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Wedding Flower Mag. Seasonal Guide Selection.

Wedding Flowers and Accessories Magazine

November & December Seasonal Guide Selection.

So the November and December issue of the Wedding Flower and Accessories Magazine hits the shelves any day and whilst we all know that the selection of flowers available in these months are countless, we wanted to; as the feature calls for give the flowers that are in season in these months.



The list we selected are:

Wedding Flower and Accessories Magazine November – December


  • Euphorbia Pulcherima
  • Cymbidium orchids
  • Gloriosa lilies
  • Amaryllis
  • Vanda Orchids
  • Hellebores
  • Erynigium
  • Ilex
  • Malus
  • Skimmia
  • Eucalyptus nuts and foliage
  • Brunia

We've just put in our list for January and February along with a whole host of suggestion of features that would be interesting for the brides and explain the expertise of wedding florists... watch this space, we'll keep you posted and will hopefully be calling on you for information soon!

A statement from the Chairman of the BFA.

A statement from the Chairman of the BFA.

Dear Florists,

For many years now the British Florist Association (BFA) have gone about their work in a quiet and unobtrusive manner. We have, as a matter of principle, attempted to steer clear of controversy and avoid being dragged into arguments that, in our opinion, could be damaging to the industry. However recent events have caused us to question this philosophy and as a consequence we have decided to nail our colours to the mast and state in unequivocal terms what we are trying to achieve and how we intend to go about it.  Our mission in life is to support UK florists, (members and non-members of the BFA) and all the activities we undertake is geared to this end. Yet we are increasingly being accused of being out of touch, failing to encourage talent and prostituting ourselves to commercial companies. Of course the BFA is not beyond criticism, indeed we welcome the views of anyone who wants to see us build a better association that benefits florists.

So are the BFA 'out of touch' ?

For the last twelve months we have been hosting a series of meetings the length and breadth of the country where florists (members & non-members) have come together for an evening to discuss the issues that matter the most to them. These meetings, called Florist Get Togethers, have been very well attended and the feedback we have received have been extremely positive. The message coming from the business owners was that the BFA should focus their efforts on two subjects in particular.

  1. Promoting floristry to the consumer.
  2. Training & Education.

We will lay out our policy on these later, but at this point we would like to say that these meetings were totally funded by Florismart, and supported by other companies such as Florist2florist, Chrysal, Florist Pro & Strelitzia, without whom florists would not have had the opportunity to share their ideas and concerns with like minded people.

So what are the BFA doing to promote floristry to the consumer?

Well one thing we are doing is to build a consumer facing website where all BFA members can take advantage of the Find a Florist System.

This takes a huge investment in terms of time and money before anyone can reap the rewards, and we simply don't have enough income through members subscriptions alone to fund this. Last year membership increased significantly, due in many respects to the support we received from Country Baskets who ran a campaign offering a 50% discount to their customers for BFA membership, for which we are extremely grateful. Florismart have given us the funding to keep developing and building a website that will deliver the benefits florists need to combat the threat posed by supermarkets and order gatherers whose main source of business is via the internet.

On the subject of Training & Education the BFA Training and Education Director, who is also an employer has recently been given approval to develop an apprenticeship standard for Floristry which will replace the existing standards, by the Department of Education.  This is now being developed in conjunction with the many employers within the Industry. The Institute of Professional Florists which is part of the British Florist Association, set up to recognise the professionalism of the independent Florist and to provide a kitemark of quality for the consumer.

Regulating and driving the Institute forward has only been possible with the financial support of Florismart.  

The BFA are Competition Partners with WorldskillsUK ensuring that Floristry as a sector is recognised on this highly acclaimed platform.  Giving our young florists and apprentices equal opportunities to compete on the World stage with other professions. The BFA could not manage this partnership without the support of Industry partners such as Florismart for sponsoring the flowers for the Skills Show, training weekends and training sessions for competitors going through to the Worldskills Final. Equally, Opiflor and Oasis and Country Baskets for sponsoring the much-needed sundries.

The Training and Education Committee have achieved a great deal over the last few years picking up the mantle from the cessation of the Society of Floristry and ensuring that all awarding and governing bodies consult directly with them.

Another criticism levelled at us is that we are failing to encourage young designers by raising the cost of entering the Chelsea Flower Show heats, and it's unfair to expect a young person on the minimum wage to pay such a high entry fee. Surely, in this day and age, any responsible employer would not be asking any of their employees to pay for their own expenses, when the business stands to gain so much free publicity from the event, those working as event and studio florists also have so much to gain through this hugely recognised event.

Chelsea is a costly exercise and from the feedback from the Florist Get Together's is very low on the list of priorities. The Chelsea competition is unique and generates a huge amount of free publicity (prime time BBC coverage) not only for the competitors but floristry in general, and we don't think it is unreasonable to levy a charge to cover our expenses. Euroflorist ,Florismart and Opiflor have been so supportive in helping us, year on year to make this a success.      

As you will have noticed there is a recurring theme emerging here, namely the financial support of Florismart. In the eyes of many people the BFA have sold out to Florismart, and we have lost our independence. No matter what we say some people’s opinion will remain unchanged, but we will give you this fact. Every penny Florismart donate to the BFA will be spent in the interests of florists in the UK.

We are not ashamed to be associated with a company who have proved to be extremely generous in their support of florists in this country. For decades the large players in the flower business have been making massive profits at the expense of independent florists, yet we don't see any evidence of these profits being reinvested to benefit the industry they rely on for their income.  Florismart are shaking up the flower trade with their innovative approach, and in the course are making enemies along the way. The BFA are not in the business of telling it's members who to trade with, but we are happy to endorse Florismart, who are making a serious financial commitment in order to support British flowers and British florists.

The BFA is welcome to all financial support, and we are grateful that Florismart has florists interests at the core of their business.   

We will work with any supplier who is willing to work with us for the benefit of the industry.

These are times of great uncertainty with Brexit looming large on the horizon. The BFA have funded the first Brexit meeting, putting together a working party to lobby the government on behalf of the florist industry, and as we are the florist trade body who are recognised by the UK government, we have been told, we are the best placed to do this.

Let’s not forget, the Industry Group meetings that take place twice a year, where the BFA bring invited industry businesses’ together to work to a common goal and get feedback from the industry as a whole. Vision, another BFA event based on business for members and non-members alike, where everyone is given the opportunity to voice their opinons.

We know this letter may be controversial but we are passionate about what we do and now is not the time to work apart, now is the time to work together.

Yours sincerely




Mr Brian Wills-Pop
BFA Chairman.

We need you - Trailblazer apprenticeship training standards.

We need your opinions about the Trailblazer apprenticeship training standards.

Back in the spring The Department of Education gave approval to the Floristry Trailblazer group under the chairmanship of Sandie Griffith, to develop an apprenticeship standard for Floristry.

This is a really positive development for Floristry and we need you to do your bit!

We have created a questionnaire about the trailblazer apprenticeship training which we would like you to fill in.  Every opinion counts, and your voice matters, so please, help us pave the way to better floristry training standards.

Questionnaire closes, Friday 20th October 2017.

Why do you need my opinion?

  • The Floristry Trailblazer Group is keen to consult as widely as possible to ensure that the new apprenticeship meets employers’ needs
  • This is also part of the developement process; its important for the Department of Education to see that the industry has taken an active role and interest in the process.
  • This is your industry and the apprenticeship developement is essential to it's future.
  • The time is now - we want to hear from you, what do you think needs adding, tweaking, improving? Don't say later that it should be different - this is your opportnity to make sure it's right for you and the industry.

Help us show that FLORISTRY MATTERS!! 

  • We had to fight to show the Department of Education that Floristry Apprenticeships would be supported by the industry!
  • It would have been all too easy for floristry to be perceived as Retail, and as such have been asked to use the Retail standards with some Floristry units bolted on - this would not be good for our Industry.
  • This is the future of our industry - the training of florist and the standards of the next generation of florists.

However, our fears were not realised... our industry pulled together and the proposal put forward persuaded the Department of Education that we should develop our own standard. Great stuff, thank you to everyone that filled in the survey in February.


