Scented Narcissi may long have been associated with spring, but our climate in the Isles of Scilly, combined with generations of expertise and carefully selected varieties, allows our farmers to grow and supply over 15 million stems of Scented Narcissi each year between September and April. The months in between are spent carefully planning for the next season's crops. One of the main tasks undertaken is the lifting and re-planting of several tonnes of bulbs. This is to ensure the bulbs are given sufficient room to grow in the coming months, and are pest and disease-free, allowing them to produce their finest flowers.
Planting takes place throughout the summer, and little green shoots begin to appear in fields across the islands from late August, indicating the start of the flower season is not very far away. Once the barren rows of soil have been transformed with lush green foliage, each farmer will carefully watch for the best time to begin picking the flowers. When the flowers are ready, picking teams descend on the fields, winding their way through countless rows, supplying a steady supply of these freshly plucked stems. The work can be hard as winters on the islands can be unforgiving at times, but our dedicated pickers are out whatever the weather: sun, wind, or rain.
Each flower is hand-picked with precision and speed, and teams of pickers will create neat, hefty bundles of the vibrant green stems, their flowers still in bud for maximum freshness and the greatest vase life. The flowers are then packed, ready for transporting to the nearby shelter of the farm's tying shed.
Back in the sheds, the flowers are taken from their bundles and carefully sorted by the length of their stems. Once this grading process is complete, the flowers are ready for the next part of their journey; each box is delivered to the main shed on St Mary's - Scented Narcissi HQ!
Once brought to our main hub of operations from their respective farms, the flowers are carefully counted into bunches of ten; an expert team of around 12 people works to a tight schedule. When counted, each bunch is placed on the long conveyor of a specialist machine, which is referred to as our 'bunching line'. They are then freshly trimmed before being tied with elastic, bundled, and packed in sturdy boxes for the next stage of their journey.
At this stage, only the best flowers are selected for the Blue Box range. We use the freshest of the crop, and stems of 45cm in length. Our florists then pack the flowers into their specific bouquet sizes of 50, 100, 200 or 300 stems.
The stems are placed in dampened Flower Fresh pouches so that they retain their moisture for the journey ahead. Each bouquet is then wrapped in bespoke Scented Narcissi tissue paper, with each personalised gift message tied neatly around the stems before they are placed in our iconic blue boxes.
For weddings and events, we can supply larger quantities than in our usual bouquets. We have boxes available of 500 or 1000 stems, and they are perfect for arranging your own centrepieces and bridal bouquets.
Once packed in their boxes, the flowers are taken up to their last stop on the Isles of Scilly: St Mary's Airport. Once weighed, the boxes are wheeled out onto the tarmac and loaded by hand onto one of the morning's flights heading to Land's End Airport in St. Just, Cornwall - just 20 minutes away by air.
Once safely landed on the mainland, our flowers are then collected by APC Couriers whose network extends across the UK. From their local depot in Redruth, Cornwall, the flowers journey overnight to a national sorting hub, before making their way to the smaller, local depots across the country.
Early the next morning, our flowers make their way into a courier's van, and away they go, finding their way to your home, ready to be unwrapped and displayed in your favourite spot.