As we gear up for our exciting showcase "The Flower Farmers' Big Weekend" in August, we thought we'd introduce you to more of our members and the story of how, when and why they took the plunge to become a flower farmer. This week we meet Frances Boscawen of Moat Farm Flowers based in Dennington, Suffolk.
Can you tell us about the spark that inspired you to become a flower farmer?
In 2012 trying to find locally grown flowers for my niece’s wedding – I thought that other people may also want local flowers and decided to start growing them.
What is your background?
Gardening and garden design recently, and floristry before that.
How and when did you get started as a flower farmer?
In 2012, having failed to buy any locally grown flowers for the wedding I started growing them myself. I came across the newly formed Flowers from the Farm and joined!
Describe your business - do you consider yourself to be a flower grower, a florist or both?
Definitely both. Growing the flowers is very important to me. We use the flowers for weddings, deliveries and funeral flowers.
Where are you based? Tell us about the size and location of your flower farm
On a farm in Suffolk. The actual flower field is 2 acres and we also have raised beds in the old cattle yard and veg garden. We also forage around the farm's hedgerows.
How do you sell your flowers (online, markets, farm gate etc) and to whom do you sell (public, florists, hotels etc)?
I do about 20 weddings each year, some quite large, and funeral work is increasing too. I provide a local wedding venue with house flowers all year. I sell bunches to 2 cafes through the season and do an occasional market stall in Framlingham, as well as bouquet deliveries. I don't sell to other florists at present.
What’s been the highlight of your flower-farming career so far?
Helping to put on the first Flowers from the Farm display at RHS Hampton Court in 2014 was very exciting, and then being a small part of the RHS Chelsea display in 2018. Weddings are always a highlight too.
Do you offer workshops?
Yes – I love running the workshops and call them ‘playing with flowers’. We have growing workshops, as well as flower arranging, flower pressing and visiting tutors too. This year I am also holding workshops for wedding florists.
What are your hopes and visions for the future of your business?
After 6 years of rapid growth my plan now is to consolidate things by doing more collaborations with local businesses.
What aspects of being a FFTF member do you most value?
I very much value the support from Flowers from the Farm members and the good friends that I have made. It gives me impetus to see what others are doing, and what is possible. I find it very encouraging.
To find out more about Moat Farm Flowers, visit www.moatfarmflowers.com