What is the Trailblazer apprenticeship?

All future apprenticeships will come under the government’s Trailblazer banner, offering an entirely fresh approach to the concept of apprenticeships. Under Trailblazer, clear, concise, simplified apprenticeship standards are to be written by employers for employers to make them more relevant to working in a flower business.

What is meant by training standards?

These are the standards by which the apprenticeship will be provided, please use the link above to view the standards - bear in mind these are set out in the format required from us.

More information about the Training standards:

The standards have been broken down into three simple sections - 

  • The Task
  • What the apprenticeship will know and understand
  • What the apprentice will be able to do.

The Tasks:

The tasks of the apprenticeship standard level 2, as shown fully in the 'Apprenticeship Training Standards' are:

  • Condition, prepare botanical materials for a design and sale
  • Work organisation and time management
  • Understanding a customer's needs and ability to work to a budget
  • Design and Floral display interpreting a theme
  • Safe Working practices
  • Behaviours

Who to contact for more information:

The Department of Education gave approval for the Floristry Trailblazer Group under the leadership of Sandie Griffith. Only employers are able to apply for Trailblazer Apprenticeship standard - not industry bodies – and Sandie Griffith is uniquely well placed to chair the Floristry Trailblazer group. She is both an employer with a vibrant flower business in central Oxford and the highly experienced Chair of the British Florist Association’s Education and Training Committee.
In the Floristry Trailblazer Group, Sandie has brought together a core team of fellow employers to pledge their support and help draft the new standard, backed by training providers, City & Guilds, Lantra, and a wide pool of floristry employers.
Sandie can be contacted by emailing

Best Online Programme: Shortlist Announced

Best Online Programme: Shortlist Announced

The past 8 months has been a busy time, which has seen many florists push the digital boundaries of their business with the Flower council of Hollands  specially curated online programme for BFA member florists.

The 8 months have gone really quickly, with many of us often asking ourselves just where this year has gone, and even so, some florists have really taken the programme by its horns, and worked really hard to improve their online presence.

The Flower Council of Holland have finally made a shortlist selection for the programme which have been chosen by our international teams through a voting system.

Florists were awarded points for all topics (listed below) and the overall big changes made to their digital platforms.

  1. Website (February 2017)  
  2. Branding (March 2017)
  3. Content (April 2017)
  4. Social Media (May 2017)  
  5. Direct Marketing: Data, Segmentation & Newsletters (June 2017)
  6. Tools: Images, campaigns & sources (July 2017)  
  7. Events: Online Events & Promotions (August 2017)
  8. Advertising (September 2017) 

From the 30 florists who participated in the programme, some have dropped out, some have only made a small noticeable effort, and then the judges were really impressed by how difficult it was to make our selection since most have done such an amazing job.  Out of the 30 selected participants, the Flower Council of Holland experts have finally managed to get the selection down to 12, then to 8, then 3, and it was cut-throat!  Chanel de Kock explained "Most have done so well, and even though there it only one prize, we believe that everyone who made the effort and applied our tips to their  businesses are all winners, and we hope that you are all pleased with your results and have learnt something from the programme."

The Shortlist, in no particular/alphabetical order:

Amber's Rose



Flowers by Mrs Ash




 Jacqui O Fairytale Flowers


The shortlisted participants have been contacted and notified this week and are invited to attend the Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony at BFA FleurEx on Saturday 21 October to find out if they've won and for the winner to collect the award.

Congratulations to these 3 participants, and also to you if you joined in you should all feel really proud of yourselves.

 The Best Improved Online Presence Programme is still on The Flower Council of Holland Website if you want to work through the programme, or just dip into sections used the links above and polish up on some of your skills.  You can also find the overview of the programme by clicking here.

GREEN SCREEN - Brand new concept and futuristic approach to flower promotions

GREEN SCREEN - Brand new concept and futuristic approach to flower promotions

The Flower Council of Holland, publisher of online inspiration magazine The Green Gallery, has released a series of floral-themed ad blockers, collectively named ‘The Green Screen’. In collaboration with UM Studios and Influencer Management Agency (IMA), The Green Gallery has worked with four international artists and designers spanning the worlds of fashion, music and art, resulting in twelve distinct art pieces.



What's it all about?

The Green Screen ad blockers have been designed to take over traditional advertising banners and transform your online experience into one that is uplifting, inspiring and flower-filled. This campaign is also in response to a growing consumer trend, with more than half of British adults currently using ad blockers*. Furthermore, research from The Emotional Impact of Flowers has shown that flowers and plants reduce stress and make people happier, more cheerful and creative.  

Before the ad blocker

After the ad blocker

The Flower Council of Holland commented: “The Green Gallery Green Screen project allows for flowers and plants to brighten up consumer’s everyday online experiences. By working in collaboration well-known, international artists, we have been able to create a variety of unique and creative designs to hopefully satisfy every taste.” 

UM Studios commented: “A media agency advising an ad blocker as a creative media solution might seem like an oxymoron. However, it remains our ambition as a creative content label to keep surprising our customers with innovative concepts. The insight that the target audience of the Flower Council of Holland frequently makes use of ad blockers, and goes online in closed-off areas led to the creation of Green Screen. By sourcing famous artists to produce content for the ad blockers, we are doing more than just creating relevant content in relevant areas; we’re attracting brand new audiences. All banner space is now a potential home for flowers, plants and art.”

Install Green Screen and make your banners bloom.


We know that flowers and plants are a feast for the eye. But does everyone know that they also create a happy mood and reduce feelings of stress? That flowers and plants enhance your creativity? That’s why online inspiration magazine The Green Gallery has developed Green Screen, allowing you to transform banner ads into a sea of flowers. Because research* shows that people increasingly want to block online ads. So why not use that space to be inspired? In order to match Green Screen entirely to your style, we have collaborated with a number of world-famous creatives: tattoo artist Henk Schiffmacher, DJ Loco Dice & graffiti artist Hoxxoh, creative innovator Geraldine Wharry and fashion designer Stephane Ashpool from Pigalle. They have translated the theme of flowers into fantastic flower art.

You can download the Green Gallery Green Screen ad blocker at:

Artists & Process

The Green Screen consists of 12 floral art pieces created by four designers, all of whom have a love of flowers and plants which has inspired their work:  tattoo artist Henk Schiffmacher, DJ and producer Loco Dice & graffiti artist Hoxxoh, creative innovator Geraldine Wharry and fashion label Pigalle. For more information on the individual artists, please see bios below.

The rugged roses of ‘Hanky Panky’


Renowned Dutch tattoo artist, Henk Schiffmacher, has a passion for floral artwork, having inked many customers with intricate designs over the years. His love for flowers helped to inspire his take on the project and his resulting ad blocker masterpiece. Henk commented; “Flowers tell stories without words. Why do you think we give them to each other all the time? You can never get tired of looking at flowers.”





Trendsetter: Geraldine Wharry


Originally from the UK, Geraldine Wharry is a trend watcher and notable trendsetter, having previously worked with iconic brands such as Louis Vuitton, Nike and Nivea. Geraldine adopted a combination of techniques when composing her floral ad blocker design; creating, transforming and scanning collages. Geraldine said; “I wanted to create something really special which makes art a part of everyday life, which is why The Green Screen is absolutely perfect for me.”





Loco Dice x Hoxxoh: meticulous, graphic street art

Graffiti artist, Hoxxoh creates murals all over the world inspired by the music from DJ, rapper and producer, Loco Dice. The duo worked together in a one-off collaboration for this project. “My work is very repetitive, almost mechanical, just like Loco’s work. With The Green Screen, I have tried to translate the wavelengths in his beats into clean, graphic flowers for people to enjoy on-screen,” said Hoxxoh.






The avant-garde designers behind Pigalle

Fashion designer and Parisian ‘street icon’ Stephane Ashpool is the mastermind behind well-known brand Pigalle. Renowned for collaborations with the likes of Nike and Missoni, the label is also popular with celebrities including Rihanna and Jay-Z. ‘To me, flower petals hold a kind of holy beauty,” commented Stephane. Together with his fiancée, jewellery designer Marissa Seraphin, he has produced a 3D floral ad blocker.



