A bunch of flowers used to be a rare treat — something you would give or receive on special occasions.
But we’ve developed such a love of fresh blooms that we spend £2.2billion a year on them, according to the Flowers & Plants Association. And mostly on ourselves.
Increasingly we’re turning to ordering weekly or monthly flowers: the hashtag #flowersubscription has more than 30,000 posts on Instagram.
Freddie Garland — who grew up with florist parents — arrived at the idea for his company, Freddie’s Flowers, while working at Abel & Cole, the organic fruit and vegetable delivery company.
Flourishing: Freddie Garland, of Freddie’s Flowers, with one of his firm’s trucks
‘I thought if people wanted regular deliveries of fruit and veg, why not flowers?’ he says.
Now, 60,000 people have weekly or fortnightly deliveries of fresh flowers nationwide through his business.
Due to customer demand, Appleyard London have also joined the floral subscription service.
‘We found that some customers wanted to send more than just a single bouquet, while others liked to regularly have flowers in their own homes,’ says Rebecca Armstrong-Benson, floral specialist at the company.
‘It’s easier and more affordable than buying a single bouquet every month, and our customers appreciate that.’
If you can’t afford a florist to come to your home and arrange your cut flowers, the next best thing is buying from a high-end company, such as Lavender Green, which supplies venues including Kensington Palace and Windsor Castle.
It has recently launched a premium service, where you can order enough flowers to fill several vases throughout your house, along with detailed notes about how to arrange them.
‘We have clients who entertain a lot and use the subscription to create beautiful table arrangements, some who often use the excess as gifts and those who have a real interest in interiors,’ says Colin Gray, MD at Lavender Green Flowers (priced from £120 to £250 a month).
Flowerbx deliver bouquets made up of a single variety of flower, direct from the growers (options starting at £45).
‘Grouping flowers in single varietal bunches makes it impossible to go wrong, so it’s easy for the novice flower arranger,’ says Whitney Bromberg Hawkings, the CEO and co-founder of Flowerbx. ‘It is simple, elegant and lets the flowers be the stars.’
Flowerbx deliver bouquets made up of a single variety of flower, direct from the growers (starting at £45, flowerbx.com)
Cheap and cheerful
Bloom & Wild, the online florists that shook up the industry six years ago with its letterbox-sized packaging, has services from as little as £20 a month (choose from packages ranging from three months of letterbox flowers to luxury hand-tied flowers on an ongoing basis).
Meanwhile, Flowers by Flourish offer a subscription starting at £20 per delivery.
While Freddies Flowers delivers big boxes of seasonal flowers for £24 each, to customers weekly or fortnightly.
For those who want an eco-option, there are subscriptions to suit.
Florence Kennedy started her business Petalon by delivering all her bouquets around London by bike.
It set the eco ethos for a business: while the service has expanded nationwide, the London orders are still delivered by bike, and for every 100 bouquets sent by post, a tree is planted.
Petalon also donates 5 per cent of profits to bee conservation (from £38).
Meanwhile, Appleyard London source a monthly, seasonal bouquet predominantly from British growers, use minimal waste packaging and donate a percentage of profits to community projects (from £22).
You would have to be living under a flowerpot not to have noticed the recent boom in houseplants — and subscription services have been springing up to satisfy the demand.
Bloombox Club was created by Dr Katie Cooper, who noticed first-hand the well-documented psychological effects of having plants around. (Monthly plant from £35 a month or £395 per year).
Meanwhile, at Beards & Daisies, you can choose the type of houseplant description based on your needs — a pet friendly one, for instance — or preference, such as hanging plants (choose from monthly or quarterly, from £24.99 a month including pot).
The challenge — unlike cut flowers — is that you have to keep them alive.
Jo Lambell, founder of Beards & Daisies has this tip: ‘As your collection grows, try grouping plants with similar needs.
‘It not only makes it easier to care for them, but also creates their own microclimate which boosts the humidity they crave.’