Island Life

  • Journey of a Flower

    The Journey of a Flower - Scented Narcissi, The Blue Box Flower Company


    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.


    Growers and their team lift bulbs which have been pulled up and left to dry for a couple of days. Soon they will be ready for re-planting in a new field. Growers and their team lift bulbs which have been pulled up and left to dry for a couple of days. Soon they will be ready for re-planting in a new field.


    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.


    The same field a few months later, full of flowers and cheery faces despite the stormy weather! The same field a few months later, full of flowers and cheery faces despite the stormy weather!


    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.


    Picking teams hard at work in the fields Picking teams hard at work in the fields


    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!


    Graded by hand: time, care and efficiency goes in to this important part of the flowers journey. Graded by hand: a great deal of care and accuracy go in to this important part of the flower's journey.


    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.


    Our famous bunching line! Flowers counted and sent down the conveyor belt to be banded. Our famous bunching line! Flowers are counted and sent down the conveyor belt to be trimmed and tied.


    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.


    One of our florists chooses the cream of the crop. One of our florists chooses the cream of the crop.


    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.


    A Standard Size Seasonal Selection Bouquet being packed A Standard Size Seasonal Selection Bouquet being packed


    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.


    Boxes of 500 and 1000 stems sit securely, ready for the journey. Boxes of 500 and 1000 stems sit securely, ready to travel to the next big event.


    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.


    A  twin otter plane coming in to land, ready to be loaded with its precious cargo. A twin otter plane coming in to land, ready to be loaded with its precious cargo.


    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.


    An upright box is unloaded from the aeroplane at Land's End Airport An upright box is unloaded from the aeroplane at Land's End Airport


    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.


    Seasonal Scented Narcissi make a vibrant display in your home Seasonal Scented Narcissi make a vibrant display in your home


    Order now

  • An Inside Look at Island Life in Scilly

    Life on the Isles of Scilly,

    St Mary's Harbour on a Sunny Day St Mary's Harbour on a Sunny Day

     

    Is not always that idyllic,

    A Blanket of Fog Over St Mary's Harbour A Blanket of Fog Over St Mary's Harbour

     

    But it is always interesting!

     
    The past week has brought days of wind, rain, cold, cloud, and fog. Every element was an impediment to the delivery of our Scented Narcissi. Day after day we have seen winds of over forty miles per hour, dark clouds, and rain. Almost every Blue Box delivery this week has been delayed, either by winds too strong for the planes to fly. Or, seas too rough for the freight boat to sail.
     
    But not just deliveries! Hot mugs of tea and coffee have been the solace for farmers who have sheltered under thick wet weather coats and trousers in order to keep picking through the cold, wet fields.
     

    Grading of the Scented Narcissi Grading the Scented Narcissi - 'Graders' carefully work their way through the freshly picked narcissi brought in from the fields. Each flower is carefully separated into varying grades based on height and quality.

     
    Workers with icy fingers flicking, twirling and tapping through bundles of stems as they grade the narcissi on height and quality. Simultaneously grateful to be undercover and protected in sheds, while also wishing they could move a little more to stay warm.
     

    A Field of Narcissi on a Sunny Day A field of Scented Narcissi on a Sunny Day

     
    But not to despair, the Isles also provide many gifts. Take this field of blooming narcissi happily growing in this island climate. Or the beautiful sunrise created by what would later become wet rain clouds. Scilly soldiers on, just as our Narcissi remind you that spring is coming, it reminds us too.
     

    A winter's sunrise over St Mary's Airport A winter's sunrise with St Mary's Airport in the distance
  • Island Flowers

    We might not have Scented Narcissi growing at the moment, but we do have some fabulous flowers blooming across the islands, in hedgerows, coastal paths, and gardens. Here are some of our favourite:

    Agapanthas 1

    Agapanthus

    20130627_083101

    Cow Parsley

    20130627_181134

    Cornflower

    20130629_103422

  • Celebrate British Flower Week!

    Layout 1

    This week is British Flower Week, where you can celebrate all things British! Our Isles of Scilly flowers are currently in bulb form, being planted ready for September, but here are some beautiful creations from some of our florists for you to enjoy with Seasonal British Flowers: 

    Rebel Rebel

    Rebel REbel BFW2

    Rebel Rebel BFW

    Deacon's Florist

    Deacons Florist BFW

    Deacons BFW2

  • Oh We Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside...

     Can you believe this is just 28 miles off the Cornish coast?

    MIke BRown of the island

    IMG_20140611_140129

    20140611_125819

  • Top Five Scilly Sunsets

    A bout of glorious weather here on the islands, has meant not only beautiful days, but stunning sunsets. Here are our top five from the last few days:

    Dial A Doux sunset

    Spero's Sunset

    Sunset Darren Mason

    Jeremy Pearson Sunset

    Kernow King SunsetIf you visit the islands this Summer, we would love to see any of your photos that you take while you are here- just post on our Facebook Page, or send us a Tweet.

  • Which is Your Favourite?

    We have hundreds of beaches across the islands, in all shapes and sizes

    021112photo 1

    20130217_150108

    edttt

    Which is your favourite beach of all time?

  • Another Day in Paradise

    What a wonderful place we live in...7.6.12

  • Scilly Sunsets

    There are many things of incredible beauty here on the Isles of Scilly, but undoubtedly, the sunsets have to be one of the best. Here are some of our favourites. 20140110_083002

    20140131_172250

    20140203_172340

    sunrise 2dec

    sunset keith

    06.12.12.

    14.11.12

    281112

    stagnessunset

    IMG_0552

    20130715_210138

    20131007_185127

    Picture 002

    sunset

    DSCF0010 scilly sun set

  • Aerial Shots of the Isles of Scilly

    If you have ever travelled to Scilly by air, you will no doubt agree that the start of your journey is on the fantastic aerial shots of the island you get to see.

    20130529_173124smaller
    20130529_173233smaller

    20130529_173224smaller

    20130619_170446

    20130619_170526

    20130619_170610

    20130619_170457

    20130619_170433

    20130619_170400

    20130619_170415

    Widget 1 hompage

    fbpostmay

    Can you recognise any of your favourite places on Scilly?

    Take a look at https://www.facebook.com/Scillyaerialphotography?fref=ts for more aerial footage of the islands.

Items 1 to 10 of 15 total

Show