A gift of flowers, especially when there's no particular reason or occasion for them brings immediate joy to the soul. Of course the potted variety is eco best as they last longer but if it's not quite the effect you were after why not opt for organically grown flowers instead?

Organic flowers, especially locally grown ones, are better for the environment as they use fewer insecticides and pesticides (better for the soil) plus travel fewer miles (less carbon emissions in the atmosphere).

Many florists and supermarkets buy their flowers from overseas. Poor trade standards mean that in places like Columbia, women are paid very little to cut and package flowers that have been dowsed in chemicals to help them grow quicker and last longer. Organically grown flower companies have tighter restrictions on their suppliers and are more involved with regulatory bodies like the Soil Association.

The Organic Flower Company aims to source as many flowers as possible from within the UK. They encourage local flower farmers by supporting them in conversion to organic status.

Eco Bouquet is another British flower company committed to socially and environmentally responsible farming. They use organic or in transition to being organic suppliers, have a no air miles policy and a total ban on toxic pesticides. They're also carbon neutral.

If you've never smelled a freshly picked organic flower you're missing out. The scent of a Lily can last for weeks in your home - especially if you keep refreshing the water and nipping the end of the stems with a pair of scissors every couple of days.