Here in the 2nd of our “insights” into the flower farms of the “Business of growing flowers” team. Paula Baxter is from Mill pond flowers in the Scottish Borders. The trees on her property grow fast in the wet climate, but she realised quickly that other foliage is also popular. Here’s her thoughts on Fast growing shrubs for bouquets.
Running a successful flower farm is not just about spectacular blooms. Good quality foliage is essential to floristry, whether you’re creating your own designs or selling wholesale to florists. Shrubs can be some of the most profitable plants in your field or plot, so buy good quality and get them planted early in your growing adventure and you’ll be so pleased you did!
Here’s a selection of quick growing foliage shrubs that should grow happily anywhere in the UK:
Physocarpus or Ninebark is a very fast growing plant that comes in a few colours. It produces long straight stems with nicely shaped leaves and has great vase life. Try Diabolo, Lady in Red, Dart’s Gold
Eucalyptus is a classic floristry foliage plant and it shoots away. It has been said that eucalyptus has two stages – too small to cut and too tall to cut- so it’s essential to manage it properly for foliage production. However, it grows easily from seed and plants are readily available.
Ligustrum is a fabulous foliage plant. Commonly seen around the UK as privet hedge, if allowed to grow it produces long stems that last well and can be used out of water. It establishes well and grows exceptionally quickly.
Rosemary is well known as a herb and is fabulous in bouquets, bringing scent as well as colour and texture. If it’s cut regularly it produces stems across the whole of the season.
Escallonia is green, glossy and superfast to get established. It grows easily from cuttings and is really tough, shrugging off all sorts of weather.