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Autumn’s Bounty: Paul’s October Diary

Autumn’s Bounty

As we hunker down to embrace the season with the clocks going back and the nights drawing in, our Founder & Creative Director, Paul Thomas-Jeffreys, takes a moment to appreciate Mother Nature’s heart-warming gifts in his October Diary.

Words by Paul Thomas-Jeffreys
Photography by  Shaun James Cox & Clare Jackson

Paul Thomas Founder & Creative Director, Paul Thomas-Jeffreys photographed in his Oxfordshire garden by Shaun James Cox.

One of my very favourite flowers, both to grow in the garden and to use for arranging, is the hydrangea. As summer fades into autumn, the strong, ‘true’ colours of blue, mauve, pink or white begin to wash with chlorophyll, resulting in the most stunning displays of softer, mottled colours. On one flower head alone, a multitude of colours can be seen, merging pink with green and blue to an almost sea green. I am thrilled to showcase these lovely blooms in our British Flowers collection. Do take a look and watch out for the Harvest Festival British Hydrangeas bouquet, which is a particular favourite of mine.

The Harvest Festival British Hydrangeas from the autumn edition of the British Flowers collection, shot by Clare Jackson.

This summer and autumn, we have seen a huge jump in the wholesale cost of cut flowers. Growers, particularly in Holland – the biggest exporter of cut flowers in Europe, had to destroy vast amounts of cut flowers last year because of the pandemic, therefore cutting right back on production for 2021. This, combined with an unprecedented number of ‘catch up’ weddings all over the world, has created the perfect storm of very high demand versus a limited supply. This is where we rely on the great creativity and innovation of our florists, whilst looking increasingly to UK growers, as we strive to ensure that we continue to deliver and don’t disappoint.

“There is so much more to enjoy from the bounty of nature than just flowers, especially at this time of year.”

PAUL THOMAS-JEFFREYS

There is so much more to enjoy from the bounty of nature than just flowers, especially at this time of year. The wonderful colours of autumnal foliage, amazing textured grasses and the plentiful supply of foraged berries was the inspiration behind the beautiful Woodland Walk British Branches bouquet, which uses only locally sourced materials.

The Bonfire Night British Dahlias (L) and Woodland Walk British Branches (R) bouquets from the current British Flowers range.

British Flowers are generally much more plentiful than their imported cousins. At this time of year, we see buckets of the most stunning English dahlias at the market in such dazzling shapes and colours. Just take a look at our ‘Bonfire Night’ bouquet to see the vast variety of tones and forms that this standout floral star is available in.

“British Flowers are generally much more plentiful than their imported cousins. At this time of year we see buckets of the most stunning English dahlias at the market in such dazzling shapes and colours.”

PAUL THOMAS-JEFFREYS

Long may the frosts hold off so we can enjoy autumn’s riches for as long as possible. Whatever you do, make sure you take some time to kick the leaves and enjoy this very special season.

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