For the first time in nearly 20 years, the extreme weather being suffered by many parts of the UK has also affected the Christmas crop of scented narcissi for which the Isles of Scilly are famed.
Christmas has traditionally been the busiest time of year for St Martin’s-based postal flower delivery business Scent from the Islands, with an average 20,000 boxes of newly-grown narcissi being distributed to all parts of the country.
This year, however, only 11,000 have been sent because the crop has simply stopped growing.
“Scilly is known for having the mildest weather in the UK and that’s why our narcissi thrive here,” said Zoe Julian, who runs the company with her husband Ben at Churchtown Farm. “We’ve had snow and cold weather before but never for such a prolonged period so early in the winter.
Instead, Scent from the Islands is offering customers Christmas gift cards.
“Many of the boxes of flowers we send out are presents so we are selling gift cards which entitle the recipient to order scented narcissi at a time of their choosing in the New Year,” explained Zoe Julian. “The price of the cards has been discounted so people will ultimately get more flowers for their money.
“We’re hoping that large numbers of our customers take up the offer. With so much snow around, it’s probably much safer to send a card in the post than flowers at the moment. And opening a present that promises a real touch of spring when the festivities are over should bring a smile to most people’s faces.”