IT’S ALL ABOUT FLOWERS
jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Sunday 1st August 2021
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
IT’S ALL ABOUT FLOWERS
GARDENING IS OFFICIALLY COOL
A new survey by Draper Tools has found that 83% of the UK’s 18 to 34-year-olds think gardening is cool and, whatsmore, half of them would rather to go a garden centre than a nightclub. The research also highlighted that almost three in five millennials and gen Zs have spent more money on gardening in the last 12 months than ever before and 56% said that gardening helped to keep them going during lockdown. Got a birthday coming up for a friend or relative soon? Sounds like a new pair of gardening gloves is in order.
PEOPLE WILL BE PAID TO PLANT TREES IN ENGLAND
Landowners in England will be paid to plant trees and create woodlands that can help boost biodiversity and reduce flooding. The government announced the plans this week and has a £16m budget for the first year. The Forestry Commission will pay for the saplings and planting and then also pay bonuses:
Up to £2,800/ha for woodland that helps wildlife recover. £2,200/ha for woodland with long-term public access. £1,600/ha for riverside trees
BOTANICAL BANKSY TAKES OVER LONDON
FF HeroIn a true guerilla type, overnight operation, floral heavyweights Lewis Miller and Simon Lycett teamed up at the beginning of June to bring Miller’s famous ‘flower flashes’ from New York to London streets for the first time to spark joy as the city opened up for summer.
Three extraordinary floral installations appeared overnight at the iconic Eros statue, the god of sensual love, in Piccadilly Circus, three classic red phone booths, and an unassuming bin, to surprise and delight passers-by.
Miller’s New York installations in taxi cabs, trash cans, building sites and hot dog stalls have attracted world-wide attention and praise for transforming everyday parts of the city into interactive floral explosions of colour and life. This is the first time he has brought them to life outside his native New York.
More than 12,000 fresh blooms from Covent Garden Flower Market were used in these floral extravaganzas with the classic Summer palette and the colour and spirit of the city inspiring Lewis’s vision. But these living sculptures weren’t just designed to be admired from afar. The public were positvely encouraged to pick and create their own personal take-away bouquets, gratis … and, after a bit of British hesitation, stripped bare they were with squeals of delight!
Simon and Lewis with Graeme Diplock of Covent Garden market wholesaler Zest Flowers who supplied all the flowers.
The London flower flashes were part of Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk’s latest ‘We Need More Flowers’ campaign which celebrates flowers and remind us why we need more of them in our lives. With online sales of flowers rocketing by 277% during lockdown, flowers have become a potent symbol of hope and connection.
“This is the first time I’ve created Flower Flashes outside my beloved New York and it’s a fascinating social experiment to see how Londoners react to them.” Lewis said. “In New York people flock to take the flowers, will cultural stereotypes prevail and Londoners hang back and be more reserved? I started Flower Flashes back in 2016 with a very simple ambition; to create moments of natural beauty in unexpected parts of the city. Getting the opportunity to ‘flash’ such an iconic landmark as Eros is a career highlight; next stop Buckingham Palace!”
Chanel de Kock, UK Manager for Flower Council with Editor of Florist Trade Magazine Caroline Marshall-Foster
Chanel de Kock from Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk commented: “Our We Need More Flowers campaign seeks to remind people how flowers are central to so many of life’s important moments. We have long admired Lewis’s work from across the pond and now seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring his unique style of guerrilla floral street art to London to celebrate the city opening up.”
Until they were dismantled by passers-by, the Flower Flashes were on public display at Eros, Piccadilly Circus and two red phone boxes on the south side of Great Windmill Street on Monday 7th June and in a traditional skip in East London’s Brick Lane.
BRITS URGED TO ‘PLANT FOR OUR PLANET’ AS PART OF BUILDING BACK GREENER plant for the earth.
Time to slip on your gardening gloves, as Brits have been urged to plant more shrubs and flowers to help tackle climate change, biodiversity loss, and build a greener Britain. A new #PlantForOurPlanet campaign — backed collectively by The Wildlife Trusts, Woodland Trust, Horticultural Trades Association and Royal Horticultural Society — is asking communities to play their part in restoring spaces, supporting nature recovering and reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
No matter what green space you have — whether it’s a window box or shared garden — every effort is needed to help wildlife recover. To get involved with the campaign, some of the things you can do include planting a tree, building an insect hotel, scattering some seeds, or simply letting your grass grow wild. Don’t forget to share your story online to inspire those around you.
TOP TEN OF THE DAY
THE TOP 10 BEST FLOWERS FOR ATTRACTING BEES
Grow some of these top 10 flowers for bees, as recommended by London bee-keeper Camilla Goddard. These flowering plants will attract bees to your garden and aid the pollination of many edible crops. Urban beekeeping is all the rage, but what does the honey taste like? You’d be forgiven for thinking decidedly ‘urban’.
Last year, more than 50 different flowers were found to have contributed to honey made by bees kept in Westminster. The number one source of pollen for the honey that was tested was cut flower favourite Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’, not what you’d expect in the heart of the city, but perhaps it was part of municipal planting nearby. The test also showed that horse and sweet chestnut flowers were a key pollen provider along with redcurrants, cherries, apples, plums and tomatoes, hinting that the bees had visited local allotments. Phygelius (cape fuchsia) also showed up, perhaps another bedding plant nearby.
Depending on where the bees are kept, the nature of the honey can change. “In Greenwich, there are lots of horse chestnuts and I can see their red pollen on the bees’ legs,” Camilla says. In Notting Hill and Kensington, Camilla’s bees collect so much pollen from lime trees she can smell it in the hives. Bees near railway tracks visit brambles later in summer, whereas in spring, it’s crocus and the first of the year’s dandelion flowers that provide bees with their food.
It goes to show that while they have their favourites, bees will take pollen and nectar where they can get it, and it doesn’t matter whether the plants are native to the UK or not. “The important thing is to choose plants with single flowers so they can easily access the pollen,” says Camilla. “And plant blocks of the same thing, rather than a mixture of different plants,” she advises – once bees have found a plant they like, they’ll visit the same plant over and over again.
- Cerinthe major
- Californian Poppy
REMEMBER: The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
– Nicolas Chamfort
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
“Make each day your masterpiece.” – John Wooden.
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
“Life’s like a bird. It’s pretty cute until it poops on your head.”
Love is…a good reason to eat more cake and chocolate.
A time to work hard in your garden…A time to sit back with a glass of wine or beer or a cup of tea and enjoy your garden.
2015 The death (aged 72) of the English singer and television presenter Priscilla White, known by her stage name Cilla Black. She gained a part-time job as a cloakroom attendant at Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club and her impromptu performances impressed the Beatles, leading to an audition by the music entrepreneur Brian Epstein. There is a statue of Cilla Black outside the Cavern Club on 10 Mathew St. Liverpool.
1981 MTV premieres at 12:01 AM.
1883 Parcel post started in Britain.
1740 Rule Britannia was sung for the first time, for the then Prince of Wales’s daughter’s third birthday.
RETRO HIT RECORD RAMBLINGS
Reflections of a Top Hit Record
Cilla Black: Dionne Warwick ‘feud’ began after a song was ‘stolen’.
Click the picture to read more.
©2021 Phil M Robinson