Sustainable floristry – what do we mean?


How we approach sustainability at Tallulah Rose Flower School 


Thank you for taking an interest in our sustainable values. We see the word sustainable everywhere which makes it hard to understand what it means exactly. Let’s start with sustainable techniques. We don’t use floral foam or a foam substitute and the reason for that is this..


”Floral foam is plastic.

It’s different to other families of plastics found in packaging and more familiar manufacturing. The most closely related product is a type of house insulation foam, but other plastics in this family include bakelite and the very hard resin found in billiard balls.

All these plastics belong to a group known as phenolic resins, or phenol formaldehydes. These were the very first plastics to be developed in the early 1900s.”

Taken from the Sustainable Floristry Network website we highly recommend following the link below to learn not only about why we should no longer use floral foam but also about pesticides, what is meant by biodegradable and compostable. Educate yourself on flower waste on floral foam alternatives, why it’s better to use locally sourced flowers and the slow flowers movement.

Sustainable Floristry Network – Resource    

We are consistently reducing the amount of plastic we use in other areas too, plastic tape for example. Tape is used to secure chicken wire into containers. We have worked with a local ceramicist to create a ‘bowl with holes’. The holes positioned as the top of the bowl allow us to thread twine through them to secure our chicken wire with no need for tape. We use this same principle when working with larger vessels, urn of example.

On the flip side we choose to use plastic coated chicken wire, controversial you may say, and you’d be right to question us! We choose to use the plastic coated chicken wire because it means we’re able to reuse and reuse and reuse.. you get the picture! The chicken wire stays in our bowl and is washed and washed and washed.. see where I’m going?! When we use this wire to create large scale designs the wire is stored for the next time or it’s cut down made into dozens more designs. So yes it’s plastic but it lasts… no single use EVER!

There’s a great book, we give one to each of our career change students, it’s called A Guide To Floral Mechanics and worth every penny. Written by Sarah Diligent and William Mazuch follow the link to purchase.


We have for many years used locally sourced flowers choosing to work with flowers grown as close to school as possible. During the growing season we endeavour to use only British flowers. Sometimes our flowers have to travel a number of miles to reach us however they travel in water and pesticide free. It’s not always plane sailing, the weather plays a big part, determining when the growing season starts and ends, not to mention the extremes it can throw at out growers throughout the season too!

The difficulties are worth it of course when our school room is full of the most beautiful scented British blooms – nothing like it! The relationships we have with our growers are special. it really is a team effort, we need each other!

We continue to use as many locally sourced flowers as possible and in 2025 will use only British grown. We know that for some, a lot actually, using only locally grown flowers isn’t always an option. If you’re a florist working on large scale events or you’re a wedding florist working all year round you will no doubt have to import flowers too. During the latter part of this year and throughout 2024 we will be working with exporters to understand, and feed back, which of the large commercial growers are showing the most progress in their sustainable practices. We’re doing this to support students who want to do their very best when it comes to importing flowers. Check back throughout this year and next to follow our progress.

We love The British Flowers Book by Claire Brown it will become your flower bible. It’s a fantastic resource not to mention a beautifully photographed book too.

We’re a member of Flowers From The Farm an organisation promoting and supporting British flower growers. You can use the directory on their website to find a flower grower near you.

If you’re in Canada or USA you can use the Slow Flowers directory