudbeckias, zinnias, scabious...
  • October: until Jack Frost arrives...

    Flower farmers hold their breath and pray that nights don't get cold and nip out their outdoor flowers. As the days shorten and frosts arrive, the flower beds edge towards winter. Until Jack Frost bites them, we enjoy dahlias, goldenrod, fluffy clematis seedheads, nasturtiums, strawflowers, chrysanthemums, asters, sedum, cosmos daisies and the welcome return of eucalyptus foliage.
  • November: Looking at the details

    Foliage in late autumn and winter becomes the star of the show: silvery greys of eucalyptus, dusty miller, buddleia and senecio, the juicy berries of tree ivy, pittosporum in colours from variegated white and green through to deep plums, rosemary and bay leaves for scents and lots of dried interest from fluffy plumes of pampas grass and the silvery moon pennies of honesty seed heads.
  • December: Twiggy delights and evergreen glories

    Bare trees reveal sculptural mossy branches which look fantastic in arrangements and wreaths (who needs cinammon sticks anyway?!); holly, ivy and mistletoe are traditional winter favourites; add in rosemary and bay leaves for scent, along with the tumbling tassels of silvery garrya, and commercially grown alstromeria, tulips and narcissi.