Did you know that some of the most popular things bought during the lockdowns were plants and flowers? Although this might sound quite costly, there is a straightforward and easier on your pocket way to do it. Fortunately, Shannen Godwin of J Parker’s is on hand to share some of her insider information.
Elton John and Katy Perry are known for buying fresh flowers every day, but this habit is now growing more popular among the rest of Brits’ households as well, as Barclays reports that since the onset of the lockdown, the third most common purchase among consumers has been plants and flowers.
Shannen told us, “The pandemic triggered a botanical boom which we also witnessed in our retail revenues for 2020, as they increased by 40%. Being surrounded by flowers on a daily basis is as much a hedonistic phenomenon as it is a practical and functional one, as the benefits of being green-fingered are well documented.
Once more people realise that they can grow their own flower patch to refill their vases, they won’t be likely to spend money on commercially-bought bouquets again.”
Shannen Godwin and J Parker’s tips to prolong the life of a bouquet are:
- Cut the stems and re-trim every few days to refresh their life-span;
- Prune the bouquet constantly to remove anything that wilted or started rotting, to prevent spread;
- Use flower food every time the water is changed, every few days, at room temperature only; a rule of thumb is whenever the water begins to be coloured or dirty;
- Despite potted plants being light-loving, counterintuitively, fresh-cut flowers should be kept away from direct sunlight or sources of heat;
- Mist them regularly as it’s beneficial for ensuring freshness;
- Add a few drops of vodka in the water to keep the ‘happy hour’ going longer and slow down their ageing process.
The benefits of fresh-cut flowers and growing your own
They can help you save money
With standard florist bouquets costing up to £35, despite all the tips about prolonging their lives, the monthly amount spent replenishing a vase can be significant. A better investment is to use perennial flowers from your own garden. These types of bloomers can have a life cycle of around three years.
For those that get visually tired of the same thing quite easily, mixing and matching with flowers of different life cycles, like annuals and biennials, can keep the momentum and novelty going. A single variety vase of cut flowers could cost as little as £5, whereas a professional style display could cost just £15 for a variation of flowers.
They can clean the air
Flowers in vases can purify the air as much as the potted ones, with the added bonus of scenting the room. To maximise their benefits, you can choose flowers that have demonstrated capabilities within the field of aromatherapy. Some examples are gerberas or roses, the latter being notorious for their use in pressed oils.
They are healing mood-boosters
To some, it may seem far-fetched that simply watching plants could improve their lives in some way, but a study2 involving roses has shown that merely looking at them can put a person in a good mood.
The psychological effects of flowers go far beyond their visual appeal; however, as before they end up in a vase in an aesthetically pleasing corner of the house, the gardening that goes into the end result translates into tremendous mental health benefits.
The Royal College of Physicians3 attributes this to the physical and socialising aspects of the practice as well. For added perspective, flowers have been praised for their healing properties and are shown through a study4 to help medical patients recover faster. Lavender, iris, and jasmine flowers are a great place to start for this.
Examples of seasonal flowers and resilient perennials
Outside of the parameters for seasons, considering just the resilience of plants and how many growing cycles they might have, some of the sturdiest perennials are Astrantias, Leucanthemum, Phlox, Peonies, and Hydrangeas.
Choosing to grow seasonally is recommended not just in the case of vegetables but also flower patches, and it’s good advice from the perspectives of lowering the carbon footprint and saving money as well.
Some plants, while most common in certain seasons, have growing patterns that extend into the others too. Yet some popular choices for spring are Forsythias, Poppies, Japonica Anemones and Dahlias. For summer, most prefer options such as Hydrangeas, Mock Oranges, Gardenias and Foxgloves.
Autumn brings colour palette changes through bloomers like Roses, Alstroemeria, Ranunculus, and Salvia. For winter, you can focus on plants like Helleborus, Amaryllis and Chrysanthemums.
For more details and to get in contact with Shannen Godwin, please visit www.jparkers.co.uk.