By the end of this month I should be able to pick buckets of locally grown Spring flowers like these, Narcissi, Tulips, Hellebores, forget-me-knots, lilac, bluebells and syringa and they all smell fab, what's not to love. You can buy DIY buckets for any event and I can also provide wholesale flowers from April for local florists.
I should plant some more roses and do some weeding but I decided it was too cold, wet and miserable so spent an hour in the greenhouse potting on the Ammi, Sweet Rocket and some rather wild gyp. It's amazing how sturdy that is despite the way it grows in such a curious bendy fashion - not like the straight, slightly smelly stuff you get in the shops!
I grow 80% of my flowers from seed, starting in November with my first batch of Sweet peas, some Ammi, Lupins and Daucus - they all seem to quite like the cold. I start my sweet peas in pots outside then move them to the cutting patch when big enough before covering them with sheep's wool and a net tunnel. I seem to spend a lot of my time protecting the seedlings from slugs, wind and mammals. Ammi and Daucus are sown direct, so I spend a lot of time hunting for the seedlings amongst the weeds.
Only a small part of the 3 acre garden is dedicated to growing cut flowers - but it's amazing how much you can fit into such a small plot especially if you don't use paths - just moveable stone stepping stones - no chance of getting a wheel barrow down the steps anyway and it's a great way of keeping fit - picking up all the weeds by hand and throwing them over the rabbit proofing onto the compost heap.
After a great year meeting some lovely brides and creating some beautiful floral designs I feel ready to fine tune what this company is all about. I've come to realise that being sustainable and environmental friendly is very important to me - comes from spending 10 years working in the Environment Agency. So I want to highlight that I only use British flowers no matter what time of year , I will no longer use floral and 90% of my packaging will be biodegradeable - no more plastics for me. Bit of a challenge, but well worth it.
With this is mind I have decided to rename the company to reflect my aspirations, wild natural British and delicate, so from March this year we'll be known as Camomile & Cornflowers - still the same natural, fragrant & beautiful designs but now environmentally friendly
Flowers From The Farm is a support network of all the flower growers in the country - about 500 now - and we regularly exhibit and countryside and flower shows around the country - but despite being one of the oldest flower shows in Britain Flowers for the the Farm (or FFTF) has never exhibited at this prestigious shows, so Gill (from Gilliflower of Wem) and I joined forces to create a Little House on the Prairie display of British flowers, fruit and other locally grown goodies. We must have done something right cos we one a large Gold and the much coveted Raymond Evison trophy for most original display
Finally Spring is here and I've found a lull in the rain and storms to plant my roses, reminding me to prune the old ones. I always find it hard to prune hard but every year I get a little better at it.
Today has been about planting bulbs in the sleet - no snow here but still much too cold to stay out for long, two hours is enough for me today, I wasn't at all intimidated by the pair of robins that kept on creeping closer to me in the hope of a tasty worm of two - time for a coffee!!