Celebrating the flower growers of Britain

Published
image copyrightTessa Bunney

We are a nation of farmers, of gardeners, of flower lovers, and our cut flower industry is worth more than two billion pounds a year. Photographer Tessa Bunney has been documenting the work of flower growers, and here we share some of her work to mark British Flowers Week..

image copyrightTessa Bunney
image captionPlanting tulip bulbs

Flower farms were once a familiar feature of the British countryside and market gardeners grew flowers among their vegetables.

In the 1800s, larger farms sprang up as transport links improved and daily trains carried violets from Dawlish, snowdrops from Lincolnshire and narcissi from Cornwall.

image copyrightTessa Bunney
image captionPicking Narcissus

Flower production has always been linked to transport, and with the advent of planes came distance. Now we can have any flowers at any time of year, flown in from the Equator, or hothoused in vast Dutch greenhouses.

image copyrightTessa Bunney
image captionPicking a bunch of Ranunculus

Recently a number of smaller British flower farms have sprung up, fed by fresh interest in environmental sustainability and local seasonal produce. Tessa Bunney is working in collaboration with members of the non-profit organisation Flowers from the Farm to celebrate the domestic flower growers of Britain, past and present.

image copyrightTessa Bunney
image captionForaging in North Yorkshire
image copyrightTessa Bunney
image captionScabiosa stellate 'Ping Pong' seeds
image copyrightTessa Bunney
image captionScabious in bloom
image copyrightTessa Bunney
image captionPicking dahlias
image copyrightTessa Bunney
image captionPreparing a bridal bouquet