Product Profile Special: British Foliage

Written by Alastair Owen
June 20, 2013

As we're focusing on all things British this week, in this month's Product Profile we're going to take a look at home-grown seasonal foliage available at New Covent Garden Flower Market.

British foliage


There are two stands at the Market which specialise in British foliage :

Both stands are located outside, on the perimeter of the Flower Market building.

To visit GB Foliage, access is from the outside of the building only.  And Porters' stand can be accessed from both inside and outside.

The types of British foliage available at the Market at any particular time are very much dependent on the season and the weather.

This year is a very unusual year. We're about three weeks behind where we normally would be with regards to the availability of certain foliage.  This is due to the prolonged cold weather we've been experiencing.

The best guide to what's available is to look in your garden or in a park to see what's growing.  It will give you a good idea of what you'll be able to buy at the Market.


With my photos this month, for some of the foliage, I've included a general shot plus a close-up, so that you can see the shape and detail of the leaves and flowers.


British beech

British beech

Copper Beech

British copper beech


British photinia


British Forthysia

White Leaf, also known as Hornbeam

British White Leaf, also known as Hornbeam

British White Leaf, also known as Hornbeam


British Rhododendron


British Birch


British Euonymus


British Hebe


British Rosemary


British dock


British Privet

Gold Privet

British Gold Privet


British Euphorbia

Before we move on to some flowering types of foliage, there's also senecio and griselinia currently available at the Market, as featured in this month's Flower Market Report.


British Cotoneaster

Viburnum Lacecap also known as Guelder

British Viburnum Lacecap also known as Guelder

British Viburnum Lacecap also known as Guelder


British Hawthorn

British Hawthorn


British foliage comes in bunches, but there isn't an exact stem count per bunch…it's generally a handful's worth.

And five bunches make up a bundle.

General Advice

Care-wise, cut the stems and if it's a tall variety, stand it in deep water.  Then, store it in a cool place. If you like, you can split up the stems too.

With shorter foliage, like rosemary and senecio, it's best to stand it in shallow water.  Otherwise, you may find that the bottom of the stems and foliage turn black.

If you have an event or wedding coming up, it's advisable to visit the Market 1-2 weeks beforehand to have a look at what kinds of foliage are available and what's looking its best.

Then you'll have a better idea of what you'll be able to buy just before you need to use it.

The taller British foliage is ideal for large floral designs, like pedestals, big vase arrangements and installations.

Or you could use some of the varieties in hand-tied bouquets and small arrangements, to give a natural 'just-picked' look.

So, instead of automatically buying salal, ruscus or eucalyptus, why not consider seasonal British foliage?

It's readily available all year round at New Covent Garden Flower Market.  And it could be your point of difference...

You don't even have to be based near the Market to enjoy it either. Both Porters and GB Foliage deliver throughout the UK via the Flower Market Delivered service.

I hope you've enjoyed reading this month's Product Profile.

Do visit the Market soon to see all the different types of British foliage on sale. I've simply captured a snapshot of what's available in June. And you'll find other types of foliage here at different times of the year.

My favourite has to be the hawthorn…I'm totally captivated by its pretty pink blooms!  Do you have a favourite?

If you have any comments about this month's Product Profile, it would be lovely to hear from you. Simply type in the boxes below…


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