Alstroemerias as cut flowers
Do you buy cut flowers for the house or to give to friends? Do you buy them from a florist, supermarket, or online?
I’ve tried them all over the years. I’m always wishing I could buy flowers grown here in the UK and support our flower growers.
So can I introduce you to
Alstroemeria grower Ben Cross
aka @Alstroemeriaben on Twitter and Instagram and on Facebook at Crosslands Flower Nursery.
I’ve just discovered his mail order boxes of flowers and want to show you some photos of what I’ve done with them.
This isn’t an advert and I have no connection with Ben but I am happy to be able to now buy cottage garden alstroemerias that have come from Sussex overnight rather than from a supermarket.
Ben is a fourth generation grower and is strongly campaigning, like a Jamie Oliver of the flower world, to spread the word that “British Flowers Rock”. His Crosslands Nursery is sadly one of the last large growers left in the UK.
For a total of £25 (less outside London) four bunches arrive in a big box first thing in the morning and I put them straight into deep water.
I can specify what colours I want from a big range of colours – some dark and some pale.
One bunch looks like this
I often put 3 or 4 stems in a small vase like this
In the winter I use more artificial flowers for vases and have written about that here but when there are fresh flowers as lovely as these I may well rethink.
Hints to keep flowers fresh
The more leaves we take off the more energy goes back into the flower so I am now stripping off far more leaves than I used to. If the leaves go yellow I just take them off. Ben says his flowers can last over a month in cool conditions. I need to change the water every 2/3 days and cut a tiny bit off the stems when I do that.
Don’t leave them in direct sunlight and most importantly make sure the vases are clean. I was using weak bleach and he said NO! just hand wash normally.
Three days later
This is what they look like today when they have started to open up.
Growing cottage garden alstroemerias
All my attempts have failed miserably. I’ve bought them many times and they come with such promise. Some have never been seen again. Some tried their best, which wasn’t much of a best. I have some this year but I’ll be lucky to get a few stems per week plus they are all bent and wonky.
I think that my closely packed garden style is too squashed for them. They need space so as a compromise I will buy them as fresh flowers and grow something else.
You can find Ben on Twitter and Instagram @Alstroemeriaben and on Facebook at Crosslands Flower Nursery.
And you can subscribe to my intermittent blogs if you’d like to by putting your email in the box above.
Thanks for reading and good gardening to all.