Flowerbox in George St, St Albans. Picture: Laura Bill You might not immediately associate this time of year with flowers, but what better way to bring cheer in these somewhat gloomy and uncertain times.

Unfortunately, like many of our independent retailers, local florists are also suffering in the wake of the pandemic.

With special occasions like weddings and funerals experiencing reduced numbers, and visits to hospitals and care homes restricted, many of the usual opportunities to buy flowers have been impacted.

As part of our Shop Local campaign, we visited city centre florist Flower Box in George Street, to find out what challenges they have experienced and why they need your support.

Owner Amy Marland said the team at the shop have been doing everything they can to stay positive during the ongoing health crisis. You may also want to watch:

She said: “Sending flowers feels even more special at this time, we know what a tough year it has been and continues to be for so many people, but we are always working hard to ensure we provide a good service and are so grateful to our loyal customers.

“Every Christmas is important to retailers and we have some really beautiful products arriving soon, which will ensure that homes can look just as special and the magic of Christmas is not lost.”

It seems there might be something for everyone, what with door wreaths and garlands, festive home fragrances, as well as some decorations such as ornamental angels, rocking horses and nutcrackers.

Amy said she was grateful to be part of the city’s retail community: “St Albans is so lucky to have an amazing selection of independent retailers, which make the city what it is. They offer great service, source unique products and support the local community.”

This summer, after lockdown, they launched online sales for the first time since Flower Box opened six years ago. Their eco vase arrangements, which are described as “the perfect, instant gift or decoration for your home”, have been very popular.

Amy added: “We are over the moon with the feedback so far!”

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