New Network of Independent Florists for the Funeral Industry

3rd May 2024

A new directory has been launched to help the public find funeral flowers that are kinder to the environment. The directory can be used to find local florists who will avoid all plastics and floral foam. Additionally a large majority of the flowers are locally grown.

We receive many enquiries from churchwardens about the amount of uncompostable waste and litter issues associated with funeral flowers, so we are keen to spread the word of this great initiative!

We spoke to Gill Hodgson who co-founded the new Farewell Flowers Directory
Could you share your background and the inspiration behind founding Farewell Flowers Directory?

I’ve farmed here in the East Riding of Yorkshire all my life and, in 2011, founded Flowers From The Farm [FFTF] – the national network of flower farmers. FFTF has been brilliantly successful, winning a Gold at Chelsea and providing all the flowers for the King’s Coronation in Westminster Abbey in 2023.

During those 12 years, I became aware of the damage done by plastic floral foam as details of its toxicity emerged and I saw images of the mountains of waste left behind.

I stepped down as FFTF’s President at the end of 2023 and turned my attention to improving the world of funeral floristry.

Gill Fieldhouse and Carole Patilla, Co-founders of Farewell Flowers Directory
What is the mission of the Farewell Flowers Directory?

Our aim is to help florists reduce their reliance on plastic floral foam by showing them fabulous examples of the results achievable without it and to help the public find funeral flowers that are kinder to the environment when they search for flowers for a relative or friend.

It’s common for those maintaining churchyards and cemeteries to face challenges with plastic waste and floral oasis from traditional floral arrangements. Florists on your Directory go further than that by using UK grown flowers, don’t they?

We’ve an interactive map on the website where you can search for our member florists – florists who are able to create tributes that are compostable and in which every single element can return to the earth leaving nothing harmful behind. We also ask our florist members to include some British-grown material in their designs: many of them will work with 100% British in the main season but some members are new to using local flowers so we’re simply encouraging them to use more rather than trying to force a big shift immediately. As well as connecting members with the public, we’re liaising with funeral directors’ associations, crematoria, natural burial sites and celebrants to raise awareness of our campaign.

Perhaps our biggest change though will come about through our intention to take funeral flowers out of the Director’s parlour and into the fresh air. When did you ever see funeral flowers in the flesh outside that parlour or at a funeral?

We’re starting with the Great Yorkshire Show in July – where I set up the very first FFTF display, back in 2011 – and it’ll be really interesting to see the public’s reaction to them.

Will they embrace the idea and be delighted to learn that they can have much more personal tributes on their coffin, or will the modern taboo surrounding any mention of death make them avoid my stand?

Have you thought about the flowers you’d like to accompany you on your final journey… and have you told someone?

woven coffin in a field with flowers on top
Thank you to Gill for chatting to us.
For more information visit
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