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Shopping: Local veg boxes and flowers to order now

On this month's shopping list: an organic veg box subscription, a bouquet of long-lasting blooms and tickets to a seriously photogenic garden

Shida Verbena Summer 21 (49079395)
Shida Verbena Summer 21 (49079395)

Inspired by “dreams of destination holidays and relaxing carefree with a glass of sangria in hand”, the summer collection from Shida, the ever-chic preserved flower brand based in Bury St Edmunds, is an explosion of exotic blooms and carnival colours. Pick of the bunch is this Verbena hand-tied bouquet: combining spears of purple grass with orbs of red banksia and pops of yellow craspedia, it’s a fiesta in a vase.

Verbena hand-tied, £67, shida.florist

If you’ve always wanted to grow your own but lack time, inclination or sufficiently green fingers, good news: Flourish, the organic farm in Hildersham, is giving us all the chance to share in its harvest.

With produce ranging from end-of-summer courgettes and autumn-cropping tomatoes to broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots and turnips, plus salad leaves and herbs, sign up for an Autumn Share and you’ll receive 10 veg boxes delivered to a pick-up point of your choice (over 13 weeks, meaning you can take a wee pause if you’re going away).

Launched in line with Flourish founder Calixta Kilander’s desire “to strengthen the connection between farmer and home cooks”, a share costs £180, with the first box coming with a complimentary bouquet of Flourish-grown flowers and a cloth tote for carrying your produce. Members will also receive behind-the-scenes videos about life on the farm, covering topics such as soil health and biodiversity.

All Autumn Share slots must be booked by end of August. See flourishproduce.co.uk

Cambridge University Botanic Garden (49079441)
Cambridge University Botanic Garden (49079441)

Containing 40 acres of different landscapes and a plant collection from all over the world, Cambridge University Botanic Garden is the horticultural jewel in the city’s crown. And rarely does it look lovelier than in high summer, when the bee borders are spilling with flowers, the lawns are dappled with leafy shade, and the iconic lily-pad fountain bubbles in the background.

If you’re visiting this month, take your camera with you: for the first time, the Garden is partnering with the famed International Garden Photographer of the Year competition to run its own contest - a challenge to ‘capture the spirit and beauty of Cambridge University Botanic Garden’. Free to enter, the contest is open to over 18s and runs through till autumn, culminating in an exhibition at the Garden next year. Prizes include Garden membership, an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour.


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