How else could we really know that spring is nearby than with the arrival of tulip season! These vibrant beauties bring joy in all their hues and we’re so excited to bring these bbys back soon. This month, we’re chatting to our favourite English growers, Smith and Munson, based in the beautiful Glenfield House in Lincolnshire. We got to know them closely last year when we visited, and we’ve been using them for our special tulips ever since 🌷🌷. Whether we’re creating soft neutral bouquets or opting for dramatic colour combos, we can always rely on Smith & Munson to deliver the perfect petals.
Read on to hear from Jo Munson what it’s like to be a grower and their plans for the future!
The business goes back five generations, how did you end up specialising in flowers? Have tulips always been a part of your focus/family?
Smith & Munson have always grown some flowers, but it was on Stephen’s return from agricultural college that he decided to special in the flowers, particularly tulips and lilies.
Why tulips? Do you grow other flowers and what flowers if so?
We were bulb growers too in the early days, So daffodils and tulips, but now we just grow the flowers. Tulips are amazing, there are so many varieties, we grow about 100 different ones through the season, they also grow very quickly.
Tulips are commonly associated with the Netherlands - how do these varieties differ in the uk? Why did they want to grow them here? Why not more traditional english flowers?
I think that the Dutch bulb exporters targeted this part of the U.K., it’s very flat just like Holland, our region is known as ‘South Holland’. We but our bulbs from Holland but as we are such an established tulip grower, 5 generations. We like to think we do a very good job of growing them, we certainly get lots of compliments.
What is your favourite time of the year for flowers?
I think it has to be the tulip season, particularly from febuary onwards when we start to have our biggest choice of varieties. Our tulips are very popular for valentine’s and mother’s day, then easter and all the weeks in between!
what do you like about working with mud?
We love working with mud, such a fresh concept in flower bouquets, we love the modern brand, it exudes quality, the mix of colours and varieties in your bouquets are exquisite.
what’s your favourite type of tulip?
My favourite tulip is called columbus, but all of the doubles are gorgeous, as are fringed and parrots, and then the single varieties have an amazing range of colours too, never boring!
How Do You Keep The Flowers Fresh When You Send Them All Over The UK? What Is Their Process For Distribution?
The flowers are kept fresh because they are delivered within hours, they leave us by 1pm and are delivered before the early hours, so to wholesaler within 24 hours.
Do you have plans to expand?
We would love to expand but we very much want to maintain our name for quality, we are very proud of our brand and would love it if everyone was asking for smith & munson flowers from their florist!
how is it a special experience growing these flowers in the beautiful location of glenfield house? How did they come to start their business there? How long have they been doing business together?
We have been on site for over 100 years but smith & munson ltd wasn’t incorporated until 1949. It’s very special, our five generations have all grown up here. It’s a way of life for us.
What do you think is special about the florist industry in the uk?
It’s a very special industry in the u. K. With florists being very passionate about what they do. There’s lots of events, flowers are used to celebrate everything, from births, parties, weddings, thank you gifts, or just to cheer someone up, or just as a treat to yourself! Whatever your budget there is something for you.
what are you hoping for in 2019? Any exciting plans?
We love to collaborate and we’ve done some very exciting collaborations, we would love to do more and really get the smith & munson brand out there, so that everyone recognises it and the passion behind what we do.
Why Should People Buy British?
When you buy British, you are supporting a British company, that employs local people, it’s a company who loves what they do. With our flowers they have been grown in the U.K. with love and care, by a family who wants to share that with everyone.