Flower trends: 2021's colour schemes, varieties and styles to watch
Months at home followed by a summer of micro-weddings are among the factors influencing this year’s floral trends
A year on and we’re still staying local, bouncing in and out of lockdowns, and planning for a summer which may, once again, see major events such as weddings downsized or postponed for another year.
Photo: JamJar Flowers
With so much change afoot, we ask leading florists what they expect to be the big flower trends of 2021.
Melissa Richardson, founder of Camberwell-based florist JamJar Flowers and creative studio JamJar Edit, notes that our newly localised way of living has had a trickle-down effect on the flower business, with the already growing trend for British flowers experiencing a boom.
‘Florists are becoming more and more aware of their global footprint and its effect on climate,’ she says. ‘We are also aware of how much more beautiful locally grown flowers can be.’
According to Richardson, the trend for British blooms started a few years ago when Zest Flowers at New Covent Garden Market introduced a large English section to their stand. ‘With increased concerns about climate change, red tape and higher prices on flowers imported from Holland due to Brexit, there are great opportunities for British growers,’ she points out.
The trend is well suited to supplying what is likely to be another summer of smaller, micro-weddings. ‘We love making flower arrangements for small weddings,’ says the florist. ‘A tiny wedding has to be perfect in every single detail. You can take the time to create something exquisite [using] delicate English flowers.’
Photo: JamJar Flowers
That said, committing to using exclusively home-grown varieties is not without its difficulties. ‘Britain has a very short growing season so there will always be a need for the [Covent Garden] Flower Market,’ affirms Richardson.
Through-the-letterbox flowers became popular long before the pandemic struck, favoured as an easy, convenient way to send a bouquet by post. But over the last year, sales have, unsurprisingly, spiked as a result of so many occasions – both celebratory or commiseratory – being marked behind closed doors.
‘The most prominent floral trend for 2021 so far is bright-coloured flowers,’ says Whitney Bromberg Hawkings, CEO and co-founder of leading flower delivery service Flowerbx. ‘It should come as no surprise that people are looking to flowers to lift their spirits and, especially in these challenging, dark winter months, cheerful flowers in bright hues are those we see ordered most,’ she adds.
‘Gifting has also seen enormous growth as people look to flowers as a way to stay connected, especially with so many of life’s milestone moments and birthday celebrations being cancelled. Few things can deliver love and emotion the way that flowers can, and this beauty is one of life’s joys that we are still able to enjoy,' Hawkings concludes.
Richardson, too, believes the pandemic has shifted our relationship with flowers and says there’s now a greater need for them than ever. ‘I think people have had the time to study and appreciate nature much more,’ she explains. ‘Flowers aren’t considered by the government to be essential, but the fact is that flowers and plants cheer us up and improve our mental wellbeing.’
Photo: JamJar Flowers
For florists like Richardson, the lockdowns have necessitated becoming more imaginative in thinking about what their business can offer customers. ‘As an events florist, without a flower shop, the majority of our sales before the pandemic came from weddings, press events and private parties,’ she says. ‘One of the ways we have dealt with the change in demand is to come up with a whole new line for virtual PR events for beauty clients, and private screenings for Netflix. At JamJar, we love to tell a story and curating gift packages to send to people to promote an event or product has been really rewarding.’
Netflix Hampers by JamJar Flowers
Another new arm of the JamJar business has been online tutorials in flower arranging. ‘We had a lot of fun creating short videos showing people how we do flowers for a summer dinner party or making a Christmas wreath. I think we will do a lot more of this,’ says Richardson.
The Flower Council, the organisation responsible for promoting flowers to consumers across Europe, takes a more holistic approach when speculating on the trends of 2021. The organisation groups this year’s trends into four core themes: the Human Touch trend (think warm, earthy colours, soft textures and imperfect, organic shapes); Balanced Biotype (bio-based materials, natural, calming shades, reusable objects and wild-looking outdoor spaces); Recentred Stage (geometric shapes, colour blocking and pastel shades combined with bolder tones) and Crazy Illusions (vivid colours, metallics, playful shapes and fairytale-esque charms).
The Human Touch trend. Photo: FunnyHowFlowersDoThat.co.uk
Weddings aren’t the only major occasions for which Richardson and her team will be supplying flowers this year. JamJar Flowers is to design the Bull Ring Gate at the 2021 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The prestigious invitation comes two years after the company designed the world-famous flower show’s London Gate (which they transformed into a bee-friendly curtain of herbs and flowers), and will once again see its designs catch the attention of celebrities and prominent horticultural figures alike.
Photo: JamJar Flowers
‘This year we will be working in conjunction with our sponsors Thyme, a beautiful Cotswold retreat. Our installation will be focused on the pollinators and migratory birds that flock to the water meadows at Thyme to breed,’ reveals Richardson. ‘The gate will comprise an intricate design of bug hotels and colourful meadow planting with nectar-laden English plants and flowers,’ she says. ‘After the show is over, all the plants and the wooden structure of bug hotels will be returned to Slade Adventure, a community garden in Stockwell.’
The year will also see the Camberwell-based company continue its efforts to help make the floristry industry of tomorrow more diverse. ‘We would like to see the floristry industry become more equal. With that in mind we started JamJar Sprouts last summer,’ says Richardson. ‘The project has been thwarted by lockdown restrictions, but we are determined to continue to work with schools and communities to share our love of flowers, and encourage more people from BAME communities to consider our lovely profession as a career.’