THE APPRENTICE with a no-nonsense florist contestant!

with a no-nonsense florist contestant!

The Apprentice has returned to our TV screens this week. 

9pm Wednesday, October 4, saw the 13th series of the popular reality show begin. The show sees candidates compete for the opportunity to work with legendary businessman Lord Alan Sugar.

Perhaps not the show you'd expect to see a florist, but 2017 see's just that!

Meet Elizabeth owner of Flowers by Suzanne.

Elizabeth McKenna, is a 39 year florist with two florist shops - Flowers by Susan with an online business Lizzies bundles in the pipeline. She lives in Nottinghamshire and isn't shy, we're confident she'll be holding her own against other entrepreneur candidates click on the video below....

The apprentice bio

Elizabeth describes herself as a "slightly bonkers country girl" and has a love of dogs and horses. She is a hands on practical person and will have a go at doing any job. 

She thinks her killer business instincts mean she’s good at making snap decisions, she says what she thinks and shoots from the hip.

She says: “My big feet are good for two things; getting me into trouble as they’re as big as my mouth and I constantly get them stuck in it, but...they also kick butt."

The real Elizabeth

We spoke to Elizabeth and got the inside story; cutting away from the slant that media loves to portray we're pleased to share that Elizabeth is a very genuine individual that is truly passionate about our industry.  We are all keen to have consumers appreciate that we don't just play with flowers' - that we are skilled professionals with business acumen and Elizabeth's appearance on the apprentice is a fabulous platform to illustrate this to the UK. 

The primetime tv show that has an anticipate audience of 5.5 million live viewer (excluding catch -up etc.) will see that as Elizabeth put it so well "Florists are serious business people, we're just lucky enough to work in a creative industry"

Elizabeth is a florist through and through, it's been her trade since she left school at 16 year old, the business plan that has been read by Lord Sugar's team is based on a floristry proposal - let's just reflect on this a moment; a floristry related business plan has been taken seriously enough to enable Elizabeth to be included in this years line up, we know all too well we're serious about business, but to have this endorsed is fabulous for the industry.

As well as a BFA member business, Elizabeth sits on the Trailblazer apprenticeship Industry panel led by Sandie Griffith training and education director, where she (along with all the panel members) gives her guidance and suggestions to ensure the new apprenticeship is ideal for businesses and apprentices alike.

Speaking about The Apprentice

So much is currently top secret, so we will keep you posted with more information as we can all 'let the cat out of the bag' and disscuss more about the show. However, when we asked Elizabeth to tell us about the experience, without hesitation she said "It's the most rewarding experinece of my life" continuing - "I'd like to extend my thanks to all my team who made it possible for me to step away from the businesses to for the process".

About Elizabeth the Florist

Elizabeth McKenna is the owner of Flowers by Susan - her middle name is Susan.  She describes herself as a potty mad florist from Nottingham. 

Elizabeth been working away in my flower stores in West Bridgford, Nottingham and Southwell, Nottinghamshire since she bought Flowers by Susan in 1997.  Leading a team of highly skilled florists, Elizabeth is quick to point out "Flowers by Susan is a team effort."

More about Elizabeth

Born in Australia, Elizabeth hase lived in the UK since 1991. Her mum is from Leicestershire in Elizabeth's words "she was a £10 pom" (a term used by Australian's to describe Brits who migrated to Australia after the Second World War, following the Government of Australia initiated the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme in 1945.)

Elizabeth trained at Brooksby College, Leicestershire, qualifying in 1997. My first business was called Busy Lizzies, which I set up in Shepshed, Leicestershire at when I was 19 supported by the Princes Trust. Since then she has worked as a florist in all manner areas floral, trained and worked as a floristry lecturer and as an apprenticeship trainer, and to the question.... Elizabeth answers "Yes, we have an apprentice!"

I'm sure we can all relate to Elizabeth's words of "Life in the flower shop can get a little potty, I am a bit bonkers, but that’s the fun of it. There is always something happening." 

We're backing Elizabeth... #FloristFTW

18 candidate begin the series how far will Elizabeth get in the process? - well, that remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure.... We're backing her all the way!


[FTW - For the win]

Florismart - Eurofleurs main sponsor

Florismart are the main sponsors for Eurofleurs, powered by Florint, taking place from Friday 15th September to Monday 18th September. The event only takes place once every four years, and is the equivalent of the Olympics for young and upcoming florists under the age of 25 years.

Eurofleurs is one of the most dynamic floristry competitions in the world, and Florismart is extremely proud to be a part of the event. There are two parts to the weekend. The Eurofleurs competition, and the young florist conference. Florismart is the main sponsor for both.

Florismart has a massive focus on education. They aren’t just about selling flowers. Louisa Cooper is representing the UK in the competition, and Florismart has sponsored her training in the run up to the event.

Louisa commented: “I am so looking forward to competing in Eurofleurs. To be able to represent my country and the British Floristry Association in an international competition is so exciting and such an honour. "

“The support for this competition had been terrific, from the BFA being there every step of the way, to Florismart sponsoring the amazing flowers and Tina Parkes for her brilliant tuition and guidance.”

Tina Parkes from the Academy of Floral Art has helped Louisa prepare and train for the competition. Louisa spent three days with Tina, in which they played with the brief and got creative with the flowers that Florismart had sent for them to use.

Commenting on the time she spent with Louisa, Tina said: “We deconstructed Louisa’s brief, and I really made her think outside of the box. It’s so important to spend time like this with young competitors, as without training and experience you are on a back foot compared with other countries."

“Florismart paid for all the amazing flowers we used over those three days, and without that I wouldn’t have been able to help in the same way,” Tina finished.

This is what Florismart is so passionate about, helping our young florists’ progress and get better at what they do. Without this vital funding, they wouldn’t receive the necessary training for the UK to be a serious competitor at international events such as EuroFleurs.

Steve France, CEO of Florismart, commented: “Florismart is one of the few companies in the Industry with the vision to realise that if we don’t invest in training and education, we’re in danger of losing everything. We are so proud to sponsor Eurofleurs, and we are also a massive supporter and promotor of our trade associations. We contribute heavily to their cause, and sponsor thousands of pounds of flowers to schools and colleges around Europe to help young florists develop.

“Without trade associations such as the BFA in the UK, the FDF in Germany and the VBW in the Netherlands, our florists would have no one to organise competitions such as this, and so why would young people want to become part of an Industry in which they can’t grow and develop their skills?

“Knowledge is power. The more florists know about their Industry and their skill, the more empowered they are to run successful floristry businesses, and that is at the core of what Florismart stands for.”

Florismart is an independent platform for professional florists to buy their flowers, run their businesses and keep connected with the Industry. 

“We’re working with colleges and trade associations to help improve curriculums to include information about buying flowers correctly online. It’s very different to seeing the flowers, and so students need to be prepared when they graduate. We continue this education on our Florismart Facebook Group and in our Online Magazine, as there’s florists that have got all their qualifications but are moving from buying from local wholesalers, to buying online, and they need guidance too.”

Florismart is revolutionary in so many ways. We at the BFA are delighted with the support they give to the association and British florists.

New Covent Garden Market unveils rebrand

New Covent Garden Market unveils rebrand and new website

New Covent Garden Market, London’s original and finest fresh food market, has announced a landmark rebrand.

The market’s refreshed look is indicative of other physical and structural work being undertaken to ensure its traders and customers enjoy the benefits of bespoke designed spaces and the latest technology.

In April this year when the Flower Market at New Covent Garden Market relocated to a new home along Nine Elms Lane, passers-by would have caught a glimpse of the new logo taking pride of place on the side of the new building (see below).

The rebrand features emoji-stylised graphics of flowers, fruits and vegetables, nodding to the exceptional quality produce that the site is known for playing home to. The designs are bold, minimal and contemporary, breathing new life into a beloved London institution.

Alastair Owen, Communications Manager at New Covent Garden Market, said: “While we’re working on creating better, more modern buildings for the market, we also wanted to step back and see if there were other things we could do better too. While our previous branding has served us well, we felt it no longer represented today’s market, nor the ambitions for tomorrow. Our fresh look is modern, friendly and well-aligned with the new market we’re creating, mirroring what the market is: London’s home of fresh.”


