For the people in your life who love flowers, there’s a whole load of presents you can give, year-round, that don’t involve actual flowers. This is particularly useful in the times of year when British flowers aren’t available, but there’s nothing to stop you adding a bunch to any of these ideas! Find your local grower at Flowers from the Farm.
Vases and vessels
If you love flowers, you need something to put them in, and it might as well be something beautiful and unique. Jugs, vases, bottles, mugs, pots, jars - if it holds water, you can put flowers in it!
There are ceramic artists all over the UK making in every style you can imagine. Go hunting on Instagram and Etsy, or go to local craft fairs and open studios. This beautiful vase is from Katie Robbins.
Consider something multipurpose - buy something lovely to eat or drink in a gorgeous container to double up for flowers afterwards. If you have flowers and just want something eyecatching to put them in, you can buy vintage bottles and tins (Ebay is good for this), or ask your local cocktail bar if they’d mind saving an empty bottle of the variety you want. This works particularly well for statement single flowers, or a branch of blossom or climbing roses.
I don’t think a book is ever a bad gift idea. If the giftee grows their own flowers or wants to start, I highly recommend Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein, A Year Full of Flowers by Sarah Raven, and Cut Flowers: Bloom Gardener’s Guide by Celestina Robertson, but there are a huge range of books on cut flower gardening that have come out over the last few years. Alternatively, a subscription to Gardeners World, Gardens Illustrated or another gardening magazine of your choice is a great present, especially as a house-warming gift to a newbie gardener.
If you’re buying for someone more into playing with flowers than growing them, try The Flower Fix or Flower Philosophy by Anna Potter of amazing florists Swallows and Damsons, or The Artistry of Flowers by Maria Gabriela Salazar.
Vouchers, experiences and ideas
This category is endless. You can buy gift vouchers or subscriptions for actual flowers from local growers, which is a particularly great way to support growers outside the floral season (ideally, please try to steer clear of big companies who mostly source environmentally demanding flowers from abroad). Lots of flower farmers do farm visits, workshops or PYO sessions which are amazing and unique gift experiences. Then there are bigger events - flowers shows, talks, exhibitions, visits - to which tickets make great gifts. Ideas include the RHS shows, events at the Garden Museum in London, your local agricultural or horticultural show, or visits to famous gardens such as Sissinghurst or the David Austin gardens in Shropshire.
If the gift recipient is a gardener looking for practical ideas and advice, lots of professional gardeners offer mentoring or planning services. I’ve got a cutting garden advice service that gives your recipient a personalised list of suggested flowers to try growing, which works all year round but is especially useful in the planning and preparations season from autumn to spring.
If it’s the wrong time of year for British flowers, chances are it’s the perfect time to buy the gift of future flowers for the gardener in your life. Seeds, tubers, bulbs, corms and plants are just what they want, trust me. You can pick their favourite colour or flower, buy a variety with a meaningful name, give a voucher to let them choose their own… the possibilities are endless. Seeds in particular are cheap and fit neatly in with cards, so you can be generous with several packets.