I’ve always grown flowers and loved to garden, but despite growing masses of veg from seed, I’d never tried flowers from seed. When we created our cottage garden during the first Covid lockdown of March 2020, I sowed masses of annuals to fill the garden and save money. I was surprised how easy it was! I planted a cut flower patch so I could cut flowers for the house without feeling like I was depriving the garden of flowers and it struck a cord with me. I LOVED cutting and arranging flowers. It came really naturally to me and got my creative juices flowing. An idea started to blossom….could I grow a bigger cutting patch next year and sell some?
Doing some research through the winter, I decided to have a bit of a go and built a few raised beds in the grass meadow. As we headed toward spring 2021, I enthusiastically sowed trays of seeds in our propagating polytunnel. Snapdragon, amaranths, rudbeckia, cosmos, scabious, cornflower, ammi majus, phlox, china aster….the list went on. There were so many plants I wanted to grow, and all of them had germinated. I soon realised I had enough plants to open a small garden centre!
More beds were needed along with a re-think on the business plan. It seemed I was really going to go for it, rather than having a bit of a try. We got a JCB involved and dug 25 8meter beds to join my original 3 raised beds. By August 2021 18 beds were full of plants, the polytunnels were full and shrubs for foliage were establishing themselves all around the farm. I’ve been selling flowers at the local farmers market, to couples wanting buckets of flowers to create DIY wedding flowers, interior designers and event organisers.
I’ve recently been doing a little research on our farm’s history, not that I can find much. Apparently, the valley in which our farm resides was once predominantly flower farms. Because of the sheltered nature of the valley and the richness of the soil, it was the ideal place to grow flowers, which went by train to Covent Garden. Re-establishing a flower farm in the valley feels like I’m reviving a little of its past history, for which I feel proud.