Some of the market's previous logos.

I'ts not only the logo and building that have had recent attention, the website has been relaunched with a cleaner look and mechanics that should provide an easier customer experience, whether accessed by mobile, tablet or desktop. The new site features beautiful visuals of flowers, fruit and fresh produce, as well as profiling its traders and hosting a blog providing monthly seasonal updates, in-depth product profiles and industry insights.

European Young Florist Conference



What's it all about?

Floristry is changing rapidly. It has been over the past decade, and will be transforming even more in the foreseeable future. We believe the key to understanding the next 20 odd years and this rapidly developing new market, is understanding those who already live through and help change it: the young florists of today.

That’s why Florint and partners Smithers-Oasis and Florismart are coming together to organise the European Young Florist Conference this year. Alongside our European Championship for Young Florists, Eurofleurs 2017, in Sint Truiden - Belgium. What better occasion is there, after all?

Who'll be there?

The conference will bring together 15 outspoken florists between the ages of 22-30, so we can discuss with them their views of floristry in detail. The problems they face, and the opportunities they see. The business, and the consumer. The good and the bad. In short: the real ins and outs of what makes them tick.

This discussion will prove to be extraordinarily relevant for many in the industry. Anybody who grasps the importance of understanding the younger generation of florists. Anybody who cares to challenge his/her own expectations, and anybody who wants to be a step ahead of the competition in being ready for the future.

Who's representing the UK?

We at the BFA were asked by the organisers Florint, to send two representatives with expenses paid.  The florists had to:  Work in a flower shop, events company, or even better, be a business owner, be between the age of 24 - 30 and work in a BFA Member Florist Business or an IoPF Member? 

Unsuprisingly we had a great response and were contacted by many fantastic eligable young florists. Due to the high standard of applicants we contacted the organisers Florint, and they agreed that we could send 3 florists!

After careful selection we're delighted that Gena Smethurst from Gallery Flowers, Hannah Stracey from Pic Me Florist and Emma McDonald from Stems will be traveling to St. Truiden, Belgium on the 15th September to take part in the conference and enjoy the Eurofleurs competition where they can cheer on Louisa Cooper who'll be flying the flag for the UK in this amazing competition which takes place once every 4 years and will be a sight to behold.

Who else will be at the conference?

This discussion will prove to be extraordinarily relevant for many in the industry. Anybody who grasps the importance of understanding the younger generation of florists. Anybody who cares to challenge his or her own expectations. And anybody who wants to be a step ahead of the competition in being ready for the future. 

And this can include you! you can attend the event and join in, for free. It’s a remarkable opportunity. Unfortunately it won't be all expenses paid, but still well worth attending!

Seasonal Wedding Flowers September - October


The September - October issue of the Wedding Flowers and Accessories magazine is OUT NOW!

The third issue where we have compiled the popular 'SEASONAL FLOWER PAGES'. We, at the BFA have a great working relationship with the magazine and are delighted to make the selection each season, it's a great chance to promote the BFA to consumer - because that promotes YOU the professional Florist.

And here's the inside knowledge! We wanted to share with you the list that will appear in the magazine sold in countless outlets nationwide.

All the flowers have been checked with leading experts, growers and distributors to ensure their availability throughout this 'seasonal period'.  

  • Sunflowers
  • Dahlia
  • Amranthus
  • Berries: Hypericum, Raspberries, Rosehips, Snowberries
  • Craspedia
  • Nerines
  • Hydrangea (classic)

As you can see the BFA logo is a promenant part of the page.  Do you have your membership decal in the window? On you website? On wedding documents? Email footers? The logo can be downloaded from the member area.

Public recognition of the BFA is constantly growing, ensure you use this to your best advantage! and if you're not a member - well, what's stopping you? CLICK HERE and join now!

Favourite Flower Campaign 2017

#Favouriteflower campaign - The campaign in 2017

Following on from last years success, the flower council of Holland will be running the favourite flower campaign again this autumn - starting in the first week of October.
With the aim of raising the profile of the Favourite Flower concept. We will keep you informed about the development of the campaign. We expect to be able to share more information with you at the start of September.

The #Favouriteflower campaign from isn't just a campaign to run in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, as it did last year, new in 2017 the campaign runs in France and Germany for the first time too.

The campaign highlights the fact that gifting a favourite flower adds more value. Because with someone’s favourite flowers you’re not only gifting fabulous flowers, but with them they also carry love and memories. Our new campaign focuses on the stories behind favourite flowers. 


We all know that giving flowers is even more special when the flowers sent are the reciepients 'Favourite Flower'. Flowers are an emotional gift, responsible for beautiful reactions that triggers happiness.


Hashtag stories

There’s a story behind every favourite flower. Stories full of beautiful, loving or sad moments and memories. With the #Favouriteflower hashtag stories the flower council of Holland will brought fantastic, moving and sometimes controversial stories around favourite flowers to life. They thereby literally demonsted their promise that it’s ‘funny how flowers do that’. The style of photography, the tone of the stories and the fact that this had never previously been done this way made this a contemporary campaign which offers innumerable options. They used short videos and multiple striking images. Every message contains a different story combined with a focus on the associated favourite flower. 

Large-scale campaign 

The campaign enjoyed optimum visibility in the the UK between 11 and 29 October. The campaign developed across the media on a large scale: video networks such as YouTube, social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but also advertisements in magazines and eye-catching messages on the street as well as advertising posters inside London Underground (Tube), and railway train carriages.  Press communication and large-scale PR events involving a big experiential event across London on the final campaign day - all encouraged media and other influencers like bloggers and vloggers to cover the message, as well as giving the public the opportunity to participate and explore their favourite flowers and to share their own #stories. This will brought flowers as the ideal gift to the attention of our primary target groups.

Linking up with the campaign

In 2016 you had the fantastic opportunity to download and use the A3 posters that were available for you to use on your shop floors and windows: Did you make the most of the opportunity? - will you this time?

When speaking about last years campaign UK Marketing Manager, Chanel de Kock at the Flower Council said “We keep pushing the boundaries to engage with our two main consumer target groups who live in a digital world, and the campaign was developed with exactly that in mind. We want people to share their own stories behind their favourite flower while getting our main message across. Our campaign will also end with a big floral splash across London, but I can’t reveal more on that right now.”

No doubt the campagin in 2017 will supass the success of last year and build on the momentum it produced.  

We have no doubt as with last year there will be so much publicity given to this campaign.  It makes so much sense to use the material in your own business and carry through the message to your own clients. 

We'll bring you more information as it becomes available, but make a note to get involved!

RHS Tatton Park 2017




RHS Tatton Park Flower show took place18th - 22nd July, it is one of the best loved events in the gardening calendar and see's the second of the two heats of the Future florist competitions.

The competition is set to find the best future florists training in colleges from around the UK - Tatton Park has seen the final heat competition in 2017, with the first heat taking part at Hampton Court. The Eight colleges across two heats are competing for one of four places in the final contest at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2018 to win the title of the to win RHS Floristry College. To read more about the 2017 finals CLICK HERE.


This years Schedule is to create a fantasy bug - no smaller than 1x1m along with an accompanying object that compliments the bug that needed to be between 30x30cm - 50x50cm.  The bug could be brought to the event already made but the second item had to be created within the staging time given 6 hours. As the backdrop and base of the exhibit were judged as part of the overall display attention to detail throughout the exhibit was paramount!


As the name of the competition suggests this competition is aimed at the students! Four designers can work on the design - but this includes the tutor and whilst they can coordinate and verbally lead an exhibit as a project the design, advance preparation and on sie work must be the students own! 

Reaseheath University Centre Win Silver!

Our congratulations go to BFA Member college Reaseheath level 3 Floristry team, who were awarded a Silver medal for their their fabulous creations.  

As Fiona Davies explained "This journey started back in February and all 8 members have been 100% committed, putting in hours and hours of hard work." However the work went beyond the floristry department Fiona went onto say "Big thanks to Reaseheath engineering who have also been brilliant- Justin as well as Barry and Kit who turned the team's vision into reality"


Bishop Burton win silver Medal!

