The Blue Box Flower Company News

  • 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
  • Have You Entered Our Competition?

    Are you signed up to our newsletter? This Season we are giving you the chance to win 1 in 10 Scented Narcissi bouquets- plus every entry will receive 20 extra stems*

    (*please see website for full T&C's)

    Front of Competition Slip for Print 300dpi

     

    Click here to sign up now!

  • Scented Narcissi on Radio Scilly

    We were delighted to get a mention on Radio Scilly this week who talk about our new exhibition here on St. Mary's.

    Advert for TIC

    Read the full article here 

  • Scented Narcissi is Open For Visitors!

    Panoramic JPEG

    This Summer, we have opened our shed doors to all those passing by showcasing our fabulous farmers and the work they put in to your Scented Narcissi.

    Bunching Line edt

     

    Although a working shed between November and April, we often have comments from our customers that they'd love to come and see us, so we've opened our doors, and displayed a whole host of Scented Narcissi farming facts for you to explore.

    Front of Shed edit

     

    With a fantastic archive of photos dating from the 1830's right through to present day, and lots of interesting facts about the second largest industry on the Isles of Scilly, make sure you drop in and say "hi" if you're visiting St. Mary's.

    Inside Shed Edit

     

    As well as being able to trace our history, learn more about our farmers, and see our bunching line, we have fabulous Blue Boxes of Isles of Scilly bulbs from our farmers which you can purchase, a well as some treats from  our resident artist Victoria Heaney and our farming friends at 28 Mile.

    We are right at the top of airport hill- just to the left of the airport turning, and follow our drive down until you see our shed- look out for the blue sign!

  • Did You Find One?

    We recently took part in The Lonely Bouquet, hiding our luxury gift vouchers around St. Mary's for three lucky people to find!

    Can you guess where we left them?

    Lonely Bouquet The Powder Room

    Lonely Bouquet Porthcressa

    lonely B 007

    If you did find one of our vouchers, get in touch with us on 01720 423767, or email us orders@scentednarcissi.co.uk

  • The Lonely Bouquet 2014

    This weekend is the international celebration of The Lonely Bouquet, where thousands of people across the world leave fabulous bouquets of flowers to be found by the lucky people that just happen to walk by.

    Poundbury Florist LB2014

    (Some of our florists are taking part in the celebrations too- this one is by Jessie from The Poundbury Florist in Dorchester)

    As you all know, our flowers don't start growing until mid-September, but we won't let that stop us from joining in with the fun!

    LB2914 3

    This weekend, we are leaving three of our luxury boxed gift vouchers around St. Mary's for 3 lucky people to find.

    LB2014 1

    We might not be able to offer a bouquet, but hold on to the voucher you find, and you can redeem it this Autumn- we promise the first Scented Narcissi of the Season from our farmers will be worth the wait!

    lb2014 2

    If you do come across one of our gift vouchers, don't forget to let us know- we'd love to see a photo of you finding it and where!

    @ScentedNarcissi

    facebook.com/ScentedNarcissi

    orders@scentednarcissi.co.uk

  • *NEW* Victoria Heaney Collection

    We were really sad to see the last of our flowers go, so were delighted when our resident artist Victoria Heaney offered us some more of her fabulous prints to sell on our website.

    Base of Mug

    Not only have we brought back the hugely popular Spring Narcissi Print Ceramic Jug

    VH JUG 2

    VH jug

    We also have these fantastic, Isles of Scilly inspired Set of Four Ceramic Mugs.

    Sail Away With Me

    "Sail Away With Me"

    Close up Sail Away 1

    "Kettle of Fish"

    Gone Fishing Mugs Product Image

    Close up Gone Fishing Product

    and last but not least, "Birds of a Feather" (you might recognise this from earlier in the season on 2 Pint Ceramic Jugs!)

    Feather Product IMages

    feather

    We'd love to know what you think to these stunning new additions to the website!

  • Last Send Departed the Islands

    We begrudgingly took our last delivery up to the airport this morning to be sent to Lands End.

    Scilly Aerial

    It is a fabulously sunny morning here on Scilly- in fact it has been all week- what a fantastic view our flowers get on their journey to you!

    20130208_115230smaller

    Thank you to everyone who has ordered this Season- watch this space as we have some exciting plans in the coming weeks, and in the meantime...we'll keep posting stunning pictures of our fabulous islands, and all the latest updates from our farmers!

  • New Variety: Bridal Crown

    Today we got a lovely bunch of Bridal Crown from Sarah Paulger of Burrough Farm.
    Bridal Crown

    This creamy double has a subtle sweet scent, and beautiful creamy petals contrasting with orange flecks. Unfortunately, the mild weather has meant this particular variety has grown too short for our Blue Box Bouquets- but look out for them in your local flower markets!

Items 1 to 10 of 28 total

Show