Last year, the demand for meadowesque, natural-looking flowers, grew in momentum. And this is where British flowers are in their element! Sought after are blooms which look like they've just been picked from the garden. And those with quirky, kinked stems bring a wonderful sense of movement to designs.
The less structured 'English Country Garden' look is particularly popular for weddings. And this beautiful Hydrangea arborescens ‘Pink Annabelle’ is a perfect example of an in-demand seasonal flower. If you'd like to see examples of stunning designs featuring homegrown blooms, do check out the British Flowers Week website.
Peach & Apricot | Summer Weddings
Influenced both by fashion and interiors, last year peach and apricot were very popular choices for summer weddings. And this elegant bi-coloured rose from Ecuador called ‘Kahala’, with its champagne-cream petals edged with dark peach, was in demand.
An increase in advance orders for scented David Austin Roses was also a notable trend during prime wedding season, which should come as no surprise. These quintessential blooms perfectly encapsulate the 'just-gathered-from-the-garden' look. Also, soft pink 'Mansfield Park' spray roses went down a storm.
Moody Colour Palette | Autumn & Winter Weddings
Darker hues like burgundy, plum and ‘black’ were sought after for autumn and winter weddings. Blooms in these evocative shades include burgundy ranunculus and anemones, 'Black Baccara' roses, Scabiosa ‘Blackberry Scoop’ and deeper tones of amaryllis.
Brand new on the cut flower scene last year, butterfly ranunculus with its lustrous petals, quickly became a hot favourite with florists. Featuring multiple flowers on each single stem, it's available in yellow, peach, orange, pink and red. And it's back in season now at Nine Elms!
Traders report that standard ranunculus were strong in 2017. However, it’s cloni ranunculus which are gaining popularity. With their larger flower heads, although more expensive than standard varieties, they’re great value for money as they can last 10-14 days. Pale blush 'Hanoi' is currently the most in demand.
An incredible hit on Instagram, romantic peonies with their layers upon layers of delicate petals continued to top the charts in 2017, particularly varieties with generous sized blooms. And this adoration shows no signs of slowing down this year.
There are anemones and then there are 'super anemones'! Crowd-pleasing larger headed anemones proved to be a real hit. And this trend looks set to continue in 2018 too.
With foliage availability so closely linked to the seasons, it’s proved to be a bit of a challenge to pin down obvious trends. However, the following greenery proved to be very much in demand last year.
Beech, including copper beech.
Traders report that sales of succulents continued to be strong in 2017, with echeveria being popular. And with the millennials' (those born between the early eighties and 2000s) desire to nurture them in their homes, this trend shows no signs of abating. Check out our Succulents Product Profile for more information about these easy-to-look-after houseplants.
Millennials are also very fond of prickly cacti plants, due in part to their longevity. Plant wholesalers have noted high demand for these hip houseplants, including this variety called Echinocactus grusonii.
Lush ferns were spectacularly popular in 2017, not only as potted plants but also as cut foliage. And this trend looks certain to continue. A very in-demand variety is Nephrolepis exaltata 'Bostoniensis', also known as Boston Fern. Head over to our Ferns Product Profile for more information.
Another trendy 'plant of the moment' is the Ficus lyrata. It's known for its large violin-shaped leaves, which give it the common name of the fiddle-leaf fig. Traders report that it's been incredibly popular.
Hanging plants, like Ceropegia (String of hearts), have proved to be very in favour with demand on the increase. And larger trailing plants, such as Rhipsalis, are particularly sought after.
With striking flower heads, homegrown auriculas were very fashionable last year, as were equally captivating black violas.
Demand for rustic, aged and natural-looking pots was sky high in 2017. And with customers continuing to be drawn to the rawness and artisan look of cement and natural stone effect containers, this trend looks certain to continue in 2018.
Adding a pop of colour, both patterned and plain glazed pots were in demand.
The versatility of recycled glass jars, as both vases and terrariums, has been a factor which has helped the increasing popularity of this glassware style.
Copper, Rose Gold & Gold
Gold and copper, as opposed to silver, have been sought after particularly with regards to mirror vases. And on the spray paint front, copper and rose gold have been the topping the hit parade.
Silk flowers, particularly large-headed peonies, hydrangeas and hydrangea panels were very popular in 2017, a trend which we predict will continue this year.
Artificial plants have been in great demand, especially for adding a botanical touch to outside urban spaces. This 'no-maintenance' greenery is perfect for entrances, balconies and terraces.
Also popular sundries wise last year were grey flower bags and tissue, plus frosted cellophane.
So, that's our round-up of the hottest trends in flowers, foliage, plants and sundries. It’ll be interesting to see what shines out during the next twelve months and the impact of Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2018, Ultra Violet.
P.S. If you'd like to be kept up-to-date with brand new arrivals at New Covent Garden Flower Market, then follow these traders on Instagram for the inside scoop.