The second medal winner of the competition, with Silver and RHS Tatton Park Future Florist 2017 title are Bishop Burton College.


  Their colourful spider and web designs gave them the top spot in this closely fought competition.


All competitors throughout both heats now have to wait until August before hearing if they've been successful at securing their spot at the final Future Florist Competition at the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower show in May 2018. 

To see more on the 2017 Future Florist college competition CLICK HERE

RHS Hampton Court 2017



RHS Hampton Court Place Flower show took place earlier in July, it is one of the best loved events in the gardening calendar and see's the start of the Future florist competitions.

The competition is set to find the best future florists training in colleges from around the UK - Hampton courts see the first competition in 2017 another competition is taking place at RHS Tatton Park Flower Show (which we'll report on soon). The Eight colleges across two heats are competing for one of four places in the final contest at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2018 to win the title of the to win RHS Floristry College. To read more about the 2017 finals CLICK HERE.

Capel Manor College take the top spot!

Our congratulations go to BFA Member college Capel Manor and the fantastic Capel’s floristry students, who were awarded Silver-gilt and Best in Show for their intricate exhibit.  

The design incorporated a ‘super bee’ with goggles to emphasise the fantasy theme, Bugs and Beasties. Designed by Level 3 student Leaha Meale, the exhibit was constructed of flora elements sitting on a daisy of mixed flowers.

The over-sized bee brings to the forefront the importance and protection of bees in our environment today. The bee will now be on tour and displayed at two of the college sites at the Enfield and Gunnersbury Park college centres over the summer.


Writtle University College win a Silver Medal

An exhibit of fantastical bugs made from fresh flowers and plants has scooped a silver medal for BFA Member college Writtle University College at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Our congratulations go to everyone involved both for their medal and their design.

Further Education students and staff created The Enchanted Forest exhibit.  Elaine Thackray, FE Floristry Lecturer, said: “To say we are delighted is an understatement as the standard from the three other colleges was unbelievable. The students and staff worked hard over seven full days to prepare the exhibit and then it took six hours to build at the Show.”

Writtle University College’s exhibit took inspiration from nature to create an ethereal ambience. Floral foam was hand carved to create a bug and a tree man’s face. Materials - succulents, chrysanthemums, echinops, eryngium and different mosses - were selected for their variety of texture and forms whilst considering their longevity for the duration of the Show.


The team – including Level 2 and Level 3 Floristry students - paid attention to every surface of the exhibit, incorporating planting pockets for ferns into the tree man’s beard. There was even a surprise under the toadstool – fairy lights and insects made of floral materials.


Hadlow College add another medal to thier haul.

BFA College Members Hadlow college won a bronze medal with their design, they showcased a paradise for a fantasy bug by providing the essential elements for life; food water and shelter.

Students – Linda Pope, Jasmine Pope, Yasmine Millen & Ruth Pope


Tracy Benton lecturer at the college explained "Longevity and contrasts of form and textures have been a priority and have enabled us to depict a stylised floral bug within a setting that he would be happy to live in."

Scabiosa seedheads, Hypericum “Cool Romance”, Leucadendron “Safari Sunset” bracts and Salix caprea, Asparagus setaceus, Rubus tricolour and Danae racemosa are among some key plant materials forming the insects.

Lunaria annua have been layered to make the iridescent bug wings and the fluffy Asparagus suggests the fine hairy parts of the bugs legs.

All the colleges now have to wait to August to hear whether they have scored highly enough to gain a place in the final competition at RHS Chelsea Flower Show next year.


The Academy of Floristry's Bugs and Beasties

The Academy of Floristry decided not to enter the College competition this year but to enter the small, professional floristry exhibit again, this is the third year the competition has been run and the Academy of Floristry based in Bournemouth has entered, and the third time they have been awarded a gold medal - congratulations to you all!

As with the college competitions the theme was 'Bugs and Beasties' Sara-Maire Andrews explains "We were delighted, once again, to be awarded a Gold Medal."  

The designs which were created by tutors and L4 and L5 students illustrated a whole range of different techniques, showcasing the skills of qualified florists.

The bugs and beasties included were: Dragonfly, caterpillar, spider, beetle, ladybird, butterfly, bumble bee and snail unsurprisingly the design attracted a lot of interest from the visiting public.

World of Flowers 2017


The World of Flowers

The World of Flowers aims to inspire florists (and all other visitors) from all over the world by sharing the latest innovations and trends, with three days of competition, inspiration, workshops and networking.

A well-established and growing Trade Fair where over 250 exhibitors will be showcasing an extensive array of related products and services to more than 15,000 visitors from the international Green Sector.

World of Flowers is part of the  International Floriculture and Horticulture Trade Fair (IFTF) in Vijfhuizen, the Netherlands, that runs 8 - 10 November 2017Located in a modern and light atmosphere, the IFTF ( is easily accessible and offers good facilities. During the same week, other fairs and open houses are being organised to welcome local and international visitors, showing a variety of innovations, concepts, flowers and plants.

The World of Trends

Created within the heart of the World of Flowers is the novel World of Trends. This new addition establishes the next step in this fourth edition of the event. Here, you will find a whole new world of trends and inspiration, and professional assistance in making the connection between trends and the application thereof in your business.

This exciting addition makes it even more worthwhile to come and visit the IFTF in November.

Wim Hazelaar Trophy

12 international florists will compete for the Wim Hazelaar Trophy during two days of the fair. They will work on 7 assignments using products made available to them on the spot, challenging the competitors on creativity, flexibility and craftsmanship.

The trophy is named after Wim Hazelaar – a Dutch floral artist and world champion known for making creations out of materials made available to him on the spot – and is organised for the second time within the World of Flowers.

For more information on the competition including how to enter CLICK HERE

Workshops and presentations

 Throughout the fair, various workshops and presentations will be given on current and future trends, craftmanship, developments and fun activities. This will strengthen the connection between trends, florists, producers, products and companies.

Pre-registration will start during Summer 2017.

 Florist Lounge

Meet Florint, the International Florist Association (, and numerous florists in a relaxed and inspiring atmosphere. Take a load off your feet in the comfy lounge, and recharge your creativity by exchanging ideas with experts in your own field, drawing inspiration to give your enterprise a refreshing boost forward.

florist lounge

International Floriculture Trade Fair (IFTF)

The 8th edition of the International Floriculture Trade Fair (IFTF) Expo will be held in 2017 from Wednesday November 8th to Friday November 10th in Expo Haarlemmermeer in Vijfhuizen. It will be the industry wide event serving all segments of the Floriculture & Horticulture industry chain.

IFTF found an excellent home base 6 years ago in Expo Haarlemmermeer, a building designed and especially built as a state-of-the-art greenhouse for the Floriade 2002. Situated in the town of Vijfhuizen and close to Aalsmeer, where the FloraHolland Flower Auction is located hosting its own trade show the FloraHolland trade fair for their members, IFTF is here being yearly organized. A beautiful venue that currently has 34.000 m² exhibition space and which can be easily extended with another 14.000 m², making it a total of 48.000 m² potential available exhibition space.

Wim Hazelaar Trophy

Your chance to compete for the  Wim Hazelaar Trophy at World of Flowers, IFTF.

Would you like to be compete along with the best international Florists for the Wim Hazelaar Trophy, showcasing your skills at the heart of the International trade fair 'World of Flowers'

About the competition

The organisers of the Wim Hazelaar Trophy are inviting international florists, floral arrangers and floral artists to register for the competition. In total 12 participants can enter the competition, which comprises of 7 assignments in two days.

The competition is for participants with experience. People without education or still in training would not be suitable and not accept. It is hoped the participants will inspire their colleagues visiting the World of Flowers.

Preparation in advance is not required, as the participants will work with products made available by the organisers. To work with only the directly available products was the prime competence of the late champion florist Wim Hazelaar.

As a participant in the competition, you have to show your qualities to the international visitors and you will be judged by high-quality floral judges. 


