Tag Archives: scented narcissi

  • 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


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  • Top Tips on Caring for your Scented Narcissi

    On the Isles of Scilly, flower farming is in the blood. Passed down through generations of flower farming families, the craft of tending and growing narcissi has long been perfected. From each bulb’s humble beginnings to their vibrant, scented blooms, our Scillonian farmers know it all!

    Scented Narcissi grown outdoors on the Isles of Scilly Scented Narcissi grown outdoors on the Isles of Scilly

     

    We have collected some of our growers’ ‘top tips’ on how to care for your narcissi and get the best looking and longest lasting blooms from your flowers.

    Andrew May of Seaways Farm says: ‘Trim the stems no more than an inch when they arrive, and place them in cold water. Replace the old water with fresh water daily; they drink a lot!’

    Andrew May in his flower fields…recommends cold water for the flowers. Andrew May in his flower fields…recommends cold water for the flowers.

     

    ‘Don’t keep them in a hot living room’ says Keith Hale of Tremelethen farm. ‘The cooler you keep them the longer they will last. And if you really want them next to your fire then make sure you place them in a cold room at night’.

    If you have a hot fire or a centrally heated house we recommend moving your flowers into a porch or garage overnight. If you have a hot fire or a centrally heated house we recommend moving your flowers into a porch or garage overnight.

     

    Sarah Paulger over at Borough farm says the secret to her wonderfully healthy flowers is that she keeps the foliage up for as long as possible. She also has a tip for those of you growing narcissi in your own gardens: remove the dead heads so that the goodness goes back into the bulb; this makes the bulbs bigger. Sarah also recommends that you don’t keep them flowering for too long, especially in the first year. The same theory applies to your fresh cut narcissi: ‘By removing any flower heads which are past their best, not only will it keep your bouquet looking fresh, it will also encourage the other buds on each stem to open up.’

    Sarah Paulger excels at growing big, healthy crops of ‘Soleil d’Or’ Narcissi Sarah Paulger excels at growing big, healthy crops of ‘Soleil d’Or’ Narcissi

     

    Mike Brown of Sunnyside farm mentions an important point: ‘The narcissi grow so well on Scilly because of our naturally warm climate. We get very little frost here on the islands and the flowers don’t like the freeze’. (Think frozen cucumbers!) So if you’re thinking about planting bulbs at home, make sure to choose a warm spot in your garden, like near a wall by your house.

    Farmer Brown enjoys a Scilly sunset / A field of blooming narcissi Farmer Brown enjoys a Scilly sunset / A field of blooming narcissi

     

    Every time you order Scented Narcissi you will find our care instructions alongside your flowers inside your Blue Box:

    Narcissi Care Instructions are included with each bouquet Narcissi Care Instructions are included with each bouquet

     

    Here in the Scented Narcissi office we have also been running a few experiments on the flowers. We all know that the narcissi are good at ‘bouncing back’ but we wanted to see just how good they really are.

    We found some old, forlorn flowers that had become very soft and flimsy and otherwise would have been thrown away. We trimmed the stems, put them in water and left them over night. Here are our results:

    Before and After: What a difference a day makes! Before and After: What a difference a day makes!

     

    We also did the same to some extremely bendy ‘Erlicheer’. This variety has a tendency to have a softer stem than other narcissi, so at times can flop, but give them a drink and a chance, and look at how well they progress!

    The same flowers, just a few hours apart! The same flowers, just a day apart!

     

    We say this: If you are worried about how your narcissi look on arrival, follow our simple narcissi care tips, and pretty soon after you should have some amazing blooms and scent to enjoy for days to come.

    Spring is here: Daymark, Golden Dawn and Silver Chimes compliment your living room Spring is here: Daymark, Golden Dawn and Silver Chimes compliment your living room

     

    Now that you know the best way to care for our Scented Narcissi, take a look at our Classic Collection and order some today!

