MORE than one million flowers are heading to Penzance from the Scillies in time for Valentine’s Day on Friday.
The stems are being shipped on the freight ship Gry Maritha and make up one of the Isles of Scilly cargo ship’s biggest ever floral consignments.
But these are definitely not the hackneyed red roses traditional for Valentine’s Day wooing.
The huge consignment largely consists of the yellow Scented Narcissi the Isles of Scilly have become famous for.
The cut flower business on Scilly creates jobs and boosts the local economy outside of the peak tourist season.
The two main flower producers on the islands, Scilly Flowers and Tremelethen Farm, have been gearing up for one of the busiest times of the year.
Scilly Flowers, based at Churchtown Farm on St Martin’s, runs a home delivery service sending scented flowers across the UK.
The company sends out over 90,000 boxes of flowers every year – Scented Narcissi from October until April, and Scented Pinks from May to October.
This week alone, the company will ship around 3,000 gift boxes all around the country.
Zoe Julian from Scilly Flowers said: “We’ve been on a one-farm mission to educate the men of the UK that yellow is the new red and that sending a box of Scilly grown Scented Narcissi is a far more romantic gesture than a ubiquitous red bouquet that has travelled half way around the world.”
The Isles of Scilly Steamship Company transports flowers both on board the Gry Maritha and by Skybus to Lands End and Newquay Cornwall Airports.
Zoe said: “The freight link to Scilly is crucial to us as we have to bring into Scilly all the things we need to grow and package our flowers and when we have really big consignments of flowers at times like Christmas and Mother’s Day we rely heavily on the Gry Maritha.”