8th and 9th November 2017


The Wim Hazelaar Trophy is integrated into the World of Flowers. The World of Flowers offers competition, inspiration, concepts, workshops, presentation and connection to new (floral) developments. And you can be part of this! For more information:

How to enter or find out more information

Registration is now open, the closing date for registration is 12th August. Following this date the finalist will be decided and the candidates will be notified.

Are you interested in participating? Send your Curriculum Vitea (maximum 2 pages) and 5 pictures of recent work to Ruud Hazelaar email:

More about the Competition and Trophy

Wim Hazelaar (1943-2016) was the winner of many Dutch Championships over the years and Winner of the Fleurop World Cup (1982). To remember his work and creativity his nephew and flower artists Ruud Hazelaar has organized the ‘Wim Hazelaar trophy’ competition. 

About the 2016 Competition

Karin Pasman won the Wim Hazelaar trophy in 2016. Karin was totally surprised when announced as the winner after the competition on Thursday at the IFTF World of Flowers 2016. Karin was very proud of her trophy, she can cherish the Mobach Ceramics vase for a year. Also Karin received a cheque for € 250 from Chris Martens (Smithers Oasis Benelux). Dennis Lanzaat and Joyce Brueren were second and third.

Organiser Ruud Hazelaar was very pleased with the 2016 Wim Hazelaar trophy competition. The participants were a mixed group which competed together over two days. They worked hard on the given assignments and beautiful pieces were made. The participants had to make an Advent wreath and an oasis heart. They also had to make a piece with the hazelaar (Corylus). The participants were able to use the sponsored materials from Adomex, Marginpar, Queens Flower and Your Lily.

The IFTF fair with its international audience was a great opportunity to organize this competition. Many visitors have visited the location of the participants in Hall C and had a conversation with one or more participants. 


Introducing Customised Sachets from Chrysal


Getting noticed and getting your name “out there” is critical in today’s highly competitive market. 

That’s why Chrysal have recently introduced their Customised Sachets costing from as little as 10 pence a sachet – a small price to pay to have your beautiful designs last up to 60% longer versus water alone!  Minimum order quantities are low too at just 2,000 sachets, and have an 18 month shelf life. 

The sachets are produced in the trust-worthy Chrysal Universal powder formulation for one litre of water and are suitable for use with all cut flowers.

Whether it be your business logo or a special event you wish to promote such as Valentines or Mother’s Day, Chrysal customised sachets give you the option. What's more all you need to do is send your artwork to the team at chrysal and they'll do the rest for you.  Later in the year, following some final fine-tuning there will be an online tool which offers templates to select or if you have something more specific in mind, the freedom to let your imagination run wild. If you'd like to place your order you can contact the Chrysal UK office on 0113 3074050 or email

New Covent Garden Markets Trade Open Day

Look round the biggest flower market in the UK at

New Covent Garden Market’s Trade Open Day


On Wednesday 28 June, BFA Members New Covent Garden Market are holding a Trade Open Day at its new Flower Market, for trade and businesses only.


Florists and flower businesses can look round the biggest Flower Market in the UK and meet 20 wholesalers. See New Covent Garden Market’s new Flower Hall that’s bright, modern and jam-packed with flowers, plants, foliage and floral sundries. Experience the beauty, the buzz and, of course, the banter.

If you are already a Flower Market customer, you can join the market and its traders for a special Flower Market day.



New Covent Garden Market is creating a cinema in the Flower Market for one morning only. Here, they’ll be screening their new short documentary film that captures the move to the new Flower Market and features many of the market community. The people, the stories, the feelings. Watch it all unfold. Pop in anytime during the Open Day.


Visitors can enjoy a free drink and snack on the morning. Market’s are best explored on a full stomach.


During the Open Day, it’s free entry and parking for all vehicles.


Wednesday 28 June 2017
04:00 to 10:00 (with some wholesalers open till 13:00)


Flower Market, New Covent Garden Market, London, SW8 5BH


If you have any questions, please contact New Covent Garden Market on or call 020 7501 3495.

Wedding Flowers magazine seasonal flowers


The next issue of the Wedding Flowers and Accessories magazine will be for June and July.  We at the BFA are delighted to continue our working relationship with the magazine and compile the popular 'SEASONAL FLOWER PAGES'.

We wanted to share with you the list that will appear in the magazine sold in countless outlets nationwide.

All the flowers have been checked with leading experts, growers and distributors to ensure their availability throughout this 'seasonal period'.  

  • Lisianthus
  • Agapanthus
  • Roses
  • Echeveria/succulents
  • Sweet peas
  • Hydrangea
  • Corn flower
  • Clematis
  • Ammi visnaga
  • Lilies

If you missed the previous issue's pages, here they are;

Once we have the artwork through for the current issue we will share it with you.

As you can see the BFA logo is a promenant part of the page.  Do you have your membership decal in the window? On you website? On wedding documents? Email footers? The logo can be downloaded from the member area.

Public recognition of the BFA is constantly growing, ensure you use this to your best advantage!

Mother’s Day Survey Results 2017

Mother’s Day Survey Results

Thank you to everyone that took the time to enter our survey for Valentine’s Day. It makes really interesting reading.

Below is a brief summary of the results.

How did your 2017 Mother's Day sales compare to those last year?

32.6 % of our florists had a slight increase in comparison to previous years where there was a significant increase. The comparison between the significant and the slight was however only 6% difference. Not enough to cause a panic.

A similar answer on the 2nd question, where ‘’How did your footfall on Mother's Day compare with last year?’’ and once again the answer was, the same as last year rather than greater than last year. Only a 3% difference between the two questions.

The next is the interesting part, because once again the relay orders do seem to have fallen in comparison to your websites, with significant less incoming relay orders than last year. When we follow this with ‘How did the number of online orders from your own website compare to last year? Is a resounding increase with a total of 42% saying yes it had increased. Rather worrying is the 32 % said it was not applicable.

What is really amazing is how blooming good florists are at getting their numbers right. A huge 67.4% accurately estimated that they predicted the demand correctly. This simply because of the skill and experience florist have in handling the peak periods.

Based on the high prices most florist had during Mother’s Day, not one person decreased their prices over MD, 46.67 increased them and 53.33 % kept the same as last year.

The trend we keep on finding is that 58% of the florists in our survey found that the orders were placed in the last 2 days leading up to MD. Having a crystal ball would be good, so considering that most people accurately predicted the demand, this is really good. Do some people have a crystal ball?

Question 8, grab and go, was mixed a bag as you can see from the results.

The last question shows that 35.48% were satisfied with MD. It’s always good to have bit more business.  One florist added- ‘’ had two people steal flowers from outside my shop. I posted to Facebook and within an hour my shop went crazy!’’.


Q1: How did your 2017 Mother's Day sales compare to those last year?


Q2: How did your footfall on Mother's Day compare with last year?


Q3: How did the number of incoming relay orders compare to last year?


Q4: How did the number of online orders from your own website compare to last year?


Q5: Overall, how accurately did you predict the demand in your shop this year?


Q6: How did your selling prices on Mother's Day 2017 compare to last year?


Q7: When were the majority of your customer orders placed?


Q8: What percentage of sales were grab and go impulse purchases that you had ready for customers


Q9: Overall, on a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied were you with Mother's Day 2017? Where 1 is very satisfied and 5 is very dissatisfied.


Academy of Floral Art training of a different sort

Devon’s Academy of Floral Art brought Poltimore into bloom for the
first ever Poltimore Flower Festival

·      Poltimore House brought to life for a weekend of floral design
·      45 floristry students of the Academy of Floral Art past and present participated
·      £4500 raised for the Poltimore Trust

Over St George’s Day weekend, hundreds of flower enthusiasts visited Poltimore House just outside Exeter for the first ever Poltimore Flower Festival. Dozens of stunning floral designs staged throughout the Grade II listed property by 45 students past and present of Devon’s acclaimed Academy of Floral Art brought Poltimore House to life.
“It was such a real privilege for us to bring Poltimore into bloom for St George’s Day,” said Julie Collins, one of the two Principal of The Academy of Floral Art. “At the Academy of Floral Art, we are always seeking out valuable design experiences for our students, and it was wonderful to showcase their creative floristry in such a raw and romantic location as Poltimore House, our local historic landmark.”
The florists from the Academy of Floral Art worked with the Club of the Exe to decorate a number of rooms in Poltimore House such as the entrance hallway, which the florists filled with chairs of all shapes and sizes, each dressed with fresh flowers and foliage to reflect the grand hallway’s former use as a reception room.
In the Music Room, the team designed a specially commissioned floral harp frame and a dressed a music book with trailing stems of fresh foliage. The Tudor courtyard and its spiral staircase inspired the florists to create a Knot Garden with a St George’s dragon of foliage, a floral fountain and an archway, whilst in the Drawing Room where the Treaty of Exeter was signed, the florists reconstructed the volume in flowers.
Meanwhile, in the old Operating Theatre left from Poltimore’s time as hospital (1945-1975), the florists adopted a playful, scientific approach, displaying flowers in petri dishes, labelling test tubes with the botanical names of the flowers, and presenting displays in cages and in jars.

