ECO-FLORIST Nicola Hanney is enjoying a blooming marvellous British Flower Week.

The mother-of-one, from Blackrod, owns the only sustainable, eco-friendly flower shop in the North West — Wild and Wonderous Flowers.

She specialises in wild flowers farmed in the UK and prides herself in using biodegradable and recyclable materials to wrap her bunches.

Ms Hanney makes up beautiful bouquets for all occasions such as weddings, funerals, birthdays, and of course Mothers’ Day.

The 40-year-old has been in the trade for 23 years and says sustainable farming is very important.

She added: “We’re an eco-florist who mainly stock local growers from Britain.

“We will buy imported stock from places like Holland because the Dutch farm ethically and are a part of Fair Flowers which ensure that the flowers farmed are sustainable.

“Places like Columbia and Ecuador have not been farming very sustainably but they have not got the same standards as we have. It’s not just damaging to the soil but also to the environment around it.

“It’s consumer power though. If enough people know about it then hopefully they will buy from the right places.”

Ms Hanney, who specialises in wild flowers such as Sweet William and Cornflowers, says that you must be careful where you farm from as you may be breaking the law.

She added: “You can’t pick wild flowers such as buttercups unless it’s from privately owned land and you have permission.

“A private farm allows us to pick wild flowers from their land, which is really lovely of them.”

Ms Hanney started out by completing a Youth Training Scheme aged 16.

She then took the plunge and set up her own flower shop business last year — and is keen to educate people about the importance of eco farming.

Ms Hanney said: “I’ve had the shop since October. I decided that I wanted to do it for myself so I went back to university and did a degree in environmental science management and then a masters in contaminated land.

“It’s been great so far. I’ve got a lot of old ladies that come into the shop and say it’s like a trip down memory lane for them because I have flowers they haven’t seen since they were girls.

“British horticulture needs this push. We are so big on flowers and gardens. A lot of people want English garden flowers for their wedding, for example.

“We don’t use cellophane or non-recyclable materials to wrap our bouquets. We use twine and brown paper, but little things like that are important.

“It’s like the organic food revolution. People were very sceptical at first but people don’t think twice about putting organic produce in their shopping basket these days.”