ROSES may have been the traditional symbol of love and affection for generations, but a more vibrant contender is proving the flower of choice these days.
Three million extra red tulips were grown in Lincolnshire to meet the demand for Valentine’s Day, with companies such as Winchester Growers Ltd in Pinchbeck doubling production.
However, at Redford Flowers Ltd on Holbeach Road, Spalding, Simon Redden says he is growing more tulips, but it has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day.
“We always increase the amount for Mother’s Day, that’s more important to us than any other day of the year,” he said.
He believes the tulip’s vibrant colours – and particularly purple flowers – have made it a more popular choice, especially for younger people on Valentine’s Day, but adds: “Valentine’s Day does give a lift, but we don’t see the volumes the same as it was many years ago.
“For example, this year we were 1,000 boxes down to our wholesale customers on two years ago and that’s due to the financial climate and because Dutch prices are very low.”
However, for Mothering Sunday, Simon says: “We will be able to sell every single stem we can get through the building without a problem.
“It’s more tulips for Mother’s Day because it’s into the spring period.
“Valentine’s Day is great for red tulips but for all the other colours, sales will get stronger and Mother’s Day is when the bulk are sold.”
Redford Flowers grows about six-and-a-half million tulips in about about 5,500sq m of glasshouse, supplying supermarkets, wholesalers and a small amount into the local bulb auction.
Simon says he was the first in the district ten years ago to use hydroponic production methods, growing without the use of soil and using water instead.