Co-founder and Principle of the Academy of Floral Art will be one of the masterclass tutors at this years BFA FleurEx, to find out more about why this is an unmissable event and the other two incredible top tutors, click the links below.

Administrative Professionals Day

 Administrative Professionals Day - April 26

Administrative Professionals' Day (also known as Secretaries' Day or Admin Day) is a day observed annually.  The day recognizes the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists, and other administrative support professionals. 

Yes, it is very popular in the states and many other countries, no, the UK isn't really one that recognises it too widely at the moment, however that's not to say that we, as florist businesses throughout the UK can't offer a service to the companies that we deal with and are in our local vacinity.....

Marketing to Administrative Professionals

We've heard of a great idea that we're confident you can borrow, and whilst we don't expect you to gain orders from all of the corrospondence you send out, we'd be shocked if you didn't receive some interest!

Also don't forget the importance of 'touching base' with these companies, this way you remind them 'we're here' and when they do need flower, they'll recall you.

The great idea to market the day for FREE!!

Send out creative emails that playfully goad business leaders into buying, you could write something along the lines of....

“If you already rewarded your administrative professionals with an extra week of paid holiday and an all-expenses-paid trip to the south of France, then read no further. But if you haven’t done that, then maybe flowers would make a great way for you to express your appreciation for your valued employees.”

Send out the emails to corporate clients as well as companies you network with. Heck, why not go for it and contact banks, insurance companies and other corporations with lots of helper employees – you could offer a special discount for a large order to a single location. 

Whilst the day isn't so popular in the UK sometimes bosses do want to express their gratitude, you may even find some are greatful for the opportunity!

We'd like to thank Kay Cross, from 'Flowers Naturally' in Westfield, New Jersey for her idea.

More about the day.

The "suits" may come and go ...

... but for so many companies it's the professional expertise of secretaries, administrative assistants, and receptionists who keep the engines running everywhere — from small business offices to the upper reaches of multinational corporations.

The role of secretaries and executive assistants have been recognized since the end of World War II, when industry boomed in the early 1950's. Jobs were also plentiful, as women were called upon to take on the role as assistants to the new captains of industry. Today, their role has become increasingly important to day-to-day operations of companies worldwide.

While Bosses Day is fixed to October 16 every year, Secretary's Day changes, it's celebrated on Wednesday in the fourth week of April during Administrative Professionals Week! a week that again is more recognised in the US than the UK.

Worldwide in the modern workplace, new titles such as Administrative Assistant and Executive Assistant represent a legion of women - and men - who are highly skilled and educated. Far from just possessing the stereotypical "interpersonal and communications skills", admins are responsible for office duties ranging from expert computer troubleshooting to managing new hires, one of the reasons the name was changed from secretaries day, as it was previously know.

Dates for following years

2017 Wednesday April 26th
2018 Wednesday April 25th
2019 Wednesday April 24th
2020 Wednesday April 22nd


BFA in wedding flower magazine


Earlier in the year we shared the fantastic news that the BFA are working with THE Wedding Flower magazine and will be sharing our expertise and featured in each of their magazines and working together!

We're delighted to have formed a good relationship and working with the Wedding Flowers & Accessories magazine - the UK's only magazine dedicated to wedding flowers, one of the few magazines that have seen the sales of their hardcopy continue to  increase!

In their latest issue we have creating the content for their very popular seasonal guide pages that go into each issue.  We have spoken with experts in Holland to ensure that each flower we feature is available to florists throughout the 2 months of the magazine issue.


Featured in this issue May June issue which went on sale 13th April are:

  • Lily of the valley
  • Peony
  • Calla lillies
  • Antirrhinum
  • Astilbe
  • Delphinium
  • Brodea
  • Astrantia
  • Alchemilla

As can be seen from the image above the BFA Logo is clearly shown to all the readers - make sure your BFA member logo is prominently positioned in your window and on your website, stationary etc. so brides can make the connection from our work in magazine. To read more about this CLICK HERE and see our full article

BFA Exhibit at RHS Chelsea

British Florist Association to mark its 100th anniversary with floral feature at the

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 

  • 6000 fresh cut flowers to be used to create a 2.5m high ‘100’ feature
  • The British Florist Association is the voice of the independent florist
  • The back wall will showcase portraits of pioneering British florists past and present

The British Florist Association is proud to announce that it will be creating a floral stand feature at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this May as a highlight of its 100th anniversary celebrations.

The stand ‘The British Florist Association at 100’ will be staged in the heart of the floristry zone of Chelsea’s Great Pavilion, and has been designed by floristry students at BFA Member College, Moreton Morell in Warwickshire, led by its award-winning tutors Jane Benefield and Laura Leong.

“What better way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the British Florist Association than at Chelsea, the world’s greatest flower show?” said Brian Wills-Pope, Chair of the BFA. “The British Florist Association has always been the voice of the independent florist, and Chelsea is an extraordinary showcase of the best of professional floral design. This year, we are not only organising the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year final and heats in partnership with the RHS for the 8th year in succession, but we will also have our own floral feature as a platform to share our passion for floristry with a wider audience.”

To the front of the stand will be a colossal freestanding number ‘100’ some 2.5 metres high, decorated with over 6000 fresh cut flowers in eye-catching, vibrant shades of pink, orange and green. Visitors will be able to look through the giant circles of flowers onto the future of floristry: the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year competition. Taking pride of place amidst the of fascinating archive photographs on the back wall of the stand - showcasing florists, florist shops and floral styles of the past century - will be the original wooden ‘Presidents’ Board’ of the founding flower trades organisation.

The BFA is grateful to eFlorist and to Florismart for their generous sponsorship.

About the British Florist Association

The BFA is the voice of the independent florist. Founded in 1917, the British Florist Association is currently the only trade body representing the UK’s 7000 independent florist businesses to both government and consumers. The BFA publishes the UK’s only printed trade florist magazine, organises the UK’s only florist industry conference, the UK’s only trade show for florists, as well as nationwide networking and education activities and high-profile floristry competitions including the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, UK Florist of the Year at BBC Gardeners’ World Live and the WorldSkillsUK floristry heats.

The History of the British Florist Association

The first recorded industry trade body for the British cut flower industry was established back in 1917. Called the British Flower Marketing Association, it was founded by a group of growers, florists and wholesalers at New Covent Garden Flower Market, where the board bearing the names of the association’s presidents is still proudly displayed today.

What we now know as The British Florist Association is one of two organisations that succeeded the British Flower Marketing Association. The BFA was founded in 1948 when a group of florists formed it to lobby against government plans to introduce a tax on funeral flowers. Today’s BFA ran in parallel with its sister body, the British Flower Industry Association (for growers and wholesalers) before taking it over in 1977. Such was the close relationship between the two organisations, that the last BFIA President, Mr Philip Colman, bequeathed a substantial sum to the BFA to ensure its continued work for the floristry industry.

In 1956, the BFA was one of the founder members of Florint (originally FEUPF), which has brought together the national florist associations of more than 20 European countries. In 2010, the British Florist Association acquired the Society of Floristry to become the only floristry trade body, and the voice of the independent florist.

