A survey carried out by the Central England Co-operative shows that traditional funeral floral arrangements are being replaced by custom-made floral tributes.
These out of the ordinary floral arrangements range from Peppa Pig and a life-size version of a family dog to a giant teacup.
The survey involved expert florists from the society’s 10 floral shops, who revealed that they are receiving a wide range of requests to personalise funeral flowers, to ensure they reflect the person who passed away.
Arrangements demanded include a life-size version of a family dog laying on a bed of grass, a replica of Peppa Pig, a 2ft high teacup and saucer or a 3ft replica of a bottle of tomato sauce. Teddy bears, guitars, frogs, dancing shoes, a horse head, a tank and a caravan were among the other creations put together by the Central England Co-op Floral team.
The need for personalised floral tributes coincides with an increase in the number of people opting for pre-paid funeral plans.
Gail Simmonds, one of the florists who work for Central England Co-op, said: “We pride ourselves on always trying to accommodate what people want – no matter what it is. People often come in with a set idea or photo and then it is up to my team and I to see if we can make that happen.
“Aside from normal funeral arrangements, we get asked to do a wide variety of things, ranging from a dog in a kennel to a three foot bottle of tomato ketchup. We love these challenges as it means we are able to indulge our creative side and come up with solutions.
“Some of the most recent creations that spring to mind include a caravan, a replica of the three-wheeled cars from Only Fools and Horses and even a frying pan. We really enjoy what we do and love to be able to come up with something wonderful to help honour the life of a loved one.”
The Central England Co-operative runs florist shops in Burton, Chesterfield, Derby, Droitwich, Great Barr, Kettering, Kingstanding, Leicester, Stafford and Birmingham. In addition to providing flowers for funerals, they also specialise in weddings, christenings, birthdays and other special occasions.