    Our prices start at £22 with Free Delivery - Start your order now

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Farm Life

    You might be wondering what all of our farmers do when we aren't sending out flowers. We've had suggestions that they are taking long holidays in foreign places, or relaxing on the islands- but unfortunately for them, that is far from the truth!

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    At this stage in the Season, the farmers have to dig up all the acres of fields so they can treat and sterilise the Narcissi bulbs ready to be replanted.

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    The fields are prepared ready for next season too!

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    There is a long process before the bulbs are ready for replanting as they are above, so check back on our blog in a few weeks and we will explain the next stage to you!

  • Goodbye Pelistry Farm! (Until Next Season)

    This week we were sad to see the last trolley of flowers from Pelistry Farm appear in our Shed.

    Pelistry End of Season

    We have had some fantastic Scented Narcissi from them this Season, and can't wait to welcome them back in September when we will start all over again!

  • Easter Photo Shoot!

    We were blessed with some stunning weather on the Isles of Scilly this weekend, which coincided fantastically with our Easter photoshoot!

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    We took bundles of our newest Scented Narcissi varieties down to Kylie and Dave of Salakee Farm, as we had something really special planned!

     

     

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    They have started a new venture at Salakee Farm which you can read all about  here by visiting their website.

     

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    Mainland Marketing (3009)

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    The perfect Easter shoot! What great (and adorable) models!

    Even our Barefoot Photographer (who normally never gets in front of the lens!) was completely enraptured by these ducklings!

     

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    To shop our Spring Collection, Click here!

  • Goodbye Bunching Line!

    As the quantity of Scented Narcissi becomes fewer at this late stage in the Season, we bid farewell to our bunching line team today!

    Bunching Line

    They've been great all Season- Thanks for all your hard work and quality control!

  • Win a Scented Narcissi Bouquet for Mothering Sunday!

    We are giving you the chance to win a luxury Scented Narcissi Bouquet for Mother's Day, in our latest Facebook competition!

    Facebook Comp

    All you have to do to enter is follow this link and follow the instructions on the page!

    Good luck! 

  • New Variety: Silver Chimes

    The milder weather has brought with it a beautiful and highly exclusive variety of Scented Narcissi this week: Silver Chimes

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    This beautiful and rare variety has only been brought to us by one farmer this Season, Francis Hosken, of Trenoweth Farm.

    Hosken

    This beautiful heavy floret, nods gently on vibrant green stems-  the large creamy white petals and pale lemon bell a beacon of Spring. Our customers wait all Season for this beautiful Narcissi to crop.

    Silver Chimes Product Image

    A subtle fragrance of lilac and hyacinth compliment this delicate narcissi.

    This Variety makes a perfect alternative to Paperwhites and is available for a limited time only. Tempted? Click Here.

    silver chimes product image 2

  • Chinese New Year

    This year, we have launched an exclusive limited edition, Chinese New Year Bouquet. Celebrated on Friday January 31st this year, the year of the horse, bring a little luck and fortune to someone dear to you.

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    The Narcissi, in particular, the Paper White Scented Narcissi, has long been representative in Chinese culture. It signifies the promise of Spring and conveys wishes of good luck, prosperity and longevity.

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    Our exclusive bouquet includes other traditional elements of Chinese culture. Your card will be placed in a red envelope used for special Chinese occasions. The tradition of red envelopes comes from a story about a demon who was vanquished during the Sung Dynasty. A young man with a magic sword defeated a demon that was menacing a town. The town presented him with money in a red envelope to reward him for his deed.

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    In Chinese culture, red is the color of the auspicious, signifying reunion, health, happiness, harmony, peace and prosperity.

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    The gold/yellow in the tissue paper selected for this bouquet is one of the most revered colours in Chinese culture, held as the symbolic colour of the five legendary emperors of  ancient China. The bouquet comes tied in the iconic decorative knotted red tassles, synonymous with Chinese culture.

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    This bouquet is a symbol of luck, longevity and prosperity, so make sure you are one of the lucky few to get this limited edition bouquet delivered on Chinese New Year, Friday 31st January.

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