For more information on the BFA's history CLICK HERE

Rhod Gilbert's Work Florist Work Experience



Many will recognise Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert, he's been on numberous TV shows including 'Mock the Week', 'Have I got news for you', '8 out of 10 cats', he's also hosted 'Never mind the Buzzocks' and more recently The apprentice - Your Fired! All that on top of the countless appearances as a comedian (who has won many awards).

Another programme of his that you may have enjoyed is one that Rhod has not only starred in but written, his hugely popular programme Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience which is now on it's 7th series.  The show airs on BBC One in Wales, and BBC2 across the network, after taking on many roles Rhod thought it was about time he turned his hand to floristry!

Rhod was thrown in at the deep end and worked in our industry over Valentines! But his ambitions didn’t stop there – he wanted to get a taste of competitive work and join in the Birmingham Chelsea heat! 

Whilst Rhod explained he came into the industry with no preconceived ideas and admitted “I haven’t given flowers that much thought in my life” however shocked with the volume of work the business dealt with, over Valentine’s 5,460 roses were sold and more than 550 deliveries were done throughout the three branches.

The shop gave Rhod a taste of many roles within the floristry world, but this had to start with the basic – what flowers were silk and which were real! He really couldn’t tell them apart! He received a crash course in conditioning flowers, insight into the purchasing of flowers, went out on deliveries. Perhaps unsurprisingly he was excellent with serving customers, and Alison said “I really think he has a natural ability” as with guidance, he even produced a ‘pretty good’ hand-tie. It wasn’t all plain sailing though, he found the cold conditions an issue and was hopeless at being a tidy worker, and despite his best attempts flower wrapping caused him much frustration and failure!

When speaking about this time Rhod “I can see it’s tremendously hard work with pressured when your busy, but take out the pressure, take out the busyness, stress and all, and it’s actually really therapeutic and relaxing” 

When talking about his experiences Rhod explained “I’ve had a massive conversion, got really into it and really enjoyed it on the retail side, but especially on the competition side – I’ve had a ball, I’ve really got into it!”

Rhod, along with all the competitors had to create a ‘Create a structural arrangement for a wedding being held at the Tate Modern Gallery’

The production team and Rhod came along at 8.30am to start filming before competitors arrived - It was made clear from the very first conversation with the small team working on the show that the competition came first and could not be desrupted by the filming, when we pointed out that competitors take the day very seriously we were reassured as they explained Rhod would too!



Rhod gained confidence as took on the task of creating the competition piece almost entirely unaided – “The idea is mine, and the construction and execution is mine” he came a long way in a little time as he said in his own words – “when I came into this 4 days ago, I couldn’t tell a fake flower from a real one, I’ve come a long way in 4 days’

Speaking with Rhod whilst the judging was taking place he explained “I’m quietly confident” and went onto say “I think I’m going to do alright”. Although he had only seen fellow competitors work in passing at that point his observations were “Some of the standard looks amazing, some of the things look really creative” “It’s interesting that some people have gone quite conceptual, some people have gone quite literal – I’ve gone quiet literal.”

Rhod created a bed with red roses and white chrysanth complete with the newly married couple!  The bamboo bed frame work was balanced on 4 tall vases filled with green cymbidium orchids, giving an overall free-standing design.  Judge - Tracy Tomlinson’s feedback included compliments about the concept and excellent undulation of the red rose duvet, but explained some of the workmanship let him down - along with this his ‘chunky legs’ the disproportionate vases in relation to the rest of the design.  Rhod was thrilled with his total score, a respectable 68 points, but was brought down to size by Tracy as she reprimanded him on the rubbish left in the corner by the side of his design. 

After the announcement of first second and third place – none of which were Rhod! we presented him with an honorary student Institute of professional florist’s certificate –  it was clear that Rhod was quite touched by the gesture.  It was a pleasure to have him with us throughout the day, he was very interested in all the competition pieces taking a good look at each work and chatting with each designer.

RHOD GILBERT'S WORK EXPERIENCE AS A FLORIST - Aired on BBC Wales Friday 31st March and is available now on BBC Iplayer.

The date of airing across the network on BBC 2 is still to be announced.


Previous episodes of the show are available on line CLICK HERE to see more details

Our episode will the final in the series and speaking about the show with Rhod, who is associate Producer on the programme, he stated “after doing this for 7 series we know when we have a good one – and this is going to be a good one, honestly.” 

We’re thrilled that Floristry is getting exposure with prime-time TV coverage again, but what's set's this apart from other shows such as The World's Biggest Flower Market that aired last May, is this time the camera are inside the florist shop! 

A few months back, we at the BFA were contacted by the TV company & producers with the exciting proposition! Rhod worked in BFA Members; Guttridges in Porthcawl, a very busy family run florist business with three branches, over Valentine's, and whilst Alison (third generation florist that helps run the business) initially had reservations, she knew the pros were bound to out-way any cons, and as we all were, was keen to have floristry’s profile raised she was also optimistic that it may inspire viewer to become florists. 

We were pleased to help Rhod's competitive streak come to the fore, when he took on the mantle to compet in the BFA Chelsea Heat competiton in Birmingham. When talking about his experiences Rhod explained “I’ve had a massive conversion, got really into it and really enjoyed it - on the retail side, but especially on the competition side – I’ve had a ball, I’ve really got into it!”

Rhod receiving feedback from the Judge (and BFA Association Manager) Tracy Tomlinson.

One of the reasons the programme has been such a success is the way Rhod throws himself into the role. We saw this on the day of the competition and Alison confirmed this had been the case throughout his time with them - It was fantastic to witness how seriously Rhod took ‘being on the job’.

We still have far more information to share with you and look forward to floristry having more exposure when it airs nationally.  We enjoyed the programme a great deal and were pleased that Floristry and The BFA recieved some great exposure!!

New Covent Garden Flower Market's New Home

A new home and era for the UK’s biggest and only dedicated flower market

Historic move for New Covent Garden’s Flower Market after 43 years


On Monday 3rd April, the Flower Market at New Covent Garden Market - the UK’s biggest, specialist flower and plant hall - headed for a new home. Remaining in Nine Elms, in the heart of London, it relocated half a mile down Nine Elms Lane from its existing site, affording its 21 world-class traders a more inspiring place to sell flowers. The opening hails the start of a new era for this historic market which dates back to 1670, and will ensure the wholesalers continue to flower London for many generations to come.

London’s home of flowers

The Flower Market is at the heart of the floristry industry in the capital and beyond, supplying 75% of London’s florists, from high street retailers to high-end event companies. It is a community where the lives of expert traders and creative florists are intextricably intertwined, who, together, flower London every single day. The market’s flowers dress London’s royal palaces, shops, market stalls, hotels, offices, parties, homes, weddings and funerals.

Its first incarnation was situated in Covent Garden, W1, housed in the market square from 1670 under Charles II’s reign. Then in 1974, the market moved to Nine Elms in SW8, just two miles from Mayfair, four miles from The City and just three miles from its original trading site at ‘Old’ Covent Garden. And on Monday 11th November 1974 the largest wholesale fruit, vegetable and flower market in the UK began trading on the new site.



A smart move

The new Flower Market provides a better home for buying and selling top quality flowers, plants, foliage and sundries from around the world, building on the markets unique position as the UK’s only specialist flower and plant wholesaler. The new building has been designed to give its customers a richer buying experience. Bright lights blend with natural light to make it easier to see each petal in high definition. A simpler layout creates a livelier market with a more vibrant atmosphere. The modern space provides a clean canvas that accentuates the kaleidoscopic colours of the flowers. For the traders, simple, effective logic makes the market work more smoothly and easily for them. And a conditioning system conditions the Flower Hall to a constant 14°C, the perfect temperature for storing flowers.

Pam Alexander, Chair Covent Garden Market Authority, said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer our traders and customers a better, more inspiring space to buy and sell flowers. Our wholesalers’ knowledge, expertise and relationships are the life blood of everything that goes on at the market and we’re hopeful that this new home will help them and their customers to take on new creative challenges and grow their businesses ever further.

“The Flower Market is the first new market building here at New Covent Garden Market. Over the coming five years, we are transforming the whole site into a Brand New Covent Garden Market for our 175 businesses and thousands of customers, and will be creating a new Food Quarter and f